Super Budget Laptop - Need Advice Please (Budget < $500)

I need some advice please for the cheapest laptop option for a PC that can log into our work system via Microsoft Remote Desktop. I don't need it for any other purpose, I'm talking <$500 as the price point if possible.

I haven't purchased a PC in 10+ years so I have no idea where to start.

~13" screen would be good.

Are there any Officeworks / JB options that aren't horrendous?

The system requirements for MRD are very low.

Operating systems: Windows 10/11, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012 R2
CPU: 1vCPU with 1 GHz or faster processor
RAM: 1024 MB
Hard drive: 100 MB or more
.NET Framework version: 4.6.1 or later
Video: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver



    smaller the screen, usually more expensive its get.

    Try search in Officeworks / JB options first

    You just missed out on this

    Best bet would be surface Go, close to $1000

    if you new to the game, best in IT / bargain, if you manage to haggle a slightly expensive item to your budget ($600+ for under $500) in JB / HN

  • +3

    Refurb laptop instead of brand new?

    Lots of ex-office PCs available would suit this. Reboot-IT, Australian Computer Traders etc, lots who also sell on eBay.

    My advice would be as high-res screen as possible (i.e. Surface) but they can be $800 used unless you can find an older model

  • +2

    Refurbished Lenovo Carbon x1

    I love mine and can be picked up for a few hundred dollars.
    Best keyboard i've ever used, great battery life and incredible build quality.
    Have dropped mine multiple times and even fell out of my car, just lightly scuffed.

  • What about something like this though? 1080p. Should cope with remote desktop? Windows S but that can be unlocked to Windows.

  • This with an additional 4 or 8GB of ram:

    i3 11th gen
    256GB ssd
    1080p screen
    Wifi 6

  • Refurb is the way to go. Lenovo or Dell are easily available, just google 'refurb'. Anything with 8GB or above should be totally fine; although if you are using the laptop itself (rather than connecting to a monitor) then look at the screen as well. But you should buy a monitor if you are using it regularly

    Its all tax deductible, albeit that you will have to depreciate them unless you buy under $300 (which allows you to deduct the whole lot in one year) (not great screen but up to you)

  • Second refurb, plenty of dell latitude that will be less painful to use than any celeron/athlon/atom junker. Sub $500 will get you 8th gen i5, ssd, displayport out via usb c from a latitdude 5000 or 7000 series. better build quality by miles as well (generally!)

  • ASUS E410 is on special at OzPost and just meets all your requirements

    edit: I see the same thing was suggested before from Hardly Normal

  • As others have suggested, you'll probably have a better overall experience with a refurb.

    If it has to be new however, I'm throwing this in as it'll probably perform better than anything else new at its price point:
    Konka UltraSlim LE1 13.3" QHD Laptop, Intel Core M5, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Windows 10
    $349 + shipping

  • The sub $500 used office laptops (Lenovos/Dell) that have been posted here would be great, and very useable. If using for work, get one with a good keyboard/mousepad.

  • +2

    Thanks everyone for the advice, really appreciated.

    Does this look like an OK option?

    Latitude E7450
    5th Gen i5
    16gb ram
    128gb SSD
    1920x1080 resolution, 14" screen

  • Every now and then I have a look inside the usual shops for laptops and after about 3 years of browsing, I scored a pretty good bargain in Jan '22.
    Acer Swift 1 14" 4gb + 128gb ssd, 1080p quad core pentium N5030… so you all are probably laughing at me right now….
    Good Guys in Canberra brand new in box unopened on the clearance table… I paid $145……
    Upgraded to full Win10home from S and it works without lag. Only slows down if I go heavy on the multi-tasking.
    Oh and 17 hours video playback or about 11 hrs using wifi, on battery.

    So how does this help you… probably doesn't, but if you are not in a rush just browse for a bargain including in real life stores.

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