The advancing technology has enabled automation of complex processes, mechanization of mundane tasks and made life a lot easier. Computers and the Internet are two of the greatest gifts of technology to mankind. They have redefined living and made the world a better place to live in. Thanks to the invention of laptops, computing is no longer limited to huge workstations and stationary desktops. It has taken a huge leap and has introduced to mankind, the concept of mobile computing. Following the advent of mobility in computing, the world realized its utility and notebook computers became popular for personal and professional use. Today, they are being used even by college-going students.
Youngsters make use of laptops for different purposes. They use notebook computers for both studies and recreation. Laptops are the means to connect to the world through the Internet; to socialize, to study, to gather information from the web and have access to the world at their fingertips. Computers are the need of today and even better if one can use them when mobile. Laptops satisfy this need. They enable mobile use of computer technology. But laptops don’t come cheap. Not everyone can afford big-budget laptops. The student crowd prefers to go for cheap ones, in order to balance their expenditure. As many students have to do with a restricted amount of pocket money, they cannot afford to go for expensive notebook computers. Most of them stay away from their families and have to manage their own expenses. This restricts them from splurging on costly laptops. What should they do? Do they have to be deprived of the bounties of technology? Is there no solution to their difficulty in buying an expensive laptop? Well, there is! There’s no need to worry; for there are multiple options for buying cheap laptops without having to compromise on anything.
Student’s Guide to Buying Cheap Laptops
Buy from a Power User
One way to buy an inexpensive laptop is to purchase it from a power user or gamer. People who use notebook computers for gaming purposes want cutting-edge technology. They tend to change laptops within short spans of time. Buying from them puts you in a win-win situation as you get a laptop with a good feature set and that too for less money. They sell off their laptops within a year or two after purchase, as their power-hungry applications and games need higher-end technology. These users often take good care of their laptops, so you have bright chances of getting a laptop which is in excellent condition. Ask around; great if you have power user friends. Visit gamer forums or local gaming communities online and go to their sales section. You might find posts from gamers wanting to sell their laptops. Go for them!
Refurbished Laptops for Students
Another economical means to buying a new inexpensive laptop, is purchasing a refurbished one. Inexpensive refurbished laptops should not be underestimated just because they are low-priced. In fact, reconditioned laptops offer the same features as those of brand new ones. It is a myth that they are in bad condition. In buying refurbished laptops, you can take advantage of their high depreciation value and get home just a few-years-old laptop at a considerably low price. Visit Craigslist and eBay; you may find good laptop deals there. Keep checking local bulletin boards, especially so, if you have software companies in the locality. Generally big firms put used computers for sale and you will find such offers quite frequently.
A good option for students is to go for slightly older technology. When you know that computer technology is advancing at an exceptionally fast rate, there is no point in spending big bucks on the latest. It’s sure to become old within the next few months. A better alternative is to go for older technology or settle on less features. Perhaps you can adjust with less RAM, a relatively lesser hard disk capacity, or a slightly lower-resolution screen, depending on your usage requirements. Stick to only what you need. Features like 3D, facial or fingerprint recognition can be skipped, thus saving you some money on the laptop. Get a video card only if you plan to use the laptop for gaming purposes. Get a DVD burner. You can save by not opting for a BD burner. Differentiate between need and luxury!
Many laptop companies offer discount coupons and rebate schemes for students. Like corporate and military discounts, websites like usanotebook offer educational discounts on laptops. Avail of them. Even Apple offers educational discounts, which you can avail of, if you buy their product, say a Mac. If you are ready to spend something above $500, Macbook could be a good choice. But a Windows laptop is cheaper than a Mac. Computer manufacturers like Dell and HP offer good laptop deals throughout the year. Approaching the manufacturers directly lets you save on intermediate costs. Also, you can get the laptop customized to your requirements if bought from the manufacturer. Websites like gottadeal, dealtaker and slickdeals have attractive bargain schemes and discount coupons. Many laptop dealers come up with lucrative offers for laptop buyers in order to increase their sales. Don’t miss such opportunities.
When to Buy
During Thanksgiving, especially on the Black Friday, you will find several lucrative offers on literally everything. Be on the lookout for cheap laptop deals during this time of the year. The other good time to buy an inexpensive laptop is just before a new technology is to be released. All you need to do is keep your eyes open and keep track of the sales offer that suits you best.
Things to Remember
- Before buying a laptop, check your school/college website. See if they recommend a specific operating system or certain specifications.
- Once you decide whose (which manufacturer) laptop you are going to buy, search on the web with the name plus coupons and you might land on some good discount offers on the laptop of your choice.
- Remember to compare different offers in terms of their cost-effectiveness. Participating in online forums related to laptop purchase and scanning through bulletin boards for laptop deals, can help you get the best bait.
- Buy addons and computer accessories separately, instead of buying them with the laptop. That way they come cheap. Buy them online and well in advance instead of purchasing them from university bookstores. You will find them relatively inexpensive that way. Even with an external hard drive, consider buying it separately instead of buying it integrated with the laptop.
- Security software, you will need to buy, but go for one like Microsoft Security Essentials which is downloadable and comes for free. Don’t spend on additional security and protection software.
Make sure you choose an authorized dealer for the laptop deal. It is advisable for students to seek guidance from someone with knowledge of computer buying. Weigh your usage requirements against the laptop’s features and price and get home that technological wonder you had been craving for since long – a laptop!