Buying a refurbished laptop - advice welcomed

Thread Starter

Elektrishun

Joined Dec 27, 2016
58
I am a diehard Apple products user for over 15 years but I am considering making the move to a PC laptop. I have a shoestring budget but I feel that for my purposes it will suffice. I am not a gamer and if I need to do any video editing I will go back my iMac. What I want the laptop for is:

- portability (mainly from the house to the workshop)
- for use with such devices as Arduino, Zelio, Fluke test equipment, etc

I am not totally unfamiliar with Windows as I have experience using Windows 7 both at work and a virtual version on my iMac at home.

Here's what I am looking at as a possible laptop purchase:

https://www.amazon.ca/gp/offer-list...?ie=UTF8&condition=all&qid=1483035139&sr=1-21

It's a refurbished Lenovo T430. I've had luck with refurbished electronics before. My iMac was purchased through the online Apple refurb store and has been working flawlessly for years. Any thoughts on this model? Worth the asking price?

Please note - price is Canadian funds. You might see a laptop on an American website that looks cheaper but then I'd have pay quite a bit for the exchange :)
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
25,017
I have always picked up used L.T.'s , I just picked up a nice off lease HP ProBook locally with Win7 for $250.00
I upgraded to 10 for free.
One of the reasons is I wanted a later model but I also use RS232 devices and this had a COM port which is rare these days on a L.T.
Max.
 

OBW0549

Joined Mar 2, 2015
3,566
I can't comment on the Lenovo T430 you cited, but I have had pretty good luck buying refurbished Windows laptops from Amazon and its affiliated 3rd-party sellers. So far I've bought four refurbished Dell Lattitude D630 WinXP machines from them, all in the $100-$140 (US) price range, and the only problem has been that on one of the machines the battery was dead and I had to replace it ($12).
 

shteii01

Joined Feb 19, 2010
4,644
Is that one of those business lease versions? They usually have 12-14" screens.

My advice is keep looking for one with 15" screen.
 

wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
17,167
Is there such a thing as craigslist where you live? I've bought refurbs from the Apple store, but I'd be reluctant to do so elsewhere without knowing more about the laptop and the supplier. Being able to meet the previous owner and look over the laptop in person has some value and at times you can find very good deals from motivated sellers.

That said, for only a couple hundred bucks you're not risking all that much.

And if it was me, I'd just upgrade my MacBook to handle whatever extra functions I would need on the dark side. Dual boot into Windows as a last resort.
 

Thread Starter

Elektrishun

Joined Dec 27, 2016
58
Looked through the responses, thank-you.

Went with the suggestion to look on Kijiji. Found this ad:

http://www.kijiji.ca/v-laptops/sask...-1/1227444455?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true

"HP EliteBook 8560P Used to be $399

Now to be $360

Intel Core i7 - 2720QM real quad core 2.20GHz

8GB DDR3 ( 2 * 4GB DDR3 1600MHz)

250GB HDD
(SSD upgrade available)

AMD Radeon HD 6470M 1GB dedicated video card

Webcam / DVD-RW / USB / E-SATA / Firewire / Fingerprint

Win 10 pro
Microsoft Office

3 months warranty"

Is it a local business but the price is right. My biggest problem is my lack of PC laptop user experience. I've been going cross-eyed looking at all the various models, reviews, etc.
 

wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
17,167
I don't think you'd regret that purchase as long as it has all you need. Having a local guy could be handy if you need a little help from time to time.
 

Thread Starter

Elektrishun

Joined Dec 27, 2016
58
If you follow the link the screen size is shown as 15".

I tried to find some reviews of the business online and it was mostly positive with one negative review which didn't sound too convincing. They've been in business for 3 years so it's not a fly-by-night operation.
 

Thread Starter

Elektrishun

Joined Dec 27, 2016
58
The one I picked up locally through Kijiji was a HP 8550 off lease, only $250.00.
$900.00 seems a little steep unless new.
Is that is Can$ or $US?
Max.
That is Newegg.com so it's American which, like you stated, seems really expensive.

BTW, I checked out that local HP 8560P in person. Has a pretty good ding in the metal frame on one side of the monitor. Otherwise it looked in very good condition. Not sure how long a version of Windows 10 Pro should take to load but it seemed from the time it was powered up to fully loaded about 1 min.
 

shteii01

Joined Feb 19, 2010
4,644
If you follow the link the screen size is shown as 15".

I tried to find some reviews of the business online and it was mostly positive with one negative review which didn't sound too convincing. They've been in business for 3 years so it's not a fly-by-night operation.
Lenovo T430 is 14" screen. Just like I feared. That is why they and other laptops like them sell in US for 199 or so. Nobody wants that 14" screen.

HP 8560p is 15.6".
It has more ram.
It is better than the Lenovo T430. Is it 100 CAN better? Probably.

Since Chinese bought Newegg, it has not been all that great. I hate Amazon sorting/filtering system, but I think I bought more from Amazon this year and a lot more from Ebay. I hardly check Newegg anymore.
 
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wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
17,167
@Elektrishun , as a Mac user I'm still confused over why you wouldn't just use your Mac, whether it's one you already have or an "upgrade". My 5-yr old MacBook would easily run Windows 10 if I was so inclined.

I'm not saying there's anything wrong with some other laptop, but my thinking is that you'd reduce all your "ecosystem" costs by sticking to one hardware. Software, chargers, peripherals, your knowledge/ability to maintain the equipment (like knowing how to replace the battery pack or hard drive, having done it before), and so on. Maintaining 2 ecosystems will raise costs and the hassle factor.
 

Thread Starter

Elektrishun

Joined Dec 27, 2016
58
@Elektrishun , as a Mac user I'm still confused over why you wouldn't just use your Mac, whether it's one you already have or an "upgrade". My 5-yr old MacBook would easily run Windows 10 if I was so inclined.

I'm not saying there's anything wrong with some other laptop, but my thinking is that you'd reduce all your "ecosystem" costs by sticking to one hardware. Software, chargers, peripherals, your knowledge/ability to maintain the equipment (like knowing how to replace the battery pack or hard drive, having done it before), and so on. Maintaining 2 ecosystems will raise costs and the hassle factor.
A Mac laptop being used almost exclusively for the purpose of running Windows friendly software seems like a waste of good hardware. If it were possible to get an Mac OS version of the types of software I keep running into through my work then it would be a no-brainer.
 

Thread Starter

Elektrishun

Joined Dec 27, 2016
58
Well, I finally bought a laptop. It is a refurbished HP Elitebook 8540W. Found it on eBay. I paid CDN $326.00 (includes shipping and import charges). I think the price is good and hopefully the end product is equally good. Spent many hours sifting through various reviews and I really zeroed in on this particular model because of it's connectivity options - you can plug just about anything into it short of a toaster. The seller is a "certified refurbisher" with a stellar rep and well over a 1000 sales. Supposedly the battery still holds a charge but like most sellers there's "no guarantee". Windows 7 Pro COA and a 6 month warranty.
 
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