Is refurbished Lenovo T430 without hard drive for $230 a steal?

mke48

Honorable
Oct 14, 2012
15
0
10,560
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I'm considering buying a new laptop. I'm pretty sure I want the Lenovo Thinkpad T430 and I've seen a few interesting ones on ebay.

For example, in this one it comes with an i5, 4GB ram, 128gb SSD for $300:http://www.ebay.com/itm/Lenovo-ThinkPad-T430s-Core-i5-4GB-128-GB-SSD-1600-x-900-23539MU-/111852014946?hash=item1a0ae64d62:g:Dx8AAOSwSdZWchxE

and in this one it is similar to above but with 8GB RAM but no hard drive at all for $230 :http://www.ebay.com/itm/Lenovo-ThinkPad-T430-14-Intel-Core-i5-3320M-3-3GHz-Turbo-8GB-DDR3-Win-8-NO-HDD-/172031885235?hash=item280de63fb3:g:8zUAAOSwSHZWcdlR#viTabs_0

The seller for the latter one has a higher rating, so I'm more inclined to purchase it instead of the former. I have never used an SSD or replaced an HDD with it before. Would there be potential problems installing an SSD in the latter case?

Does anyone have any advice regarding which laptop seems like the better deal?
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
You will need a drive caddy and side rails for a hard drive to fit in the Lenovo drive bay. They are pretty cheap on ebay though. Also some of the models are missing the drive bay doors so if you get one without a drive, make sure the bay door is included. As long as you don't have to worry about installing a correct version of Windows you will be fine with getting your own drive. Even for $300 a Lenovo T430 is a good system, they are about $1,000 new and a T430 may even have the factory warranty still on it.
 
I don't know about the T430 in particular, but the Thinkpads in general make it very easy to upgrade the internal components. They are business laptops, and are designed for a company's IT department to be able to maintain them. The only potential gotcha is that IBM and Lenovo had this bad habit of locking the motherboard to only accept their brand wifi card. If you buy a cheap generic wifi card (whether to repair or to upgrade to 802.11ac support), it will probably not work.

You can read through the T430 owner's thread. It is of course several years old now, but it should have just about everything you ever wanted to know about upgrading, problems, solutions, etc.

http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/t430-owners-thread.668971/
 

Mark_1970

Estimable
Nov 14, 2015
89
0
4,660
26
Add hdd/sdd + windows copy, you already are up to the cost of a complete unit. The key for windows 8 on it is OEM and cannot be used with just any windows 8 disk again, it must be the Lenovo win 8 OEM copy that it came with, which went bye bye when they removed it;s image that was stored on the HDD restore partition, maybe Lenovo can send a oem copy for a nominal cost but being a win 7/8 laptop means it's ageing and this may not be possible any more, Meaning you will have to purchase windows for it either way. Adding SDD to a Lenovo maybe problematic too, the bios may only support ide /raid and not AHCI, limiting speed. Lenovo have a horrible habit of locking bios from the end user also, making these needed changes impossible to make in bios. Is it a steal? not really. Here in Australia that laptop equates to $320, Which is what a fully going one would sell for, in fact i always see similar specs laptops going for $250 Au complete
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
You will need a drive caddy and side rails for a hard drive to fit in the Lenovo drive bay. They are pretty cheap on ebay though. Also some of the models are missing the drive bay doors so if you get one without a drive, make sure the bay door is included. As long as you don't have to worry about installing a correct version of Windows you will be fine with getting your own drive. Even for $300 a Lenovo T430 is a good system, they are about $1,000 new and a T430 may even have the factory warranty still on it.
 
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