Over the past couple weeks I've been keeping my eye on the computer section of Portland's Craigslist. A few days ago I took the leap & actually responded to a few ads. The results were as follows: One person got back to me via the phone who was not a native english speaker & I had some trouble understanding him. I feel bad, but if I'm buying a used computer I want to make sure I'm clear about all details. One person responded via email that had an email address that was like this email@example.com. That scared me because this person could be a seller of many possibly used but stolen laptops & I'm not going to go there! The last person seemed legit. This lady lived in a Portland suburb and worked in Vancouver, WA & said she & her husband already had a laptop & PC at home & needed to downsize. We decided to meet the next day & then when the next morning arrived I changed my mind after having some gut feeling. Checking CL again I saw another computer and guess what, it was the same lady, different computer, same contact number. Egads!
Online retail stores
It was suggested that I look online at some different tech specific stores. The first place I looked was Newegg.com. A brand new Acer with good memory & speed is only $499. The few reviews on it show that's it's decent for what I need, mainly internet & word processing. But being the cheap girl I am I looked for even cheaper notebooks.
I know Dell is not a lot of peoples favorite, but some folks I know really love theirs. So I checked out Dell's refurbished & off lease laptops at DFS Direct Sales. And for about $450 one can get a good running but slightly heavy Dell Latitude D800. There are cheaper Dell's but may not be as fast & after reading several reviews Dell just may be too much of a hassle.
IBM or what's now Lenovo one coworker said was great. So I went a-lookin' for some good cheap ones. For $550 to $680 you can go to the Lenovo website & order direct a pretty fast & hearty laptop (or as they call it a ThinkPad or IdeaPad). Not bad if they last.
Of course there are those Mac nazi's who start screaming in German if you think of anything other than a Mac. My co-worker & I were talking about laptops and hey said "vergessen Sie alles und erhalten Sie a Macintosh!" Which means only get a Mac. Compuvest had Mac's around $750 and Gainsaver had iBooks for less but were quite old (4 years). Plus that company didn't get very good reviews.
Last but not least I wanted to check out Free Geek. They have a thrift store where a laptop or two comes though everyday. The trick there is calling often to see if one is available & then you only get a half an hour to check it out & purchase it. Their laptops range from $80-$250 with the higher prices resulting in better quality & faster speeds. So when calling you have to try this:
"Hi. Do you have any laptops available?"
"Why yes we do."
"Umm okay what is the brand and speed?"
"oh oops it was just bought. Sorry dude!" Click (just kidding)
Anyway I decided to go to their Geek Fair last Saturday and check out the thrift store (which had a nice laptop I should have bought). It's really geeky in there & I felt a bit out of place among the nerds with my doggie stroller and all. But the place made me want to take a tour of Free Geek & see what goes on behind the scenes. The place is cool & vast. Holy hell! And because of Free Geek's mission & values I've decided to volunteer (starting tomorrow) and earn myself a FreekBox. That's right kids. A free PC! What about my laptop you wonder. Oh that's coming too. I still have a little time to get it & I may very well go with the Acer or wait until a fast enough notebook comes through Free Geek & get that. In the meantime I'm excited to get my nerd on & join the Free Geek community. Look for updates on my experiences.
Have fun y'all! I'll be back on Sunday for Frank's Services!