A decent refurbished laptop has a price range of about $300 to $500. A new laptop with good specifications has a price range of $1000. Refurbished laptops are an option when looking for budget laptops. Laptops have a short lifespan of about three years. Going for refurbished laptops is taking the limits of the laptop to the extreme. The other important thing to remember is that refurbished laptops have no warranty.
With this in mind, you might want to consider robust models like the Lenovo ThinkPad, Toshiba, HP or Dell. Look for a laptop with no dedicated Graphical Processing Unit and having a Solid State Disk instead of a Hard Disk Drive to extend the battery life. If you are going to do heavy rendering graphics, then you need a dedicated graphics card. A HD 4000 will not serve you well when it comes to heavy graphic rendering. This means sacrificing battery life for performance.A core i3 or i5 processor should be sufficient for your basic programming needs. To get the feel of multi core processing, go for a 4core CPU.
The four real cores will allow you to see the difference between multi-core optimization compared to hyper-threading performance gains. For RAM memory, you need to consider 4GB for 32-Bit Operating Systems and 6GB for 64-Bit Operating Systems. The Operating Systems to consider are Mac OS, Linux and MS Windows. Mac OS will give much in terms of security. Linux and Windows Operating Systems give you more flexibility in case you need to switch between them. Use notepad++ for text editing. It is simple and not resource intensive. When downloading any software, use only official sites to avoid malware.
A small laptop is the way to go as it’s portable. To get this portability again you have to sacrifice on screen size. Remember that a 17” screen will allow you to have two windows of text editors sitting side by side while a 13” may not give the same convenience. A Chromebook is a very basic device and cannot be recommended even for basic programming. It’s meant to serve the common user whose needs are mostly limited to browsing. A writer will find a Chromebook to be indispensable. You can get a refurbished laptop from your local shops, the Craig Lists and Ebay. When all is said and done, investing in a new descent laptop is always a worthy investment.