It is pretty hard to get an entirely free computer(PC, laptop or tablet), obviously. The reason for this is because any decent machine that is still functional and can be used to accomplish real work is going to have some value to people.
Instead of just giving away such a machine, it can be easily and quickly sold for at least some revenue. It is pretty simple to sell a laptop, even if you have very little idea of what it is worth or who would want to buy it. A simple listing in the paper will move such merchandise very fast.
If you are a university student, need a computer for your college use and don’t need a free stuff, you might like to check our guide to choosing a good college tablet and laptop computers. However, If you’re on a budget and looking for affordable laptops please read our guide to the best affordable college laptops & tablets.
Nevertheless, there are still people out there that would like to know how to acquire a free laptop. Here are a couple of ideas for how to go about doing that.
A free Computer could be donated to you
It is possible that you could get someone to donate you a computer. This is pretty much a long shot, but some businesses, churches, schools, or universities might be upgrading their equipment and not have a clear purpose for getting rid of their old stuff. In such cases a donation could allow them a tax write off, so this might be an idea worth pursuing for some folks. Basically, you will probably have to have an inside track to be able to talk directly with someone who is in charge of upgrading the equipment at such a place if you are going to make this option work. Just cold calling a business like this is not going to get you far in most cases. Still, the idea is a valid one, and has certainly worked for some people in the past.
Free Laptops Online
There are a number of deals on the internet where you can supposedly get free computers online. These websites seem to promise a nice brand new laptop, usually a very nice brand as well, without actually putting up any money. Is it too good to be true, or can you really get yourself a free computer?
Well for the most part it is too good to be true. What happens with most of these free laptop deals is that you must register with their website and then either complete a series of offers yourself, or convince your friends and family to complete a certain number of offers. I think the last one that I investigated called for the person to get something like 11 people to sign up for at least one promotional offer, which was usually something like a music club or a coffee club. These are the types of promotions where they have to pay a certain amount via credit card and then the club sends them music or coffee or whatever each month and maybe they throw in a free coffee maker.
Basically if you tally up all of the offers and you look at the cost of the computer you will see that nothing in the world is truly free and that everything definitely has a price. If you happen to complete 8 offers yourself (or however many it is lately) then you will be able to look back at your credit card bill in a year or so and realize that you spent several thousand dollars to get that “free” computer. The offers are not cheap and while they might sound innocent at 23 dollar per month they all tend to add up quite a bit.
Free Computers(Laptops or Tablets) for Students
There are several different ways that students can specifically try to get a free computer. One way is by signing on to go to certain colleges that try to lure new students in with the offer of either a free laptop or free tablet for college students. Check the prices of college tuition lately and you will quickly realize that your “free” computer is anything but. You will pay an arm and a leg before the first semester is even half over with for that piece of junk Toshiba they are offering you.
Really if you are a student and you need a free laptop you should probably try the following, in this order, in order to get the cheapest machine possible for maybe 200 bucks or even less:
- Start with begging for donations from friends, family members, and institutions. Don’t waste much time with this though. Go scrape up 200 bucks and move on to step 2.
- Surf Craiglist frequently and watch for a deal. When you see it, pounce on it.
- Do the same with eBay and look for an IBM Thinkpad that is around 180 bucks. Find your target machine and then snipe it out for closer to $150 or $160. You will appreciate the build quality even though it is older and a bit slower. (To be honest though it will be running XP faster than most of these new machines are running Vista).
- Wait for a sale at your local electronic superstore and buy a cheap netbook for under 200 dollars. Make sure you can actually type fast on it though; some will have issues with this, others will not.