Don't spend a fortune on your back-to-school computer

laptopChances are, unless your budding intellectual is heading off this fall to become a graphic designer or a mechanical engineer, you don't need to take out a second mortgage just to get them a new computer.

The Dollar Stretcher provides plenty of reasons why every student should have a computer at their disposal when they enter the hallowed halls of Academe, despite the already high price tag that comes with college. Today there are more choices than ever before when it comes to finding a computer that fits your student's needs.

And as The Dollar Stretcher also points out, forgoing a Mac and picking up discounted student software at the college bookstore will save you lots right upfront.

The article points out a cool new model of laptops called subnotebooks that are small, low-powered, low-cost laptops which are suitable for handling typical student activities such as paper writing and web surfing. If you are looking for a more traditional notebook this fall there are still plenty of deals to be had on laptops and desktops which pack a little more punch. Purchasing a refurbished laptop or PC is a great way to save and still get a decently spec'ed out machine.

Here are a few deals out there right now on good back to school machines.

Refurbished:

New:
You'll notice that most of the deals I have highlighted are for laptops and there is a reason for this. Even though a laptop may cost a bit more than a desktop, you and your child will appreciate it when their roommate decides it is time for a four hour "Rock Band" session or when a paper is due over Thanksgiving break.

Good laptops are incredibly affordable nowadays, and with the increase in free open source software like AVG antivirus and Open Office, the savings are even higher. Before you do purchase a computer of any kind you should find out what recommended requirements certain disciplines may have. Even though compatibility is getting better all the time, some majors may require the use of software that doesn't run on a Linux powered EEE PC, or an OSX powered Mac without additional tools or knowledge.

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