Computers have become extremely inexpensive. Because computing power has become so miniaturized, even low cost smartphones have capabilities once reserved for desktop computers. In order to maintain relevance, computers manufacturers must constantly add new features that aren’t available on smaller, more mobile devices. As the rapid growth of computer features continues, last year’s models are practically thrown away at pennies on the dollar.
Where Can You Find Clearance Computers?
A better question is “where can’t you find a clearance computer?” Computers are carried by vendors everywhere. Major vendors like Best Buy, Conns, Frye’s, Wal-mart, Office Depot, and many many more sell computers. The one drawback for vendors who sell computers is that they begin to depreciate before they can even get them on the shelf. Computer manufacturers are already working on the next two or three generations of computers, so everything they are selling now is in effect, becoming obsolete as they are being sold! This is a huge benefit for consumers. If you are willing to buy a computer that’s a few months old (but brand new), then you can take advantage of what we call ‘obsolescence discount’.
Cheap Brand Name Computers
There are a variety of ways to find a computer that fits your criteria and budget. If you have a budget that isn’t exactly a shoestring budget, then you might decide to shop for a brand name computer, like a Dell, HP or Toshiba. These computers are more expensive than the generic brands, but usually come with a load of free software, including software to manage and maintain your hardware. Sometimes they even come with a free version of Microsoft Office, which is an important suite of software if you intend to learn skills that can be used in the professional workplace.
Our office has purchased dozens of laptops and desktops from Office Depot. They sell last quarter’s models at a huge discounts, but still have loads of cool features. We’ve purchased HP and Dell computers there. They usually have an instant discount and an additional mail-in rebate. With the two discounts, the price of the computer is often half of what it was when it was first released.
Generic Brands / Discount Brands
If you want a less expensive computer, but still want to have current technology, then you may opt for a generic or discount brand. Some less familiar brands that still have the latest in features are Asus, Acer, GIGABYTE or Zotac. This tier of computer will usually boast current processor speeds, and may or may not have extra software along with it.
Another route for getting an off-price computer is to opt for a refurbished computer. Refurbished computers are often computers that did not pass QA tests during manufacturing, and were put into a special queue, where they were exposed to a diagnostic test to determine why it failed. If the reason was found, then the faulty component was replaced, and then sold as refurbished. Consumers can pick these up for a fraction of the original price, and are usually the current model, so the features are top-notch. The full warranty applies, so if there’s a problem with the computer, you can have it fixed under the same warranty as a non-refurbished computer. We’ve bought refurbished computers before and have not found that they have any more problems than our other computers.
What Is a ChromeBook?
Another inexpensive option for consumers is a laptop called a ChromeBook. A ChromeBook fits into a category between a tablet and a full-blown Windows OS laptop. ChromeBook uses Google Chrome OS which is reduces the cost to produce for computer manufacturers, who must pay a premium to Microsoft to install Windows on their regular laptops. ChromeBooks are offered by top manufacturers like HP, Acer and Samsung, just to name a few. Although these laptops don’t have the full power of a laptop, they often can be used all day on a single charge, include Google’s version of office software, have a web browser, and include plenty of Cloud storage space. In order for a ChromeBook to be effective, it needs to be Internet connected, so if you don’t expect to be connected to the Internet regularly, then a ChromeBook may not be for you.
Cheap computers are EVERYWHERE! Just use your imagination. If you really are serious about keeping you and your family up to date with technology, then find a computer to use.