Laptop Rentals

Category: Laptops

Renting a laptop for a day, a week, or a month is easier than you might think. A number of firms specialize in laptop rentals on a local or nationwide basis, and so do some of the rent-to-own stores found in major metropolitan areas. Here's the scoop on renting a laptop...

Should You Rent a Laptop?

If you need a laptop just for a trip, a special event or because your laptop is down for repair, a laptop rental may be a good option. But depending on how you go about it, renting a laptop could be almost as expensive as buying a used one. Here are some tips to consider.

RentAComputer is one laptop rental specialist. They rent to anyone, anywhere in the United States, unlike some laptop rental places that will rent only to businesses. I emailed RentAComputer a request for a quote on a one-week rental of a "standard" laptop and within an hour received this proposal back:

  • Intel Pentium 2-3Ghz Notebook
  • 1GB Ram / 40gb Hard Drive / CDRW / DVD
  • 10/100 Ethernet / 802.11g Wireless
  • Windows XP Pro SP3 / MS Office 2007
  • Adobe Reader / IE 8 / Anti-Virus
  • Carrying Case / External Mouse w/ Pad
Laptop Rentals

It's a pretty bare-bones system, but good enough to run Windows XP and the included apps. The cost was rather steep, though: $125 rent, plus $95 for delivery and pickup. For $220, one could probably buy a comparable laptop on Craigslist. There were some other terms that one should be aware of, too.

Cancellation fees may apply if you refuse delivery of the system or cancel without sufficient advance notice. Refuse a delivery from RentAComputer and you can kiss 100% of the rental and delivery charge goodbye! You lose 50% if you cancel less than 48 hours before scheduled delivery.

When renting a laptop, you should make sure the unit you rent does have the software you'll need. At a minimum, look for an office suite, and up-to-date anti-virus protection. Also, it's a good idea to have your own USB flash drive to save your work, so you don't accidentally leave anything personal or confidential on the laptop when returning it.

RentAComputer and, presumably, any nationwide laptop rentals firm needs 10 days to deliver your rented laptop. A laptop rental for a trade show or other scheduled event is no problem, but if your laptop just broke down and you need a temporary replacement right now, you will have to rent locally.

Local Options for Laptop Rental

Since I leave near New York City, I googled "Laptop Rentals in NYC" and found one that rents both Dell and Apple Macbook laptops for $49/day or $99/week. The advantage is that you can pick it up and drop it off yourself, saving the expense and wait time of a delivery service.

"Computer rentals" may be a category in your local Yellow Pages. Local computer resellers, builders, and service centers may have unadvertised rental programs. Nationwide chains of rent-to-own centers such as RentACenter rent laptops as well as furniture, TVs, and major appliances.

I'm sure I don't have to tell you that "rent-to-own" is for dummies. A year's rent usually amounts to much more than the cost of buying a thing new. Save your money and delay gratification if at all possible. But if you absolutely must have a laptop for a short period of time, laptop rental may be your only option.

Many laptop rental vendors also rent large-screen monitors, computerized kiosks, huge projection screens, and other gadgets used by trade show exhibitors and conference presenters. is one such specialist in event rentals. One advantage of such rentals is that you don't have to lug equipment to the event; it's delivered there and often setup by trained installers.

Laptop rentals are used mostly by businesses, but sole proprietors and professionals are frequent renters too. Consumers rarely rent laptops as their needs are seldom urgent. But it's good to know about laptop rental options just in case.

Do you have something to say about renting a laptop? Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "Laptop Rentals"

Posted by:

14 Feb 2011

very good advice, I myself was wondering this also

Posted by:

15 Feb 2011

Just like to commet on renting a computer. I have just got my laptop paid for from Aarons. I have bad credit and could not afford to purchase one. I am going to get me a new desktop the same way. If I don,t like I only have to take it back

Posted by:

JR "Bob" Dobbs
15 Feb 2011

I'm seeing much better deals (more RAM/HD/CPU- less $$) for sales on Craiglist in my area. If you've got an expense account, or are able to write off the rental on taxes, it would seem more advantageous to purchase, then re-sell after you're done. If it's a relatively short period, you could likely come out even, or possibly with a small profit.
(REALLY good finds on Craigslist....)

Posted by:

16 Feb 2011

I had a horrible experience at a Rent-A-Center and just gave up on the thought of renting a laptop for the long weekend. In contrast to renting an almost new $45,000 car at the airport where all that's needed is a credit card and driver's license, Rent-A-Center wanted a whole credit app with references. The paperwork was more like renting an apartment or a house. The store was almost empty and they still asked me to come back in half an hour. When I came back they said they couldn't rent to me because they couldn't get hold of my references. So this time I called my references up front to make sure they'd be home for the next hour. Came back another half hour later and all was good except the they said I'd have to pay the monthly rather than the weekly. That's when I tore up the paperwork and left. When I went on-line to complain to customer service, they signed me up for their daily e-mail specials.

My friends said I should have just bought one at Wal Mart and taken it back at the end of the weekend, but I think that is unethical.

Posted by:

02 Apr 2011

About a year ago, my computer crashed, right on the heels of a move. While it was being fixed, I went to Rent-a-Center to rent a netbook. It was indeed an involved process, involving a credit app...but as I remember it, it only cost me $19.95 plus taxes and fees for the week. Seemed worth it to me, when the alternative was no computer access at all!

Posted by:

24 Jun 2012

I have rented exactly 2 laptops (so far) in my life. Once with a large company at $68 bucks a week for an outdated however slightly used PC. That lasted 1 month. I had my gateway crash after four years of loyal service and am addicted to mu pc so went to another well known renter Aaron s, and got the display model never used store model for the used price although technically it was not used and was restored to factory settings completely for my peace of mind was turned over to me as mr being the owner of the pc and no problems so far about 6 months in and am 100% satisfied. I also only pay 91 bucks a month, as compared to 68 a wk with a bad pc.
If renting is possible find a good company find out your rights and get quality merchandise.

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