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Small, cheap PCs can cost as little as $130

Small, cheap PCs can cost as little as $130
Photo courtesy of HP

Every two years or so, computers double in power, which means the budget computers of today often have better specs than the high-end computers made four years ago. And those were already more than most people needed. In other words, today's inexpensive computers will do everything the average computer user wants to do. Learn what you want to look for when buying a new computer.

Of course, even budget desktop computers still typically cost $350 or more, which isn't a small investment, although they should easily last for four years. A lot of computer buyers, however, are looking for something even less expensive. Usually that means buying older refurbished hardware, but some computer manufacturers are now racing to offer even less expensive new systems.

Many of these super-budget systems are geared toward home entertainment, so they're small and sleek. You don't want an ugly PC tower cluttering up your living room, after all.

Don't expect to get a ton of power or storage space, and don't plan to make major upgrades. However, you will usually get the full version of Windows and should have no problem with checking email or Facebook, browsing the Web, or even streaming Internet video.

We're going to take a look at three options that might interest you: one for power, one for customization and one that only costs $130.

Next page: Starting with the power
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