Where can I rent a laptop? (UK edition)
November 12, 2017 7:54 AM   Subscribe

Over this Christmas period, I've got a fair amount of time off from work, and although I'll be seeing friends and family, I'm going to have a large amount of time by myself with not a great deal of money or anything to do..... I'm going to be living by myself for the first time in a while, without a TV and want to be able to rent a laptop for this period, primarily to watch films via streaming on, and re-play an old cracked copy of Half Life 2 I've got.

I already have a laptop, but it's very old and can't handle most video (too demanding on the processor, think lots of dropped frames), and can only play Half Life 2 on ultra low details settings/resolution. I really don't want to buy a new laptop because I barely use this one as it is and it actually works very well for the handful of things I need it for that my phone can't do, but I'm really struggling to find somewhere I can get a laptop for a brief period of time from!

We only have desktop computers at work, so I can't borrow one of those and I can only think of a handful of people who would actually allow me to borrow their own laptop for a couple of weeks, and unfortunately these machines are nearly as ancient as mine... I'm not a member of a university, where they often have loaner laptops, and I don't know anyone else (close to me) who is either.

I've found various places that will rent you cars, televisions, washing machines and many other things but nowhere that seems to do laptops (with the exception of places that rent directly to business), although I swear you used to be able to rent them. There is a previous question on the green asking all this, but it's over ten years ago, and US related... Any ideas?
posted by inner_frustration to Shopping (6 answers total)
I would think a new tablet or refurbished laptop might cost less than renting one.
posted by maurreen at 8:28 AM on November 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

Peer-to-peer renting? You don't state location but fat lama is worth a look.
posted by redpajamas at 8:38 AM on November 12, 2017

Yes, i used to rent laptops (for events), from companies that provide AV Equipment for events, as far as i know they still do, but it was not at all cheap which is why we bought several so as not to waste money renting for an amount that woulld have bought one.
posted by 15L06 at 9:19 AM on November 12, 2017

How long? Either abuse the Apple Store returns policy or buy something off ebay and then flip it in when done.
posted by turkeyphant at 10:18 AM on November 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

Easier than flipping something off ebay is to go to your local CeX store, and buy something from them, then sell it back to them when you're done. You get to know what they'll sell it you for and it's guaranteed, and you know what they'll buy it back from you for.

That said, it's not going to be cheap – it looks as if most of their £150ish laptops have a trade-in value of £75.
posted by ambrosen at 12:14 PM on November 12, 2017

Does it have to be a laptop? It will almost certainly be cheaper to buy an ex-lease PC + screen from eBay & you can make sure you can get something that will play HL2 that way.

(NB, if you do get a PC & it comes with an anaemic graphics card, then ping me & I’ll post you my old one. It’s sat in a box doing nothing right now, but it’ll happily take on HL2 no sweat.)
posted by pharm at 1:38 PM on November 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

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