In these tough economic times, we’re all looking to get good deals and score great bargains. But be careful – if you apply this same logic to your future laptop purchases, you could be stuck with a machine that doesn’t meet your needs (or worse, doesn’t function at all!). Here’s what you need to watch out for when buying cheap laptops in today’s market:
Warning #1 – Buy direct from manufacturers
When you first start searching online for cheap laptops, you’re going to encounter a number of different potential buying sources. Not only can you buy directly from the computer’s manufacturer, you can also purchase used or refurbished laptops from classified ad websites (like Craigslist), auction websites (like Ebay) and third-party merchant sites (like Overstock.com). However, each of these sources has some potential limitations…
Craigslist and other classified ad sites are the riskiest options for buying cheap laptops. Anyone, anywhere can list their computers for sale here, so there’s really no way to know for sure if you’re buying a good, working machine or if you’ll wind up stuck with a laptop that has serious virus or hardware issues.
Buying from auction websites and third-party merchants are only a little better. While they may offer limited customer protection measures such as warranties or return windows, it’s worth remembering that these companies aren’t in the computer manufacturing business. Their job is to sell merchandise, and there’s really no way for them to guarantee that the laptop you got on a great clearance deal will still be functioning optimally in a few years’ time. That leaves buying laptops directly from the manufacturers. But if that sounds too expensive, consider the following option…
Warning #2 – Look for outlet deals
Most computer manufacturers offer outlet deals or special sales on refurbished or “scratch and dent” laptops. These are laptops that were either returned as defective and repaired, or that were damaged cosmetically in the production process.
The key here is that, because the laptops have been routed back through the manufacturer, you can rest assured that any issues that would affect the long term performance of your laptop have been repaired by qualified technicians. But to protect your purchase even further, most of these manufacturer outlet models also come with a warranty that far exceeds anything you’ll find from third-party merchants or auction sellers.
Warning #3 – Know what you need
One final tip when looking for cheap laptops is to know what you need. When searching through laptop listings online, it can be easy to convince yourself that you need all the “latest and greatest” bells and whistles being offered. But if you’re only planning to use your laptop to browse the internet and send email messages, you don’t need to spend the extra money to buy a fitted-out laptop designed for gamers or graphic designers.
Instead, look for a small laptop with a minimum of 2 GB of memory and a 250 GB hard drive. Buy the highest processor speed you can afford, but be aware that there are plenty of cheap laptops out there that can meet these specifications at around $600.00.
==== About the Author =====
This article was authored for Novatech, a UK computer manufacturer and retailer that was founded with a simple ethic of supplying high quality products at the lowest possible prices with excellent customer service. The company holds true to that philosophy today and has now grown to be one of the UK’s most trusted technology companies.