We can all relate to the constraints of a tight budget.The thought of purchasing a computer comes almost hand-in-hand with paying a large amount of money, but with the availability of more affordable Chromebooks, 2-in-1 tablets, and used laptops, that’s not always the case! As long as you realize the strengths and weaknesses of each type of computer, it’s possible to save hundreds of dollars.
Forgoing the newest hardware components can cut the costs from a computer significantly. Few laptops have upgradeable parts, and new models are released as often as once per year. Therefore, a laptop that’s a generation or two behind can still perform everyday tasks quite well! The following laptops are all priced at or below $150, which is quite a bargain when you look at the cost of a brand new computer. Though they each carry their own drawbacks that justify such a reduced price, these machines are fully capable of everyday work.
New Laptops under $150
Hicense Chromebook C12 (11.6″)The Hicense Chromebook C12 is a capable little laptop that comes equipped with a sleek hardware package for its slim price tag. It fits a 32 GB HDD for data storage, 2 GB of DDR3 RAM, and a 1.8 GhzRockchip Processor into a lightweight, portable laptop body. The 11.6” screen makes the Hicense Chromebook C12 perfect for stowaway and travel, allowing the computer to be the perfect tagalong for a busy lifestyle.
Google’s Chrome OS can handle most major productivity tasks, and the applications in the Google Drive suite can handle almost all text-based files. With the slim price tag comes a limited potential for more advanced computing—this certainly isn’t a gaming or photo-editing machine. It will handle productivity tasks in a pinch, though, and its reliance on cloud-based storage makes it perfect for web browsing.
Like most Chromebooks, this computer functions at its peak with a reliable internet connection. The USB and HDMI ports gives the Hicense Chromebook C12 allow users to transfer data easily, and stream audio and video to a larger screen.Though it’s not a powerhouse, the Hicense Chromebook is capable for its price.
Poin2 Chromebook 11 (11.6”)
With its sleek aesthetic and slim design, the Poin2 Chromebook 11 is an appealing little machine that justifies its cost well. The 1.8 GHz Rockchip processor and 2 GB DDR3 RAM are standard fare for a computer of this size, but the 16 GB SSD is what truly gives this Chromebook its edge.
Its limited storage capacity may seem like a drawback, but Chromebooks aren’t meant for the more heavy computing or demanding tasks. They rely on cloud-based streaming, which will keep most of your data and files online. As with other Chromebooks, the Poin2 benefits from having a constant online connection. Capable of lightning-quick boot times and application loading, this laptop’s SSD allows it to function well alongside fast internet speeds.
The Poin2 Chromebook 11’s body features a canvas-like texture on the lid, and a brushed-metal palmrest that looks impressive, but won’t match the durability of more expensive laptops.Gaming and image-editing won’t be possible with the Chromebook’s limited hardware, but at this price point, it will perform simpler tasks very well.
RCA Viking Pro 2-in-1 Tablet (10”)
Mobile operating systems and flexible applications have helped tablet computers to practically serve as replacement laptops. Featuring an 11” touchscreen and 32 GB of flash memory, this tablet crossover does just that. Just don’t expect to play graphics-heavy games or run graphic design software.
The detachable keyboard is the RCA Viking Pro’s most attractive feature.The keys lack the sturdiness of a larger keyboard, and the track-pad is hit or miss. Still, both are welcome additions that help this computer to stand out. The tablet runs on the latest version of Google’s Android OS, a mobile operating system that features awide library of applications. The on-board USB port is also a welcome addition, allowing users to connect a mouse for easier productivity tasks. The tablet has a mini HDMI port that allows it to transfer audio and video signals to a larger screen—perfect for streaming media at home and at work.
Weighing in at only 2.6 pounds, the RCA Viking Pro is an ideal balance between portability and power. For the right user, this 2-in-1 tablet is a great deal, but like many computers at this price point, it has a low ceiling for potential use. Word processing, web browsing, e-mail, and messaging programs are this computer’s strong suits.
Used Laptop under $150
The technology used in laptop computers has increased by leaps and bounds. Users who aren’t committed to the most advanced features, however, can find all that they need in an affordable package.
Dell Latitude D630 (14”)
Finding a work or school-ready laptop doesn’t need to cost a fortune. An used Dell Latitude D630 may be a couple of generations behind brand new laptop models, but it still has the internal hardware to succeed at simple web-browsing and day-to-day productivity tasks.
A 14” screen allow the D630 to be remain portable, though it’s slightly thicker and heavier than newer models of the same size. The Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 80 GB HDD, and installed Windows XP operating system are what date this computer the most, but they’re still enough for basic software. If users require more storage, the D630’s USB ports allow ample opportunity for flash storage. The 1280×800 screen resolution still holds up, but won’t appear as crisp and clear as newer, 1080p displays.
As with other laptops at this price-point, the integrated graphics mean that the D630 isn’t remotely gaming-grade, or meant for graphic design applications. Battery life may not impress, either, but if mobility isn’t a priority, this is less of a drawback. For basic computing, the Dell brand helps this computer to remain a viable option as a budget laptop.
At these low price points, buyers are forced to accept limitations. Dedicated graphics, large solid-state drives, and higher-definition displays are out of the question. For users that don’t require these things, and are willing to accept the low software ceiling that comes along with such a purchase, these computers will fit the bill nicely.
Even if the hardware is slightly outdated, operating systems installed on these laptops are continually updating. This ensures that you’ll get a reliable computer that performs well at its limited tasks, which is the most that you can ask of a model at this price range.