If you are facing this dilemma you are not alone: ​​Now children are studying from home, and everyone has to use a computer to come to class and get things done. But the budget is still tight due to tight jobs or reducing working hours.

This fall, parents may have to work from home to complicate matters, and they need a computer to work. And one of the things we are in the world today, B.Y.O.D. (“Bring your own device”) may be your responsibility to choose.

It makes sense that you cannot buy a beautiful new computer for everyone in your home. If replacing a desktop or laptop is not a viable option, here are some tips and solutions that won’t break the bank.

Consider a Chromebook

If you don’t need a lot of electricity or storage, this can happen with many online “cloud” services used for school or work, perhaps buy a computer running Google’s ChromeOS, as it will cost less. . Much higher than average, Windows or Mac PC.

For example, the Lenovo 100e 11.6-inch Chromebook sells for $ 169 and includes an Intel Celeron processor, 4GB RAM (system memory), 32GB storage (but can be extended with memory cards), various ports (USB- ) A, USB-C and HDMI) and 720p HD webcam.

In fact, this computer was temporarily down to $ 99 earlier this year, so beware of these broken doors. (Subscribe to notifications on Slickdeals)

For $ 189, it has an ASUS CX22NA Chromebook, 11.6-inch laptop with similar specs and battery life (up to 10 hours like Lenovo’s).

Buy an open or refurbished box – but it has a warranty.

If you need to buy an open box or a refurbished computer, this is the way. But this should be done from a retailer who provides a reasonable warranty in the event of anything going wrong. (The problem with purchasing items through Craigslist, Lego, or other online classifieds sites is that you will not receive a reply from the seller if there is a problem.)

For example, Best Buy sells a white 11.6 inch HP Stream laptop for only US $ 176 because it is an “open-box” product.

Specifications include an Intel Atom x5 processor, 4 GB RAM, 64 GB storage, and several USB ports. This product comes with a 1-year manufacturer’s parts and labor warranty.

Likewise, you can bring the Dell Venue Pro 5056 ($ 173) with a smaller screen (10.1 inches), but it can be touch-enabled and used in tablet mode with a removed keyboard.

Specifications include an Intel Atom x5 Z8500 processor, 4 GB RAM and 64 GB hard drive. This laptop comes with a 180-day manufacturer’s parts and labor warranty.

The refurbished Lenovo ThinkPad X131e Chromebook 11.6-inch laptop sells for $ 205 on the marketplace, but no warranty until you pay at least $ 45 for a 2-year plan (and cover it for repairs) Is not. Or change) When in doubt, ask or proceed.

In other words, never consider a computer that was used before “without proper warranty of any kind”.

Using a smartphone or tablet + keyboard

Another increasingly popular option is to replace another device with a different type of laptop.

If you already have a smartphone or tablet, you can go for the cheap Bluetooth keyboard which will be more comfortable and accurate for long typing.

For example, the Logitech K380 offers a multi-device Bluetooth keyboard ($ 40), a simple keyboard for computers, tablets, and phones, and is available in many colors (rose, off-white, or graphite).

This keyboard works with Android, iOS (iPhone, iPad), Windows, Mac, Chrome OS and Apple TV.

And for just $ 20, there is the Artec HB030B Universal Slim Portable Wireless Bluetooth 3.0 with colorful backlight buttons and built-in recharge batteries.

It has also received high ratings. The average review score is 4.5 stars out of 5 from over 11,000 customers.

Wireless keyboards paired with a smartphone or tablet should work well for basic tasks such as word processing, web browsing, spreadsheet creation and presentation.

Keep in mind that you are working on very small screens, which can make multitasking difficult. (Pro tip: You can often connect your phone or tablet to a large screen TV or monitor.)

You can also pick up a wireless mouse to make it feel like a real laptop.

Before purchasing, check with your child’s school (or the company you live in) to see if it will help.

Another option

If you cannot buy currently, there are some other things to cope with the purchase:

Do not hesitate to ask a friend or family member near them to borrow for the school year or to take a temporary loan near you.

Or they may offer you to buy an old, unused machine that you can restore. (Factory reset) and can be used for basic tasks.