It is really not possible at this time to buy a new Dell laptop under $200 unless you hit a store that is closing down. The cheapest laptop made by Dell at this time is the Inspiron 11 3000 which retails currently online at the Dell Shop for $299. This laptop comes with an 11 inch screen, Intel Celeron Processor, 4GB of Memory, 500 GB Hard Drive and Windows 8.1 Operating System. It is capable of running a word processor and limited spread sheet program. This laptop is quite light for carrying around. It will fit into a backpack or larger bag easily. It features a touchscreen, needed for Windows 8.1, and its screen allows you to watch HD television. This laptop offers USB 3.0 ports, HDMI port, and a card reader for downloading pictures from your mobile phone or camera. The 3000 is less than one inch thick and weights 3.6 pounds.
This laptop is not designed for a businessman or a computer enthusiast, but will work nicely for someone who needs a laptop for personal use to keep up with the world, write an occasional letter or simple spread sheet. Clearly, at $299, if you can find a used or refurbished version, you can come close to or pay under $200. The new models come with a 30 day guarantee and a year guarantee on parts. Of course, you can buy more extensive repair insurance. For a laptop that you plan to keep in a bag and carry around, this can be a money saver in the end, because often these laptops wind up taking unintended injuries.
Dell also sells tablets which are a bit cheaper, but their functions are more limited. Another option offered by Dell is their hybrid XPS line which features a laptop that can also convert into a tablet which starts at $349, but this is quite a bit above our $200 limit.
If you are willing to consider a used or refurbished laptop, there are more choices that will hit our $200 limit. A used laptop is one that has had a previous owner who wishes to sell it. A refurbished laptop is one that has been repaired or returned to the company, is working and available for sale. It is really hard to know which option is best, but often the refurbished laptops come with more of a warranty than the used laptops.
The most common used laptops available are the Dell Latitude 600 series. Choices that can be had for under $200 include the Dell 620 and 630. The D620, which can be had for about $175 includes an Intel Core Duo processor with a 1.60 GHz processing speed. The Dell D630 can be had for about $200 and offers an Intel Core 2 Duo processor with a processing speed of 1.8 GHz. Most of the Latitude computers come with software as well and can easily handle business versions of major applications. A good options to look at online at are eBay and Amazon.
Still, considering the first PCs sold for around $4000, were very limited, and came with a monitor that only showed green or amber text, the ability to buy a laptop at $200 or less is a great deal.