Author Topic: Laptop purchase  (Read 2041 times)

Unique User

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Laptop purchase
« on: May 02, 2018, 08:04:31 AM »
Bought a laptop from US Micro last September and the fan is now making loud noises. They will refund the purchase but since they were bought out by Arrow they wonít replace. Iím a bit leary of purchasing from them again. Anyone have luck buying direct from HP or Dell? 

Khaetra

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Re: Laptop purchase
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2018, 08:39:58 AM »
I've had very good luck with Dell and Asus.  I stay away from HP, as every computer/laptop I've gotten from them has been junk and dead within a year.

ketchup

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Re: Laptop purchase
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2018, 08:42:21 AM »
I've had good luck buying refurbs from Dell directly.  They come with the same warranty as new.  GF's laptop from there last year had an issue with the trackpad, and the next day after contacting Dell support, some Dell tech came out to our house and swapped out the trackpad (about ten minutes) and it's been fine since.  Not too shabby.

Deals vary though.  We scored a nearly-fully-loaded XPS 15 for $1099, but they're usually more like $1500-1600 (actual-new price was $1850 at the time).  Also, she actually needed something new/powerful, most don't and can get away with something much cheaper and a couple years older.

Dave1442397

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Re: Laptop purchase
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2018, 08:48:31 AM »
I've had no issues with Dell and Toshiba.

I bought an Asus that was DOA, and I had a nice HP that died a few months after the warranty ran out.

Aggie1999

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Re: Laptop purchase
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2018, 08:48:36 AM »
Pretty much all the brands have junk and have quality. All depends on what you want to spend. Hit slickdeals.net. There are always deals posted about nice laptops in the $600 - $1,000 range.

Daley

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Re: Laptop purchase
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2018, 09:29:22 AM »
Bought a laptop from US Micro last September and the fan is now making loud noises. They will refund the purchase but since they were bought out by Arrow they wonít replace. Iím a bit leary of purchasing from them again. Anyone have luck buying direct from HP or Dell? 

Sorry to hear that the Arrow buyout threw you a curve. Don't let this experience sour you to third party refurbished purchasing.

If I may ask, what's the make and model of the laptop you purchased? If it's a Dell Latitude, you may be surprised at how cheap and easy it is to replace the fan. This is why I recommend buying Latitudes and the older Lenovo Thinkpads. Easy to repair, then you don't need to worry about a "warranty".

I'd stay away from HP laptops, personally. Even their business class machines haven't impressed me much over the years.

Holyoak

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Re: Laptop purchase
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2018, 09:45:03 AM »
UU,

Perhaps you can also consider a Lenovo laptop?  I own a Flex 15 and a Flex 3 15, and reliability has been very good, with good feature for a good price on sale.  Both new were under $600, yet for the time purchased had a lot of good features.  Although I don't use the tablet mode much, I do like the 'tent', and 'stand' mode quiet a lot.  Also like that in regular laptop mode you can adjust the display way past what most LT can do, all the way to flat.  Really helpful for me when I'm standing, using the computer.

Keyboards feel and work great, thickness and weight are good for a 15.6" display, quality components inside, not too much crapware to get rid of, back-lit keyboard, numerical keys on the right, still has a Ethernet port, OK battery life...  If not Lenovo, I would strongly recommend whatever brand yo buy, has the fully articulating display.  Good luck.

dcozad999

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Re: Laptop purchase
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2018, 12:29:52 PM »
Bought a laptop from US Micro last September and the fan is now making loud noises. They will refund the purchase but since they were bought out by Arrow they wonít replace. Iím a bit leary of purchasing from them again. Anyone have luck buying direct from HP or Dell? 

Sorry to hear that the Arrow buyout threw you a curve. Don't let this experience sour you to third party refurbished purchasing.

If I may ask, what's the make and model of the laptop you purchased? If it's a Dell Latitude, you may be surprised at how cheap and easy it is to replace the fan. This is why I recommend buying Latitudes and the older Lenovo Thinkpads. Easy to repair, then you don't need to worry about a "warranty".

I'd stay away from HP laptops, personally. Even their business class machines haven't impressed me much over the years.


What's a good site to find an older Thinkpad with an ssd? Or at least one that will take an ssd?

Daley

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Re: Laptop purchase
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2018, 12:49:10 PM »
What's a good site to find an older Thinkpad with an ssd? Or at least one that will take an ssd?

These days, I normally recommend on the laptop end a Dell Latitude over a Lenovo Thinkpad, but for your situation specifically [snip], I'm popping into the Wayback Machine a bit.

Buy a refurbished Lenovo Thinkpad T series (430/530 is the sweet spot feature/price wise currently), or Dell Latitude E series (The E5430/6430 models are the sweet spots here). US Micro has a good refurbish program, good prices, and decent warranty. Following these recommendations, you shouldn't have to spend more than $200-300 for a solid laptop built like a tank and easy to repair/upgrade.

Don't get too lost in processor speeds. Pretty much any 2-4 core i3/i5 will be plenty for most anyone. The biggest changes hasn't been so much processing speed as power consumption and battery life for some time now. There's some screaming multi-core processors out there, but they're not worth the premium given that all but specialty high-end applications and games don't need them to run. Even Windows 10 doesn't have much beefier system requirements (beyond RAM/graphics) than XP SP3 and Win7. Don't sweat it, and care more about how much RAM the thing has... that'll be the biggest performance booster. Aim for 4-8GB.

Maybe pay a bit more attention to processor speed these days post Meltdown/Specter patching. I'd also try and push you more towards the T430 due to it having UEFI over regular BIOS on the T420 now, but unless the system is actually set up and the OS installed using SecureBoot under UEFI, it won't do you much good (no refurbisher installs Windows in Secure Boot mode - so if you want this, you'll have to enable it in the BIOS yourself which is a small thing if you're planning to replace the hard drive with an SSD anyway).

The best go-to places for shopping for these things are US Micro, Arrow, and EPC. Aim for Windows 10 Pro as your OS.

Probably cheaper now, but I'd specifically steer you toward a Thinkpad T420/T520 or T430/T530 (even despite the lesser keyboard), or even an X220. [snip]

If you want an SSD with any of these things (laptop or desktop) given we're dealing with refurbs and mechanical drives, buy a sufficiently sized Intel, Samsung or Western Digital in a 2.5" form factor drive, install it yourself, and install Win10 fresh yourself as well. [snip] You can write the Windows 10 ISO to a USB drive using Rufus.

The x40 series and later aren't great. If you want something circa 2014 and later, buy a Latitude.

Trying2bFrugal

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Re: Laptop purchase
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2018, 12:49:51 PM »
I've had very good luck with Dell and Asus.  I stay away from HP, as every computer/laptop I've gotten from them has been junk and dead within a year.

I bought 2 business laptop from hp refurbished and wife bought hp home high end edition,  8,6, 5 years back and all still running excellent,  except on two I had to change battery.

Every brand has a base or worst line up and better build line up. Each had some keyboard layout thing. My high end Thoshiba had broken hinge but still working.

Some retailers you should seek
Costco often sells good configuration for a very good price.
Bestbuy floor models
Hp or Dell refurb line up on pro laptop
OfficeDepot on occasionally

https://www.officedepot.com/a/products/890213/Lenovo-Flex-5-2-In-1/
« Last Edit: May 02, 2018, 12:52:06 PM by Trying2bFrugal »

Unique User

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Re: Laptop purchase
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2018, 06:00:37 PM »
Bought a laptop from US Micro last September and the fan is now making loud noises. They will refund the purchase but since they were bought out by Arrow they wonít replace. Iím a bit leary of purchasing from them again. Anyone have luck buying direct from HP or Dell? 

Sorry to hear that the Arrow buyout threw you a curve. Don't let this experience sour you to third party refurbished purchasing.

If I may ask, what's the make and model of the laptop you purchased? If it's a Dell Latitude, you may be surprised at how cheap and easy it is to replace the fan. This is why I recommend buying Latitudes and the older Lenovo Thinkpads. Easy to repair, then you don't need to worry about a "warranty".

I'd stay away from HP laptops, personally. Even their business class machines haven't impressed me much over the years.

Itís an HP Elite. I donít use it for much more than surfing, accounting tracking, spreadsheets and word docs. I chose HP because my spouseís old company laptop was one and he had much better luck than I did with thinkpads.

Thanks for all the comments. Iíll check dell refurbished and maybe look at arrow. Where would I even go to get a fan replaced? 
« Last Edit: May 02, 2018, 06:03:11 PM by Unique User »

Daley

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Re: Laptop purchase
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2018, 08:16:09 PM »
Itís an HP Elite. [snip] Where would I even go to get a fan replaced?

Well, let's start with a specific make and model number on your HP Elite. You might not need to go anywhere depending on teardowns.

From the make and model, service manuals, teardown guides, and replacement parts can be found online. Even if you don't want to tackle the replacement yourself, you can probably purchase the replacement fan and just take it to any local computer shop and pay way less to have them swap it out than you'd otherwise pay for another laptop.

There are only three-four mechanical parts at most in any laptop depending on age. The fans, the optical drive, and the hard drive (if it isn't an SSD). Fans are cheap. Don't let a likely $10 part that's only gone noisy (and hasn't actually failed yet causing multiple thermal shutdowns) make you replace an otherwise perfectly good laptop.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2018, 08:21:41 PM by Daley »

dcozad999

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life_travel

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Re: Laptop purchase
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2018, 04:06:41 PM »
I'm not in US so I can't tell you exactly where to go but just wanted to share our experience .
we've just replaced a fan in our laptop and paid $50 to a computer repairman that we found through FB reviews.
Now our computer works fine again .

Unique User

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Re: Laptop purchase
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2018, 06:13:38 AM »
Itís an HP Elite. [snip] Where would I even go to get a fan replaced?

Well, let's start with a specific make and model number on your HP Elite. You might not need to go anywhere depending on teardowns.

From the make and model, service manuals, teardown guides, and replacement parts can be found online. Even if you don't want to tackle the replacement yourself, you can probably purchase the replacement fan and just take it to any local computer shop and pay way less to have them swap it out than you'd otherwise pay for another laptop.

There are only three-four mechanical parts at most in any laptop depending on age. The fans, the optical drive, and the hard drive (if it isn't an SSD). Fans are cheap. Don't let a likely $10 part that's only gone noisy (and hasn't actually failed yet causing multiple thermal shutdowns) make you replace an otherwise perfectly good laptop.

Thanks Daley,  itís a HP elitebook 725.  Iíll google fans replacements.

daverobev

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Re: Laptop purchase
« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2018, 03:00:14 PM »
Have you tried blowing the fan out with compressed air? It could just need a clean.

Daley

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Re: Laptop purchase
« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2018, 09:07:43 PM »
Thanks Daley,  itís a HP elitebook 725.  Iíll google fans replacements.

You need to be more specific when you research. There's a 725 G2 (which has two fan variants depending on the processor brand used) and a 725 G3. It also looks like the G3 is a heatsink/fan combo, and all of them will run over $30 new plus shipping from HP PartSurfer. You might be able to do cheaper on Ebay, but they'll either be shipped via slowboat from China and/or used, refurbished/salvaged.

Looking over the teardowns, unless you can follow along with the manuals and feel comfortable doing the work, I'd have a shop do it, as it will involve potentially removing the motherboard and/or removing the heatsink and properly reapplying thermal paste (which isn't hard, but knowing the proper amount and how to apply it can be a bit of a learned technique - too thin or too thick, and the processor can overheat). It'll probably be about 30 minutes of bench time for the work, unless they have a minimum one hour charge.

Have you tried blowing the fan out with compressed air? It could just need a clean.

Always a possibility. Cleaning a laptop fan can sometimes deal with noise issues, and always worth checking. This said, I'm familiar with US Micro's refurb quality, and given it's under a year from purchase? I'd be surprised if it was a dustbunny unless you're roommates with five long haired animals and Charlie Brown's neighbor, Pig-Pen. Never hurts to check, though. Stranger things, etc.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2018, 09:10:33 PM by Daley »

Unique User

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Re: Laptop purchase
« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2018, 01:49:38 PM »
Have you tried blowing the fan out with compressed air? It could just need a clean.

Thanks, I tried that first.