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  1. #1
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    Preowned/Ex-corp laptops - anyone used any of these...

    I'm sourcing a laptop for someone - budget is tight (200 absolute max) and so I'm looking through ex-corporate refurbs (because consumer laptops are so poorly made these days, they die before they're worth reselling!!)

    I'm down to 3 possible units - I reckon they're more than powerful enough for the job (games not really required tho some basic gaming might be nice)

    These are all Late-model C2Ds with Intel 4500MHD graphics - some have an nVidia option but that appears to be the "we melt and kill the PC" era of nVidia, so we'll pass on those eh? :)

    Dell Latitude E6400
    HP/Compaq 6930p
    Thinkpad X200

    The latter is the wildcard - it's an ultraportable, so no optical drive and a smaller screen - but it's a Lenovo so you know it will be better made than the other 2 and the size isn't a problem (in fact the lack of weight is a benefit).

    I had a Latitude E6400 in for repair recently it was the easiest laptop I've ever disassembled - one screw (captive - you can't lose it) removes the entire base. Hinges can be tightened without removing ANYTHING. Caps on the hinges are proper clips so you won't snap them - even the bezel is marked with pull-points to avoid snapping it - I was impressed with it apart from the heat it generated which was astonishing!!

    Not tried the HP but I've owned an NC2400 for years and it's made of rock so I'd assume that continues here!?

    Anyone got any experiences - or alternatives which fit the bill (nothing which says Asus, Acer, Samsung or anything else 'white goods' please) :)

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
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    In my last job, my work laptop was an HP Eiltebook.

    Great features:
    Performance was solid since the laptop came with a core i7, 4GBram and ssd.
    Battery life was great too, 5 hours with the protruding brick battery.
    It actually had a metal frame / casing which is unusual for a PC laptop.
    I prefer HP's keyboard to Apple's "less is more" layout.

    There were some things about it that were horrible:
    Absolutely horrendous screen quality, the first time I used it I felt like I was staring at an old ATM machine. I promptly requested a monitor.
    Displayport (not mini displayport mind you) connector instead of DVI or HDMI, and no included adapters. Had to spend a week with the monitor connected using VGA cable.
    Displayport absolutely useless for the following reasons:
    Displayport is a new and rare standard so it won't be compatible with most devices out there, it's also meant for super high resolution displays or 10-bit displays, things that are only of interest to media studio professionals. The thing is, all the advantages of the Displayport are completely useless in this laptop because it's using intel integrated graphics.

    While the laptop had great build quality, I felt that it failed to deliver on pretty much the most important aspect of an ultra portable besides battery life - the display.
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  3. #3
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    Displays on corp laptops are an odd thing - for years, Thinkpads had these ultra-dim displays which were impossible to see outdoors.

    The argument behind it is that corps like to use those 3M screen filter things to stop prying eyes and so they don't give a damn about a nice, bright, shiny display (the things which magpie people into consumer laptops with ALL THAT SHINY GLASS!) - e.g. they can be sold tat.

    In this case tho, the laptop will spend most of it's life attached to a monitor or a TV - possibly to a wireless keyboard and mouse too - so it's actual functionality internally is more important ;)

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    Displays on corp laptops are an odd thing - for years, Thinkpads had these ultra-dim displays which were impossible to see outdoors.

    The argument behind it is that corps like to use those 3M screen filter things to stop prying eyes and so they don't give a damn about a nice, bright, shiny display (the things which magpie people into consumer laptops with ALL THAT SHINY GLASS!) - e.g. they can be sold tat.

    In this case tho, the laptop will spend most of it's life attached to a monitor or a TV - possibly to a wireless keyboard and mouse too - so it's actual functionality internally is more important ;)
    as long as it will be used as a desktop, the HP elitebook is a pretty good business machine.

    EDIT: BTW, any long-time users hate those glossy displays. I always order a matte display laptop when I can.
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  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Boris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    I'm sourcing a laptop for someone - budget is tight (200 absolute max) and so I'm looking through ex-corporate refurbs (because consumer laptops are so poorly made these days, they die before they're worth reselling!!)

    I'm down to 3 possible units - I reckon they're more than powerful enough for the job (games not really required tho some basic gaming might be nice)

    These are all Late-model C2Ds with Intel 4500MHD graphics - some have an nVidia option but that appears to be the "we melt and kill the PC" era of nVidia, so we'll pass on those eh? :)

    Dell Latitude E6400
    HP/Compaq 6930p
    Thinkpad X200

    The latter is the wildcard - it's an ultraportable, so no optical drive and a smaller screen - but it's a Lenovo so you know it will be better made than the other 2 and the size isn't a problem (in fact the lack of weight is a benefit).

    I had a Latitude E6400 in for repair recently it was the easiest laptop I've ever disassembled - one screw (captive - you can't lose it) removes the entire base. Hinges can be tightened without removing ANYTHING. Caps on the hinges are proper clips so you won't snap them - even the bezel is marked with pull-points to avoid snapping it - I was impressed with it apart from the heat it generated which was astonishing!!

    Not tried the HP but I've owned an NC2400 for years and it's made of rock so I'd assume that continues here!?

    Anyone got any experiences - or alternatives which fit the bill (nothing which says Asus, Acer, Samsung or anything else 'white goods' please) :)
    If I wanted it, I'd go with the X200. The disadvantage of it is that it only goes up to 4GB of memory and I think there's a low-power C2D in it, but the build quality and size are hard to beat. Also, the screen appears to be a 1440x900 model, which is very nice especially in a 12" format.

    If you want a fullsize laptop, either the Dell or the HP are fine. I didn't look up the HP, but the Dell accepts up to 8GB of RAM (it's very cheap nowadays). So basically the choice is do you want a bigger and faster or a smaller and better built laptop.

  6. #6
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    I reckon 4Gb is 'enough' in a system with a dual-core 2.4ghz processor and Intel's 4500MHD GPU - anything which needed more would be banging on the other limitations too!?

    I've used an X200 since I wrote that and it was nice - but most of the ones for-sale are getting a bit long-in-the-tooth (warranties are out) and many are tatty (cracks, broken hinges etc.) which - given they're generally a bit pricier than the Dell/HP options - isn't ideal.

    I found one on eBay which came with a docking station (rare, pricey and worthwhile) but it's keyboard layout is Italian. "No problem" methinks, keyboard swap is easy enough - then I saw the price of Thinkpad keyboards (they have all the custom bits and the track nipple thing built-in)!!

    One majoe upside was it ran quiet and cool tho - the Dell could heat a small house!!

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Boris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    I reckon 4Gb is 'enough' in a system with a dual-core 2.4ghz processor and Intel's 4500MHD GPU - anything which needed more would be banging on the other limitations too!?
    The 4500MHD is surprisingly capable. Also, loads of memory is always nice. It's cheap as chips and can really pep up an older machine. I sprung for it on both my machines (my desktop and laptop both have 8GB) and it's great.

  8. #8
    yeah,
    It's cheap as chips and can really pep up an older machine. I sprung for it on both my machines.

  9. #9
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    Just as by of an update - some X200s can run 8Gb of RAM. Lenovo say 4Gb is the limit but some people tried to put 2x4Gb in and had some success.

    Seems you need a later X200 AND higher-quality (faster timings) DIMMs.

    There's one for-sale on eBay right now with 8Gb as an option (private sale - seller swears he's run it with 8Gb for over a year without a problem).

    Makes sense, I guess - the chipset will have been upgraded to deal with 4Gb DIMMs but Lenovo didn't change the paperwork.

  10. #10
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    Choose none of the above. I work in a computer repair shop and the HP/Compaq stuff likes to overheat and kill themselves, Dells are just over-priced for what they are. If you can get your hands on a thinkpad from IBM or a lenovo(which is basically IBM) or something made by Asus you'll be onto a winner.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by slick_101 View Post
    Choose none of the above. I work in a computer repair shop and the HP/Compaq stuff likes to overheat and kill themselves, Dells are just over-priced for what they are. If you can get your hands on a thinkpad from IBM or a lenovo(which is basically IBM) or something made by Asus you'll be onto a winner.
    The heat thing is important with this generation of laptops - as I said earlier, that Dell can heat a room (I replaced an HDD in one recently, the thermal sensor on the old old had logged over 80 degrees!!) but the IBMs are noted for being quiet and cool and that's why I'm trying to source a good one right now:)

  12. #12
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    Mmmmm no i am not using this even i am heard first time about thsi and i was just ask about this but after read out this thrad i have a little idea about this but not properly understood with this problem anyways i was searching and collecting this type of informations for my knoweldge because i am newly start a computer shop where i have computer and laptops aservices provides you....


    Last edited by Nathan; 11-11-2013 at 10:43 AM.

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