A number of vendors, including Dell, Lenovo, HP and Toshiba allow you to custom configure your notebook when ordering from their websites. Unfortunately, they charge you a lot more for RAM and storage upgrades than you’d pay if you bought the parts on your own and installed them at home. For example, Lenovo charges $80 more for a ThinkPad T430 with 8GB of RAM than with 4GB. Meanwhile, you can buy a name-brand 4GB SODIMM for just $23 online.
Dell charges $346 more for a Latitude E6430 with a 256GB SSD than the same system with 320GB hard drive while online you can buy a reputable 256GB SSD for under $200 or the blazing-fast Samsung 840 PRO Series for around $230. If it costs you $23 for a SODIMM and $200 for an SSD at retail, how much less must it cost PC vendors, who buy parts in bulk at wholesale, but jack up the margins on their customers?
Solution: Buy a notebook with the lowest amount of RAM and smallest hard drive available. Then purchase your own memory and SSD or hard drive upgrade at a low-cost retailer like NewEgg or Tiger Direct.