Ralph Melton (ralphmelton) wrote,
Ralph Melton


In 2001, Laura gave us a IBM Thinkpad i-series laptop that she'd bought for $20 off of one of her fellow students. We replaced the keyboard and the hard drive, and put a wireless card in, and it's served us fairly well for three and a half years. We use it mostly for websurfing and reading mail, and it's served us well for that.

But that laptop has been dropped too many times, and it's starting to fall apart. There are multiple cracks near the keyboard, and the display is attached by only one hinge. The final straw is that the power cable has stopped making good contact when it's plugged into the laptop, so the laptop tends to run out of power at the least provocation.

So we'd like to replace that laptop, but we don't need anything terribly capable. So I'm asking y'all for advice: is it possible to buy a solidly functional low-end laptop for a few hundred dollars?

A used laptop would be fine, as long as it works well. I've considered eBay, but I feel wary (probably unnecessarily) of buying a laptop sight unseen. Are there other avenues of which I'm unaware?

Note that once we get up into prices of several hundred dollars, I can buy an iBook with the employee discount, which would be a pretty solid solution. So I don't need to consider alternatives more expensive than that.

Many thanks for your advice.
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