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Refurb laptop

Refurb laptop

Old Jan 7th 2020, 4:45 pm
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Default Refurb laptop

My old reserve/spare laptop has become somewhat slow, even for the most basic of use, so I was on the lookout for something cheap and suitable.

I struck gold with Refurb.io
Despite Bristish Indian Ocean territory, it's come from Toronto.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 14" i7-3667u 2.0GHz 8GB 256GB SSD. One year warranty. $171, $227 with tax and delivery.

I think I got lucky as I can't see anything close to that sort of deal on the site - aside from "no longer available" and it's in immaculate condition. Looks like never been used.
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Old Jan 11th 2020, 7:30 am
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Default Re: Refurb laptop

Good choice. Looks like you got an excellent deal!
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Old Jan 12th 2020, 5:35 pm
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Default Re: Refurb laptop

Originally Posted by BristolUK View Post
My old reserve/spare laptop has become somewhat slow, even for the most basic of use, so I was on the lookout for something cheap and suitable.

I struck gold with Refurb.io
Despite Bristish Indian Ocean territory, it's come from Toronto.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 14" i7-3667u 2.0GHz 8GB 256GB SSD. One year warranty. $171, $227 with tax and delivery.

I think I got lucky as I can't see anything close to that sort of deal on the site - aside from "no longer available" and it's in immaculate condition. Looks like never been used.
One thing to look out for with Lenovo's is the location of the 'ctrl' and 'fn' keys. 99% of all windows laptops put the ctrl-key lower left corner, and 'fn key' indented from that. But Thinkpads USED to always put the 'fn' key in the lower left corner. About 10 years ago, they changed this, making their keyboards more compatible with everyone else, but even today, the occasional model from Lenovo has the 'fn' key back in that corner. If you aren't a heavy keyboard user it's not a big deal but I'm a 'touch typist' and don't 'look' at the keyboard when doing (eg) copy / paste actions (ctrl-c, ctrl-v) so the movement of that key drives me nuts. I do believe you can re-map it in later models.

Your machine processor is i7-3667u which appears to be 'iivy bridge' generation from 2012. These older processors tended to use more power and therefore use more battery and get hotter (needing more / noisier fans). Having said that, my 'daily driver' has almost the same processor (one generation newer - Haswell) and is still wonderful after 6 years. 8 Gig still serves me well, and I have about 6 Chrome instances, each with an average of 50 tabs open - so about 300 Chrome instances . I've replaced my SSD with a 2TB stick - cost a bit of a fortune but now allows me to store 'everything' on the laptop without having to rely on external devices (well, 'everything' doesn't include my video collection, but it does include my photo collection). I love my laptop so much I bought a second one on e-bay dirt cheap when one became available.

I'm going to check out that site!
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Old Jan 12th 2020, 6:19 pm
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Default Re: Refurb laptop

Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
One thing to look out for with Lenovo's is the location of the 'ctrl' and 'fn' keys. 99% of all windows laptops put the ctrl-key lower left corner, and 'fn key' indented from that. But Thinkpads USED to always put the 'fn' key in the lower left corner.
Sure enough, it's fn then ctrl rather than ctrl then fn.
If you aren't a heavy keyboard user it's not a big deal but I'm a 'touch typist' and don't 'look' at the keyboard when doing (eg) copy / paste actions (ctrl-c, ctrl-v) so the movement of that key drives me nuts.
I always look at the keyboard. But from one laptop to another other keys are in different places and even a different shape affects the position of an adjacent key. With my old Gateway, the replacement 'slot-in' keyboards of a compatible type (pun intended) had a couple of variations to the official ones.

The bigger issue for me would be no number pad; just the ones in a line. Fortunately it's just a spare. It's biggest use will be downloading movies/TV when buffering's a nuisance.

Your machine processor is i7-3667u which appears to be 'iivy bridge' generation from 2012. These older processors tended to use more power and therefore use more battery and get hotter (needing more / noisier fans).
My old Gateway used to get quite warm but an adjustable laptop stand, from the dollar store, of all places made a massive difference.
I love my laptop so much I bought a second one on e-bay dirt cheap when one became available.
I loved my Gateway too. My fantasy was to find one that someone had installed a better processor in. An SSD made quite a difference and it served me very well when my current laptop needed a hinge fix. But now it's gone heavenwards - as far as my bedroom as a podcast player.

I'm going to check out that site!
It's not the most user friendly search filters and sometimes you search on, say, 8gb and you see an attractive "from" price only to discover that's a 4gb price and you need to customise it to 8 for a higher price.

But overall I think it compares to Newegg and TigerDirect.
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Old Jan 12th 2020, 7:42 pm
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Default Re: Refurb laptop

Originally Posted by BristolUK View Post
...
The bigger issue for me would be no number pad; just the ones in a line.
...
I despise numeric keypads on laptops! Typically, smaller laptops cannot accommodate a numeric keypad, while bigger laptops can. I like big screens (15" min) and with those, numerics are a possibility, but then the 'main part' of the keyboard is 'off center', which I've always hated when using the laptop 'on my lap'. So I have to look real hard for a non-numeric keyboard on my laptops. Accountants can't live without numeric keypads I've learned. There's a super slim, lightweight, 17" laptop out there now that I'm salivating over (LG Gram), but - it has the numeric keypad and because of that I'm holding off. If you look at the layout, the trackpad is in the center of the body, but the main keys are off to the left so your right hand will be forever mis-firing the trackpad.

https://www.costco.com/lg-gram-17%22...100512120.html
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Old Jan 13th 2020, 9:42 am
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Default Re: Refurb laptop

TIP: "LAPTOPS" is an often misused concept. They were never designed to be used on your lap as such.

Most have air vents on the underside and a fan/exhaust around the sides, so it's sensible to use a flat surface like a table or even a serving tray if you must have it on your lap. Elevating the rear a little or using a ventilated stand are also helpful in keeping the machine cool. Regular cleaning of the exhaust port with a gentle vacuum and maybe a dry paintbrush are also a big help.
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Old Jan 13th 2020, 4:03 pm
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Default Re: Refurb laptop

Originally Posted by calman014 View Post
TIP: "LAPTOPS" is an often misused concept. They were never designed to be used on your lap as such.

Most have air vents on the underside and a fan/exhaust around the sides, so it's sensible to use a flat surface like a table or even a serving tray if you must have it on your lap. Elevating the rear a little or using a ventilated stand are also helpful in keeping the machine cool. Regular cleaning of the exhaust port with a gentle vacuum and maybe a dry paintbrush are also a big help.
Not all Laptops have or need a fan, I have 2 that I mainly use on my lap including the one I am typing on.
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Old Jan 13th 2020, 5:58 pm
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Default Re: Refurb laptop

Originally Posted by calman014 View Post
TIP: "LAPTOPS" is an often misused concept. They were never designed to be used on your lap as such.

Most have air vents on the underside and a fan/exhaust around the sides, so it's sensible to use a flat surface like a table or even a serving tray if you must have it on your lap. Elevating the rear a little or using a ventilated stand are also helpful in keeping the machine cool. Regular cleaning of the exhaust port with a gentle vacuum and maybe a dry paintbrush are also a big help.
To say they were never designed for use on your lap is a projection I don't think you can make. Certainly a lot of 'laptops' out there are NOT suitable for 'lap' use. The first laptops were big and clunky and were not exactly comfortable but the design goal was clearly to make a general purpose, transportable, flexible device. I've been using 'laptops' on my 'lap' for at least 15 years. All the laptops I've bought have well-designed venting systems that are not blocked by clothing. I'm currently using both a Samsung laptop and a macbook air, both of which vent at the hinge and are not in the least bit affected by use on the lap, and don't get particularly hot along the base.

Today, tablets are somewhat taking over from the laptop market, but the main reason I stick with laptops is that a laptop has, essentially, a built-in 'stand' to hold the screen at a perfect viewing angle. If you use a tablet, you either have to hold it, or, buy a stand which is often not as stable.

Originally Posted by Boiler View Post
Not all Laptops have or need a fan, I have 2 that I mainly use on my lap including the one I am typing on.
I believe you use a 'Chromebook'. (some) Chromebooks use relatively low-powered processors and as such can get away with having no fan. Other than Chromebooks, you'd be hard-pressed to find a laptop that does not have a fan. As processor technology advances, less and less power is needed so the need for fans does, in that context, diminish. But at the same time, people want to play 3D games or watch 4k videos or whatever, and that still demands processing power (sometimes the fan is there for the video subsystem as much as the CPU).
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Old Jan 13th 2020, 6:40 pm
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Default Re: Refurb laptop

Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
I despise numeric keypads on laptops! Typically, smaller laptops cannot accommodate a numeric keypad, while bigger laptops can. I like big screens (15" min) and with those, numerics are a possibility, but then the 'main part' of the keyboard is 'off center', which I've always hated when using the laptop 'on my lap'. So I have to look real hard for a non-numeric keyboard on my laptops. Accountants can't live without numeric keypads I've learned. There's a super slim, lightweight, 17" laptop out there now that I'm salivating over (LG Gram), but - it has the numeric keypad and because of that I'm holding off. If you look at the layout, the trackpad is in the center of the body, but the main keys are off to the left so your right hand will be forever mis-firing the trackpad.

https://www.costco.com/lg-gram-17%22...100512120.html
I can't stand the trackpad. Horrible things. First one I ever had was so sensitive that a slight touch to begin moving the cursor actually registered as an 'enter'

The fleshy part of my hands would brush the pad as I typed, moving the cursor and then a touch would enter or send. I'd be typing away on a forum or blog post and suddenly it would disappear from my screen and there would be my comment, posted to the site, mid-sentence.

I disabled it and it's remained so on subsequent laptops. I use a normal mouse so that makes my hand right next to the numbers. I'm right handed so my right hand flits between numbers and keyboard while my left hand barely moves.

It works for me.
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Old Jan 13th 2020, 9:16 pm
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Default Re: Refurb laptop

Originally Posted by BristolUK View Post
I can't stand the trackpad. Horrible things. First one I ever had was so sensitive that a slight touch to begin moving the cursor actually registered as an 'enter'

The fleshy part of my hands would brush the pad as I typed, moving the cursor and then a touch would enter or send. I'd be typing away on a forum or blog post and suddenly it would disappear from my screen and there would be my comment, posted to the site, mid-sentence.

I disabled it and it's remained so on subsequent laptops. I use a normal mouse so that makes my hand right next to the numbers. I'm right handed so my right hand flits between numbers and keyboard while my left hand barely moves.

It works for me.
That's partly why I don't like the presence of a numeric keypad; it's not that I don't 'want' those keys there - the more the merrier in some ways - but their presence naturally dictates that the 'main' keys (qwerty uiop ....) are quite a bit 'off center' to the left. Thus, your palms naturally end up resting also 'off-center', to the left. But the laptop designers, mainly for aesthetic reasons I believe, still put the trackpad in the center, which means your right hand is sitting fairly and squarely almost on top of the darned thing! One or two laptops have shifted the trackpad so that it's centered on the 'main' keys, but it looks odd and most don't. If you have a non-numeric keyboard, the trackpad can sit in the middle of the device and be almost centered on the 'main keys' also.

I used to hate trackpads until I got a Macbook Air. I don't know how they do it, but it is 'perfect' ... never mis-fires ... it's as if it's reading your mind, it's so good! I don't like Apples for other reasons, though, so my Macbook Air rarely sees much use. I use my laptop on planes, in hotel rooms, sitting on the sofa, on the bed, etc so I really need to rely on the trackpad, and thankfully one or two brands are tolerable. Synaptics tend to make good ones, while Alps tend to make crappy ones. But as I said ... the Apple devices are the gold standard!
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