With household budgets getting tighter due to the cost of living crisis, many non-essential purchases are being put to the side. Unfortunately, we can’t always predict when things are going to break or stop working so sometimes, we need to bite the bullet and buy something outside the monthly budget.
For most of us, laptops are a necessity, whether you use them for work or play. Buying a new laptop takes a lot of time and consideration, so you really need to think through what specs and features you need and what you’re willing to pay.
As a Deals Writer, I’ve picked up a lot of tips and tricks to save money on many things, including streaming services, TVs, broadband and more. If you need a new laptop but don’t want to spend too much, here are 6 ways to save money on new and old laptops, including maintenance advice and shopping tips.
1. Decide what you need from a laptop
Before you start shopping, it’s important to decide what you want from a laptop. From features to specifications, size and design, always start by making a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves, as well as your budget. First consider what you’re going to use it for. If you’re going to use it for work, it’s a good idea to choose a laptop that’s designed for business, has a good battery life and is easy to take with you if you do a mix of office and remote working. If you want a new laptop for editing or designing, you might find it better to look for a 2-in-1 laptop or a tablet.
Next, decide what features you want. Some key features to look for in a laptop are a good screen and resolution display, plenty of storage and ports, a quality keyboard and a long-lasting battery. Finally, size and style is something to consider too. In my opinion, the colour of a laptop doesn’t matter all that much but of course, it’s nice to own something that looks nice! Screen size is also important and the overall size of the laptop too, especially if you want to travel with it.
Popular laptop brands include Apple, Microsoft, Acer, Lenovo, ASUS, HP and Dell. If you're unsure what laptop you want, we have plenty of guides to help you, including the best laptops (opens in new tab), the best laptops under £500 (opens in new tab), the best 2-in-1 laptops (opens in new tab), the best Chromebooks (opens in new tab) and the best tablets (opens in new tab).
2. Buy an older model
While some believe that ‘new is always better’, this isn’t necessarily the case. Newer laptops are typically more expensive as and when they’re released so by picking the latest model, you’ll be spending the most money. You don’t need the newest or latest model all the time, especially if you’re trying to save money. By choosing the generation before or last year’s laptop over the newer ones, you’re still getting a high quality device that’s well-made and will do whatever you need it to do. ‘Older’ laptops are typically more affordable and cheaper than the latest models, and you can also find bigger deals and discounts on them, especially before or during the launch of the newer models.
3. Consider refurbished or open-box laptops
Laptops are one of the most popular things to buy certified refurbished or open-box. Certified refurbished refers to products that have been professionally fixed and renewed by the manufacturer. Once a laptop is returned to be refurbished, it gets professionally cleaned, fixed, tested and restored to look and work like it’s brand new. A refurbished or open-box laptop is definitely worth considering as they’re still good quality and cheaper than the original retail price. eBay (opens in new tab) is a really trustworthy site to buy refurbished laptops from or you can have a look at the big name brands who will have their own refurbished sections. Read this guide on why shopping certified refurbished can help you save money (opens in new tab) for more.
4. Search for the best laptop deals
When you’re looking for a new laptop, make sure to always look around to see if there are any deals running on specific models. Knowing when and where to find the best laptop deals (opens in new tab) is incredibly helpful so you can find the lowest prices. Starting with when to shop for laptops, have a look for cheap deals when a new laptop is being launched as you’ll typically find the earlier models at bargain prices. This depends on the brand so if you have a brand in mind, stay up-to-date with their releases. The seasonal sales are also a good time to shop for low prices like Easter, Christmas and the Black Friday sales.
For where to shop, Amazon (opens in new tab) and Currys (opens in new tab) always have regular price drops on laptops, desktops and other computer accessories. It’s also good to look at the official brand websites, including Dell (opens in new tab), Lenovo (opens in new tab) and HP (opens in new tab).
5. Wait for the Prime Day 2022 sale
Speaking of sales, it was recently announced that Amazon Prime Day 2022 (opens in new tab) is kicking off in July. Prime Day is Amazon’s biggest annual sale which is exclusive to Prime members only. Almost everything on Amazon is on sale during the two-day event and laptops are some of the bestsellers during this time. If you’re looking for a new laptop but you don’t need one straightaway, make sure to sign up for a Prime subscription so when Prime Day comes, you can find a huge discount on a new device.
6. Take care of your current laptop
Finally, if you really can’t afford a new laptop, it’s a good idea to take care of your current laptop so it keeps working for as long as possible. A new laptop should be the last resort so make sure you’re looking after the laptop you already have by cleaning it, updating it regularly and getting it professionally looked at. For example, if some part of your laptop breaks, get it looked at by a professional before you replace the whole thing. By fixing a laptop part, this will be significantly cheaper and can prolong the life of your old device.
For more money-saving tips and tricks, here’s how to save money on TVs (opens in new tab), how to save on streaming services (opens in new tab) and the best ways to save money on broadband packages (opens in new tab).