Laptops - Not 1 but 2

Montana Fan

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Oct 18, 2000
8,067
Twin Bridges, Mt.
Morning folks, in 2008 I purchased 2 Dell Inspiron laptops for my wife and daughter. Both are pretty worn out and I am thinking about getting a couple more. I bought the prior 2 at Staples for $499 each and we got our money's worth out of them.

I'd like to pick up a couple more in the same price range. In perusing the internet this morning I haven't see anything screaming "buy me".

Any guidance to a fair deal would be appreciated.
 

Omar's Wacky Neighbor

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
If you have a week or two and would consider changing brands, there are some tremendous deals that come and go at the lenovo outlet.  You have to check constantly, as the stock and price change minute to minute.  One moment there'll be Celerons for $400+, next moment a 17" i5 for $250:
 
http://outlet.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/outlet_us/LenovoPortal/en_US/catalog.workflow:expandcategory?current-catalog-id=A4A41B4CA13D4754AE2FBF7721EBF357&current-category-id=908B184AED4F29502E6EB3E1E76AFC13&menu-id=products&ref-id=products#/?page-index=1&sort-criteria=1
 
If you're sticking with Dell, then set an email Deal Alert on slickdeals.net Hot Deals forum.
 

Comfortably Lomb

Koko the Monkey
SoSH Member
Feb 22, 2004
9,925
Ralph's Diner
Omar's Wacky Neighbor said:
If you have a week or two and would consider changing brands, there are some tremendous deals that come and go at the lenovo outlet.  You have to check constantly, as the stock and price change minute to minute.  One moment there'll be Celerons for $400+, next moment a 17" i5 for $250:
 
http://outlet.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/outlet_us/LenovoPortal/en_US/catalog.workflow:expandcategory?current-catalog-id=A4A41B4CA13D4754AE2FBF7721EBF357&current-category-id=908B184AED4F29502E6EB3E1E76AFC13&menu-id=products&ref-id=products#/?page-index=1&sort-criteria=1
 
If you're sticking with Dell, then set an email Deal Alert on slickdeals.net Hot Deals forum.
 
This is awesome. Do you have any knowledge of how badly the "scratch & dent" stuff is damaged? I would not care at all if the shiny top has a big ugly scratch in it but a cracked/warped case would be a non-starter.
 

bohous

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 21, 2005
2,810
Framingham
Comfortably Lomb said:
 
This is awesome. Do you have any knowledge of how badly the "scratch & dent" stuff is damaged? I would not care at all if the shiny top has a big ugly scratch in it but a cracked/warped case would be a non-starter.
 
I bought my G580 as a refurb via Lenovo Outlet and it was mint. I imagine S&D will be very much YMMV. 
 
Be warned, the G580 has well documented Wifi connectivity issues, which I learned about the hard way. I was able to resolve the problem by buying a USB wifi adapter and turning off the internal card. Also, the tap-to-click on the touchpad is over sensitive and cannot be disabled. What I am saying is don't buy a G580.
 

Omar's Wacky Neighbor

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Research the different grades on google, but I've never seen a complaint on physical appearance, and I don't really even notice if it says Refurb, or S&D when I'm buying.  Occasionally you read about something not working, but that can happen with a 100% new item from any store as well.  Everything I've bought from their outlet has been pristine.
 
Great thing is, if you find an item and can get it into your cart (a lot of great deals list 1 In Stock), the cart holds your item for 15 minutes and no one can take it from your cart, unlike say Amazon, which will allow whomever hits the Process Payment button first to buy a single item.  So it gives you time to research an item before you buy it.
 
EDIT:  Just remembered:  about a year ago, the laptop they sent me had a bad display (deep blue hue to everything).  They offered me two choices:  ship it back to them at their expense for a full refund, or have it repaired by them but I have to pay the shipping since that's their repair policy.  C'mon, can you guess which option I chose?
 
Some good non-laptop deals that come up regularly:  C440 AIO desktop with 21" touchscreen in the $280s (it's really a toy, since the processor is a 2020 or 2030, but it's still a sub-$300 touchscreen which makes it great for little kids and seniors) and the A2109 tablet which can drop to $115-125 (it's mis-described on their site:  they list it as dual core, but it's really a quad core).
 

Jer

lurker
Jul 17, 2005
278
Boston, MA
Omar's Wacky Neighbor said:
If you have a week or two and would consider changing brands, there are some tremendous deals that come and go at the lenovo outlet.  You have to check constantly, as the stock and price change minute to minute.  One moment there'll be Celerons for $400+, next moment a 17" i5 for $250:
 
http://outlet.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/outlet_us/LenovoPortal/en_US/catalog.workflow:expandcategory?current-catalog-id=A4A41B4CA13D4754AE2FBF7721EBF357&current-category-id=908B184AED4F29502E6EB3E1E76AFC13&menu-id=products&ref-id=products#/?page-index=1&sort-criteria=1
 
If you're sticking with Dell, then set an email Deal Alert on slickdeals.net Hot Deals forum.
 
Nice recommendation. Just grabbed a ThinkPad with nice specs (i7, 8gb ram, solid state HD) to have on deck for new hires.
 
I've had good luck with Lenovo reliability/durability.
 

Curll

Guest
Jul 13, 2005
9,205
Lenovo fan here, as well. Picked up a new laptop for the holidays. Great stuff, good prices.
 

EddieCollins

Active Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
27
Western MA
At work we're having to scrap all the Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E430s.  All the screws fall out of the bottom and the keyboards then fall out.  It was like Lenovo used screws that were too short.  We couldn't put the screws back in. Fortunately we had only a few Lenovos and the majority of laptops are Dell Latitudes.   The Dell Latitude 5420 and 5430 are great laptops for performance and durability.
 

Montana Fan

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Oct 18, 2000
8,067
Twin Bridges, Mt.
Omar, thanks for the tip. I've used Lenovo's for years as the company issued laptops. I can get refurbished Lenovo T60 or T61's though work for $100. We're not in a rush so am going shop the site you recommended and put my name in the queue for a $100 option in case one becomes available.
 

jayhoz

Ronald Bartel
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
15,232
I'm looking to replace the Chromebook I bought my wife for Christmas with something Windows based.  She loved the size of the Chromeboo (11" and thin), but couldn't get used to the quirks of Chrome.  She will be using this for very light duty activities like web surfing, checking email, some home finance stuff, youtube, etc.
 
Would this be a good fit?  My rationale is that it is one of the smaller Lenovo devices with an i3 at a decent price.  Can I do better than this?
 
http://outlet.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/outlet_us/LenovoPortal/en_US/catalog.workflow:item.detail?hide_menu_area=true&GroupID=445&Code=CB26826276-59RF0571
 
Also, why is this listing $324 when all the rest of the S400's are at $342?  Should I take that to mean that the cheaper one might have a more obvious scratch or dent?
 

Jer

lurker
Jul 17, 2005
278
Boston, MA
Do you think you could get away with a Yoga 11?
 
They're pretty cheap and I bet she'd like the form factor. It's sort of like an iPad with Windows and a keyboard.
 
Definitely only good for very light duty though.
 

locknload

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
1,993
Haverhill MA
jayhoz said:
I'm looking to replace the Chromebook I bought my wife for Christmas with something Windows based.  She loved the size of the Chromeboo (11" and thin), but couldn't get used to the quirks of Chrome.  She will be using this for very light duty activities like web surfing, checking email, some home finance stuff, youtube, etc.
 
Would this be a good fit?  My rationale is that it is one of the smaller Lenovo devices with an i3 at a decent price.  Can I do better than this?
 
http://outlet.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/outlet_us/LenovoPortal/en_US/catalog.workflow:item.detail?hide_menu_area=true&GroupID=445&Code=CB26826276-59RF0571
 
Also, why is this listing $324 when all the rest of the S400's are at $342?  Should I take that to mean that the cheaper one might have a more obvious scratch or dent?
So I jumped on that lenovo link and picked up 4 to have for some salespeople plus a Y410p for myself.  I couldn't turn down $600 for a souped up Y series even with some dents considering after 1 week in my house it will be dented and scratched anyway.  I'll let people know how they turn out.  As for the prices I contacted Lenovo sales and they told me that it wasn't based on size of the blemishes.  The more expensive ones were custom ordered vs stock.  When asked if that mean the specs were different they said no.  I'm not sure that makes sense but im fairly sure the chat rep's first language wasn't english.
 

Pudge'sGrrl

lurker
Aug 9, 2013
5
Be careful with Lenovo products. Gov stress testing found embedded s/w and firmware that captured data and transmitted it to the mfg in China - it was traced. Lenovo is a prohibited source for US gov contracts. Just saying.


Sent from my iPad using Sons of Sam Horn mobile app
 

Couperin47

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Pudge'sGrrl said:
Be careful with Lenovo products. Gov stress testing found embedded s/w and firmware that captured data and transmitted it to the mfg in China - it was traced. Lenovo is a prohibited source for US gov contracts. Just saying.


Sent from my iPad using Sons of Sam Horn mobile app
 
You are aware that all HP, Dell and Apple laptops are made in China too, in fact, please identify a laptop maker that does not manufacture and assemble in China. Also, several governments have banned Lenovo use on security networks, but the statement that they have ever claimed or found "software or firmware" is utterly untrue, I'd be interested to see you produce a single legitimate story claiming that. The bans started back in 2006 immediately when IBM sold the Thinkpad business to Lenovo (in fact Thinkpads had been made in China long before then...) and was the result of concerns that they might install backdoor tech and long before they could have possibly started to do any such thing.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 26, 2005
17,315
Pudge'sGrrl said:
Be careful with Lenovo products. Gov stress testing found embedded s/w and firmware that captured data and transmitted it to the mfg in China - it was traced. Lenovo is a prohibited source for US gov contracts. Just saying.


Sent from my iPad using Sons of Sam Horn mobile app
 
This is pretty patently false.  In addition to what C47 stated above, there is no question that many US agencies - including all 4 branches of the military - purchase Lenovo products.  See, for example:  http://kapost-files-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/direct/20130830-1247-23-6968/Lenovo-Army-Contract-June-2013-1.pdf
 
There have been some whisphered reports that based on classified information, Lenovos can't be used on classified networks - and, I might add, the whisphers include both Huwai and ZTE products.  But your statement that Lenovo is prohibited for US gov contracts is just wrong.
 
I would note that under the Trade Agreement Acts, there are restrictions on where a computer can be manufacturered.  This applies to all computers.  Lenovo has computers that are TAA compliant.
 

locknload

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
1,993
Haverhill MA
Ok so got the boxes in.  Ordered 3 G500 and one Y410p all were "scratch and dent".  In reality they all look perfectly new.  I can't find a single thing on them that would qualify them as physically damaged.  One thing I will note is that its luck of the draw with what you get for some of the trim packages.  One of the G500's has the upgraded metal exterior although I'm pretty sure they were all the exact specs on the site.  Overall I can't imagine beating the $300 price for i3 with 4gigs of ram.  The one I took personally was the Y410p I dropped an extra 8 gig RAM DIMM for 16 total replaced the 24G M.2 SSD with a 128G version (there are a ton of gotcha's here, this model requires a nonstandard connection and a 42mm size SSD Im glad I did my research) then cloned the OS drive to the SSD reformatted the 1tb drive to a data drive and so far this thing FLIES.   So far I'm totally sold on the outlet and plan on watching over the next few days for x1 carbon for an exec who needs a new machine.  They also seem to have a fairly low amount of bloatware so thats a bonus as well.
 

norm from cheers

Joe wants Trump to speak
SoSH Member
Dec 25, 2003
1,970
Peace Dale, RI
I needed to get 2 laptops for me and the girl and a friend of mine who owns a Leveno G700 swears by his.. I bought them both off of the Leveno Outlet site for >$300 each.. She will need to create menus daily and also be able to manipulate the restaurant website every so often.. other than that she is just surfing or watching videos on youtube.. I think she will be ok..
 
I, on the other hand, will be using this to clean up a ton of old photos at my local VFW and I am wondering if I should upgrade either the RAM or get a SDD for it..  I am not a computer savvy person.. so any help would be greatly appreciated.  I have an old Hard drive that I have been using as an external storage unit, but what is the best thing (with price in mind) to upgrade and beef this unit up for photoshop and video editing?  I have over 1,000 photos from turn of the century to Vietnam I will be processing/restoring over the next 6 months.. here are the specs of these units:
  • Processor Intel Pentium 2020M Processor (2 cores / 2 threads, 2.40 GHz, 2MB Cache)
  • Operating system Windows 8 Standard 64 - English-French
  • Graphics Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator HD
  • Memory 4 GB PC3-12800 DDR3 SDRAM 1600MHz SODIMM Memory
  • Display 17.3" HD+ (1600 X 900) LED Backlight, Vibrant View w/720p HD Camera
  • Pointing device Two-button touch pad with scroll feature, multi-touch with English-French Keyboard
  • Hard Drive 500GB, 5400RPM Serial ATA 2.5" Hard Drive
  • Optical Drive DVD Recordable Serial ATA
  • Battery 6 Cell Lithium Ion Battery (Up to 5 Hours Run Time)
  • Network Card 11b/g/n Wi-Fi wireless
 

Couperin47

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
norm from cheers said:
 
I needed to get 2 laptops for me and the girl and a friend of mine who owns a Leveno G700 swears by his.. I bought them both off of the Leveno Outlet site for >$300 each.. She will need to create menus daily and also be able to manipulate the restaurant website every so often.. other than that she is just surfing or watching videos on youtube.. I think she will be ok..
 
I, on the other hand, will be using this to clean up a ton of old photos at my local VFW and I am wondering if I should upgrade either the RAM or get a SDD for it..  I am not a computer savvy person.. so any help would be greatly appreciated.  I have an old Hard drive that I have been using as an external storage unit, but what is the best thing (with price in mind) to upgrade and beef this unit up for photoshop and video editing?  I have over 1,000 photos from turn of the century to Vietnam I will be processing/restoring over the next 6 months.. here are the specs of these units:
  • Processor Intel Pentium 2020M Processor (2 cores / 2 threads, 2.40 GHz, 2MB Cache)
  • Operating system Windows 8 Standard 64 - English-French
  • Graphics Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator HD
  • Memory 4 GB PC3-12800 DDR3 SDRAM 1600MHz SODIMM Memory
  • Display 17.3" HD+ (1600 X 900) LED Backlight, Vibrant View w/720p HD Camera
  • Pointing device Two-button touch pad with scroll feature, multi-touch with English-French Keyboard
  • Hard Drive 500GB, 5400RPM Serial ATA 2.5" Hard Drive
  • Optical Drive DVD Recordable Serial ATA
  • Battery 6 Cell Lithium Ion Battery (Up to 5 Hours Run Time)
  • Network Card 11b/g/n Wi-Fi wireless
 
 
You say you want to use this largely for Photoshop work. The 2020M is slower than any i3, with only 4 Gig ram  Photoshop is unlikely to be able to keep each photo completely in ram while working on it (that 4 Gig of ram is also shared with your graphics) and you have a decent size but only 5400 rpm hard drive that it has to swap files to, this combination will make Photoshop into a slug. At the very least increase the ram to 8 or 12 Gig. As far as I can see, current G700 models start with i3 cpus so this must be last year's model, with enough ram Photoshop should run decently, keeping in mind this is Lenovo's lowest rung entry level laptop, personally I think all bottom end laptops are bad buys, but understand why many casual users like them.
 

nighthob

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
7,911
Yeah, I have a 16gb laptop precisely because I do a lot of photoshop work and this is the only way it moves faster than a constipated tortoise.
 

Couperin47

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Couperin47 said:
 
You say you want to use this largely for Photoshop work. The 2020M is slower than any i3, with only 4 Gig ram  Photoshop is unlikely to be able to keep each photo completely in ram while working on it (that 4 Gig of ram is also shared with your graphics) and you have a decent size but only 5400 rpm hard drive that it has to swap files to, this combination will make Photoshop into a slug. At the very least increase the ram to 8 or 12 Gig. As far as I can see, current G700 models start with i3 cpus so this must be last year's model, with enough ram Photoshop should run decently, keeping in mind this is Lenovo's lowest rung entry level laptop, personally I think all bottom end laptops are bad buys, but understand why many casual users like them.
 
BTW, you can't buy the current version of Photoshop anymore (only subscribe and pay forever), otoh you don't need it, what you want is Photoshop Elements which has 90% of the functionality of the complete program at a reasonable cost, that's the good news. The bad news is it has almost all the complexity and huge learning curve of the full product. At the other end of the spectrum, for absolutely simple manipulation and adjustment of photos, you can't beat XnView and the price is right: absolutely free... http://www.xnview.com/en/...btw noticing the version of Windows you're using...the developer of Xnview is French.
 

ShaneTrot

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Nov 17, 2002
5,183
Overland Park, KS
I use Windows at work and just buy the best HP (our contracted vendor) everytime I need one. I have Macs at home. My youngest is all taken up with Minecraft and although it works on the Mac, she has trouble loading somethings called textures and mod packs on the Mac, apparently this is much easier on the PC. I am thinking about buying a PC because this kid hogs my Mac, the prices for these Lenovo all in ones are dirt cheap. But they have really low end processors, should I go with one of these or buy a cheap i3 or i5 notebook? Any recommendations? Thanks
 

Couperin47

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
ShaneTrot said:
I use Windows at work and just buy the best HP (our contracted vendor) everytime I need one. I have Macs at home. My youngest is all taken up with Minecraft and although it works on the Mac, she has trouble loading somethings called textures and mod packs on the Mac, apparently this is much easier on the PC. I am thinking about buying a PC because this kid hogs my Mac, the prices for these Lenovo all in ones are dirt cheap. But they have really low end processors, should I go with one of these or buy a cheap i3 or i5 notebook? Any recommendations? Thanks
 
Assuming you want a laptop, the Lenovo outlet generally has some very good deals (just nothing this weekend, of course...) and all experience here is that that even their refurb and 'scratch & dent' offerings seem to show up pristine...and with a full year warranty. When they DO have a decent selection in the last 2 months it's been easy to find a 15" Thinkpad E531 model with Intel i5 cpu, Intel 4000 graphics, 8 Gig ram and as much as a 1 Tb 7200rpm drive, USB 3 ports, Gig ethernet, bgn wifi all for around $500 or less. Build is a serious step up from bottom end laptops and there's an mSata port which allows you to add an ssd boot drive if you like to really goose performance. All it takes is a bit of patience til they reappear and when they do, often in sudden quantity, there are sometimes weekend sales when they cut prices by an additional $100. Right now there's very little stock and no sales this weekend. You can find Lenovo refurbs elsewhere but i don't recommend them: there is never a one year warranty (90 days) and the quality is always inferior and the prices higher... I assume that's where Lenovo dumps stuff that doesn't meet their Outlet standards.
 

Curll

Guest
Jul 13, 2005
9,205
Just going to add another voice to the chorus:
 
We just picked up a Chromebook and it is awesome. Used as a writing/browsing computer, it is perfect. I've run Netflix a bit on it with no problems, but I don't know if extended viewing would overheat it. It has a touchscreen and all that jazz. Great build quality a few options for SDD size. 
 
May not fit your needs, but it is snazzy for school or work.
 

Hambone

will post for drinks
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
2,671
I also need a new laptop and considered a chrome book, but my concern is I do a bit of contract work on the side where I'm active with word, excel and PDFs. How much of a pain in the ass it it to work with those on a chrome book? I may also download/torrent some stuff to transfer over to my iPad or Mac-mini hooked to my TV.
 
The only other thing I would use the laptop for is basic surfing of the web. In my industry my laptop is pretty locked down, so would sometimes use it for research and transfer the info over in some non-approved, but semi-tolerated way.
 
Is chrome the way to go or should I pay a bit more for a low end windows machine?
 

Montana Fan

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Oct 18, 2000
8,067
Twin Bridges, Mt.
Ham, this is the one we ended out going with. My wife uses hers to browse and run her very small business and my daughter uses it at college. It took a bit of time for them to get used to Windows 8 but they are very pleased with them so far. I guess they compare very well to 5 year old Dell Inspirons.

For a basic block and tackle laptop, so far, so good.

http://www.staples.com/Toshiba-C55-A5281-156-Laptop/product_49563
 

Curll

Guest
Jul 13, 2005
9,205
Hambone said:
I also need a new laptop and considered a chrome book, but my concern is I do a bit of contract work on the side where I'm active with word, excel and PDFs. How much of a pain in the ass it it to work with those on a chrome book? I may also download/torrent some stuff to transfer over to my iPad or Mac-mini hooked to my TV.
 
The only other thing I would use the laptop for is basic surfing of the web. In my industry my laptop is pretty locked down, so would sometimes use it for research and transfer the info over in some non-approved, but semi-tolerated way.
 
Is chrome the way to go or should I pay a bit more for a low end windows machine?
Have you used Google Docs? That is how you handle word, excel, etc. They are integrated into the Chrome OS, so it handles it very, very well.
 
I don't think ChromeOS supports any torrenting software, but I could be wrong. Most items you could just store on the Cloud or on the internal SSD and easily transfer. My Chromebook also has an HDMI port so we could use it for streaming to a TV.