How to Buy a Laptop: 11 Money Saving Tips
There are so many computers on the market. And it seems like more new and improved laptops keep releasing. With so many choices, it’s hard to decide how to buy a laptop that fits your needs and your budget.
Well, we’d like to help you come to a decision. We know that you might get stuck in analysis paralysis from looking at specs, prices, colors, and designs. Even Google shared that searches for the “best laptops for (insert category here)” have increased 100% over the last few years.
That’s why we created this guide to help you save money while buying a laptop.
By the end of this article, you’ll have a good idea of what to look for to save you money on buying a laptop. Let’s begin.
Table of Contents
1) Think About What You Need
One of the first things people look at in a computer is its specs: total RAM, maximum storage, screen size, etc. The more the better, right?
Not always. Yes, it’s great for your laptop to have a lot of onboard storage for your files. You also want the most RAM to reduce the odds of your laptop lagging. However, the more storage a laptop has, the more expensive it’s going to be.
Plus, the quality of the RAM matters as well. Think about the brand of the chipset or processor.
When you search for your laptop, think about what you’ll often be using it for. If you only need it for emails, web browsing, streaming, and writing, you don’t need a computer with a TB of storage.
If you do a lot of video editing or graphic design, a larger screen would help. If you travel a lot, a smaller screen –and overall size– would be useful.
Don’t buy a laptop that has a lot of fancy features you know you won’t need.
2) Consider Buying Used or Refurbished
Having the best laptop doesn’t mean buying the newest laptop. New laptops can easily cost well over $800, depending on the retailer. Some high-end laptops can cost nearly $2,000.
But that doesn’t mean you need to buy it at that price.
Many have already made that high-ticket purchase. Some have decided that the price wasn’t worth it and returned or sold it. And those laptops are still in great condition.
Instead of buying brand new, get a laptop used or refurbished from a different seller. Sites like Facebook Marketplace would be ideal. Individuals who no longer desire their electronics often go there to sell them.
3) Look Into Minimalistic Laptops
What’s considered a minimalistic laptop? Think of Chromebooks.
These are laptops that rely on web-based apps instead of installed ones. Chromebooks, for example, rely on Google Suite for their services. You can also install other web-based apps using the laptop’s operating system.
What makes these laptops a good choice is their value. Most laptops like these can cost as little as $100. The downside is that you have to rely on wifi to get real usage out of it. You can use it offline, but some services –like saving to the cloud– won’t work.
4) Search/Wait for Deals
If you’re ok with waiting, don’t buy a laptop until certain times of the year. According to U.S. News, that time would be the holidays. Think Christmas and Thanksgiving.
Around these times are plenty of shopping deals; you have Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the many deals online retailers have to offer in December. Amazon’s Prime Day has a lot of good deals for you to check out as well.
These are perfect times to find laptop deals. You should find great discounts on new and used laptops.
You can also check out some of our deals available on www.lenovo.com.
5) Find Cashback Deals
One great tip for saving money on a laptop is to look for shopping deals or codes.
Some sellers offer customers a certain number of cashback rewards for a purchase. That cashback reward can be put towards laptop accessories, extra storage, or even just saving money.
Some apps like Ibotta will give you cash back on certain purchases, including for electronics. A few retailers allow buyers with an account to get cash back or store credit when making a purchase.
Consider signing up for an account to benefit from occasional deals like this.
6) Use Discount Codes
These sellers also have discount codes that you can use. Or the discount may already be applied to a specific item listed for sale or on clearance.
Often you’ll see discount notifications stand out on the top of the website. Sometimes, an advertisement –online and physical– will promote a code you can use to make a purchase. You may also receive promotions in your emails or texts if you’ve signed up for them.
Use these offers to your advantage. Shaving off some dollars –possibly hundreds– is always a great feeling.
7) Sign Up for Manufacturer Newsletters
Companies need an audience. That’s why when you browse their websites, a pop-up sometimes appears asking you to register.
As annoying as these pop-ups may be, you should consider signing up.
Now, we know that means more junk in your emails to filter out; you probably have more email subscriptions that you’ve been meaning to unsubscribe from.
But consider signing up for emails from laptop manufacturers. Once in a while, you may get an email offering a percentage off of the retail pricing. Or you may be one of the first to know about a clearance sale going on.
8) Improve Your Current Laptop
One of the main reasons people decide to upgrade their laptop is because their current one is too old. Technology is getting to the point where the bare minimum isn’t quite enough to tackle everyday tasks.
But instead of buying a new laptop, you can make upgrades to your current one.
Buy an external hard drive to increase storage. Get a USB keyboard if the one on your laptop isn’t the right size for you. Update your laptop to the latest operating system (if possible).
If you need better performance and are pretty technical, you can upgrade your RAM for around $50.
You can even use these items after buying a new laptop.
9) Consider Repairing Your Current Laptop
Sometimes, people buy a laptop because of physical damage to their current one. That’s very understandable for newer models. However, those might still be under warranty.
The costs to repair your laptop will almost always be cheaper than the cost of buying a laptop.
There are a few exceptions to this statement:
- Your laptop is several years/models old
- When the cost of repair is equal to the value of your laptop
- Buying a laptop new is around the same price as the repairs
10) Shop Local
Most of our electronic purchases come from major chain stores or online. Such places include Best Buy, Target, or directly from the manufacturer.
During certain times of the year, those are great places to buy a laptop at a good price. However, at other times of the year, you can go local.
There are local electronics stores that sell some of the same great laptops you were already looking to buy. Sometimes, you may find better laptop deals shopping local instead of the major retailers.
Plus, you’d be helping a small business grow by buying from them. Spending your money here will mostly always have a higher impact.
11) Consider a Tablet
Nowadays, you don’t even need to buy a legit laptop. With so many advancements in consumer technology over the years, you can probably get by with buying a tablet. Tablets are great for work and play, being technically advanced to handle both with ease.
Some tablets have the hardware power to compete with some of the mid-range laptops currently on the market. You likely could buy one for a better price than a regular laptop.
Of course, the trade-off is that you’d have to rely on apps to get your tasks done. You’d also need accessories like a Bluetooth keyboard. Investing in more cloud storage would be wise, as tablets only offer so much internal storage.
On the plus side, tablets offer so much more portability for you to take work on the go. You also won’t need a mouse; all of the scrolling rests at your fingertips.
How to Buy a Laptop
We understand that buying a brand new laptop can cost you a lot of money. Sometimes it’s necessary when you need the best quality specs.
However, take a step back and think about your needs. Purchase something that suits your lifestyle; don’t buy more just to have it. Before you buy, do some research for the best deals. You don’t have to settle for the newest thing out there.
Hopefully, these tips have shown you how to buy a laptop without breaking the bank. Interested in learning more? Then stick around and check out the rest of our blog posts!