How to Buy Luxury Technology Brands on a Budget
Luxury technology brands can evoke a sense of sleekness. From improved materials to top-class design, luxury tech brands focus on the details that many other companies miss. Unfortunately, luxury technology is often unattainable due to price, or is it?
With time, effort and research, you can adorn your office with high-end offerings from Apple or Microsoft. You can enjoy a premium listening experience on your morning commute with Bang & Olufsen or Bowers & Wilkins headphones. Here’s how you can grab some of the world’s best luxury tech products at a discount.
Is Luxury Technology Worth the Price?
You work hard for your money. When we discuss luxury technology products, we aren’t talking about brands that take standard smartphones and throw diamonds on them or companies that slap a brand logo on a cheap product and declare a high value. The luxury technology products we will focus on here provide you with an improved experience.
Technology is wonderful, and companies have found quite a few processes to help reduce the cost of everyday electronics. On the other hand, some companies have chosen to forgo rushed methods and invest in better materials, focusing on a longer-lasting, well-built product. Those are the brands we will highlight today.
Whether luxury technology is worth the price is up to you. Do you mind having a smartphone fashioned from plastic or a device that is simply good enough? If you do, then luxury tech may not make a difference. But, if you demand precision and welcome the feel of finely crafted materials, luxury tech may be a match made in heaven.
Luxury Technology Brands at a Discount
We’ve assembled a list of some of the world’s best luxury technology brands. We’ve selected companies that generally offer products with higher price tags but back up their numbers with improved hardware and software. Here are some of the best technology brands and how you can grab their products without paying full price.
Apple: iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Macs
The largest technology company in the world, Apple offers a range of products from computers to smartphones and smartwatches. While the majority of Apple’s products can leave you with a hefty bill, Apple puts an emphasis on the materials it uses in its production process, as well as its hardware and software integration. The result is a product that is not only beautiful but seamless to use.
The best place to grab Apple products at a discount is at Apple’s outlet stores. Apple’s outlet offers products that are good as new but come with a discount, making the purchase process less stressful on your wallet. Some electronics retailers, such as Best Buy, may also offer price cuts and sales.
Another option to consider when purchasing Apple products is to select an iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple Watch from the previous year. Apple tends to design its products with a sufficient amount of headroom, meaning that last year’s model will likely still offer you a generous amount of computational power and standout features at a discounted price.
We have previously written about obtaining refurbished electronics, along with tips for purchasing certified refurbished Apple products. If you decide to shop outside of Apple’s outlet store, we recommend checking out mac of all trades as one option; it offers Apple laptops, desktops, iPads, iPhones, Apple Watches and accessories.
If you’re a student or teacher, Apple offers education discounts that can easily take $100 off your next purchase. Check out the Apple education store here.
Samsung: Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip
Samsung offers quite a lineup of products, including some that certainly do not invoke a feeling of luxury; instead, they can be described as budget smartphones. However, Samsung also offers some of the most expensive, feature-packed smartphones, such as the Galaxy Z selection of smartphones with folding screens.
Spending extra money on Samsung’s luxury-tier products will generally fetch you a smartphone with the latest technology. The most impressive smartphone from Samsung is the Galaxy Z Fold4, which retails for at least $1,500 but effortlessly transforms into a mini-tablet. Samsung also offers discounts when you bundle products such as smartphones and smartwatches.
Samsung also has an outlet store with discounted versions of the company’s offerings. We have found that Samsung regularly drops its prices or provides free offerings with cellular carriers. Our top advice for purchasing a discounted Samsung product is simply patience: Wait for a bit, and that expensive Galaxy smartphone is bound to be cheaper.
Samsung also provides a selection of discount programs for shoppers looking to save money on their next purchase. Discounts are available to students, teachers, first responders, military members and government workers. Samsung’s discount varies between products but tops out at around 30%.
Microsoft: Surface Pro, Laptop and Studio
For a long time, Microsoft had left the design and construction of Windows PCs up to its partners, such as Dell, HP, Lenovo, ASUS and Acer. Microsoft changed that convention when it introduced its own Windows PC, the Microsoft Surface, in October 2012. Microsoft’s Surface line now shines as a premium offering for Windows PC lovers.
The Microsoft Surface selection of Windows PCs offers everything from tablet computers to laptops and touchscreen desktops. We have found that Surface PCs sit among the elite regarding Windows PCs built with care and attention to detail. Within the Surface lineup, you’ll discover casings designed from durable yet lightweight aluminum and keyboards covered in soft, suede-like Alcantara fabric.
Those looking to grab a Surface PC at a discounted price should check out Microsoft’s outlet store. Additionally, shoppers should keep an eye on retail stores such as Best Buy and Walmart. Unlike computers from Apple, Windows PCs are more likely to be on sale. We recommend sticking to computers from the current generation or, at most, a single generation back.
One thing we should note when shopping for past-generation Microsoft Surface devices: Be cautious of devices running Windows RT rather than Windows 8, Windows 10 or Windows 11. Windows RT was only used on the original Surface and Surface RT but substantially limits the applications you can use on the device.
Razer: Razer Blade Laptop and Gaming Accessories
If you’re a PC gamer or have a family member who is into gaming, you’ve likely heard of Razer. Launched in the late 1990s, Razer has produced gaming accessories for the masses. In 2011, the company announced its Razer Blade premium gaming notebook. For gamers, it’s the true definition of well-crafted luxury.
When the original Razer Blade laptop was released, it offered a gaming solution that was not only powerful but thin and lightweight. With most gaming PCs constructed from chunky plastic, the slim metal profile was a welcome change. Today, Razer continues to produce gaming machines that are not only powerful but offer a premium tactile experience for everyday use.
The first stop for Razer discounts should be, you guessed it, Razer’s own refurbished outlet. You can grab Razer hardware and accessories that look new without paying full price. We have also found that retailers offer discounts after a bit of time has passed on Razer Blade computers, which use Windows. As the gaming market tends to move quickly, we’ve also discovered that Razer gear sells at sizable discounts on the used market.
When shopping for Windows gaming PCs, check the components within each device, including the CPU, graphics card, amount of memory and storage. Video games put an enormous load on the graphics card, so you will want to grab something that can play all the games you have in mind. Check the minimum requirements for your favorite games and compare them with the gaming PC you are considering.
Bang & Olufsen: Beosound, Beolab and Beoplay
What if there was a company that produced audio equipment as beautiful as it sounded? Bang & Olufsen is a Danish high-end electronics company that has been doing just that for nearly 100 years. Founded by Peter Bang and Svend Olufsen, B&O has specialized in engineering hardware that is visibly striking and audibly breathtaking.
If you have your eyes and ears set on a piece of Bang & Olufsen equipment but are left shellshocked at the price tag (the company’s current flagship speaker costs $115,000), we’ve got some goods news: Bang & Olufsen products are more attainable than you may think, or at least some of them are when you shop in the right places. While still expensive, B&O offers quality products crafted from higher-caliber materials, lasting longer than cheaper alternatives.
You won’t be able to access a Bang & Olufsen outlet store simply; there is one available, but it requires a special invitation. Instead, we’ve found that B&O products on the used market tend to fall in value quite a bit once the new model comes out. For example, B&O’s previous-generation wireless headphones, the Beoplay H9, can be found for less than $200 on eBay. When the product launched, it was $500.
It can be a challenge for shoppers to sniff out deals in the world of Bang & Olufsen, but as with most bargains, patience can be a virtue. One thing we do not recommend doing unless you have experience is purchasing “non-working” products and then bringing them to a repair shop. Attempting to fix a non-working B&O product may cost you more than buying an already working speaker or pair of headphones.
Bowers & Wilkins: Px7 and Px8 Headphones
The second European consumer audio company in our roundup, Bowers & Wilkins, has stood as a high-end British audio company since it was founded in 1966 by John Bowers. Bowers & Wilkins has outshined the rest by developing audio equipment with a refined look and focusing on research and development.
The result: products that use the latest materials and developments in electronics to create exceptional sound. Two trendy products are Bowers & Wilkins Px7 and Px8 headphones, which envelop your head in a crisp soundstage and premium materials such as carbon, aluminum and Nappa leather.
Bowers & Wilkins has an outlet store where you can find some of its most popular products, including the Px7 headphones, at a discount. The Bowers & Wilkins outlet store offers a discount of up to 40% and a quality guarantee. Students can also unlock 10% discounts on new products by signing up for an account.
As with most high-end audio equipment, you’ll find a sharp discount on Bowers & Wilkins gear in used marketplaces. You shouldn’t have too much to look out for when purchasing, but make sure the product is thoroughly tested. If examining headphones, check the earpads for excess wear, as they may need to be replaced.
Michael Archambault is a senior writer for Codetic specializing in technology.