What good is free Internet if you don’t have a cheap laptop, tablet, or desktop computer to use it with? I guess it was inevitable that Jenny would ask us if we knew how to get low cost computers as well. That’s what this post is all about: the best places to buy a cheap laptop or desktop computer!
Fortunately, there are a few options for obtaining cheap laptops and cheap desktop computers.
Here’s what we’ve found so far. Know something we missed? Let us know in the comments!
EveryoneOn.org believes that “there is no way to achieve the American dream without being connected to the Internet.” In a world where one in four households lacks home Internet access, EveryoneOn.org connects users with affordable Internet, affordable computers and computer literacy programs.
Using this service is simple. Just visit EveryoneOn.org, enter your zip code, select whatever criteria apply to you (such as low income, SNAP benefits, etc) and see what is available to you in your area!
Look for discounted computers (like refurbished laptops or off-leases).
Retailers and manufacturers often sell good machines at a discount. These machines usually include warranties but are discounted for various reasons.
- Refurbished laptops and other machines have been owned previously but were returned due to some sort of malfunction. They’ve been fixed up and are working again… but they’re always sold for less.
- Scratch and dent laptops and other machines have surface damage. They may have scratches, dents or other cosmetic flaws but they still function perfectly. However, they are less attractive so they’re sold for less.
- Corporate off-lease laptops and other machines have been returned following a lease period. Often, companies will lease machines for two to three years and then return them for an upgrade. Refurbished business laptops are often a better quality than other refurbished machines because they were used for business and weren’t returned because of a defect.
Buy used machines from the government.
Government surplus stores can be a great source for used but still functional computers. At our local state surplus store, we can usually snag a decent laptop or desktop computer for $50 or less.
If travelling to your state’s surplus store is not an option, you can still browse sites like GovDeals.com and PropertyRoom.com.
Get a cheap laptop, desktop or tablet from your low income Internet service provider.
If you’ve read our posts about low income Internet programs, you know that some low income Internet service providers also provide access to cheap computers.
Here are some of the deals we’re currently aware of:
- Comcast offers cheap laptops and desktop computers for just $149.99! The computer you receive will a computer outfitted with Microsoft Office and Norton Security Suite. Get details about the computer specs right here. Payment plans may be available. You can purchase this computer at any time as long as you’re an Internet Essentials customer in good standing.
- CenturyLink offers white, 16 GB Apple iPad Mini 2 tablets for $150 (plus shipping and handling), but the entire price must be paid before shipping and you have to sign a 24 month contract.
Wait for Black Friday or another major discount.
If you really want to buy new, Black Friday is always the best time to buy. However, you can usually get cheap laptops on sale (as well as tablets and desktop computers) just after the back-to-school shopping season ends.