You don't need to spend a lot of money to get a useful, multipurpose laptop. Back in early 2016, I gave myself the challenge of finding the cheapest, usable, multipurpose laptop. Cheap means used. But I wasn't looking for any old piece of junk. I wanted a quality laptop, one that would last for at least a couple of more years. My requirements for a multipurpose laptop were:
Up to this point, I had been using a Compaq Presario V5000 to surf the internet. But, it just wasn't cutting it anymore. It would freeze for up to a minute on certain webpages with the CPU running at 100%. For everything else it was fine, and the sound coming from its Altec-Lancing speakers was amazing for a laptop. The monitor was a little washed-out in comparison to better monitors, but it still worked fine for watching DVD movies. So, I really needed just a multipurpose laptop that could do everything it could do, plus surfing the internet. And I was tired of only having two USB ports.
After weeks of scouring the internet (with frequent freezing), I settled on the Dell Latitude E6500. It met all my requirements. And it was cheap, dirt-cheap. I found one on ebay for $55, including power supply and shipping charges. That's a fully-functional Dell Latitude E6500 in very nice condition for 55 freaking dollars!!! Ok, so it had Windows Vista on it. But after you update Vista with all the service packs, you basically have Windows 7. And the Core 2 Duo T9600 CPU handed the updates to Vista nicely. I've been using this laptop for three years now, and except for having to replace the battery, it still works perfectly. And it still surfs the internet without any problems.
The point I'm trying to make with this article is not that you should rush out and buy this laptop. The point is that you don't need to spend $1500 on a new laptop--not when, with a little knowledge and a pinch or courage, you can buy a useful, perfectly functional laptop for $55. A quick check on ebay today showed me that there are still plenty of useful, fully functional Dell Latitude E6500's for sale in the $35 to $50 range. Another nice multipurpose laptop that I bought a few months later for about the same price was the Lenovo Thinkpad T500. A family member has been using it ever since, also without any problems other than a battery replacement. Working Lenove Thinkpad T500's are still selling on ebay in the $45 to $65 dollar price range. You can also find more expensive ones, like over $100, but I'm not sure why you would want to pay more.
I think it's really sad that many computer consumers still feel they have to rush out every two or three years and buy a brand new laptop. And they either end up paying $1000 to $1500 for a decent one, or they pay less for one that starts falling apart after a year or two. And their old, often still usable, laptop ends up in a landfill. Moore' law is now dead. So, you don't need to keep wasting you're money on crappy or overpriced new computers.
What great, cheap laptop have you bought lately? Please let us know in the comments below.
After writing this article, I realized that I had written a similar article last year. So, if you're interested in buying a used computer, you might find a little more useful information here. Happy laptop hunting.
Copyright © 2018-2019 The Cheapskate's
Guide to Computers and the Internet. All rights reserved.