Buying a laptop now can be a bit tricky in the modern world of soldered components.
I prefer buying a unit with as good a CPU and memory as I can afford. I typically try to buy with a HDD. I confirm operation and then swap to SSD/M.2 and add more memory. It's far more value for the dollar that way on capable machines.
The current Dell Inspiron I am using cost me just at $4, just over $500 with the SSD and a stick of memory, and the exact comparable model was listed almost $800.