My $190 eBay Gamble

– [Austin] Hey guys, this is Austin Today I'm running solo for one very simple reason: I want to do a little bit of a project

So this, this is an eBay laptop that I purchased recently which, in theory, is actually a pretty good deal So what I got this for is a little under 200 dollars and it is an HP Elitebook Now not that long ago, this was a 1,000 dollar plus laptop, but it came with a few issues I don't believe it has Windows installed So I figured what better to do on a boring Thursday morning than try to revive this laptop and see if I can actually get a solid system for only about 200 bucks

What's kind of funny about this is that I haven't done a video like this, or specifically a project like this, in a long time So especially back in those early days when I was just starting on YouTube, I didn't really have a lot of money to work on projects, so when I did it was always like a big deal I remember 2012, 2013, I spent a lot of time building the ultimate iBook G- Was it G3 or G4? I think it was G3 And something like that was really fun for me It was just like a cool idea to take an old piece of technology that I could actually afford and do something beyond just kind of like a standard review, right? I mean I was spending 100, 200 bucks on it

I wanted to load up an SSD and all this kind of other stuff Yeah, it was a different kind of time This, this is kind of bringing me back right now So I think I just have the laptop here There's no power adapter and I know at the very least there's no copy of Windows installed

Supposedly So maybe not in the greatest shape, although, it actually does seem like it's aluminum And it's got this kind of soft touch rubber back on the bottom Probably needs a bit of a clean That's kind of dirty

But the idea here is that this is a reasonably modern business laptop I need to check, it has a Core M inside I believe it's Skylake Keyboard seems fine, the trackpad's a little bit on the small side I think the first thing I need to do is to see if I can find a power adapter actually

So it does has USB 3, as well as we have HDMI The build seems decent So I found an HP charger that I've used in the past I think this should be the same barrel plug Plug it in

(Cheers) We have life! Excellent! So we've got the HP boot logo Yeah, I do want to see the starter menu Anytime you have a used laptop, usually you're getting a lot of, sort of, grime and stuff Especially if you're buying it directly from another person Oh yeah, there actually are a fair few scratches on the outside

But it does seem like it's made out of aluminum, which is nice Something kind of exciting about getting a new piece of hardware and really not having any idea of, kind of, what's going to work, what's going to be broken And seems all is pretty solid so far I do actually really like this soft touch material It feels nice

It's got a little bit of wear on it, but honestly it's not that bad So depending on what I find inside here, I actually might want to do some upgrades I mean I was assuming that I was gonna have to spend some money on this just to get it up and running If it's something as simple as just installing Windows, that's great, but if I've got like an old hard drive or something in here, I probably at least want to put an SSD in So this is not a sponsored video in any way, but I actually legitimately do recommend these iFixit kits

If you're ever into tech, having stuff like a full set of screws, even the weird obscure ones, having some of the picks, the guitar picks, all the stuff that kind of helps you get into stuff, just makes it so easy I mean I don't really have to think about it It's a SanDisk X300 256GB M2 drive We also have a I can't tell what wireless card that is, but it looks to be relatively modern It is frame less design because it is a Core M processor And it's actually, I mean it's pretty much all battery inside here I mean that's actually pretty impressive

Looks like the only slight issue I might have is that it does not have user-accessible memory, so I can't upgrade the RAM But as long as it does have 8GB, which I assume, considering how modern the rest of the system is, it will We should be just fine So when it comes to installing Windows, there's actually a really simple tool that Microsoft provides that will allow you to make your own USB flash drive with a completely fresh and up-to-date copy of Windows 10 Now I used to use one of the flash drives that I had purchased from like Amazon or Newegg or something, and that worked, but the problem was that once you actually get the actual Windows installed, it would then have to go and do like a year of updates, which could take a long time, especially on lower-end hardware

So when you use that Microsoft tool and grab a little flash drive like this, which I like because it has USB-A as well as USB-C, I know that I always have a fresh and up-to-date copy of Windows that I can throw on any computer than I'd like Okay, well that's a good sign, I guess It should be booting from that USB drive right now I don't want to get too far ahead of myself, but if the real issue here was just purely the fact that Windows had been nuked on this and no one knew how to, like, deal with it, I mean, that's awesome And now, it's going to install Windows

So with any luck, we will have a fully-working, 200 dollar, 190 dollar system after Windows is done I'm always just nervous when things seem to be going well, because this is completely untested Like it could just totally crash and burn on me But so far, it seems like I got a very nice, clean system, no real issues, and Windows seems to be installing fine Which, if that was really the only problem, then lucky me

I got a system that's not a flaming-pile of garbage So with a fresh copy of Windows installed, what are we actually working with here? So inside we have, it is a, yeah looks like Broadwell, so it's a Core M, 5Y51, as well as we do have 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD, and we have, okay well it's dual band N wireless, but at least we do have 5G 190 bucks, what do you think? – [Ken] I mean, this Well, first of all, for 190 bucks you're not gonna get a screen that's better than this – [Austin] Yeah! – I think that that's pretty much my first impression This trackpad I'm hoping is, oh wow, that Scroll – [Austin] Drivers are not installed yet – Okay – [Austin] It's literally a fresh copy, like a bunch of stuff is not working yet Compared to all the 200-ish dollar laptops I take a look at, this is pretty solid

– I mean, this probably already has a better SSD and more RAM — – [Austin] Absolutely – than anything you'll get 190 dollars – So one of the main issues here was that I got this without it being tested and without having Windows installed, so it very easily could have been a total disaster – [Ken] Mileage may vary – [Austin] Mileage always varies with used stuff

– With used stuff that might also be vaguely broken, right? – [Austin] Everything seems to work so far It's even in pretty good shape – I see why you're using the mouse, I didn't even realize the mouse was here, I should've just — – [Austin] At first the trackpad was not working, and so I had to have the mouse and try to get it up and running – Oh, gotcha I don't know, if HP was selling this for a couple 100 bucks, maybe closer to 1,000 if I had to guess– – [Austin] I think it was, I can't see the exact SKU, but I believe this was about 1,100 dollars when it was brand new

– Why would they include a trackpad that does not click? – [Austin] Different time man – If you put like plastic wrap around this and had the box, I could've believed that it was brand new actually – [Austin] Look at the lid though, the lid has the scratches – Oh, yeah I guess But I mean, like that seems like normal wear and tear for, what, like a four year old laptop? Well this is aluminum isn't it? – [Austin] It's all aluminum, yeah

– It's great – So for a laptop that's four years old, there's a lot that really jumps out to me First of all, while yeah the screen bezels are big, I mean this is essentially a 13-inch laptop form factor that we would know today, just with that smaller 116 inch display The important thing is it's a high-quality panel and it is a full 1080p resolution, which looks really nice and sharp

I mean it's easy to forget that this was a business laptop and back in the day, this was something that you would expect to spend a lot of money on, so it makes sense that is has a solid screen So the next step is to test the performance So with the Core M processor, I'm not expecting a lot, but we do have still a dual-core 5th gen processor, so it's not wildly out of date I don't know, I feel like it'll stack up pretty well alongside a lot of the two to 250 dollar laptops that you can typically get at this price point So after getting drivers installed, there are a few things that jump out to me

First of all, the touch pad is better now It's still not very good, and it definitely makes me wish that we still had Windows precision drivers from much more modern laptops, cause this just feels old, but it is somewhat usable Also something I didn't realize, this has a fingerprint sensor Now it's not quite the same as what we have today So it's opposed to a standard capacitive one where you just put your finger on it

Instead, you run your finger down it, but, I mean, hey that's actually a really cool feature to have on 190 dollar laptop Last, and definitely probably the most important, we can actually easily play This Is Episodes, because we have the power for it The general system performance isn't bad So importantly, we do have pretty quick SSD Certainly not anything blazing fast by today's standards, but way way better than any kind of hard drive of basic eMMC flash that you'd find on most budget laptops

Now as far as that Core m5, or Core m5y, whatever the thing is, the CPU is not quick It's definitely again faster than what you're getting at the budget end of things, but it's probably the spot where this sort of does fall down a little bit But because you have the 8GB of RAM, you have the reasonable CPU, and it's backed up with a pretty decently quick SSD, it is usable Now, is this going to be the new main system for me? Probably not But, considering what we were able to get for the price, considering how little work we actually had to do to get this thing up and running, I am super super happy

You're always taking a risk when it comes to buying something that's used, dealing with any kind of somewhat sketchy hardware, and you can totally lose out, right, if you get something that looks amazing on paper and ends up being a giant flaming-pile of garbage because it has something blown or whatever, you're gonna have major issues This, this is cool And I'm really really happy I did this project It really kind of brings me back to the old, old days of before Ken was here

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