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new laptop?

narlus

Eastcoast Softcore
Staff member
Nov 7, 2001
24,658
25
behind the viewfinder
my 5 y/o toshiba finally died (screen), and since the kids are on the other one a lot (an HP we bought a couple of years ago after the Toshiba's HD failed) playing games (web, not from disc) i wanna get them a cheap one so we can reclaim the other one for general use.

so, what's the best option?

refurbed model
ebay
something off tigerdirect et al.

i am likely not gonna go the ebay route, not enough savings to justify the risk. any thoughts on particular brands? if i could stay w/ XP home/pro that would be a bonus, after hearing the horror stories re: Vista.
 

syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,721
290
VT
You could steal Mike B.'s laptop, I heard he got it for real cheap.

I say refurb unless you get a good deal. Get a 3 year warranty on the laptop - its worth it. Also try to get a 7200RPM HDD. If you are looking at Dells, get something from their business/latitude line - they have the three year warranty included, better build quality, North American based support, etc... The HP business laptops are pretty decent too. The Macbook Pro is a decent value for what you are getting, but its pretty expensive and you'll need to factor in the cost of the extended warranty(Applecare) too.

As long as you buy Vista Business or Ultimate you have downgrade rights for XP Pro - you can use XP until Vista ripens to your liking and switch then. Office 2007 OEM does not have downgrade rights though - only retail editions.
 

syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,721
290
VT
could i reasonably get a machine like that for about $600 or so?
I think that's a little too low. Keep in mind these come with a three year warranty:

$850 (scratch and dent, but we've never received one with a noticeable scratch or dent):

http://outlet.us.dell.com/ARBOnlineSales/topics/global.aspx/arb/online/en/InventoryDetails?systemId=ZM0HFKE8&~lt=popup&c=us&l=en&s=dfb&cs=28

$830 (certified refurb):

http://outlet.us.dell.com/ARBOnlineSales/topics/global.aspx/arb/online/en/InventoryDetails?systemId=04MWRPDD&~lt=popup&c=us&l=en&s=dfb&cs=28
 

narlus

Eastcoast Softcore
Staff member
Nov 7, 2001
24,658
25
behind the viewfinder
that seems overkill for what i want though...our HP works fine, but if we can't find a cheaper model we can give that to the kids and use the new one...basically my wife checks email and surfs w/ it, and i do the same. i'd also use it to rip LPs to mp3s, and maybe browse my photos for initial selection/culling (but w/ RAW files of ~7MB each, it gets a bit slow over wireless).
 

syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,721
290
VT
Yeah but its really not that much considering it already includes the extended warranty, 7200RPM, etc. When you decide to switch to Vista its licensed for it and has the extra hp you'll need.
 

syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,721
290
VT
are Dells' good from a reliability standpoint?
The consumer notebooks aren't made as well as the business/professional models as a general rule - both for HP and Dell. I haven't really seen to many XPS and they are all brand new for this year so who knows about them. Vostro is Dell's new cheap small business brand and they only have a 1 year warranty.

As far as reliability laptop failure isn't uncommon with any brand - HDD like you experienced is quite common. The different between major brands is within a few percent, here are the rates for consumer laptops.

We still have many Dell P3 Latitude - mostly retired but still working - the only common issue (probably about 1/4 them) we had was a defect with the trackpad after many years you would get some random movement due to contact from long term use you could fix by opening the unit up and putting paper inbetween as a spacer.

Since you already have a desktop I guess you really need this laptop - is it for travel or due to lack of space?
 

narlus

Eastcoast Softcore
Staff member
Nov 7, 2001
24,658
25
behind the viewfinder
Since you already have a desktop I guess you really need this laptop - is it for travel or due to lack of space?

first words i typed:
my 5 y/o toshiba finally died (screen), and since the kids are on the other one a lot (an HP we bought a couple of years ago after the Toshiba's HD failed) playing games (web, not from disc) i wanna get them a cheap one so we can reclaim the other one for general use.
:busted:
 

syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,721
290
VT
I thought you meant you had two laptops - other one being the other laptop. You didn't specify what the other was besides brand, sorry I don't have ESP :busted:
 

narlus

Eastcoast Softcore
Staff member
Nov 7, 2001
24,658
25
behind the viewfinder
i do have two laptops.

5 y/o toshiba = dead (due to screen failure)
2 y/o HP = functioning

i just want a basic machine, nothing fancy at all.
 

syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,721
290
VT
i just want a basic machine, nothing fancy at all.
Well you can get a cheap consumer laptop with poor build quality and lower specs with a 1 year warranty and telephone support from Asia or you can get professional refurb laptop for the same price as the cheap $600 laptop with an extended warranty and its got enough power to run Vista well when you decide to upgrade. Don't you think that is worthwhile?
 

binary visions

The voice of reason
Jun 13, 2002
21,653
401
NC
Tim, I've bought this office, or people in this office, 6 Dell laptops in the last year, and recommended 2 more, and haven't had a non-software issue with any of them. That's in addition to 4 Dell Desktops which have also been 100% good. So my experience with recent models is the same as my experience with old models: all very solid laptops with the best bang-for-the-buck that you can get. They fail slightly more often than the Thinkpads, and the build quality is generally not as great.

The Inspirons are, in fact, fairly cheaply built... but hey, you want to spend $600 on a laptop, you're not going to get a world class build quality. The link H8R provided is a fine laptop. I might spring for the extra $100 processor upgrade but if you're looking for something very basic for web games and such, there's no reason that wouldn't suffice.
 

narlus

Eastcoast Softcore
Staff member
Nov 7, 2001
24,658
25
behind the viewfinder
i was eyeing some refurb's on shopzilla.com....like i said, i just want a basic machine...my desktop started making some funny noises and i gotta budget for a replacement for that one at some point...
 

syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,721
290
VT
that looks good. now how do i go about buying it?
You can order direct on the website:
http://outlet.us.dell.com/ARBOnlineSales/topics/global.aspx/arb/online/en/InventorySearch?c=us&cs=28&l=en&lob=VOSNB&MODEL_DESC=Vostro 1400&s=dfb

You have to add it to your shopping cart and check out - just use System Identifier: EP047CDD or call them on the phone 1-888-518-3355

All systems are subject to availability but it still up on their site right now.

You can sort by price and find another if that one goes. This one looks decent too 40GB less HDD though:

http://outlet.us.dell.com/ARBOnlineSales/topics/global.aspx/arb/online/en/InventoryDetails?systemId=FXD1DRE8&~lt=popup&c=us&l=en&s=dfb&cs=28
 

syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,721
290
VT
Note those are Vostro like H8R recommended above so keep in mind they only have a 1 year warranty - extended warranty cost extra.
 

Qman

Monkey
Feb 7, 2005
633
0
Walla Walla State Pen
I just bought a Toshiba laptop from costco.com.
Price was better than the "Employee Purchase Program" I had access to. With the 2% costco rebate and the 5 free HD DVD's, it works out to be a pretty good deal. Not to mention the 90 day, no questions asked return policy. They sell Dell too.

Oh yeah, you can use any credit card you want on Costco.com so there's some free air miles thown in to boot.