T Nation

Used Laptops

After a long and miserable illness, my poor laptop has finally bit the dust. As such, I’m in the process of looking for a new one, with the Dell Latitude being the frontrunner right now. I’m probably going to buy a used one, and was wondering if anyone has any experience with used laptops. Specifically, did you buy it online and, if so, where? How about price, useful life, and customer service? It seems that online retailers are much easier simply because it’s pretty tough to find an actual outlet nearby, let alone several to do price comparisons. Plus, selection is a lot better. Any advice would definitely be appreciated. Thanks.

If you can in any way afford it, get a NEW DELL laptop and get the 3 year warranty. Laptops tend to have problems far more often than desktops, so I wouldnt want to have a used one whose history I didn’t know. I have had to send my laptop in to DELL twice, and their support is amazing. Airborne comes and picks it up (no cost to you) and has it back to you repaired the next day or the day after!

Some of the DELL Inspirons sell for a very reasonable price, check it out.

Uh, Jim: The reason you say that laptops tend to have more problems than desktops is because you are using a DELL. I’m not a fan of DELL. My last company was entirely outfited with DELL (both desktops and laptops) - and the general consensus was “DELL sucked”. Also, Consumer Reports has put DELL in their “Rogue” department. And for good reason, poor customer and sales service.

As for a "used" laptop. Some companies have a "refurbished" department. I'm a big fan of Toshiba laptops. We got one for Ko's mom. It's a awesome machine. When I go shopping for a laptop, it'll either be a Toshiba, iBook or PowerBook G4.

Check out Amazon.com - they do sell hardware. Plus you can read comments made by the folks who purchased the items. I think Half.com does the same thing. Gives you a good idea of what works and what doesn't.

Screw all the name brands. Intel sucks and they’re over-priced and over-rated. Get a no name brand with an AMD in it. Look for AlienWare computers and laptops. A great website for computers and hardware is http://www.shopper.com Seriously give the no name brands a shot, and again Pentiums are garbage.

You can save a fair amount of money by buying factory rebuilds. Everything is the same including the warranty. Just have the operator transfer you to that department. Their section is not great, but their price usually is.
Best of Luck.

Thanks for the advice. Do you talk directly to the factory (e.g. Dell) or is it through a third party?

I have a Toshiba Satellite. I bought it direct from Toshiba online, got it at a discounted price and am very satisfied with it. Any problems that I havehad were Windows (Microsoft) related and not Toshiba. Alternatively, www.ubid.com has great prices on refurbished computers (desk & laptops)

I have a Micron, and I’ve been pretty happy with it. Their basic service plan includes a year of on site maintence - and that’s to my house. They have excellent customer service too. Any place that sells PC’s will have a department for returned/repaired merchandise, just call. micronPC.com

You talk directly with Dell. The operator can transfer you to the right Cutomer Service Representative.

Most places offer one year without interest, this is how i bought mine @ Best buy.