Where to look for a used laptop?

My son just started college (YAY for education!) and although money is really tight, I’d like to get him a computer to be able to do his school work on. I realize that laptops are more expensive than desktops, but think a laptop is probably going to be more practical for him. So that’s why I’m asking - where do I go to start looking for a used laptop that’s still going to be good enough for a college student to use for term papers and such?

If you shop sales on Circuit City and Best Buy you can powerful, new units with warranties for 500-600 + tax after rebate. Decent used units on Ebay or elsewhere can be had for around 300 - 400 or so, but purchase is a bit risker as some units have had a harder life than others,and the condition of battery in used units is often poor with replacements going for around 80-140.

If you can go new, it’s is definitely the better way to go in notebooks.

How much do you want to spend? Right now, you can pick up a Dell Ispiron 1200 for $550 - has a 1.3ghz Celeron M, 256 MB RAM, 30gb HD, DVD/CDRW Combo drive, ect, that should be more than enough for a college kid who isn’t doing any heavy graphics, video, or music work.

I second the “buy new” options. There are some really amazing deals on new units right now. Used, you have to worry about the life expectancy of the battery (which to replace could cost several hundred dollars).

If you’re interested in a Mac, Small Dog Electronics is a great site. They often have deals on used/refurbished computers:


As always, I’ll pop in to recommend Dell’s outlet store, where you can pick up refurbished laptops at a discount. We recently bought our first laptop there and got a great deal.

here is a site where you can buy certified used ibm thinkpads from the manufacturer. i have had mine for six weeks, and it has been great.

Thanks to all of you for the many suggestions, they’re great -and- cover a variety of options. I’m not sure what my budget will be able to handle, but with these suggestions I should be able to find at least two viable options, I think. :slight_smile:

Thanks again all!

How far are you from University of Maryland? Terrapin Trader is where U of M gets rid of surplus equipment. You can get a lot of stuff at pretty good prices. You can make deals of the sticker price is too high.