At an auction for enterprise HP, Dell, and Blackberry devices
I attended an auction for enterprise laptops and Blackberry phones recently. The invite indicated that the IT department was dispensing with 20 HP/Dell enterprise laptops and 10 Blackberry 9300 phones. Once I closed the email message, I started researching the models listed in the auction immediately, and was tempted by the HP 2540P, which had a usable 12" display, 3GB of RAM, Intel graphics, and a previous generation low-voltage Core i5. It had an excellent assortment of ports and connectors including a rare Firewire and an Expresscard slot. Many reviews when it was released praised its durability.
The locals at the site told me that based on last year's auction, the well-used laptops, including an also impressive Dell E6400 and HP 8440P, could go as low as 200 RMB (USD 30.00). It was a great bargain considering I was planning to set up a FreeBSD machine to supplement my Linux servers.
|Company auction for Dell, HP, and Blackberry devices|
Both the Dell E6400 and HP 8400P were powerful and reliable machines when they were released - I used a Dell E6400 with a different configuration back in 2011. They were unwieldy and heavy, but dependable workhorses. However, apart from my tight budget, I also knew that those laptops, which were released back in 2010-2011, wouldn't hold up in the next few years even if I was going to install a Linux distribution or FreeBSD on them. A 6th-generation powered Core i5 Intel NUC with an 8GB of RAM retails for around 2500 RMB (USD 373.21), but at least you're assured of a machine that wouldn't choke while playing extremely high-resolution videos or answering multiple server requests.
|Although I used an old iMac a few years back, it's been close to a decade since I last used a desktop tower in an office.|
In retrospect, I should have shelled out the money for either a Dell E6400 or the aforementioned HP 2540P to replace my 4-year old Toshiba NB520, which can only run 32-bit operating systems. All of the auctioned laptops sold out in a few minutes and I felt a sense of regret at losing a good bargain. Admittedly, I could've easily searched for older DDR RAM modules to upgrade the 3GB RAM. Moreover, slapping on one of my older SSD can make up for any performance issues.
|The netbook is now obsolete and off the market, but the form factor/size (11-12.1) has made a comeback in the form of 2-in-1s and convertible tablets.|
I briefly considered the entry-level Blackberry Curve 9300 during the auction, too. The 9300 was also released roughly around 2010 and competed with the iPhone and Nokia QWERTY devices released during that year. However, I realized there's not much I can tinker with when it comes to the much-dated BB OS. Unsurprising, but sad, only one person bid for a Blackberry Curve 9300 during the auction for less than a dollar.