Secondhand Laptop Question

Bismuth

Expert Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2007
Messages
3,614
Hello MyBB,

I have been offered the following laptop for R4,000:

Acer TravelMate 8003Lmi
2 GHz Intel Centrino
1GB RAM
160GB HDD
ATI Radeon 9700 128MB
15" Screen
DVD Writer
USB2 Ports
Extra Battery
Acer Carry-bag

Is this a good offer? Should I go for it?. I am in the market for a laptop, or does anyone have any better suggestions.

Thanks,

B
 

sn3rd

Expert Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2008
Messages
4,298
How old is the notebook?

Unfortunately, "Centrino" doesn't give very much information because (a) it doesn't tell us which Centrino (it could be Carmel, Sonoma, Napa, Santa Rosa, Montevina... Although the last 2 are unlikely, because of the price) and (b) many places falsely advertise "Centrino". True Centrino requires that the notebook has a compatible processor, chipset and wireless adapter for the particular platform.

That said, it all depends what you'd like to use the notebook for. Assuming it is Centrino, if it is Centrino Sonoma onwards, you're likely to be able to do all office work that you might need. Carmel notebooks had better battery life than Sonoma, though.

The graphics isn't the best, and it'll cost you battery life, which is a little bit of a downer. And since this isn't the newest notebook, the battery may be on its way out. It costs quite a pretty penny for a new battery, but you can instead get it re-packed for a fraction of the cost.

But in my opinion, if you can afford to put in extra money, you wouldn't be sorry going for a lower-spec (but new) notebook. (a) You'd have the full warranty to look forward to (notebook repairs are horrifyingly expensive), (b) you'd have newer technology, which might not perform as well (depending on how much you'd like to put in), but it'd definitely give you advantages in heat, efficiency, size and overall ergonomics and (c) you can be sure that the notebook is exactly what you're told. People have tried to sell me all manner of notebooks at "great" prices, and upon checking, I find that the specs are not what the sellers promised.

Check out http://www.laptopdirect.co.za
Their prices aren't always the best, but they're not bad. What sells me on them is the service they offer. Bought my 4th notebook through them just a few weeks ago with (as always) excellent service.

My picks from their website in the R5000 - R6000 range are (in no particular order):

The Acer uses Intel's new Atom processor, which is supposed to offer amazing battery life. In reality, it's probably a bit overpriced, unless you're looking for something ultra-portable.

The Dell Vostro A860 is a notebook I considered. What put me off was the fact that I couldn't get it with a Core 2 Duo processor. That said, the Pentium Dual-Core that this notebook comes with should out-perform all the other notebooks I listed. Oh, and the looks department has been majorly upgraded from earlier Dell Vostros.

The HP 550 is a home / media notebook. The performance is slightly lacking, but this notebook has some nice features and HP notebooks have a great reputation.

The Dell 500 is very similar to the Inspiron. In fact, an inspection showed that they looked almost the same, except for the black casing. So my guess is that they're a low-spec version of Dell's Inspiron notebooks. I have had experience with Inspirons, and they are good solid notebooks. Good build-quality.

My favourites in this price range have to be the Dell Vostro A860 because it looks good, feels good, and is easy on the pocket for the performance you're getting, and the HP 550 because it's a well-designed notebook from the world's leading notebook manufacturer.
 

LazyLion

King of de Jungle
Joined
Mar 17, 2005
Messages
103,701
Hello MyBB,

I have been offered the following laptop for R4,000:

Acer TravelMate 8003Lmi
2 GHz Intel Centrino
1GB RAM
160GB HDD
ATI Radeon 9700 128MB
15" Screen
DVD Writer
USB2 Ports
Extra Battery
Acer Carry-bag

Is this a good offer? Should I go for it?. I am in the market for a laptop, or does anyone have any better suggestions.

Thanks,

B

Compare this with low-end laptops that are selling at Hi-fi Corporation and Game. Does not look like a good deal to me. Just buy a new one rather.
 
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