How To Save on Laptops and IPads
When the kids head back to school or off to college, chances are, they’re going to need a computer. You CAN afford a laptop or computer, if you (and your child, too, why let them slack off?) are willing to do the research and buy a refurbished or second generation model.
What’s the difference between the two? A refurbished IPad or laptop is just a fancy way of saying used. It could have been damaged and repaired, or it could be an old model with upgrades added, like more memory. With refurbished computers, you need to thoroughly research both the source and the product. For a more trustworthy vendor, check out Best Buy.com. I found a Samsung laptop with Windows 7, refurbished by the Geek Squad, for $380. That’s about half off the normal price for new.
I also found refurbished IPads on Walmart.com for as low as $350. One thing you want to check, regardless of where you buy your used computer, is the return policy. For example, IPads sold at Walmart.com comes with a 90 day limited warranty covering the refurbished product, provided by The Recon Group, Inc. (not Walmart.com or the original product manufacturer). The product also falls under Walmart’s return policy for electronics, which is 15 days after purchase for computers and computer hardware.
Another point to remember with refurbished computers is that the original warranties typically will no longer apply. So, if you break your IPad, it won’t be covered under Apple’s warranty program for their products.
A second or third generation computer or IPad is a fancy way of saying the older model. When Apple and other manufacturers release a new product, the former model drops dramatically in price as everyone races to buy the latest and greatest. However, the former model is usually good enough for a regular person, like a student. Also, because the product is new, not used, the manufacturer warranties still apply.
According to PC World.com, some older generation laptops are running the “Sandy Bridge” Intel processors, as opposed to the latest and greatest “Ivy Bridge” processors. What’s the difference? You can play video games faster, and get an extra hour or so of battery life with Ivy Bridge. However, laptops with Sandy Bridge cost about half as laptops with the newest processors. And do you really want your child playing MORE video games?
According to my own private Geek Squad (my buds in the industry) a great resource for researching and purchasing second generation computers is Amazon.com. You can compare prices for various models and read reviews from users.
Top Tip: Use those consumer reviews to help you shop for the computer that best suits your needs. Amazon allows people to rate the reviews, so you have fast access to the ones that are useful, as opposed to the ones written by the computer developer’s Mom.
One Last Tip: If you are shopping for a computer, PC World voted Amazon.com and Best Buy as the best places to find what you need and get a good price.