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#ValueHack: Santa Shops for Laptops

#ValueHack: Santa Shops for Laptops

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It’s November! You know what that means – Christmas shopping season.

Whether you like it or not, Halloween is over and it’s time for Santa to check his lists twice.

What big ticket item did Mrs. HackNow and I find on our list from our daughters this year? A new laptop for our oldest.

I actually have to give her some props for waiting as long as she has for a new laptop. Her existing one has had a busted display since she stepped on it over a year ago! Yes, she had forgotten that she left it on the floor beside her bed and the next time she got out of bed… crack. The CPU and keyboard survived but the screen was jacked up. She’s been surviving the last year by hooking it up to a second monitor but she really wants her portability back.

What does that mean for the average Hacker out there? Time to find a deal for Santa Claus! Of course the first place I look, and often the only place, is Amazon. We’re an Amazon Prime family after all. As I mentioned in “Do I Have a TripAdvisor Problem,” I actually enjoy hopping on Amazon and TripAdvisor to find the best deals. So after I started off my keyword search for laptops I immediately filtered by “Prime” and 4 star plus reviews only – it’s the only way to search!

To my surprise, one of the first matches is a screaming deal for $199! Yes, you see that right! Now I’m not searching for a powerful gaming or multi-media PC here. Students these days are saving everything to the Cloud and don’t need huge hard drives. Shoot, by using the Google apps suite and saving your photos to Google photos, you really only need to focus on a processor that can handle simple word processing and spreadsheets.

HP 14-an013nr 14-Inch Notebook
HP 14-Inch Notebook (AMD E2, 4GB RAM, 32 GB Hard Drive) with Windows 10

In fact, in our daughter’s public schools they use Chromebooks and Google Docs for everything, even homework and team project assignments. Now, neither I nor my daughter want to buy a Chromebook because they’re a bit limited in functionality, but this $199 option is a solid 4 star HP running Windows with a 32GB solid state drive and 4GB of RAM. That’s more than powerful enough for the computing she’ll be doing and it easily outpaces the Chromebooks she’s used to using in class.

So I’m feeling pretty good about this find when I decide to just do a cursory check of Apple MacBook Air’s to see what they’re going for with similar specs. Would you guess that the closest competitor, an Apple MacBook Air MD223LL/A is running $629? That’s over 3x the cost! Holy crap!

Now don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the quality of an Apple product and we’re all on iPhone’s at our house, but at 3x the cost? No thank you.

What do you think? Are you an Apple admirer? Would you pay over 3x the cost to get a similarly spec’d Apple laptop over an HP PC? I mean it could definitely last longer, but 3x longer? I don’t think so.

I’ll tell you what? We’re not well on our way to #FIRE by making bad deals and I can assure you that ol’ Santa Claus won’t either. It’s hard to turn down a $199 deal on a brand new laptop, especially with the competition sitting at $629.

Can we get 2 day Prime delivery from the North Pole?


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4 thoughts on “#ValueHack: Santa Shops for Laptops

  1. Great for you that you found such a bargain. I have never had a Mac pc. I totally understand your reasoning for your choice; less than $200 for a laptop is hard to beat.

    My PC has been sick for weeks. I am hoping that my husband can do something to get it running again, and soon. If not, like you I will be checking out Amazon (prime is the way to go).

    Great article.

    1. Thanks for reading Karlene!

      Yeah, I was pleasantly surprised to see such a great price! Especially for a non-Chromebook. It should be plenty for my student, I’ll report back with any challenges. Have a great day!

  2. I am at the point where I hate Apple products! When this phone dies I may be switching to android or whatever else is out there these days. I am a big fan of google in general. I do have a Chromebook and was unaware of its limitations until after I bought it. Actually, the only limitation for me at this point is my old iTunes cant be transferred and I can’t open one page on my work site. Other than that I haven’t had any problems. We will be in the market for a new laptop for my BF’s kid for Christmas as well…let me know what you decide on! 🙂

    1. Miss Mazuma – I went ahead and pulled the trigger on the HP I mentioned in the blog. The biggest reason was the price. Based on the specs you just couldn’t beat the price. My specs were at least 4GB RAM, at least a 14″ screen (most Chromebooks and Macs were under 12″), quad-core processor, and an SSD drive. I really love the SSD drive on my work Dell because it is instant-on – no waiting.

      You roll all those together and really the only laptop that matches with 4+ stars on Amazon is this HP. And thanks to Prime’s 2 day shipping, it’s already hidden away for Santa 🙂

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