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How to get a Mid to High-End Laptop on a Low-End Budget

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Recently I brought a Lenovo brand High-End laptop. Currently I have an Asus (which I have had for 3 years and I love) however it is huge and bulky. Since I will be starting boot camp very soon, I need something that would be light and easy to carry. I also wanted something that would deliver the same performance as my Asus does. The Lenovo has an i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 180GB SSD. The cost for this laptop usually runs around $1000+. I paid $400.

$400 for a High-End Laptop?? HOW SWAY???

A few factor come into play when shopping for a laptop. And it’s not easy. Whether you are going PC or Mac, you should follow these tips carefully to help you select your next PC.

You need to figure out what kind of specs you need

This is the first mistake most people make. They know they need a new laptop, however they are not sure what their primary use for it will be. Are you just surfing the web? Photo-editing? Do you have plans to make music? Do video-editing? Stream Netflix? Do gaming? Figure out what you are going to be using your laptop for first before anything else. Most people end up underestimating the amount of performance they need from their hardware, and as a result end up with a computer that is super slow which is super annoying.

You need to budget. And stick with it.

Set a budget for how much you are willing to pay for a laptop. That’s the easy part. The hard part is sticking with it. Many folks get swayed by deals that may be too good to be true or they see something way over-budget with fancy features that are not needed. As a result, they end up spending way more then they need to.

You need to have patience, and a lot of it

Patience goes a long way. I will tell you, the best time to buy a new laptop is around the holidays. Besides the fact that everyone is searching for deals at that time, tech companies are also dumping their inventory for the year so they can make way for the newer model coming in (a similar thing that car companies do). If you can’t wait that long, see if you can wait until the computer price drops at least 20% or find another equivalent model.

Don’t sleep on refurbished laptops

Refurbished laptops are computers that stopped functioning for various reasons (either damaged or defective parts) and they get repaired (usually by third-party sellers) and then resold well below the market price. Some people are against refurbished laptops because of the short warranty (usually 90 days) and not being able to get it repaired when the laptop hits day 91. But as long as you can get a laptop from a reputable third-party seller and get an extended warranty, you should be ok (In fact, my Lenovo is a refurbished laptop).

Still feel like you need help? Here are some mid to high end laptops for $500 or less:

Apple MacBook Pro – Amazon ($420)

Processor: i5
Storage: 500GB HDD

I’m #TeamWindows but I’m not going to denied that Apple’s laptops are built to last. Specifically their MacBook Pro line, which I know I few people have brought 5+ years ago and are still using it today. If you are looking for a fairly decent powered laptop from the MacBook line without spending $1000+, the 2015 refurbished MacBook pro is the way to go.

Dell Latitude
Dell Latitude 14″ – Best Buy ($387)

Processor: i5
Storage: 256GB SSD

This pre-owned Dell has decent specs for a cheap price. Powerful, lightweight and you can even expand the RAM up to 16GB! That’s very rare in modern laptops, so for this price, I would try to get a hold of this laptop while it lasts.

Asus VivoBook
ASUS VivoBook F510UA – Amazon ($510)

Processor: i5
Storage: 1TB HDD

So this Asus is a bit over the $500 mark, but I had to add this because in addition to the specs above, the laptop also comes with a fingerprint reader and USB-C port. Most laptops with these specs run from $600-$800, so you are definitely getting a deal with this laptop.

Lenovo X1 Carbon
Lenovo X1 Carbon – TigerDirect ($400)

Processor: i5
Storage: 240GB SSD

So this laptop is basically the same model as the one I had brought. The only difference is that it has a i5 processor instead of i7, and the SSD space is larger. Despite this, it is still a very great deal on a laptop. By the way, I’ve been using my Lenovo for a week and I’m very much in love with it.

HP EliteBook 840
HP EliteBook 840 – Amazon ($405)

Processor: i7
Storage: 240GB SSD

This HP may be a little old school with a VGA port, but it is a very practical laptop with decent specs. As it is the cheapest out of all the laptops listed here, it definitely worth considering to purchase.

Hopefully these tips will be helpful in purchasing your future laptop.

Bonus: Loving the curved monitor and laptop set in the photo? You can get it here. And here.