Trying to find a 486 or pentium laptop complete

calcmandan

New Member
Sep 23, 2019
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3
Sacramento, CA
David had a vid on the best gaming dos laptops. talked about how he was able to get decently built ones and, though had difficulty locating a particular model, found copious ones for less than $50. I wonder which ebay he was on because I've had no such luck. Most laptops of the genre are missing everything but the chassis. no drive, battery, floppy or some combination in between. Many aren't working but they want $100 for the plastic. It's so ridiculous.

Anyone have good luck on that front?

i know for sure, even with a charger, the battery within would need replacing. I don't doubt that.

I'm not looking for a gaming rig, but something to run command line linux for emacs use. Graphics don't matter for me. But if I were to choose a game, it would be the dos came xcom.
 

cml37

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Staff member
May 19, 2019
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Washington, D.C. Area
David had a vid on the best gaming dos laptops. talked about how he was able to get decently built ones and, though had difficulty locating a particular model, found copious ones for less than $50. I wonder which ebay he was on because I've had no such luck. Most laptops of the genre are missing everything but the chassis. no drive, battery, floppy or some combination in between. Many aren't working but they want $100 for the plastic. It's so ridiculous.

Anyone have good luck on that front?

i know for sure, even with a charger, the battery within would need replacing. I don't doubt that.

I'm not looking for a gaming rig, but something to run command line linux for emacs use. Graphics don't matter for me. But if I were to choose a game, it would be the dos came xcom.
Less than $50 is going to be a challenge. I recently bought a Compaq LTE 5100 (pentium 90) for around $100. I made a "best offer" to the seller and they took it. It needed a fair amount of work though... had a broken trackpoint mouse and broken floppy drive button. Not to mention a dead battery which I will need to rebuild... can't really buy batteries for these anymore.

I also added a compact flash drive and more memory... all in all, I'm about $250 into this machine.

So... yeah... you may find one for that cheap, but it's going to be in rough shape...

Oh.. and mine is still having some unsorted power issue :(
 

calcmandan

New Member
Sep 23, 2019
19
2
3
Sacramento, CA
yeah I may have to just stay away from ebay. I can't help the notion that people are capitalizing on the nostalgia wave. $100 for a 25-30 year old laptop that doesn't function sounds like a complete ripoff to me. Sorry, that's how I feel. This is especially true where I can find modern gen laptops for $150.
 

cml37

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May 19, 2019
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Washington, D.C. Area
yeah I may have to just stay away from ebay. I can't help the notion that people are capitalizing on the nostalgia wave. $100 for a 25-30 year old laptop that doesn't function sounds like a complete ripoff to me. Sorry, that's how I feel. This is especially true where I can find modern gen laptops for $150.
It's free market supply and demand unfortunately. There is a nearly unlimited supply of new PCs. I think the only way to drive the prices down is for people to quit paying them.

Do what I do: keep your eye out for the occasional "diamond in the rough". And look for sales with the "make offer" button on eBay. And then make a low offer and negotiate up. And those really dirty/grimy PCs on eBay that are cheap can be cleaned up in 15 minutes with a magic eraser :) I should post the before and after pictures of my LTE 5100.

Also, look on Facebook marketplace. Lots of times, people don't realize the value of what they are selling.

I have four PCs in the basement:
  • Pentium II 400 MHz: $50 on Facebook Marketplace
  • Gateway 2000 486 DX2/66: $35 from Computer Reset in Dallas, TX
  • Compaq Deskpro 6000 Pentium 200: $53 from eBay (shipped!)
  • Packard Bell Multimedia C110: Free (I got it at Kemner's Surplus and make him throw it in as part of another deal since it had a dead mobo)

I also have a Pentium III that I paid $20 for off of Facebook Marketplace. You just never know what you will find. That's half of the adventure :)
 
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alien1979

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May 26, 2019
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Along these same lines, I have been hunting for a good deal on an IBM model M keyboard. I recently went to a vintage computer museum liquidation and picked up three of them. The 1989 model is already up and running on my desk. It just took some time and patience to clean it thoroughly.
 

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cml37

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Staff member
May 19, 2019
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Washington, D.C. Area
Along these same lines, I have been hunting for a good deal on an IBM model M keyboard. I recently went to a vintage computer museum liquidation and picked up three of them. The 1989 model is already up and running on my desk. It just took some time and patience to clean it thoroughly.
Very cool! You have defied the odds to find a good deal on a model M!
 
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alien1979

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May 26, 2019
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Very cool! You have defied the odds to find a good deal on a model M!
Yes, I got three of them for $100. Hard to believe this is where we are at now. These things got thrown away by the 1000s at one time.