Should I Get A Longer Laptop Warranty
Most laptop makers offer one-year warranties on parts and labor. These standard plans are limited, so they won’t cover accidents that stem from spilling a drink on the keyboard or dropping the system on the sidewalk. Fortunately, your credit-card issuer likely covers such mishaps for a short period of time after you buy a new product, and it also may extend the manufacturer’s warranty. Check your account benefits guide for details.
If your credit-card issuer doesnt cover you, some laptop makers will happily sell you extended warranties. Apple, Dell, HP, and Lenovo all offer wide ranges of extended warranties and coverage for accidental damage. Expect to spend $100 to $300 for these options. Our rule of thumb is that if a warranty costs more than 15 percent of the laptop’s purchase price, you’re better off spending the money on backup drives or services that minimize downtime.
Of course, you can’t put a price tag on peace of mind. There are instances when the logic board or the displaythe most expensive parts of a laptopfail, and while rare, such a catastrophe can cost you half of what the laptop is worth in repair costs.
What Is The Difference Between A Laptop And A Notebook
A notebook is just a slim, light laptop. In general, notebooks tend to save space by using SSD storage rather than the traditional HDD storage of older laptops. However, these days most bigger laptops are using SSD storage as well.
The one that is a bit different is a Cloudbook or Chromebook. These are smaller laptops with almost no storage whatsoever. The idea is that you store all your files and data in the cloud and just download them when you need them. All well and good, as long as youve got a decent internet connection, but if youre travelling a lot, these may not be ideal.
The Best Gaming Laptop In 2021
At just over four pounds, the Zephyrus G15 is one of the lightest 15-inch gaming laptops you can buy. But youre not compromising performance for that portability. The G15 is powered by the top mobile chips AMD and Nvidia have to offer, and pairs thim with a fast 165Hz QHD display. In our testing, the system was able to handle even the toughest AAA titles at QHD resolution.
Almost everything else about the G15 is great too: the audio sounds good, the keyboard and touchpad are some of the best on the market, the port selection has just about everything youd need, and the battery can last over eight and a half hours to a charge. If youre looking for a high-powered gaming machine that also works great as a daily driver, the Zephyrus G15 should be at the top of your list.
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How To Buy Used Laptops
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Over the past few decades, buying a used laptop has developed a stigma. It is often perpetuated that used laptops have no durability, no reliability, and no guarantee that they will hold up under pressure–thus, they should be avoided at all costs. However, the stigma that exists is often times unwarranted. Yes, there have been times when people have purchased used laptops only to have them break down within less than a year. However, learning a few simple precautionary steps can help you become knowledgeable on how to buy used laptops that won’t break down immediately.
Samsung Chromebook 4 Our Top Pick
Remember? I said that youd find only refurbished or used laptops under $100, but this Samsung Chromebook 4 is on sale right now, and you can actually purchase it brand new for just $129. Thats not exactly under the $100 mark, but its very close, and I would insist you to spend more for it.
If you cant, then you can buy the Samsung Chromebook 4 refurbished, which is available for under $100. However, if you find a new laptop on a deal for just a little over your budget, then I think you should take that chance and buy a new laptop for yourself.
The Samsung Chromebook 4 is also worthy device to splurge up. It performs exceptionally well for the price, and it is loaded with useful features.
Its 4GB RAM paired with the latest-gen Intel Celeron processor runs Chrome OS very smooth, and you would not notice any sign of lag while working on it. For storage, it offers 32GB of eMMC storage, and you can extend it further via provided microSD card slot. There is also one USB Type-A port and a USB-C port to connect your other peripherals.
For wireless internet connectivity, it has WiFi 5 support and Bluetooth 4, which is also great considering few laptops under $100 misses out on this essential feature.
You also get a full-size keyboard on this Chromebook which is comfortable enough to use for an extended period, and its trackpad is also responsive and accurate.
Hardware specifications of Samsung Chromebook 4:
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Lenovo’s Duet Chromebook Is Part Laptop Part Android Tablet
Since they’re cloud-first devices, however, you don’t need a lot of storage built-in. That also means if you spend most of your time roaming the web, writing, streaming video or playing Android games, they’re a good fit. If you hope to play Android games, make sure you get a touchscreen Chromebook.
For a cheap gaming laptop, though, you’ll still have to break the $500 ceiling to support most games. The least expensive budget laptops suitable for a solid gaming performance experience — those with moderately powerful discrete graphics processors — will run you closer to $700. Here are our recommendations if you’re looking for the best gaming laptop under $1,000.
Although, if you like to live on the bleeding edge, cloud gaming services such as and Microsoft Xbox Game Pass Ultimate‘s Game Streaming will let you play games on laptops with specs that hit the under-$500 mark.
Acer R11 Convertible Laptop
This is an 11.6 inch 2-in-1 Chromebook with a multi-touch screen. The maximum resolution, Acer R11 offers is 1366×768 pixels powered by Intel HD integrated graphics. The other hardware specifications include Intel Celeron quad-core 1.6 GHz processor, 4GB DDR3 RAM, and 32GB SSD. Apart from having standard connectivity ports and HD webcam, the best part about Acer R11 is its battery backup which is up to 10 hours. This is a certified refurbished Chromebook that is thoroughly inspected, cleaned, packed in a generic box. This refurbished convertible laptop comes with a minimum ninety days warranty.
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Price Performance Reputation And Display
This list isnt exhaustive as its based around laptops we have our own personal experiences with. However, the laptops featured in this article are selected according to a few key principles regarding the price, CPU, GPU, and display. Thus, if you find another laptop that that also fits these requirements, dont pass on just because it wasnt listed here.
One of the key points of consideration for a laptop to make this list is that it needs to be significantly cheaper than a similarly equipped laptop would cost today new. Generally, were going to be looking for laptops that can be had for between $250-700 on the used market.
On the subject of performance, Coffee-lake and Turing CPUs and GPUs marked the point where mobile computing power took a leap forward. Since then, the performance and efficiency increases have been much more incremental. Thus, for performance laptops, were ideally going to be looking at ultrabooks with at least 8th generation CPUs and gaming laptops with at least GTX 10xx-series GPUs. Most laptops from 2017 onward will fit this bill.
There are some exceptions to the quad-core rule, however. If you really only need the laptop for basic work, then youll be able to spend less by going for a 3rd-7th generation U-series CPU ultrabook . Tablets also are generally exempt from this due to the greater power draw of 4-core/8-thread CPUs in such a small chassis with limited battery capacity.
With our requirements out of the way, lets move onto the laptops.
The Best Laptop For Business Travel
In many ways, the ThinkPad X1 Nano is a run-of-the-mill ThinkPad. Its got a solid sturdy chassis, discrete clickers, a physical privacy shutter, a red TrackPoint in the middle of the keyboard, and all kinds of business-specific security and management features.
But the Nano is special because its the lightest ThinkPad Lenovo has ever made. Its also one of the lightest laptops you can buy, at just 1.99 pounds. Youre not sacrificing performance to get that mindblowing weight: The Nano kept up with our heavy testing workloads without any fan noise or noticeable heat. If youre looking for a reliable business laptop that will feel like nothing in your briefcase, this is the one for you.
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Best Laptops Under $100 Our Top Picks Of 2021
Summary on our top picks:
After sifting a lot of refurbished and used laptops at different retailers and considering a total of 15 laptop models and picking the top 8 based on in-depth research, reviews on the internet, and our expert analysis, we think the Samsung Chromebook 4 is the best laptop you can buy for under $100 right now. You can buy it new since its price is down to just $127 from $229 right now on Walmart. It offers newest-gen hardware in an ultraportable form-factor with a great keyboard, a decent amount of ports, and long battery life. Its also the most robust feeling laptop with most office and web-based tasks compared to other laptops on our list.
If you want a Windows notebook, then EVOO 11 laptop is the one you should get. Its from the new manufacturer, but the features and specs that it offers for the price are remarkable. Its among the very few laptops under $100 that come with the latest Windows 10 operating system.
You can read more on what we like and dislike about our top picks, and check out our other recommendations below.
Dont forget to check the return policy and warranty information before you make the purchase.
What To Look For In Laptops Under $500
While Chromebooks can run Chrome OS-specific and Android apps, some people need the full Windows OS to run heftier applications, such as video-editing suites. With that comes a need for a faster processor with more cores, more memory — 8GB is the bare minimum — and more storage for applications and the operating system itself. A lot of these have 4GB or 6GB, which in conjunction with a spinning hard disk can make for a frustratingly slow Windows laptop experience. But demands on Chromebooks are growing, so if your Chrome needs to run beyond the basics you should think about paying more for more memory and a faster processor.
Considering all specs and options — battery life, storage space, screen resolution, screen size, core processor performance, general machine and battery performance — these are a few of our top picks for 2021’s best Windows laptops and Chromebooks under the $500 budget, along with their pros and cons.
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Inspect The Laptop Body
If you get to inspect the laptop in person, then a thorough body check is essential. You need to make sure the laptop frame is free from cracks and signs of impact. Also, check for missing screws, loose hinges, and any other irregularities.
Even if the laptop works well, if it looks like its been through the wars and dropped one too many times , then you dont know what kind of internal damage there might be, which may shorten the lifespan of that laptop.
How Old Is Too Old
It helps to narrow down your search by glancing at the age of the used PC. Age affects many of the important features mentioned below, so it makes for a good blanket factor when filtering out options. But at what age do you put on the brakes?
Generally, aim for a computer that is three years old or newer. A computer thats more than three years old is likely to be too slow, too worn, and too obsolete to make a good used purchase, no matter how much money you can save.
When computers grow more than a few years old, several problems start to accumulate. First, years of dust have built up in the components and fan system, which threatens future maintenance troubles. And while Moores Law may be slowing down but it is still in effect the amount of storage and the quality of features on computers three years apart is still very noticeable.
For example: A 2012 27-inch iMac came with HD resolution, 8GB of RAM, a 2.9GHz processor on the base model, and a 1TB hard drive. A 2014 model comes with Retina 5K resolution, 8GB of RAM, a 3.5GHz processor, and a much faster 1TB fusion drive. Yes, some specs remain the same, but others see significant jumps in quality, and this is only a two-year gap.
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Samsung Chromebook 3 Xe500c13
The Samsung Chromebook 3 XE500C13-K04US is a top seller in our Best Chromebook guide, and it is not hard to see why. The refurbished Samsung Chromebook 3 XE500C13-K04US, priced at under $200, delivers a decent performance that is well suited for basic task handling. The Intel Celeron N3050 processor and 4GB of RAM will allow you to browse the web or create documents with Google Docs easily, while the 16GB of eMMC flash memory offers fast data transfer speeds. Some may find that the storage space is far too little for their specific needs, however, but keep in mind that Chromebooks make use of cloud storage, affording you and extra 15GB of space, and paid packages offer more. The battery life is great for all day use, clocking in around 11 hours, making it well suited for college use. The keyboard is easy to use and it is spill-resistant, meaning accidental spills will not lead to damage. The design is stylish and lightweight and the 1366 x 768 resolution Anti-Glare display delivers good picture quality. If you are a college student on a budget, the Samsung Chromebook 3 XE500C13-K04US would make a suitable study companion. One issue that a few customers ran into was that the previous owner information was still on the system, and some couldnt log on due to this.
Make Sure Youre Getting A Good Deal
Before you commit to purchasing a used computer, make sure you compare the quoted price with the price of its new or refurbished equivalent. If you plan to make any upgrades to the hardware, research the prices properly so that you can make an informed decision on whether youd be better off buying new or refurbished.
Buying a used laptop does not have to be difficult. By performing these simple checks, you can potentially avoid making a purchase you would regret. For more advice on laptops, see whether a gaming laptop is actually worth buying and how to stream your PS4 to a laptop or Mac.
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Lower Cost But Worse Battery Life And Performance
Buying a refurbished laptop can save you several hundred dollars depending on the make and model and where you shop. However, you’re unlikely to find the latest-generation laptops available as refurbs, unless the model in question has been on the market for six months or more.
Perhaps, because it doesn’t refresh its laptops that often, Apple sells refurbished units of its 12-inch MacBooks, which launched in April 2016. A new 12-inch MacBook 1.1GHz Dual-core Intel Core m3 costs $1,299 new. A refurbished model sells for $1,099 on Apple’s website, covered by a one-year limited warranty. At Amazon, the same unit sells for $899.99 with a 90-day warranty.
However, if you’re looking for a refurbished Dell XPS 13, you may have to settle for an older model. When we first checked, Dell Outlet was selling an XPS 13 from two generations ago, which was equipped with a Core i5-5200U CPU, 128GB SSD and 8GB of RAM, for $739 with a one- year warranty. A brand-new XPS 13 with the current-gen Core i5-7200U CPU and similar specs goes for $999, over $250 more. A few days later, the stock had changed and some newer units were available.
Also, keep in mind that laptop batteries lose their ability to hold a full charge over time. So, if the refurbed model you buy was in active use for a year or two, it could have much shorter battery life than a brand-new unit.
Not Trying Before Buying
If you can, always give the laptop youre considering a proper test drive before buying. Many everyday laptops are available for testing at big brick-and-mortar stores such as Apple, Best Buy, and the Microsoft Store, allowing you to fiddle with the touchpad, keyboard, software interface, and other components that substantially differ from model to model.
Its easy to overlook the importance of features absent from the spec sheet, such as the touchpads responsiveness or the visibility of a glossy screen in daylight, and theres just no substitution for getting a real hands-on feel of what its like to use.
If thats not possible, buy from an online store with a strong return policy.
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