It appears that I will need to buy a new laptop soon. Just as an aside, I prefer to buy new (not refurbished) laptops. As low-priced as possible. For my previous laptops, I never paid more than $300-$400 for a 15" laptop with 512GB storage. I don't like Chromebooks.
Are there any discount codes, or referral discounts, or rewards programs that will make a laptop purchase cheaper?
Alternatively, what's the best strategy for finding the cheapest laptop - just wait for weekly promos? Wait for Black Friday? I do look at Slickdeals but most of them are way over $400.
I posted a similar thread a few months ago, with some specific feature "wants", at a price similar to what I paid for a similar laptop a few years ago. It seems that laptop pricing has gone up significantly since a few years ago. I'm still looking. Good luck!
As I suggested to Boz before I would try to increase my budget to $500-600. Aim for 16gb ram as well if you can. You are going to get something that lasts longer and without the annoying compromises that come with budget laptops in the $300-400 range.
I'd probably wait until Black Friday. You may get something in your price range that is decent.
For very light use I suppose 8gb will be fine. But in 5, 6, 7 years maybe it won't be. I tried windows 11 on a lower end laptop and it was a painful experience in my opinion. They may force upgrade you within the life of your laptop. At least having a laptop with empty slots or easy to upgrade would be wise for the future.
Compromises - yes definitely screen quality. You want to try to avoid those bad TN panels that wash out with any movement off centre. Or a 720p screen on a 15.6" laptop. If you are plugged into a monitor all day it might not matter. Also keyboards and touchpads can be frustrating on some cheaper laptops. Also cheap build quality so they may break more easily or the fans might whine or the cooling systems degrade quickly.
Not saying you won't find a good one but it will be a lot easier with a slightly higher budget. You may find something suitable in your price range around Black Friday so I'd wait until then if I was you.
An important question phonatic--- were those laptops you purchased in the past (with 512GB storage) HDD or SSD?
I suspect they were HDD, and I wouldn't recommend a HDD computer to anyone regardless of price point. Gotta have SSD.
Furthermore, you probably don't need 512GB of storage since you are a basic user. But if necessary, you can add an additional 250GB of storage to any computer with a $30 SD card.
And good heavens , you don't need 16 GBs of RAM or have to spend $500+ to meet your basic needs.
If you think my above comments have merit, here's an option for you I like @$270:
EDIT: just ordered one for myself ( after re-reading my comment)
Those were all HDD. SSD wasn't a thing when I bought those. They have worked fine for me, although of course SSD is way better.
See, I did not know that. How does it work - does the card get "adopted" into the laptop (like in a phone)? Can the card fail or get corrupted, resulting in loss of data stored on the card?
Thanks for the Target laptop suggestion. It says Processor Speed: 1.1 GHz, which is lower than the speed on my current oldie laptops, which surprises me.
I find simple web surfing is slower on my current 1.6GHz laptop compared to my current 2.2GHz laptop, so a speed of 1.1GHz on the Target laptop seems really inadequate. Maybe there's something I don't know about current processor speeds?
Thanks again everyone, and please keep the conversation going.
The 'burst' speed of the computer processor I recommended to you ( Pentium Silver N5030) is 3.10 GHz.
And seriously, phonatic, it's time for you to do some basic research on your own where you can find abundant info on SD cards and many of the other questions you have asked here.
Furthermore, you are saying you plan, to load Linux, while your posts suggest a minimal understanding of computers? --Good Luck.
(and I'm out of this topic thread.)
An SD or MicroSD card is just another block storage device as far as the computer is concerned, as if you added another drive. Perhaps more specifically, as if you added a USB drive - depending on the OS configuration, it may be specifically recognized as removable storage and you might have to jump through some hoops if you want to promise the computer it will always be there. Having it "adopted" so that you don't have to treat it like an additional drive would require special configuration...LVM or BTRFS could do it...but I wouldn't personally recommend it, as I'm pretty sure it makes recovery more complicated if any drive involved develops a problem. Plus if you ever decide you do want to use it as removable storage, you have more work to do to unwind that configuration.
Most SD cards, as far as I know, do not have wear leveling built in. I believe the Western Digital Purple series does. Lack of wear leveling may make them less suitable for storing things that are modified frequently. (Wear leveling is a large part of the reason the old worries about SSDs not lasting as long don't really apply to common usage anymore.)
Not all laptops have an SD or MicroSD card slot. USB adapters are not too expensive though; I think some cards even come with them. But I'd recommend making sure you know whether you would need one first.