If we could take a ride with H. G. Wells’s Time Machine and travel back to early 90s, we all could notice that laptops were god damn expensive back in the days. If you wanted to buy a laptop 25 years ago you certainly had sell one of your kidneys.
Today, technology became cheap and affordable under the low performance compromise. You can buy in 2016 laptops with less than 500 bucks. Of course, there are expensive laptops today too, but the vast majority of people are not interested in $3000 machines.
Buying a laptop always has to be linked to your needs, so who needs cheap laptops under $500? I am willing to answer that question because most of us never buy cheap laptops. Most of us are interested in $1000+ machines because we understand that low price affects performance. So why do cheap laptops exist and who should buy something like that?
What exactly means a cheap laptop?
Cheap laptops cost maximum $500 and are just fine for daily use. They are not intended for gaming or video rendering, though you can do that in some context with cheap laptops too. Of course, you won’t be able to play games at full details, but League of Legends or Counter-Strike Go will run just fine at medium/low settings if the laptop has some 2GB GeForce® 920M video card. So, don’t rage quit of you get killed on Dust 2 because your laptops graphic card is unable to work some realistic shadows.
No aluminum, no 4K display, no USB Type C, no 12 hours batteries, no SSD. You won’t find any of these on a cheap laptop. You will also have to buy some Windows OS because cheap laptops came from manufactures with Free DOS only. The overall built quality of cheap laptops is rather low. You will have a lot of plastics, keyboards that will flex and displays with not so good viewing angles.
Cheap laptops mean compromise. You won’t have a high end machine, you won’t have a nice design or quality materials involved. All you will have will be some mediocre performance, enough for web browsing, e-mail, Skype, Microsoft Office. Low end Core i3 or in some cases i5 will be installed on low end laptop machines.
Can a cheap laptop deliver enough performance for college students?
Cheap laptops are perfect for college students. They just need a laptop for basic tasks like keeping in touch with parents, taking notes in classroom or doing research for projects. Of course, if you are a parent that can afford $2000 laptop for your kid, it’s ok. I’m only telling you that a $500 laptop is enough for college if there is no science or programming profile involved.
How about our parents or grandparents?
If you want to keep in touch with your parents or grandparents, they don’t need a high specs laptop. A cheap one under $500 is rather fine. It will be used most of the time for surfing the web, Skype calls, maybe watching some online movies but no gaming is involved or video rendering.
Just make sure you buy them a laptop which has some kind of internal webcam. You won’t be able to see them on Skype or Facebook without it. Just buy them something simple and cheap.
What does daily use mean and who may get his job done with a cheap $500 laptop?
Daily use means: Facebook, e-mail, YouTube, Microsoft Word and Excel, watching movies on Netflix, playing basic games like Counter-Strike Go or browser based games. Cheap laptops are not intended just for college students or grandmas… It’s all about your needs. If you need a laptop for daily use at home, a cheap one will be just fine.