I'm thinking about getting a laptop before I leave for RIT this fall. I really don't have a great deal to spend, so I'm looking into used laptops w/ an AMD K6-2 or K6-III. Anyway, I was wondering what laptops were good &/or which everyone would recommend???
Gateway offers some good laptop refurbs for $799, which is waaaaaay cheaper than Dell offers them currently. Any major manufacturer has refurb PCs, these are the ones that have had faulty parts, then replaced to the point that they pass a more through test than the new ones do. Often though, esp with Compaq, you open a box at staples to see what's inside, and dont buy it, Staples has to send it back as a refurb. They usually have a 1-3 year warranty as well.
Long live refurbs!
Good old NetWare 3.11... if only modern O/Ss were made of the same stuff. Forget Windows 2000 for 99.999% uptime, this one had it ten years ago.
If you are going to get a laptop, get a good model from a reputable manufacturer. I have worked with IBM, Toshiba(I have one that's almost 3 years old with no problems), and Dells. If you buy new, make sure you have at least a 2 YEAR WARRANTY. My first notebook's(A Lexmark...ewww) LED failed after 1 year...and the hard drive died the following year...it died 2 years after the second failure.
If you are going to get a laptop/notebook, get a good one or you'll be sorry(unless you love spending lots of time and money trying to repair the thing). Personally, I won't buy reburbished or used laptops unless I throughly test it beforehand and know the person/group I am dealing with. Also, I would want a decent warranty from them, especially since notebooks/laptops.(1 year minimum).
However, ask yourself if you really need the portability. If not, you may be better off getting a great desktop with more features for the same amount of money you would pay for a mediocre notebook.
As for price, $1500 US should be able to get a reasonable model that will fit your needs and have some extras you can expand into. What are you looking to do with it? Basic school work, multimedia/webstuff, programming, gaming, etc? Also, how long will you be using this notebook for? Personally, I try to plan to use my machines for a minimum of 3 years to get the most use out of them unless a rare emergency happens(i.e. hardware failures/new software).
One thing I forgot to mention is that in the case of notebooks/laptops, it is better to spend a little more for an active matrix screen as it would be better for the eyes. Most dual-scans/HPA/passive matrix screens are limiting and some can even cause severe eyestrain.
Also, if your budget is capped at $1000, I'd get a desktop...you'll get more power for the money...especially if you are going to program and do simulations...the more power, the better.