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Awesome price on Dell PC right now...
Old 10-21-2007, 11:22 PM   #1
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Awesome price on Dell PC right now...

Yahoo is running the ad....it's the Dell Vostro. Ad says $399, I ran thru a setup on Dell's website and had to add ethernet card for $30. It comes with cd/dvd, but its not a burner. IF I were to buy this one, I'd just swap my other one in.

Nevertheless, it was a 1.6 ghz intel dual core, 1 gb ram, 80 gb hd, XP Home (which I prefer over vista) AND....drumroll please........a 19" LCD! This alone will run you $180 or so wherever you go....

The total came to 429....thats the 399 advertised plus the 30 for ethernet

Thougt it'd help if someone needs a PC
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Old 10-22-2007, 10:33 AM   #2
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I tend to buy Dell's refurbished systems, enterprise class machines at decent prices.
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Old 10-28-2007, 05:31 PM   #3
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A second vote for Dell's refurbs. You get new (or nearly-new) systems, with the full warranty, at a nice discount. They have (low-end) laptops starting at $385!
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Old 10-28-2007, 06:14 PM   #4
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I have a Dell Refurb also. Well worth it.
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Old 10-28-2007, 07:00 PM   #5
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Most of the refurbs are machines that someone received and returned after a few days or weeks. A lot of people take advantage of that 30 day money back guarantee.

Whats cool is that a lot of the refurbs have cheaper extended warranties than the 'new' machines. Probably because they've been through QA twice.
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Old 10-28-2007, 11:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cute fuzzy bunny View Post
Most of the refurbs are machines that someone received and returned after a few days or weeks.
I had a problem with their new and "improved" touchpad and was hoping they could solve the problem without having to get a replacement. They couldn't and suggested that I get a replacement laptop so my 1st one was sent back and will wind up on the reburb selling block.
Unfortunately the 2nd laptop didn't solve the problem and due to a lack of time on my part, I had to keep it. They did sweeten the pot by giving me back $50 so I can buy a small external touchpad.

MJ
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Old 10-29-2007, 09:00 AM   #7
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Not seeing anything these days for Dell laptops under $500. Anyone have hints on when to look at the site?
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Old 10-29-2007, 09:10 AM   #8
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As regards the Vostro, I believe it's considered a business machine, and you may not be able to buy one unless you have a business tax ID, or want to buy 20 of them. That's the stumbling block a friend found recently when she tried to purchase a single Vostro....
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Old 10-29-2007, 09:19 AM   #9
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I bought a single Vostro last week from Dell's online outlet site($459 for "previously ordered new"). Wasn't asked for a tax ID number but was asked for the name of my business. I entered "No Business" and the purchase went through without a hitch...
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Old 10-29-2007, 09:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay_Gatsby View Post
Not seeing anything these days for Dell laptops under $500. Anyone have hints on when to look at the site?
Go here: Dell Outlet Business & Education - Refurbished Laptops - Refurbished Laptop - Refurbished Notebook

Then click on "Vostro notebook stockroom" on the View Refurbished Inventory menu to your left. Looks like they add new units on the half hour or at 20/40 minutes after the hour.
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Old 10-29-2007, 11:38 AM   #11
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You may buy business machines through dells small business site with nothing more than a made up company name. In fact, I recommend buying through the SB site as the customer support/service is better and you actually have a shot at a US based service/support person.

The Vostro is a bit better made than the old inspiron it replaced but I've heard the touchpad is a bit smaller and not as friendly as the larger one on the inspiron. Do note that touchpads have a lot of adjustments in speed, sensitivity and target areas, and a lot of times i've found a touchpad a lot easier to deal with after a few tweaks to those settings. The vostro is also heavy for what it is, but its a solid, rigid machine as a result. About 1/2 to 3/4 of a lb heavier than the equivalent inspirons.

The latitude is the true business class machine. Its not a true thinkpad in quality, but they're pretty darn good. I still have a pentium II 300MHz latitude that was an engineering sample when the pII/300 first came out. Must be 8-8.5 years old. Its still working perfectly even after being used as one of Gabes toys for the last 2 years.

The outlet is a funny business. Machines are mostly released at 40 minutes past the hour but they are dropped all through the day. People have banks of servers with specialized custom scripts that scrape the site every second or two and pull the really super deals. You can have some success late at night when most people arent looking, hitting 'refresh' on your browser every few seconds.

Theres also some scripts at DellScripts.com - Dell Proxomitron scripts, Dell Outlet Scripts, Proxo Scripts (among others) that involve installing a local proxy product (proxomitron), loading a slightly tweaked script into it, and pointing your browser at it. The script will perform much like those highly tuned expert servers and will after half a day or so probably cough out a cheap laptop or desktop. I've gotten 35-40% off of some machines. The process does require some technical expertise but not too darn much. If you have trouble installing software and configuring options, this is going to be beyond you. If you have a little technical acumen and follow the instructions to the letter, you can make it work.

Dell keeps changing the site to foil the scripters, and the scripters keep trying to keep up, but its a bit of a cat and mouse game. Also make sure you dont buy any non current model machines from the outlet. Those are probably the ones that were on a 2 or 3 year extended warranty and turned 'lemon' and had to be replaced. Besides getting an old machine, you might end up with the original citrus smell still attached.
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Old 10-29-2007, 12:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cute fuzzy bunny View Post
You may buy business machines through dells small business site with nothing more than a made up company name. In fact, I recommend buying through the SB site as the customer support/service is better and you actually have a shot at a US based service/support person.

The Vostro is a bit better made than the old inspiron it replaced but I've heard the touchpad is a bit smaller and not as friendly as the larger one on the inspiron. Do note that touchpads have a lot of adjustments in speed, sensitivity and target areas, and a lot of times i've found a touchpad a lot easier to deal with after a few tweaks to those settings. The vostro is also heavy for what it is, but its a solid, rigid machine as a result. About 1/2 to 3/4 of a lb heavier than the equivalent inspirons.

The latitude is the true business class machine. Its not a true thinkpad in quality, but they're pretty darn good. I still have a pentium II 300MHz latitude that was an engineering sample when the pII/300 first came out. Must be 8-8.5 years old. Its still working perfectly even after being used as one of Gabes toys for the last 2 years.

The outlet is a funny business. Machines are mostly released at 40 minutes past the hour but they are dropped all through the day. People have banks of servers with specialized custom scripts that scrape the site every second or two and pull the really super deals. You can have some success late at night when most people arent looking, hitting 'refresh' on your browser every few seconds.

Theres also some scripts at DellScripts.com - Dell Proxomitron scripts, Dell Outlet Scripts, Proxo Scripts (among others) that involve installing a local proxy product (proxomitron), loading a slightly tweaked script into it, and pointing your browser at it. The script will perform much like those highly tuned expert servers and will after half a day or so probably cough out a cheap laptop or desktop. I've gotten 35-40% off of some machines. The process does require some technical expertise but not too darn much. If you have trouble installing software and configuring options, this is going to be beyond you. If you have a little technical acumen and follow the instructions to the letter, you can make it work.

Dell keeps changing the site to foil the scripters, and the scripters keep trying to keep up, but its a bit of a cat and mouse game. Also make sure you dont buy any non current model machines from the outlet. Those are probably the ones that were on a 2 or 3 year extended warranty and turned 'lemon' and had to be replaced. Besides getting an old machine, you might end up with the original citrus smell still attached.
Sounds like I might be wasting hours of my time to save an additional $50-$100. Frankly, all I really want is a laptop that I can customize and use for personal matters every so often. This is why spending more than $500 on a laptop isn't really justifiable.
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Old 10-29-2007, 12:29 PM   #13
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If you get a good deal, you can get a $800-900 laptop for $550-650. A bit better than $50-100.

The other benefit to an outlet machine is you get it shipped within a day or two vs a week or two for a build-to-order.
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Old 10-29-2007, 12:31 PM   #14
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JG Uh, Jay_Gatsby, I'd recommend checking the inventory every so often during the day on the link I posted earlier today. There was a "previously ordered new" Vostro 1000 with a couple of upgrades (more memory, larger HD) for $459 when I posted it. If you're patient you'll run across one in a day or two.
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Old 10-29-2007, 12:46 PM   #15
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FYI, another $459 "new" Vostro showed up at 12:40 Central and lasted about 2-3 minutes. Hope it was you that snagged it!

EDIT: Someone passed on it and now it's back (12:50)...
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Old 10-29-2007, 12:55 PM   #16
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Yeah but those come with the AMD processor, so you'll need a fire extinguisher or handy glass of water, and the chain mail underwear.

Sort of eats into the cheap price a little bit.
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Old 10-29-2007, 12:57 PM   #17
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No problem. My Vostro came with a built-in fire suppressor system and a set of Hanes stainless steel chain mail Jockeys. Those folks at Dell think of everything...
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Old 10-29-2007, 01:04 PM   #18
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If you buy something at the outlet, just make sure that you check for deals on new ones first.

The outlet stopped being a great deal at least 6 months ago. And those scripts stopped working even before that (when they added a CAPTCHA). But I still enjoy seeing the bunny write about it.
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Old 10-29-2007, 01:10 PM   #19
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Wrong as usual. The scripts work fine but you have to put in the code before they'll be added to your cart. Not really much of a difference since you needed to view the cart items before they were removed automatically a few minutes later.

And I got a nice machine just a couple of months ago for a relative. Very good deal compared to what was available new.

But do continue with your helpful suggestions and thought provoking comments.
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Old 10-29-2007, 01:17 PM   #20
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I'm sure the scripts work fine for getting stuff in your cart, but you no longer need them since the "pros" dropped out of the race due to the CAPTCHA. In the past, I wouldn't even look at the outlet unless the prices were at least 50% off new machines. You don't see that too often anymore.

BTW, there are currently coupons available for the SMB outlet. E.g., 15% off Latitude. Dell sends these out via email to subscribers, but you can sometimes pick them up from eBay for a couple bucks if you're planning to make a puchase soon.
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