With the new school year right around the corner, if you’re looking for a laptop for yourself or your child, what kind should you get? And if you’re budget-conscious, where can you find the best deal?
Luckily, there are a ton of options and deals out there if you’re looking for a laptop for the new school year!
Read more: How to recycle your old technology for cash
How to get the best deal on a laptop right now
As Clark has said before, if you’re spending over $200 for a laptop, you’re spending too much! You can find a great computer that will meet all of your child’s needs for under $200.
One of the best options for a computer under $200 is the Chromebook.
‘Chromebooks initially were lame, but now they’re fantastic. They’re simple, fast, and cheap. $199 buys you a very good Chromebook. They have decent battery life, you can get on the Internet quickly, and they’re easy to travel with,’ says Clark.
The great thing about Chromebooks is there’s virtually no boot-up time and you don’t have to spend the money on buying a Microsoft office suite, since the Chromebook relies on Google Drive for its word processor and spreadsheet functions.
On the other end of the spectrum, a type of laptop that is definitely not as budget-friendly is the MacBook, due to the outrageous pricepoint.
‘It’s a superior device with decent battery life that offers quick entry to the Internet. But that price range is stratospheric,’ he says.
Consumer Reports also tested several laptops and found that the Acer ChromeBook C810-T7ZT was a great budget-friendly option for students, which you can find at Amazon for around $270, or refurbished versions are available on eBay for $190.
A note on refurbished items: Buying refurbished means that someone has purchased an item and returned it, but only 5% of returned electronics are actually defective. The manufacturer takes the item, repairs it and then sells it again at a discount.
Generally speaking, there’s typically nothing wrong with buying refurbished — it just means you’ll keep more money in your pocket! Still, you’ll want to look for a long warranty period to be sure there isn’t anything with the refurbished product you plan to buy, and you’ll also want to watch out for final sale refurbished items — always be sure you can return the item you plan to buy in case there happens to be something wrong with it.
If you don’t have an old laptop lying around you could bring to life for free and give to your child for school, here are 5 great, low-cost options!
Lenovo 15.6″ laptop for $200
Microcenter has the Lenovo G51 AMD Quad Core 1.8GHz 15.6″ laptop for just $199.99, a savings of $50! Free store pickup. Runs on Microsoft Windows 10 and includes 4GB DDR3L-1600 of RAM and a 500GB hard drive. Note that you must live near a Microcenter to take advantage of this deal, since they do not offer shipping.
Acer 15.6″ laptop for $199
Save $80 on this Acer Aspire ES1-512-C1PW 15.6″ laptop computer, just $199, also at Microcenter. It includes an Intel Celeron N2840 Processor 2.16GHz, Microsoft Windows 10, 4GB DDR3L SDRAM and a 500GB 5,400RPM hard drive.
Acer Granite Gray 15.6″ Chromebook for $179
This 15.6″ Chromebook has a built-in HD webcam, SD memory card reader, Bluetooth v4.0 technology and 8 hours of battery life. Free shipping!
Asus 14′ laptop for $169
Save $80 on this. Select in-store pickup to avoid shipping fees.
Acer Aspire One Cloudbook 14″ for $99.99 (Extra $20 off ends 7/19)
This manufacturer refurbished Acer Aspire One Cloudbook 14″ laptop with an Intel Celeron N3050 processor is just $99.99 at Groupon right now. Free shipping!
Websites to check for laptop deals
Additionally, if you want to shop more to make sure you’re getting the most memory and processing power for your money, check out the below avenues to find some good deals on laptops.
- Fry’s Electronics (Be sure to sign up for the email list to get the best prices!)
Just remember: If you want to get a laptop at the best price, always price check!
Read more: Computer buying guide