Laptop suggestion - should I go with refurbished?

spacediver

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Mar 14, 2013
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Looking for a laptop, and hoping to spend under $250.

I'll be using this mainly for display/tv calibration, and will be using windows XP. Additionally may be used for email when traveling. So will be running pretty non demanding software. I will also be giving presentations on it, so would need to run openoffice, etc.

I've noticed some laptops have under-powered USB ports, and that's something I want to avoid, although a powered USB hub may solve this issue.

Small screen size is fine, even 11 inches, and would be nice (but not necessary) to have good viewing angles.

One thing I am wary of is pre-installed software on many laptops. I need something that I can format easily and install my own OS the way I want it, and not have to deal with software that's installed deep into the system.

A friend recommended I look into refurbished Dell latitude laptops, but having little to no experience with laptops, I'd like to get some more opinions.

For what it's worth, I live in Toronto, Canada.
 
Joined
Sep 17, 2012
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The company I work for looks for Dell refurbs for people that need a single system all the time. Less selection, but you can save a lot of money, and it retains the full warranty as if it was bought new.
 

jimh425

Gawd
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Jan 7, 2012
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I'm not really a fan of Dell laptop designs. However, for a low cost computer that is compatible, I think you are better off buying a lower priced refurb than a newer low quality one. There are some exceptions.

Pick the OS you want to run and validate through forums, etc that it works on the model you plan to buy. Sometimes similar looking laptops from the same company have different components. You'll probably be more compatible with a year or two old laptop compared to a brand new cheap model. I'm not really sure why you'd want to run XP, but if you need a tool that only runs on XP, and Windows 7 XP Mode won't work, I guess that's ok.

I find most hardware either dies pretty quick or lasts pretty well.
 

spacediver

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thanks all, appreciate the sanity check. Win XP, because WinDAS (for accessing service menu of trinitron CRTs) is easier to set up in XP, and also because an older machine will probably run smoother on XP.
 

dbu8554

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So your not looking for a refurb your looking for an old ass laptop right? Just wondering check out lenovo outlet they have lots of options usually under 250 even i3 options but everything will come with windows 8 not sure if they will have XP drivers or how poorly it would run on XP but whatever.
 

spacediver

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well not too old - want to be able to run Matlab on it, for example, and a halfway decent video card. I just figured refurb would be a cheaper option than buying brand new.
 

Quartz-1

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May 20, 2011
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You should ensure the laptop comes with a brand new battery. Otherwise you could end up - as I did - with a laptop with a battery life of ~5 minutes.
 

spacediver

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Mar 14, 2013
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Ended up buying a second hand lenovo thinkpad T400 off kijiji - 2.66 ghz, 4 gig ram, 160 gig hd. $220. Came with a fresh install of win7, and I think I managed to get the WinDAS software working on it, so may not need to use XP.

thanks for all the suggestions.
 
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