New (Refurbished) Laptop Ideas?

So my dear old Potato system has decided to throw in the towel after about 7 years of service. It was just a hand-me-down single core celeron acer thing that I bought for a couple hundred bucks at Fry's back in the day. I am looking for some idea's on a decent refurb'd laptop (I'm broke as hell, we're talking super cheap sub $200) and I keep circling back to a older Lenovo T60 or a T420.

I have a docking station/port replicator for a T60 already (I bought a refurb'd T60 for my Dad years ago) and since I won't be using this system for anything more elaborate that web-browsing or maybe some screen recording with OBS (so the graphics system will need to support OpenGL or OpenCL, I can't recall which, or what version) I don't think I'll need more than a dual core system.

I also have a few older Sata II SSD's (we're talking old OCZ's, but surprisingly in 100% condition according to CrystalDiskInfo) and about 16 GB of misc. SO-DIMM's so I can upgrade whatever I pick up. Hard drive space isn't a high priority since I have a 2 TB external drive I normally use for laptop-related stuff.

So anyone have any suggestions for a decent returb cheap laptop? Oh, and I'll be running Linux on it. I prefer Intel CPU's but for the budget it doesn't make a huge difference. Battery life, again, not a big deal. It'll be plugged in on my workbench the majority of the time.

Thanks for reading, and happy thanksgiving (I know, I'm a day early.)

Best deal for the money is honestly going to be one of the 2007/2008 black macbooks. Maybe 2009. They can be had for almost nothing and can do youtube, a few games, and are relatively portable. For the price, thats what I'm recommending. (80 - 140 USD).

You could also check out getting linux on one of the beefy chromebooks or something.

Something like that is best for the cash. Battery is cheap, can take 6 GB ram, runs up to el capitan and comes with it. Nvidia 9400M, atd you might want to figure out another drive or contact them about one.

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Have a look at the older IBM-spec Lenovos, like the T61p and the T400. Those are great little machines. I'm personally running a T400 as a cheap Linux laptop with a small SSD and it runs everything like a champ.

I found a fair deal on eBay, even the ones with Win7 distros on them are often <$100.

I had a W500 that I shipped off to another forum member. That one was a nice workstation thinkpad.

Ooh, I should have mentioned I don't do ebay. Have had some bad experiences in the past. But I appreciate you looking out.

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Good lookin' out. I'll have to research it.

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No worries :D eBay can be pretty trashy. In that case, your alternative is probably to just ask around town or something, see if someone has any surplus laptops that they're throwing out. I'm guessing if eBay is a no-go, Craigslist is probably out of the question. The best deals are usually ones you can't find online.

Wendell and co. have a video coming out in the hopefully-not-too-distant future about snagging surplus machines, I'm sure the same sort of thing applies to surplus laptops.

I have a wardrobe full of barebones T400s, and I'd put together one and send it to you, but the last time I sent someone a laptop the shipping charge was exorbitant.

@Evil I will say that you should try craigslist. Not everyone is a psychoclown rapist. I got a mac pro 1,1 off there, did some miner upgrades, now it does everything I want a mac for and cost me 160 bucks. (2 xeon 5150's, 16 GB ram, and I put a bunch of HDD's in it so it has like 2.25 TB in it :D). Definitely worth the try. You can usually figure out the crazy people.

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I definitely recommend @FaunCB' one as well, especially if you can nab an SSD from somewhere for cheap. My wife has one and she loves it, I got it for free from a recycling pile, and to be honest, it's been aging really well for the year she has had it.

  • AK

I appreciate you even thinking of that. Last time my brother shipped me a laptop from Virginia to California was about $15 (USPS flat rate FTW!) But I'm looking at the refurbs on Newegg. Found a T61 "B" grade for $75. That's not too bad. A T420 with a i3 for about $140. So I think they are out there. @FaunCB pointed out a pretty cool little website for Apple stuff (I grew up with Apple. I still have a Mac SE/30 at my parents house along with a Global Village external 28.8 modem.) I prefer PC, especially the IBM thinkpads (before the Chinese Gov't took a controlling interest in Lenovo.)

Long and short: Thanks to everyone suggesting things. Keep 'em coming and I'll keep looking. At the very least maybe @wendell and crew can see this and know that we are interested in that surplus tech video :)

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Someone here might even have something spare.

If you don't care very much I could even say get a core solo or core duo laptop for 5 dollars and put linux on it. Won't be great but it'll work at least.