yet another "what laptop to buy" question
October 4, 2019 1:55 PM   Subscribe

I need to replace a Samsung Series 9 ultrabook from (cough) 2013. Which brand? Used? Refurb? Try to wait until Cyber Monday?

The hinge finally snapped, among other things. I don't need a huge speed improvement (though some would be great). I do need to run Windows, MS Word, Audacity (sound recording software), and multiple browser tabs.

I'd like a 15" screen, at least 8MB RAM, and at least a 256 GB SSD. Lightness and durability are super important.

And, like everyone, I don't want to spend too much. Around $500 would be ideal; I could go up to $800, but it would be tough.

Any advice? I'm a little nervous about getting something used/refurb off of ebay. I usually shop on Amazon, but it's hard to find older models there.
posted by mkuhnell to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If possible, go to a physical store where you can touch the models that meet your budget and features. Find something that feels sturdy and where the keyboard doesn't feel cheap as you type.
posted by nalyd at 7:41 PM on October 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

I'm a computer guy (mainframe, server, network, etc.). I'd advise wait until Black Friday. btw, I just checked in my basement and I have 9 monitors and I think 13 PC cases. Anyways, a couple of months ago, Amazon had some sort of summer sale. I saw a laptop that looked interesting for $800, so I asked my wife if I could get an early Christmas present. She said yes. For $800, that laptop blows away my home desktop PC and I also benchmarked it against my work desktop PC. We area talking me getting gobsmacked amazed.
Anyways, I'd advise waiting if possible, for Black Friday.
posted by baegucb at 9:33 PM on October 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

meh, just memail me. My nick means something in Korean, and *if* I can scrub a spare laptop (3 years old maybe), I'll send it to you. I've done sorta stuff that for friends in AU and India.
posted by baegucb at 10:06 PM on October 4, 2019

Just wanted to say I have had nothing but bad luck with refurbs from woot. Do not recommend that avenue.
posted by Hal Mumkin at 4:08 PM on October 5, 2019 [1 favorite]

There are sellers on eBay who sell fresh-off-lease refurbished Thinkpads for about $150 and they are usually excellent buys. Look for the sellers who have sold a few hundred and have "more than ten" available.
posted by megatherium at 4:52 PM on October 5, 2019

Seconding a used Thinkpad. has a reasonable list. I'd start with a higher-end model from 3 years ago and go older or newer as your budget requires. Do a bit of research to ID what model and features you want and you'll have an easier time telling a bad laptop from a good one.

An eBay seller who handles business laptop refurbs is your best bet. That's honestly another reason to consider Thinkpads. They're business models, designed to be sturdy and easily repairable, and there's loads of them floating around the used market. It's easy to find a good one.

Look for a seller with lots of models that each have large numbers of items for sale, great review history, and who clearly lays out what grade of laptop the listing is for. Ex, "This is a B grade laptop with minor visual blemishes but all parts tested and working", "This laptop is sold as-is for parts only". You want to see that the listing contains model or part numbers and looks professional, like something you'd see in a computer store.
posted by Ahniya at 12:23 AM on October 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

« Older Recommendations for a mouse for MacBook Pro?   |   Liquid medication for cats Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.