Old laptops!


Dec 23, 2006
So I'm looking for two or three laptops and the use case is a bit weird.

These are for my dad who is almost 80, and, well, he is set in his ways when it comes to computers. He likes old business class 15" laptops that are heavy and chunky, have an optical burner because his MO is burning audio CDs then listening to them in a chair in a CD player, and are old and cheap enough that if he goes through a new one every 6 months, no big deal. Usage is basic web browsing, e-mail, burning CDs and occasionally DVDs, and watching videos. Must support Windows 10 in a basic capacity. Brighter screen is better.

He is super handy and can replace a failed drive, create a Windows 10 image, install it, update it, get it on the network and go about his business by himself! What he relies on me for is an endless supply of laptops whenever the previous one breaks.

I have been looking for HP Elitebook 8530s and Lenovo T530s (that class of laptop...) but mainly because at the time they were brand new, I was in a different career buying 100s to 1000s of them so I knew them well. Since then I am in a different career space and have little idea the trajectory of Windows business laptops since the 8530/T530 era, I was wondering if my friends here have suggestions on newer hardware I should look for that (a) is still dirt cheap because nobody would want it (b) newer than what I was buying and (c) still ticks the boxes of being thick, heavy, and carrying an optical burner of some kind.

I'm also asking because I know that at some point laptops slimmed down and lost burners and easily serviceable 2.5" drive bays, which are kind of important here :)

Business laptops definitely preferred so that both he or I can easily tear them down, clean them up, etc.

And of course if you're in the SF Bay Area and have a good lead on this kind of thing, hit me up!