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Steve_L
17-12-2002, 12:43 PM
Here is the deal: my wife has a huge block against computers, but is due to retrain with university studies next year and now wants a laptop. Seems that a laptop is not so daunting to her, and she likes the idea of carrying it around, and not taking up so much desk space. A couple of years ago I dusted off my ancient 386 laptop and she readily did a typing program (a feebie download a la Mavis Beacon basic). But graduating on to using the desktop was not to her liking. The problem is the cost of a new laptop being close to 3 grand, or more.

What are your thoughts on getting a second hand laptop? I mentioned this to a guy I met at a holiday place - his job and hobby was associated with computers and he did seem to know quite a bit. His advice was to stay away from second hand laptops since they would be too expensive to repair, and not as easy to upgrade like a desktop (RAM, Chip, HD).

So my question is about repairs to laptops - is it really a big factor when considering a second hand purchase? Thanks.

BTW, she does not need a laptop with grunt - just word processing and some basic email / surfing; Win 98 with CD ROM will do.

honeylaser
17-12-2002, 01:03 PM
IBM's are still quite cheap to buy new. The R31 Celeron's should be available for around $2000 or slightly more. They aren't really high spec either (1.2GHz CPU 13.3" TFT no floppy etc).

You're probably better off buying new, as you get the warranty. Older laptops are notoriously hard to find parts for (think replacement keypads, batteries etc).

Another option is to do the TradeMe thing. A quick search bought up the following laptops under $2000:

Dell Pentium III 700 (http://www.trademe.co.nz/Computers/Laptops/auction-2446213.htm)
Ramtech Celeron 1.2GHz (http://www.trademe.co.nz/Computers/Laptops/auction-2468008.htm)
ASUS B1000 PIII 900 (http://www.trademe.co.nz/Computers/Laptops/auction-2466054.htm)

You might get lucky looking around there for a bargain, and you'll probably be able to find something which is still under warranty also.

Good luck :)

Chilling_Silence
17-12-2002, 01:05 PM
Laptops are rather hard to upgrade, although usually the RAM is dead simple, HDD is a little more tricky, but still should be releavtively easy on most.

Id suggest http://www.compaqcare.co.nz for buying a laptop.

Otherwise, before buying second hand (Id use TradeMe.co.nz) ask lots of questions, why its being sold, if anything is known that's not 100% brand new about it.

If you're looking for a laptop, anything between $500 for a 233Mhz with 64MB RAM to, say, $1.4K for a Ghz PC with 128MB+ of RAM.

Hunt around, you're bound to find a bargain!

good luck


Chilling_Silence

cyberchuck
17-12-2002, 01:27 PM
Hey

You could also try Trademe (http://www.trademe.co.nz) - you can usually find some good buys there


CyberChuck

crozier
17-12-2002, 02:22 PM
Perhaps a laptop isn't wwhat's needed. I was at Massey last year and I used a Psion Revo for all my class notes. Like most people I can type faster than I can write and they just needed a bit of tidying up each evening. And of course it fitted neatly into my pocket. Any palmtop with a keyboard would do just as good a job as long as you can print or export to a PC for printing.

Chilling_Silence
17-12-2002, 02:27 PM
Hmm... Seeing as we're looking at alternatives to a laptop, what about one of the new Tablet PC's?!

Graham L
17-12-2002, 03:06 PM
Indeed, what about "one of the new tablets?". $5614, $5956, $5545, that's what. :_| They are expensive. And like any other small, expensive item, they break when dropped.

That's the sort of thing that you get a company to buy for you. If you're in the "non-working" class.

Second-hand laptops break when dropped, too. But less expensively. ;-)

As for spare parts, you are not likely to find any. (I've got a Psion 3, with a broken LCD screen. The only advertisements I see about parts are people trying to buy Psion 3s with good screens to replace broken screens. :D).

But a good working laptop is like any other computer: if it's working now it's likely to keep on working unless it's abused. (Like being dropped, or having sotware upgraded. :D)

honeylaser
17-12-2002, 03:06 PM
> Hmm... Seeing as we're looking at alternatives to a
> laptop, what about one of the new Tablet PC's?!

Unlikely at around $5000 me thinks. They'll come down in a years time I reckon, and by then the specs might be reasonable and worth paying throught the nose for. For writing/scribblng capabilities the handhelds are still reasonable value. The Sony CLIÉ is pretty sexy too...

Graham L
17-12-2002, 03:06 PM
Indeed, what about "one of the new tablets?". $5614, $5956, $5545, that's what. :_| They are expensive. And like any other small, expensive item, they break when dropped.

That's the sort of thing that you get a company to buy for you. If you're in the "non-working" class.

Second-hand laptops break when dropped, too. But less expensively. ;-)

As for spare parts, you are not likely to find any. (I've got a Psion 3, with a broken LCD screen. The only advertisements I see about parts are people trying to buy Psion 3s with good screens to replace broken screens. :D).

But a good working laptop is like any other computer: if it's working now it's likely to keep on working unless it's abused. (Like being dropped, or having software upgraded. :D)

honeylaser
17-12-2002, 03:07 PM
Hey, we got it the first time ;) :p :D

Graham L
17-12-2002, 03:24 PM
Nice interleaving, though. :D (When I hit the post button, I got a 404 error. Went to Preview, and posted form there, rather than lose the typing. It had gone through the first time. It happens. ;-))

honeylaser
17-12-2002, 03:33 PM
Sure you weren't post padding?? ;) ;) ;)
At another forum I used to visit, someone once made a joke that they were post padding in a thread. The administrator deducted 2000 posts from their post count. Ouch!

rayonline
17-12-2002, 04:50 PM
Its up to your budget. I suggest a new or used laptop. its a risk each individual takes.
u can upgrade RAM and hard drives quite easily now days. they are user installable. i am using my 4th laptop in 6years. 486 DX4-75, PI, PII, PIII. Check out www.pricespy.co.nz the 2.5" notebook HDD are quite reasonable. RAM also...... IBM models are most flexible both new and old tend to be upgradeable with the drive bays of 2nd HDD, 2nd battery, floppy, CD, CDRW, DVD, CDRW/DVD, LS 240, ZIP 250 .....

The later cpu's - i think PII or PIII and PIV maybe are 'mobile cpu' which means are upgradeable by the user.

The used ones most most would have modem and IR builtin and even LAN. usage of external monitor, mouse and keyb are possible.

the problem area from experience, are the HDD wear and tear and the power problems *not starting when u turn on*. normally are only 1yr warranty, more $$ ones are 3yrs.

Rayonline

Steve_L
18-12-2002, 09:19 AM
Thanks to all of you for the help given. :) The budget is around $800 - $1,000 maybe more depending on the specs and history. I will check out the IBM models, and trademe.co.nz A battery is a necessity.

By the way, did any of you see the news article a couple of weeks ago, about the Swedish guy who had his nuts fried when doing laptop work - on his lap? It was a legit story. Seems that laptops emit radiation or something and can harm human skin, etc. The Swede had to go to the hospital. :o Ouch...!

(An aside...) How can the vertical line be made for the emoticon "Cry"? The ASCII code is :_l and the last vertical line is not a small "L" because this does not produce an emoticon. I cannot find a vertical line on the keyboard or using a full list of Alt Codes. Thanks.

honeylaser
18-12-2002, 09:31 AM
> Thanks to all of you for the help given. :) The
> budget is around $800 - $1,000 maybe more depending
> on the specs and history. I will check out the IBM
> models, and trademe.co.nz A battery is a necessity.

I'll still go with saying that new is better. You may find out that you will need to pay more just to replace parts after purchase, which can be very costly. Have you thought of leasing? Most places offer flexirent (http://www.flexirent.co.nz), so you can pay it off over 36 months, and then trade up for free to a new model.

> By the way, did any of you see the news article a
> couple of weeks ago, about the Swedish guy who had
> his nuts fried when doing laptop work - on his lap?
> It was a legit story. Seems that laptops emit
> radiation or something and can harm human skin, etc.
> The Swede had to go to the hospital. :o Ouch...!

Yup - we had a thread about that here (http://pressf1.pcworld.co.nz/thread.jsp?forum=1&thread=28476)

> (An aside...) How can the vertical line be made for
> the emoticon "Cry"? The ASCII code is :_l and the
> last vertical line is not a small "L" because this
> does not produce an emoticon. I cannot find a
> vertical line on the keyboard or using a full list of
> Alt Codes. Thanks.

Under the backspace key on your keyboard, it has | and \. Hold down shift and hit that key to produce the vertical line ( | ) :D

Steve_L
18-12-2002, 03:30 PM
Thanks 'Honey'. I saw that key under the Backspace key, but it is labelled with a broken vertical bar, not solid as it should be. Now to test it with this emoticon: :_| Cheers - Steve

Graham L
18-12-2002, 03:38 PM
The keytop has it right; the screen font has it wrong. :D It's a broken bar and it has a different code from l (lower case L).

falvrez
18-12-2002, 07:54 PM
This year we've bought 3 of those el cheapo PC Company laptops for $2000 each - I see you can get them now for $1600 odd....why buy 2nd hand?
Pros: 256mb ram standard, Celeron 1.1, 10gig drive, built in modem and LAN, good sized screen, CDrom built in, 4 USB ports (only 1.1), Svideo out, comes with XP.
Cons: No PCM slot, no floppy, no battery. We bought USB floppy drives at $80 each but they are barely used - everything is email or networked across if needed. We also purchased external batteries at $180 each, big mothers but again very rarely used, just plug in power and go, but at least we have the batts if needed.
Would we buy them again? At $1600, without a doubt.
(they are called starnote or something like that in the shops)

rayonline
18-12-2002, 08:50 PM
PCM - u mean PCMCIA
thought these were basic for all laptops.

falvrez
18-12-2002, 09:55 PM
Yup PCMCIA - but really when you've got modem and lan on board and USB, there's no real need for PCMCIA...well, that's what I thought until mobiel jetstream came along, now it's a matter of hooking the cellphone into the laptop instead of buying one of those mega bucks gtrans cards...

rayonline
18-12-2002, 10:00 PM
still pcmcia give u so much more flexibility, i think is a requirement
gosh... these came out in my 486 laptop!

usb is quite gd but u still need pcmcia.
like, video capture, usb2, scsi, newer lan in future, wireless LAN, bluetooth, IDE - CD, CDRW, DVD external ....handy if u doh have a modular drive bay as IBM's.

Ray