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Input needed: I’m buying a laptop tonight

After a series of unfortunate events, I am buying a new laptop. And, because we’re leaving on vacation tomorrow and I need to have it in hand as soon as we arrive home, I’m buying it tonight.

I knew this purchase was inevitable as the problems with my laptop have continued to increase and the 3-year warranty is almost expired. The plan was to buy one before the end of the year and I have had the money set aside for it for a number of months.

Being the frugal person I am, though, I held out for as long as possible but the time has come to hold out no longer since my laptop is completely shot. (I’ll spare you the extensive run-down of problems it’s experiencing, the biggest of which is that you cannot get on the internet and it randomly freezes up after around 2-3 minutes of use.)

So, Jesse and I will be ordering a new laptop online tonight and I thought I’d ask all of you bargain-shoppers here for some input on how I could snag the best deal. I’m really great at scoring grocery deals, but electronics are a bit out of my league.

I’ll be getting a Dell (sorry, Mac people, it’s impossible to change my mind so don’t even try!) and I need something that can withstand lots of use and abuse and last me for at least a few years.

Where should I look? What should I get? And how can I score the best deal? Any and all feedback is welcome and appreciated.

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  • Sonya says:

    We purchased my daughter a Dell for Christmas because her met ,by way of our cat with the liquid of a reed diffuser, which melted her keyboard. It has already encountered problems. I don’t know if it is the Vista or what. My desktop also a Dell is shot. I run a virus protection program regularly updated and renewed. I think sometimes it’s because of so much junk on the net and no matter what we do they wind up with problems faster than they did.

  • Chiara says:

    Hi, I hope this isn’t too late. My hubby is a frugal guy and a techie at the same time (no, it’s not an oxymoron :P). Try or, the hubby says there’s a laptop on slickdeals for $400 after rebate (this is on the 27th).

    I have an IBM and I’ve tried various laptops from the ancient MACs to Toshiba (it crashed after only 1 year!). I thought I will never buy anything else but then IBM got bought out by Lenovo and I haven’t heard much about how great or not so great Lenovos are. The IBM ones tend to be pricier (usually more than $1000) but in my book, it’s worth every penny.

    As for Windows Vista, just be prepared. You might find some bugs and things might be frustrating for a while but eventually, you’ll conquer the ‘puter 🙂

    Have fun!

  • Rachel says:

    I used an HP pavilion desktop for over 8 years! It is just now going down on me, so we took the plunge and bought a MAC (but from their refurbished store online). Certified good as new with a warranty but huge savings. My friend just ordered an HP laptop online from Wal-Mart for just under $700 with a few accessories included. I love her laptop! It is really, really nice and a lot of features and quality for the money. She is very pleased with it and feels like she got a good bargain. I am an HP advocate because of my awesome experience with the aforementioned computer. We just decided to try something new at home! But if I would get a laptop, I would go the route she did after playing around with hers and seeing what it features for the money.

  • Amanda Atkinson says:

    My mom just purchased a “bent & dent” for my son this summer. It’s a brand new computer and we have found no scratches or dents or anything wrong with the laptop. I guess it is one someone purchased and returned. She got it much much cheaper than if she had purchased it “new”. Ordered it online through

  • Dana~ says:

    SO??? Whadya buy??

  • Lea says:

    I JUST bought a Dell Inspiron 1525 I think it was or maybe 1520 < ?> it was $499 at Best Buy on sale! good deal and then if you buy the laptop you can buy a new canon printer for $10.99. I was very happy with the buy it has windows vista and all the perks. It is basic and fast and has enough memory to meet my personal needs. Recommended!!! Again that was at Best Buy

  • Thanks for all the helpful input and info!

    We ended up getting a sweet deal last night on a brand-new Dell. I can’t wait for it to come in so that I don’t have to use this loaner laptop anymore!

  • Elsie says:

    I haven’t seen anybody posted this….but, I always read and search for any tech/computer needs….lets say they’re like the moneysavingsmom of technology IMHO…

  • verandoug says:

    I wouldn’t own a Windows PC on a bet. The days of owning one of those time hogs for me went out the door seven years ago when I began purchasing Macs. Ooops. I said the “m” word there. For me the hours and hours and hours and hours…… of troubleshooting issues and problems was not worth the money saved because inevitably, there was always just one more thing I needed to buy. Plus, it took away so much time from my family. I shall not bore you with the details. However, my top of the line computer would not accept Windows XP with over ten formats. There were so many days where I was told my only hope was to format the hard drive and start again. I haven’t done that in over seven years. So just suffice it to say that I have friends that still buy Windows and still deal with the issues involved whilst I get my work done and live my life normally. Plus, I have an iPod Touch. How in the world did I ever live without my iPod? Someone asks me for a phone number or address, I have it. If we are stuck in a very tedious waiting situation, we watch a movie. I never lose my notes that I take because they are on my iPod. That’s a $300 item they are giving away at back-to-school plus a free printer. OK, so you like Dell. Good for you. I love my Mac! As one giving advice, I think it only fair that you tell your listeners the truth about computers. Apple stands behind their product with American speaking people and they are excited about what they can develop for us to make our time on the computer a pleasant one. Dell, in my experience, does not. I owned one for one month and that did it for me.

  • did says:

    I got a Gateway at Office Depot because it was a good deal…and I couldn’t afford to get a MacBook Pro like I wanted. Now I have a $699 piece of junk. It works…but I’ll keep it around just in case I have to run something using Windows software, otherwise, I’m getting a MacBook Pro this semester, plus I’m getting a 8 gig iPod Touch for free after rebate when I buy my MacBook Pro (I was going to buy one anyway!)

    I wouldn’t be downing Mac’s because if EVENTUALLY (since they have Intel Core Duo processors) you want to run Windows, you can. BTW, Vista is junk!

  • chie says:

    you should make sure to donate the computer (through a refurbisher) once you replace it. the true lifespan of a computer is *up to* 10 years, and, understanding that you’ve run the gamut to fix the laptop, the problems sound fixable. (i have years of experience fixing and building computers.) it’s really good to donate computers, socially, environmentally, and financially (tax deductions).

  • Justin says:

    I know you want a Dell, but if you haven’t bought yet and are mainly concerned with a Windows PC, I work for HP and will loan you my employee discount (an extra 10% off and you still get all the additional discounts.)

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