Laptops forum

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What can you tell me?

by bryanac23 / May 3, 2005 12:56 AM PDT

I am not very knowledgeable on laptops, but I will be buying one in the near future. Being that I am in college, I will only be able to spend 300-500 on a used piece. I would like to get ANY advice on what to look fo in a laptop, and where is a good place to start looking? Ebay, online dealer? Is it possible to get a warranty on any used equipment? ANY reply would be very appreciated, thanks, Bryan

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At 300 to 500, you may end up buying twice.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 3, 2005 1:23 AM PDT
In reply to: What can you tell me?

Such are usually old and tired units or something like my old Compaq with 64MB of RAM that needs more RAM.

My advice is to not purchase such and go with a desktop.


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My laptop history
by Ryan T / May 4, 2005 1:39 AM PDT

As a former poor university student (former applies to both adjectives), I needed a laptop to take notes on.

But my situation is not typical. I am left-handed and have a form of disability that makes taking handwritten notes all but impossible. However, at a young age, I learned to type very fast. Therefore, if I could only have a laptop to type notes on, I could have been happy.

So I went on eBay in June 2003, and I bought a Compaq Armada (Pentium II 400, 64 MB Ram, 4 Gb hard drive), and I got 128 MB of RAM for it. The laptop cost me 225, a new battery cost me $40, and the Ram ran me about $75. All told, I spent much less than $400. What i got was a laptop that ran (and still runs) Windows 2000, Office 2000, and even Dev C++. The thing weighed about 8 lbs and lasted 2 hours on a charge. It was perfect for me.

I sold it in December 2004 for $200 on ebay.

Back in January 2004, I helped an elderly lady purchase a laptop that replaced her Dell Dimension desktop and her Inspiron 4000 laptop. She sold the Inspiron to me for the equivalent of $300 in work. It was a 750-Mhz Pentium IIIm, with 128 MB of Ram and a new battery. Its battery lasted 2.5 hours and it ran Windows XP, Office 2003, Visual Studio 2003, and more.

I sold it in December 2004 for $500 on ebay with a wireless router, wireless network card, all the original software, packaging, and accessories, plus a license for Windows XP Professional.

In the end of November 2004 I bought a Dell Inspiron 8600 new from the Dell Refurbished site. They were running some amazing deals for Thanksgiving Weekend, and I got it for $899. It has a 1.5 GHz Pentium M Dothan with 512 MB Ram, a CDRW, and a 30 GB Hard Drive (not to mention a 15.4" beautiful widescreen).

If you're in the same boat as me, I would recommend one of two things.

1. A dell inspiron 4000. These are good, solid computers from 2002-2003, Pentium III-M processors between 600Mhz and 1 Ghz, and this is a good specimen. They sell for pretty cheap on Ebay. Count on buying a new battery for it though.

2. Dell Refurbished. Depending on their weekly sales, you can find some low-end but brand new (read: better performance and more ram than a Pentium III) laptop for about $500 before tax and shipping. You'll be looking at entry-level models like the Inspiron 1000, 1200, and 2200, but those are good systems.

I could not be happier with my two Dell Refurb purchases.

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