Here at Meeting Tomorrow, we rent laptops, iPads, and lots of other technology to businesses, non-profits, and other professional organizations nationwide.
But every day, we get lots of questions from people looking to rent computers for personal use. That’s why we decided it would be helpful to give you some helpful facts and resources about renting computers for personal use so you can find what you need — even if it’s not through us.
Where to Rent a Laptop for Personal Use
Below are a few nationally available options for you to rent a laptop for personal reasons like school, traveling, or while your permanent laptop is being prepared.
|Digital One has been renting computers, tablets, and projectors since 1987. Whether you’re renting a short-term laptop for work, school, traveling, or you need a temporary laptop while your personal laptop is being repaired, you can choose from six different models and Digital One will ship it directly to you, anywhere nationwide.
Good for: Short term rentals, nationwide delivery, customization, and if you need Microsoft Office included.
|Rent-A-Center has over 3,000 locations nationwide as well as an online store. They offer short-term rentals on all their equipment including laptops, with rental contracts ranging from one week to one month. Rent-A-Center also offers rent-to-own agreements on their laptops.
Good for: Short-term rentals, rent-to-own, flexible payment options, and if you need a MacBook.
|FlexShopper is an online-based lease-to-own company that serves 46 states. When you lease a laptop, you agree to make all the payments on the initial term of the lease. Then, you can extend your lease, make payments on it for one year until you own it, or end your lease and send the laptop back.
Good for: Temporary lease, if you need a MacBook, and if you aren’t sure yet if you’d like to rent temporarily or eventually purchase your laptop.
|Your College or University: Sometimes, it’s possible to rent a computer for free from your college or university. There’s a growing number of colleges who have programs to assist students, including many online colleges.
Good for: A free, on-campus option.
|Refurbished Laptops: A quick Google search will show you lots of places to buy a refurbished laptop from major national retailers including Best Buy, Staples, Amazon, and more. Typically, these laptops have been returned to the retailer for a refund, or their previous owners completed a lease. They are repaired and inspected to make sure they’re in working order before being sold again.
These laptops will range in price, but you can find lots of models that cost about the same or just a little more than renting a laptop for one month.
Good for: If you don’t need a brand new laptop, but you are looking for an affordable laptop you’d like to keep.
|PCs for the People: Since 1998, PCs for the People has distributed over 80,000 computers nationwide. They don’t do rentals, but if you meet their income eligibility requirements, you can buy one of their refurbished laptops online, starting at around $100.
Good for: A non-profit option, and if you’re looking for discounted internet as well.
How much does it cost to rent computers for personal use?
You should expect to pay at least $100 per month, especially after any extra fees and shipping are included.
However, there’s a huge range! It’s possible to pay less if you need it for a shorter amount of time, and you’re willing to rent a very basic model or a Chromebook (which needs an internet connection to work.)
Meanwhile, high-end laptops — especially gaming laptops — can climb much higher.
When renting a laptop for personal use, what’s the difference between short-term renting and “rent-to-own?”
Think of short-term rentals like renting a car. You pay a set amount to rent for a specific amount of time. Then, you return it on an agreed upon date. Pretty straightforward.
Meanwhile, “rent-to-own” means that you’ll get a laptop and then make payments until it’s paid off.
Lots of retailers offer financing options, but the difference is when you rent-to-own, you don’t own your laptop until you’ve finished making all your payments. You can return it if you decide you don’t like it or you don’t want to make payments anymore.
One important note: If you’re in a rent-to-own contract, when you eventually own your laptop, you will have paid a lot more than if you bought it in full.
|Here’s an example: Let’s say you make 21 monthly payments of $181 for a popular gaming laptop. At the end of 21 months, the final cost of the gaming laptop will be $3,821. However, buying it in full from Amazon, Best Buy, or another retailer would have cost around $1,395.
Also, it’s extremely important that you read the full rent-to-own agreement very carefully. Rent-to-own contracts are notoriously complicated, so make sure you fully understand all the details, hidden fees, and the potential legal and financial consequences of missing payments.
Still not sure where you should rent a laptop for personal use? Here’s a chart with some examples to help you decide where you can rent a laptop:
|Who You Are||What You Need||Where to Rent|
|An employee of a business or non-profit||Rent 40 laptops for a training or event||Meeting Tomorrow. We rent to businesses and non-profit organizations of all sizes who need 5 or more laptops.|
|A student whose laptop broke, and you need one for two months to get through the semester, but you don’t have enough cash on-hand to pay for a new one in full||One new, reliable laptop, ASAP||Rent a Center, Flex Shopper, or Your College/University|
|A sales person giving a presentation out of state||A laptop and projector for two days to show your presentation||Digital One|
|A person who wants to work on a creative writing project, but you don’t want to pay very much, and you don’t need the newest models||A refurbished laptop||A national or local retailer who sells refurbished computers|
How to get started
To begin a rental agreement, simply give your company of choice a call to get the process rolling. But before you rent, here are the questions you need to ask yourself:
Final Parting Reminder: Whenever you sign your name to a rental agreement — for either business or personal use — read the fine print! Laptops are important tools for work, school, art, and more, but it’s important to understand all the details of any contract you sign.