Buying a laptop on a limited budget is challenging. The possibilities are limited, barely advertised, and flooded with obscure technical details.
For example, if you want to buy a gaming laptop under $300, you are very limited and you need to spend hours researching the technical specifications on hundreds of laptops.
But sometimes there’s no way around it. To make sure nothing explodes, we’ve put together a few simple tips to guide you through this tricky process.
Step 1: Only do it when you have to.
I know, I know, I know. Anyway, just so we’re clear, it’s worth investing in a laptop. They’ll use it for important things, and they’ll switch it on indoors and out. Unfortunately, the only way to get it to take responsibility is to pay for it. For example, you can’t buy a new MacBook without spending at least $1,299 for it.
So if you can afford to buy a good one, buy a good one. If it’s still employed after all these years, the initial cost should be worth it.
STEP 2: Consider a chrome book.
But if you’re absolutely on a budget, the next question you should ask yourself is, “What will this do for me?” and if you want to use Photoshop, Excel and some (small) modern games, go to step 3.
If your main focus at this stage is web browsing and basic entertainment like Netflix, then you can use a Chromebook. At best, these Google-managed machines are faster, better built and cheaper than their Windows counterparts.
This is mainly due to the fact that your operating system, Chrome OS, is an extended version of the Google Chrome browser. This means that you are mostly limited to doing things that you would do on the web. This helps to reduce manufacturing costs.
For many people, that’s enough – Facebook, email and word processing are all perfectly possible in Chrome. But from the end of January, all future Chromebooks (plus a few off-the-shelf ones) will also be able to run thousands of Android applications.
The transition won’t be smooth, but it will fill in a lot of gaps in Chrome’s OS, including photo editing, gaming, and generally offline mode.
Step 3: Know that you’re compromising somewhere
Okay, let’s understand the warning and decide only to use a real Windows machine. Now it’s time to define your expectations.
An inexpensive Windows laptop is a compromise. If it’s fast – and it’s never too fast – you probably have a flat battery. If the display is clean, you probably have an unstable keyboard. Few are thin, light and small, and 14- or 15-inch screens are common, many of which come pre-installed with “bloatware” that will probably never be used.
Unfortunately, companies don’t make laptops for charity. Say goodbye to the good guys and watch out for the good guys.
Step 4: Get used to disappearing things.
Look at the Acer Aspire over there. That’s another laptop room I’ve seen in the past year and a half. Besides the fact that it’s remarkably irrelevant, cheap laptops often have been refreshed with the abandonment of their predecessors and are often unremarkable.
That doesn’t mean you need to rush into a seemingly good one, but look around and see what you’re looking for.
Step 5: Look and try before you buy.
All of this information should help you get better information, but in the end, your laptop is your laptop. Especially with these risky bets, you have to be greedy to find feedback from users on the web and get your hands on your own machine if you can. (This is the only way to get an idea of the trackpad and keyboard). So do what you can to take advantage of these return policies and don’t waste your investment.
Buying a laptop on a limited budget is difficult. The possibilities are myriad, rarely advertised, and flooded with technical details that are difficult to understand.
For example, for less than $600, you’ll have the technology equivalent of a minefield.
But sometimes there’s no way around it. So a lot of information to make sure nothing explodes.