What are some small, swift laptops without Vista?
June 22, 2007 3:14 PM   Subscribe

Where is the small, swift laptop without vista?

I have about 800 dollars to spend on a laptop. In my searches, Ive been led to curse dell and vista under my breath in frustration. Does anyone have any ideas about where I can find a small laptop to suit me?

I demand:
Windows XP
1 gig of ram
Less than 6 pounds.
Decent battery life.

To be honest, I will really use this computer mostly to check my email, tote around on my bicycle to steal wireless from unsuspecting coffee shops and to pirate music. Ive looked at previous posts but of course new information on this is constant.
posted by cloeburner to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
could you not buy a cheap OEM copy of XP and install it on any laptop you wanted?
posted by modernnomad at 3:18 PM on June 22, 2007

You might have a better bet looking at refurbs or overruns, somewhere like ecost or tigerdirect. For a bit Dell went back to making XP an option, but most newly built units are going to be Vista-centric.
posted by pupdog at 3:20 PM on June 22, 2007

Buy laptop with Vista. Download XP from P2P. Tada?
posted by rancidchickn at 3:20 PM on June 22, 2007

Maybe a slightly older IBM (er, Lenovo) T series? My T60, newest model to still have XP instead of Vista, was about a grand after student discount, though it fits all of your other specifications. Maybe a somewhat older one would be around 800. Or, check eBay for a barely-used one?
posted by rkent at 3:25 PM on June 22, 2007

Since it doesn't look like you need a powerful processor, consider the Kohjinsha or equivalent UMPC. I tried one out and it's pretty awesome. Tiny, but able to do anything I'd usually need.
posted by pantsrobot at 3:26 PM on June 22, 2007

I have bought a laptop without an OS (just a BIOS) in a oxfam second-hand computer store.

My goal was to install Ubuntu.

So if you're looking for a laptop without Vista you may look there but 1 gig of ram looks a bit much for the second-hand circuit right now.
posted by Baud at 3:31 PM on June 22, 2007

You could pick up a refurbished T40/41/42 for around that pricing. You'd have to stick in another RAM chip to get it up to a gig, but RAM's cheap.
posted by devilsbrigade at 3:44 PM on June 22, 2007

Thinkpad X series if you want superlight and are ok with leaving the DVD drive at home.
posted by true at 4:45 PM on June 22, 2007

go to Dealnews and set up an email alert for it-- I have seen laptops that meet your criteria in the past three weeks (for less than you want to spend). Dell offers deal with Vista, but very often will also allow the XP option--as mentioned above.
posted by exlotuseater at 5:17 PM on June 22, 2007

mostly to check my email, tote around on my bicycle to steal wireless from unsuspecting coffee shops and to pirate music.

It sounds exactly like what I do with my laptop. I've got a Dell Latitude X200 and it works perfectly for all that. It has a 933Mhz processor which does everything I need it to do. I also upgraded it to 1GB RAM and it is awesome. The best part is the size - 12.1" screen, less than 2cms (3/4 inch) when closed, 1.35kg (3 pounds).

You can pick them up for a few hundred dollars on eBay and then spend the rest kitting it out as you wish.
posted by cholly at 5:32 PM on June 22, 2007

Try this - everything (I think) that you're looking for, for about $500.
posted by jbickers at 6:58 PM on June 22, 2007

I've been looking for something even leaner and cheaper myself. As much as it's getting panned on the 'tubes Palm's Foleo looks like a great little machine, though no XP. About every app I need (word processing, spreadsheet, even LaTeX->PDF conversion) can be found in some online form, as can storage space. The Foleo isn't game ready (AFAIAC) but the idea is great--small, light, fast, cheap web access with flash. I'm hoping some copycats will make it better and cheaper.

All that said if you can get one of the machines listed above for a good price and offload most of the computing work to Google et al. you'll be good.
posted by monkeymadness at 7:27 PM on June 22, 2007

My recently purchased T40 refurb came from TigerDirect with a year's warranty for $500 - 512/20gb/1.5ghz and an open slot for more RAM. It's got a big footprint (10"x12.25"), but thin(1.125"), which is kind of a problem in that it dosen't fit in some of the nicer laptop cases I had in mind (I'm looking at you, Pelican 1080. Grrr.)

Only problem to date was that the installed CDRW didn't write disks - The repair company (Metro Business Systems), while not too helpful on the phone, turned the replacement around within 24hours of receipt, and didn't do anything boneheaded like require me to send the whole laptop in.
posted by Orb2069 at 7:28 PM on June 22, 2007

I have an ooold Dell Latitude C400; they can be had on eBay for ~$300. Though quite a few years old, the 1.2Ghz P3-M is fine as my lab laptop.

The magnesium-alloy body is a godsend for resisting random impacts. It's quite lightweight, and you can get 6- and 8- cell batteries for them.

There are also linux drivers for all of the components.

The only downside that I can think of is that there's no on-board optical drive.
posted by porpoise at 11:36 AM on June 23, 2007

I've been looking at the Cathena CX convertible tablet/sub-notebook, which is only 2 pounds and comes with XP. With 1GB of RAM, it costs US$900.
posted by mbrubeck at 7:52 PM on June 23, 2007

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