Need laptop for girlfriend

cfortney

Estimable
Jan 13, 2016
9
0
4,520
3
Hey y'all,
My girlfriend is getting her tax return and she wants to get herself a laptop, as she currently only has an iphone and some shitty old desktop PC. It's 2016 and I told her she should be able to find a decent one for less than $400. She's only going to use it for streaming netflix, browsing the internet, etc. But the hardware geek in me still wants to get her the maximum price/performance available.

I'm really impressed with this refurbished unit for $310...pretty damn solid for an i5, 8gb ram and a 120gb SSD. However, it looks like it came out in 2010 and I'd honestly feel more comfortable getting her something brand new. Any thoughts?

(edit)
now looking at a refurbished lenovo thinkpad 520 for $350
has a sandy bridge i7, 8gb ram, 160gb SSD, 1600x900 display, 2 year warranty
 

cfortney

Estimable
Jan 13, 2016
9
0
4,520
3


In what ways is that better? I'm not all that familiar with mobile CPUs, I'm assuming the 5200U is skylake, and the m540 is 1st-gen i5? Is the trade off in performance on the processor so big of a deal to sacrifice 4 GB ram, an SSD and a lower resolution display?
 

ak47jar3d

Estimable
Moderator
Mar 3, 2014
344
0
5,910
137


You will get a new laptop, better graphics, and a very power efficient cpu. The ram and storage is upgrade-able.
 

cfortney

Estimable
Jan 13, 2016
9
0
4,520
3


I found another older Thinkpad on NewEgg for $350
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA5WM3S33704

I forgot to mention she wants a webcam as well. But anyway, I'm not seeing the difference in a new vs. old laptop? The gap between a sandy bridge i7 and skylake/broadwell can't be that much of a difference to the average user, can it? The graphics don't matter - like I said, netflix will be the most graphically demanding app she uses.
 

RCFProd

Honorable
Herald
Dec 8, 2013
183
0
10,760
37
Because of the 8GB RAM and 160GB SSD I would probably also prefer the i7 laptop. Yet at the same time not sure if I would take a refurbished model over a new one.
 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
The refurbished ThinkPad T520 you linked to is out of stock. Since it is a discontinued laptop, it would be difficult to say when they will get "new" stock.

While, it has a quad core i7-2760QM CPU, your GF will not need it especially if Netflix is going to be one of the more intensive things she will be using the laptop for. A dual core CPU will be fine for her needs.

Most modern laptops not have a screen with a resolution of 1600x900 with the exception of 17" laptops to the best of my knowledge. But there are some 14" business laptops that still use that resolution.

If you want a relatively new laptop with a 1080p screen, then consider the following ASUS F555LA-AB31 for $375. However, it only has a Core i3-5010u CPU (Broadwell), but that is fine for most people for daily usage. However, the LCD screen is one of the more expensive component in most non-gaming laptops so for $375 do not expect the 1080p to be excellent, but it should be adequate. You should read the user comments.

http://www.amazon.com/F555LA-AB31-15-6-inch-Full-HD-Laptop-Windows/dp/B011KFQASE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1454950864&sr=8-1&keywords=asus+laptop+core+i3+1080p
 

cfortney

Estimable
Jan 13, 2016
9
0
4,520
3


Thanks for the tip on that ASUS laptop, looks like a good deal for what it is. I was pretty bummed that the ThinkPad 520 sold out right after I posted about it. She's not going to make the purchase for another week, so I'm going to keep my eyes glued to eBay/newegg refurbs for something between 2012-2014 that was a nice ultrabook but has since been marked down a lot. I still use a 2010 Macbook Pro as my laptop, and I've never even noticed a difference at 1600x900 vs 1080p anyway, and I doubt she would either. Otherwise, it looks like that ASUS one you linked is the way to go.
 
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