Let’s face it; buying a cheap used laptop often isn’t the best idea. However, there are still ways to get a good notebook for extremely cheap prices, and get the best bang for your buck. It isn’t hard, it just requires a little patience. You can find a good cheap laptop deal using store rebates from certain manufacturers holding specials. Ideally you should be able to get a good, reliable notebook priced around $500. So what should you expect to get for $500? A computer that comes with all the works, a slightly bigger screen, lighter, plus a new battery that won’t die after a half-hour. Your laptop will be cheap and new, far more preferable to cheap and used!
The best way to start selecting a cheap laptop [under $500] is by looking at your budget and then deciding where to go from there.
$500: Simple. Buy a brand new laptop with factory and store rebates, and remember to make sure that you fill out the rebate paperwork correctly. You’ll get a recent processor, 2 to 4 gigs of ram, a 250-500 GB hard drive, a DVD/CD burner, built in wireless 802.11G or N, a new warranty, Windows 7, and more. Basically everything you need. If you go to Amazon you can compare all of the different computers they have for sale around $500.
$400: I probably wouldn’t recommend buying a used laptop in this range, unless it was a really good deal that features better specs than above. [Maybe a light business model with a licensed version of Microsoft Office].
$300: I’d say the same applies here. Almost. I’d suggest going for NetBooks this time rather than getting the cheapest new Compaq. You shouldn’t go for a slow computer in this price range, or less than 1 GB RAM with at least XP Professional, and a minimum of a 100 GB hard drive. Make sure it has a licensed version of Microsoft Office installed, and that it isn’t more than two years old unless you plan on buying a new battery.
$200: If you want good notebook value, the best thing to do in this price range is to only purchase one if it was as good as the ones listed above, except possibly a little older. Salesmen may try to dupe you into thinking it’s a good idea to get their oldest and slowest used notebook, but it isn’t. They’re probably just trying to get rid of it. It’s possible to get bang for your buck at this range, just difficult. Try to make sure that it has the right software.
$100: You want to go for a used notebook, probably with XP or Vista, between 512 MB and 2 GB of RAM, a decent wireless 802.11G, a CD Recorder and DVD player, and a battery that isn’t completely hopeless. Try to take it for a test run, meaning think about what you’re going to do with it and test it out beforehand to see if it fits the bill. Don’t get too desperate; if the seller won’t let you test it, save your money and keep looking. There will be more chances.
$100/Free: When it comes to this price, just make sure everything at least works right. For a free computer, just take it home and try it yourself; you don’t have anything to lose. If you’re paying, make sure it can actually connect to the internet and that the CD drive works and installs new software, and that the USB ports work. Aim for at least Windows XP. It may seem difficult, but true notebook value still exists at this price point as well.
With these tips, you should have no problem finding a new laptop while getting the best price possible. Just remember; patience is key. The most popular notebook models are; Apple iBook, Dell Latitude, Sony Vaio, HP Pavilion, Toshiba Satellite, and the IBM Thinkpad. If you can, aim for these models [even though sometimes it may be difficult to find a price-efficient one]. If something about a laptop isn’t right, don’t worry. You’ll have plenty of opportunities in the future to find a price-efficient notebook.
If you end up needing to replace various parts of your recently purchased laptop, whatever they may be, like; motherboards, AC adapters, batteries or LCD screens Laptops For Less can help!