It’s devastating when your laptop dies.
Buying a new device can be overwhelming and it's hard to know where to start. You’re suddenly faced with different price ranges, styles, features, and many other considerations.
It's also quite a big purchase that many dread; after all, laptops aren't cheap.
Often, people get mesmerized by the thought, and promise, of a brand new top-of-the-range laptop.
This is where many go wrong.
Buyers get lured in by salesmen telling them what they need, even if in actuality they don't require all the bells and whistles.
So how do you make sure you get your new laptop at the best price?
Keep reading to see how you can save money the next time you're in the market for a new laptop.
How To Save Money on Your Next Laptop
There are several ways to save big money on your next laptop, and you should take advantage of these.
Walking into any electronics store and buying the newest and fanciest model is not usually the right thing to do.
1. Think About Your Needs
Instead of being blown away by all the latest gadgets and gizmos, take stock of what you really need.
Although those shiny brand new laptops with the largest memory and the very newest features look great, do you really need all that?
Before clamping yourself to the brand new MacBook, ask yourself, is this what I need?
There are many unnecessary features on laptops that raise the price. Making a choice on what you want and need is essential.
Lighted keyboard, large memory, extra SD card slots and top graphics cards are all nice things to have. But they can quickly add up to a significant amount of money.
If you are going to be traveling a lot, then getting a laptop with a long-life battery is good. It may last your whole flight or train journey, making it easy for you to work on-the-go.
If you need to do photo or video editing, you will need a laptop with higher-rated graphics cards. Graphics cards handle the video calculations, taking the load off the computer will make it run as normal, maybe even faster.
More complicated programs will need more RAM. And if you're a music lover, you might need a larger amount of memory.
But if you're a person with simple needs, then all you should look for is a good quality, functional laptop.
2. Consider Buying a Refurbished Laptop
Many people automatically think that a refurbished laptop is a bad laptop.
This is not always the case. Refurbished computers have generally been returned to the store for a refund. This could happen for various reasons, other than the laptop being at fault.
For example, the individual who returned the product may have made the mistake of buying one they didn't need.
Manufacturers have extensive testing processes that each laptop has to pass. So you can be sure to get one that it will be as good as new. But for a lot less money.
Refurbished models also come with a warranty.
Even Apple sells refurbished MacBooks.
These can be 10 - 20 percent less than the price of a new model. It won't save you a lot, but if you're hooked on a MacBook, this is your chance.
3. Buy an Older Model
There are always new computers on the market. They usually have a larger memory capacity, new features, and improved performance.
But sometimes the “new and improved" model, isn't as improved as we might think. It could just be small changes from the previous generation that make a significant difference in the price.
Retailers often lower the price for the older models to get them sold quickly. They do this to make room for the new models.
The best thing about this is that you can buy a laptop that is almost as good as the newer one, but for as much as half the price.
4. Buy a Laptop With Less RAM and Upgrade it Yourself
Something we often waste money on is buying a laptop with a system we don't need.
RAM is the hardware inside a computer that functions as the working memory. The more RAM a computer has, the more it can do at once. Upgrading the RAM also improves the performance.
Laptops with higher RAM tend to be much more expensive. But you can purchase a computer with less RAM and then upgrade as you need.
This will only work with specific laptops though. Some computers have a fixed memory, meaning you can't upgrade them.
5. Look out for Sales and Discounts
This one might be a bit obvious, but when you're on the hunt for a new laptop, it's important you know when and where to look. During different months of the year, you can find huge sales on new laptops.
As soon as the manufacturer announces the release of a new laptop, go check out the price on the previous model. You might be surprised at how much you can save.
Also, the back to school season usually has great discounts for students. So if you're a student, or have kids who need a new laptop, this would be the perfect time to save some money.
April through to November usually sees stores promoting a higher number of sales. These are typically the times when manufacturers announce new models, right before the big holidays.
You might not find these types of coupons in the local newspaper, since they usually come as electronic codes.
Many online retailers give you coupons as soon as you open their website. So they are quite easy to get your hands on.
Once you get a discount code, write it down or take a photo of it on your phone. Many people make the mistake of forgetting about the coupon. Then, when they check out, they don't get the discount they were given.
6. Don't Dismiss the Cheaper Laptops
A lot of people want the best laptop but at a reasonable price. Some dismiss the cheaper computers because they think these won't be as good.
Thinking this way may be keeping you from saving some money though because cheap doesn't always mean bad. There are some laptops available at half the price of the top-quality ones.
Chromebook, for example, is a great laptop that fits the average user's needs perfectly.
Chromebooks have an average amount of RAM, excellent storage, and come with a battery that will last you up to eight hours. The Chromebook should be enough for anyone looking to get a simple laptop that is easy to take with you.
These laptops also cost a lot less than other laptops too, with prices usually starting at around $150.
If you’re looking for a larger memory than the Chromebook offers, consider purchasing an external memory.
7. Check Other Retailers
Buying the product directly from the manufacturer can sometimes make the price a bit higher.
It's a smart idea to look at other authorized resellers for a better price. Most alternative retailers have a bigger product range, and some let you compare different brands online.
It's important to look around and take notice of reviews and sales.
The number one thing you have to look out for is the warranty. You need to make sure the product you buy has a guarantee of at least one year. If malfunctions were to happen, they would likely happen within this time frame.
Auction sites may not be the best place to buy a new laptop. There's often tough competition when it comes to the bidding. And you may end up paying the same price as you would from a retailer.
There can also be quite a lot of scams going on at online auctions . You don't want to end up with a cheap copy of the laptop you wanted. Or even worse, ending up with no notebook after paying for one.
8. Extended Guarantee? No Thanks
Every laptop should come with a warranty of at least one year. But some retailers and manufacturers like to offer you an extended guarantee.
The reason why you shouldn't jump in head-first and agree to this is the simple fact that you probably won't need it. Also, these warranties tend to be very pricey. And sometimes it would be cheaper to fix the laptop if something were to break.
Extended guarantees can sometimes cost over 15 percent of the price for the laptop itself. With the cost of some warranties, you could have invested in a higher quality laptop instead.
Unless you really need it, try to steer clear of purchasing an extended warranty.
9. Stay Focused
When walking into a store, or searching a retailer online, we sometimes end up buying more than we planned.
You may get tempted to buy a new printer, a mouse or mouse pad. It might be the new headphones or keyboard that get you. Getting mesmerized by all the different software and hardware goodies you can buy is a slippery slope.
You have to stay focused so you don't get to the checkout and realize you’ve massively overspent.
10. Bundle Deals
If you’re a person who likes to get discounted items, and even free items, with your purchase, look out for bundle deals. Many major online retailers offer these.
With a bundle deal you can get different accessories or offers with your laptop. It may be a good discount on a printer if you buy it with your computer. Or you may get a free item such as an iPod or a free subscription.
Finding these bundle deals can save you lots of money if you need to purchase extra items in addition to the computer itself.
Consider Upgrading Your Old Laptop
Some people need to buy a new laptop because the old one is dead. But, if you have a working laptop, you could choose to do an upgrade instead.
You might be finding that your laptop has become a lot slower, or maybe it won't turn on at times.
There are a few ways to fix these problems. You can either get a professional to do it, or you could do it yourself if you feel confident.
Upgrading the RAM on your laptop could enhance the speed by quite a bit. You could also add in more memory if the computer allows that. Or you could buy external memory to cut back on some of the load on your laptop.
Getting rid of temporary files could make your laptop perform much better.
You can start by clearing the cache on the web browser. These can, over time, take up an insane amount of space and make page loading slow. It can also slow down the process of saving files from the web.
A common problem with old laptops is the screen.
It may be broken, scratched, or just really dirty in a way that can't be cleaned. Before deciding you need a new laptop, consider replacing or fixing the screen. This is likely to be much cheaper than buying a whole new one.
Buying a new laptop takes a lot more effort than most think.
If you want to save money, you need to do some research.
Where will you get the best price? Online or in store?
Reading reviews is important, it will help you decide if the laptop you’re thinking of getting is even worth looking at. You can, of course, read reviews online, whether you’re buying in store or not.
One essential element to saving money when buying a new computer is to make sure you only get what you need. We often buy something way too complicated and outside of both our budgets and our needs.
For example, that shing machine you’ve got your eye on might have triple the memory you need. Stuff like this can really pack on the price.
If your old laptop is still working, consider upgrading or fixing it. You could save a lot of money.Knowing how to save money when shopping for a new laptop can save you not only dollars, but also time.