Windows 10: Best Value Opinions - Windows 10 Tablet/Laptop Sub $250

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  1. Posts : 133
    Windows XP, 7, 8.1, 10, Knoppix [Debian] linux
       23 Feb 2017 #21

    lx07 said: View Post
    @glennc, I got a second hand Lenovo X201 Thinkpad from ebay a couple of weeks ago.

    There are hundreds of these things around if you are interested. They are dumped by companies after the 4 year amortization period has ended and older ones are even cheaper.

    It was an i5, had 8GB RAM, a 240GB HD, a docking station with CD-W and even a mouse with batteries. For $100 (actually 100 but it is the same as 100 USD more or less). There was another 16 for the shipping.

    I then bought a (used) 840 EVO SSD and did a clean install of Windows 10 using the number on the back. Total price including shipping - about $180. It looked as if it had been in someone's cupboard for a decade and never used at all.

    It is infinitely better than the Asus Tablet I got for my sister-in law from the supermarket (which cost more).

    The only problem is it doesn't run DX11 but I don't think you'd buy a $200 tablet to run the latest AAA games anyway.

    Not saying you should but pre-owned is a pretty good option.
    Thanks - this is interesting information. I had a look around and see that there is quite a variety including refurbished units with SSD and Win10 preinstalled. My concerns, though, would be:

    • Battery viability. These units are old enough that their Li-Ion packs are certainly beyond their rated service life and the cost of replacement can easily make the PC not cost-effective to buy.
    • Hinges. The Achilles heel of many units, especially Lenovo. I had an old TP390X whose screen literally fell off its mount as the hinges slowly crumbled and collapsed. Also years-long damage to the flex cable connecting the lid with the body. (Note that the N22 mentioned here is designed for classroom abuse and has reinforced frame and hinges).
    • Fans. If continuously running in a dusty environment in their previous life, the fan is almost certainly embedded with dust and prone to fail. Not easily serviced in many models, too.
    • Refurbisher. Most of the commercial offerings I see are refurbished by Joy Systems who have a checkered quality control history if you read the consumer rating sites.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    23 Feb 2017 #22

    I can't answer your concerns about refurbishers in the US specifically as I have never heard of Joy Systems and I bought it from a seller in Europe.

    In terms of battery (and remember this is a laptop from 2010) it has a 25% wear level (so from 91k mWh to 68). Not terrible - it lasts 5 or 6 hours. I also have the battery from the one I bought myself in 2010 (for almost 3000 but lets forget about that) and it is about the same.

    The hinges were fine. I can't imagine how they would break. Perhaps the chassis would break if you sat on it (which I did once and the "military spec" magnesium chassis didn't help at all under the weight of, er, me) but the hinge? I agree with you about the screen cables they certainly do disintegrate. On everything.

    As for running in a dusty environment this comment is beyond me. Do you old ThinkPad's ran in dustier environments than other brands? Perhaps they do. I have literally no idea.

    The fans were clean incidentally. First thing I did was open it, put in my old Gobi_WWAN card so I can stick a SIM card in it and put in a SSD. It was spotless.

    Perhaps I was lucky but considering there hasn't been any major hardware changes since 2010 (except for DX11) I figured 180 for the X201 and a new SSD was good value.

    I only picked X201 specifically as I had one anyway (that I sat on when I was pissed and broke) so I had the docking station, spare charger and what-not anyway. If not I might have gone for a T series as they are even cheaper and probably more convenient to use.

    It was cheaper than replacing the screen on my 2013 MacBook (about $400 from China) which I managed to break not by sitting on it but dropping it 20cm onto the floor.

    If I had 2k spare for a laptop I'd get a XPS probably. If I had 200 spare I'd do the same again and get a second hand Thinkpad and a new SSD for it. I'm sure other brands are good also but second hand Thinkpads seem cheaper and more plentiful where I am. It is a small risk.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

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