Folks are probably aware that I swear by refub laptops, mostly bought off Newegg or TigerDirect(Back when TigerDirect was its own site!), every three to six years. What I want in a laptop is a luggable desktop that can act as a glorified typewriter.
Obviously, this is all done online, so I can’t feel how hefty it is. I look at things like if they seem to have designed for appearance, rather than “this is the big area where hot air comes out” and “this is a REALLY BIG battery.” I am a klutz with six kids, I don’t want something pretty I want something that survives being repeatedly knocked over on to a cement floor.
(That was my C-grade refurbished HP Probook 6570b; survived that over at least two years and only died when “it wasn’t me” dumped a cup of water on to the keyboard, tried to turn it on, and then hid it. C-Grade will have visible damage like visible exterior corruption and cosmetic damage, A-Grade looks like new unless you know current computer fashions, B-Grade is between them.)
I know that I like HP, and some Dell, and my objections to Lenovo are entirely related to not trusting China– but I hadn’t really gotten any deeper than that.
This gentledragon did a nice little blog post identifying the common theme for “yeah, I had that laptop, it was a workhorse that refused to quit” in laptops, with a list of names.
How to get a durable laptop
Laptop makers produce two very different kinds of laptops. They have lines of laptops intended for consumers, which are made to look pretty and cost as little as possible. Consumer laptops are *not durable* – they’re made to outlive a one year warranty, and no longer. They have tons of promotional crapware preloaded on them – software that the manufacturer is paid to put on the computer (not the other way round), which is poor quality and makes money for the developer through ads, popups demanding that you upgrade, or actual user tracking and spying. And they are *not* designed to be easy to repair or upgrade.
And then there are lines of laptops intended for businesses and corporations. Which are usually not loaded with crapware (or not as much), which are designed to outlive a three or four year corporate replacement schedule, and which are often quite durable. And they can be easily repaired, because the corporate buyer gets them with a multi-year maintenance contract on them. They cost more, often significantly more. But they are worth it – a good corporate-grade laptop will last until it becomes obsolete, and will be more likely to survive accidents.
So please click on through to get the list of business class laptops.
A note on refurb:
Three hundred bucks is my cap.
And there’s usually less demand for the business refurbs, although demand is all over the place right now, higher demand but all those guys who did it as a side-hustle were working over-time during house arrest.
Here’s an example of a search. Sign up for the Newegg spam emails and watch for sales. I usually put in at least $30 worth of RAM and swap out a bigger hard-drive, but I play stuff like Final Fantasy 14 on them, too. For normal use you’ll be fine.