Here's a recent model we are adding to the office laptop pool. Yes, it is out of stock but an example of what we look for in the refurbs for the office.
https://www.woot.com/offers/hp-elitebook-745-14-amd-a10-laptop is 221USD to our office door.
It's not the cheap Pavillion consumer line but one of their up level grade models.
The Acer Aspire lines are consumer grade lines that folk get from 2 to more years use from.
As to Windows 8 compatibility I worry that you may be still new to Windows. Very very few PCs are "compatible" as in "Install Windows" and it just works. The ONLY laptop that worked on was our Microsoft Surface models.
Similar deals on Groupon follow. I may add a comment.
https://www.groupon.com/deals/gg-cm-hp-elitebook-8460p-14-laptop-8gb-ram-128gb-ssd-refurbished-a-grade is very nice with an i5 CPU but 128GB SSD may be a bit small for some. Later you could shop a larger SSD. I've seen 240 to 256GB for under 40 bucks. 240USD
https://www.groupon.com/deals/gg-cm-hp-elitebook-8470p-14-intel-core-i5-2-6ghz-8gb-ram-500gb-hdd-refurbished is OK but it has a HDD so not going to boot and be as snappy in performance. Stick to A GRADE models on refurbs.
https://www.groupon.com/deals/gg-cm-dell-latitude-3340-13-3-intel-core-i3-1-7ghz-4gb-128gb-ssd-webcam-refurbished is only 214USD but small SSD that you can change later. The Latitude is a step up from the Inspiron line but only 4GB so this and the lesser i3 CPU has me write this is not as good a deal but it is cheap and great for someone with no budget for new and needs a Windows laptop.
I have an Acer Aspire V5 and I kind of hate it. This laptop broke again and again and back when I bought it, I had a ton of compatibility issues with Windows 8 as well. Over the years, I had to replace the fan, keyboard, hard drive and the charger is about to fail. Also, it's impossible to use this laptop for more than 2 hours straight because the battery sucks. I've been doing some research to replace it with another computer, but most laptops are around the $1000 or over and that's just a lot of money. What are some cheap alternatives? I know you have to make some concessions when it comes to $300 laptops. I'd love a laptop around that prince range that's not going to break apart just by looking at it and I'd love it if it had a nice 1080p screen, but maybe that's not possible for the money. To be clear, I'm looking for a laptop that allows me to: surf around the internet with no major hiccups and I can watch movies and TV series. A 14-inch screen would be perfect as well. The only option I found was the HP Stream. Those are around $200-300, but they only have 32GB of storage and that's a problem because you can't really install any Windows 10 updates as far as I know and you can-t upgrade the storage. Any ideas? Or should I save more money?