Tech help please with laptop! idk what i'm doing

linhhhuynh

always an if in life
May 19, 2010
6,184
4
hi all.. i never ever post in this section, so you know i'm completely lost..
my BF got robbed the other day, of his laptop, xbox, etc. i want to buy him a laptop for Xmas, but don't know where to start.

i'm super super broke, and would love something $300ish either new (do they even come new for this price??) or used, on eBay or Craigslist, if someone could let me know what kinds of laptops usually sell online for cheap

it needs to be/have:
(-) relatively new... he's a huge techie so something not shiny or new-ish he might not like. like in the last 2yrs maybe
(-) Microsoft Office 2007
(-) built in webcam preferred
in general just nice and fast..

i know he had a Gateway HP something or other before, don't know what model, but he got it for about $500ish

so if anybody could let me know what kinds of laptops are on sale right now, or if they spotted something on eBay for a good deal, let me know. thanks so much
 

katierose

Loves Charms & Bags
O.G.
Feb 17, 2009
9,027
14
California
I wouldn't try and buy a laptop off ebay, even the computer discussion board there warns people of all the scammers there. Maybe a pawn shop, or check the newspaper ads, that way you can see the laptop before buying/paying.

I think it's sweet of you to try and replace his laptop, but $300 isn't much money when it comes to new laptops. The only thing I can suggest, is going to electronic/computer stores like Fry's (don't know if they are nation wide?) and looking for a display model or maybe something discontinued that they are trying to move out. Or maybe refurbished, but I think even Dell would be more than $300.

Another option is too give him the money in a card, and tell him it's to help him get a new laptop. Then he can add his own money to get something he'll really like. HTHs
 

onegirlcreative

Daddy's Little Girl
Feb 11, 2008
8,391
3
Dovunque voglia andare
I wouldn't try and buy a laptop off ebay, even the computer discussion board there warns people of all the scammers there.
really? that's odd because for the past 8 years, i have purchased many computers and laptops off of ebay—as well as sold some myself.

i have never had one single bad experience with buying a used computer from ebay at all. i imagine the scamming is mostly with the new(er) models.

but, keep in mind, i actually know what i'm doing when i'm looking for computers on ebay (specs, model, OS, etc.) and strictly buy mac to begin with.

that being said, if you don't know what you're looking for, then i agree, ebay is not for you. a pawn shop is ok for computers, but again, you may need to know what you're doing while perusing it there. is there a place that sells refurbished computers? i know here, there are several—one where i purchased a powerbook laptop called the mac shack. all they do is sell used/refurbished macs. it's a wonderful resource and it always comes with a warranty of some sort.

for a PC, we have a similar type place as well called computer renaissance. not sure if that's a franchise or not, but look to see if there's something like that in your area. this way, it'll come with a warranty in case something goes wrong.

i only recommend this avenue because you have made it clear that you're not very computer savvy and don't want to end up buying the wrong laptop for your BF.

my apologies for your BF getting robbed. that's awful. i assume he didn't have rental/home insurance?

good luck. and if you need any other advice, feel free to PM me (more of an expert on macs actually, not really PCs).
 

LoveMyMarc

♥'s MJ, RM, & LV
Jul 6, 2008
3,130
3
Sunshine State
To be honest, $300 will buy an OK computer...not the best quality. Just keep checking the store's ads like Office Max, Best Buy, ect. Sometimes they have computers made specifically for the ad. So you can get a pretty decent one for that price.
 

onegirlcreative

Daddy's Little Girl
Feb 11, 2008
8,391
3
Dovunque voglia andare
^^ another good spot for that low of a price are places like sam's club or costco. again, might not get you much for that low of price, but it's a much cheaper way to go for a brand new computer as well.
 

lorenzo94580

Member
Jul 24, 2007
2,511
8
If he's a huge techie, I would give him a gc or make him a card saying that you're going to put x amount of moolah towards a laptop for him. Techies can be notoriously picky when it comes to their pc's so rather than buying him something that he may not in the end be crazy about spec wise, let him have the freedom to choose for himself.

I agree with the others that you can go Fry's, costco, amazon etc if you want to go the gc route. newegg.com is also another place that techies like to go as well. sometimes woot.com has deals but you have to check daily as they are a website specializing in 'deal of the day' type stuff.

good luck and sorry to hear about the robbery!
 

ILuvShopping

★☆★★☆★★☆★
Jun 4, 2007
23,822
3
Iowa
if you want a good decent computer you'll be looking at around $500

i got an awesome bargain on mine for about $450 - it's an HP 14 inch screen.
Just keep checking store ads each week... walmart has been having some good deals on basic laptops. i think a week or so ago they had one for like $279. probably not awesome specs but if your bf is a techie he might be able to upgrade stuff himself .

also microsoft office doesn't usually come included with computers, but if he had it on his other one then he should have the disks to install it again on a new one.

what you will want:
3 or 4 GB Ram
320 or 500 GB Harddrive

i think mine is a 4 GB / 320 GB
and originally i just bought mine for fun - i'm a graphic designer and had full intensions to buy something a lot bigger and better for design purposes but really i love what i have and it works great for everything i need to do.
 

Echoes

O.G.
Aug 8, 2008
10,402
9
I wouldn't try and buy a laptop off ebay, even the computer discussion board there warns people of all the scammers there.
really? that's odd because for the past 8 years, i have purchased many computers and laptops off of ebay—as well as sold some myself.

i have never had one single bad experience with buying a used computer from ebay at all. i imagine the scamming is mostly with the new(er) models.
Absolutely NEVER buy anything along that line from there. Aside from all the scammers and thieves, your warranty will likely be void. Many electronics manufacturers specifically exclude items purchased from on-line auction sites or any other source outside of their authorized supply chain.

That last two computers I got were from TigerDirect.com and both are 'loaded' so to speak and were priced around $500 give or take a few discounts and bonuses.

You can easily get a decent notebook now for $400 or so with Windows 7 Home Premium. Microsoft Office 2007 can run around $200 by itself. Some PCs will have a trial version that will expire after 30-60 days.

Another source is Amazon, but only buy from them or one of the retailers selling there. Do not buy from individuals or you'll have the same warranty issues.

I've also bought quite a bit from Newegg.com
 

onegirlcreative

Daddy's Little Girl
Feb 11, 2008
8,391
3
Dovunque voglia andare
Many electronics manufacturers specifically exclude items purchased from on-line auction sites or any other source outside of their authorized supply chain.
i only buy apple products, and the computers i have purchased online from eBay have been too old to even have a warranty or apple care anyway. the ones i have purchased have all been for my daughter. i would buy them for dirt cheap, upgrade the OS, the RAM, install an airport card, and everything myself and voila! a great computer for a kid for a fraction of the cost. she has had her own apple since she was 5 and now she has an iMac G4 that works just fine. probably when she hits middle school (next year), i'll upgrade to something a little faster, but again, i will definitely go the eBay route as well.

i think the OP's case, considering she isn't very knowledgeable about computers, et al, she should stay away from eBay and sites like that. for the reasons you have mentioned, but for someone like me, who prefers to buy older computers (for my daughter), it's a great resource.
 
Nov 18, 2010
987
4
50
Brooklyn, NY
If he's a huge techie, I would give him a gc or make him a card saying that you're going to put x amount of moolah towards a laptop for him. Techies can be notoriously picky when it comes to their pc's so rather than buying him something that he may not in the end be crazy about spec wise, let him have the freedom to choose for himself.
This.

If you dont know what you are doing and he is into the stuff you are bound to go wrong choosing something that he wont like. Its a recipe for let down.

Give him the money or a GC with a note about what you wanted to do but dont try to do it yourself.
 

Charles

Sucks at budgeting
O.G.
Jan 5, 2007
15,478
3,499
46
Jacksonville, Fl
Does Tigerdirect or Newegg offer gift certs? Honestly, if he's a techie, he probably wants to get a computer that he researches and/or pieces together. It would be like him designing a closet for you. That's probably something you'd want to sit down and handle yourself..right? Same deal here. :smile:
 

lorenzo94580

Member
Jul 24, 2007
2,511
8
^^ not sure about tigerdirect, but newegg definitely does as DH got a whole bunch of gc's from there last year to build his new desktop.
 

linhhhuynh

always an if in life
May 19, 2010
6,184
4
^where did you get yours?

thanks for all the suggestions everyone! if i can't find one, maybe i will put $ to a GC
 

onegirlcreative

Daddy's Little Girl
Feb 11, 2008
8,391
3
Dovunque voglia andare
Does Tigerdirect or Newegg offer gift certs? Honestly, if he's a techie, he probably wants to get a computer that he researches and/or pieces together. It would be like him designing a closet for you. That's probably something you'd want to sit down and handle yourself..right? Same deal here. :smile:
i agree. i don't consider myself a 'techie' per se, but i am into computers a great deal. i know what i want, and i know the specs i want/need. my husband, who admittedly is clueless about this stuff, if ever attempted to buy me a computer, would only be a nightmare. he knows a GC from apple is the best way to go and therefore would allow me to choose what i want.

OP, i think your heart is definitely in the right place, but i think in this case, a GC is the safest route to go. i know he would probably love it knowing that you're aware of your computer shortcomings and would appreciate the thought either way.