- Nerds Abroad purchased a new laptop for our partners in Haiti, nCompass.
- We purchased a new laptop instead of sending an older, refurbished unit, for less than $300.
- We will assess and compare the purchasing new laptops vs. refurbishing in future technology requests.
For many years, Nerds Abroad has been a partner with nCompass, a nonprofit that supports youth education and housing in Haiti. They recently reached out for a very specific need for 3 university students who needed modern laptops with strong batteries that allowed for studying after electricity was out for the day. While we usually have a handful of refurbished laptops in stock, we were curious what it would take to purchase something new. As it has been several years since we have purchased complete, new laptops, we were shocked to see how inexpensive they have become.
Of course, laptops come in many different shapes, sizes, and prices, but since we were looking for something reasonably basic and with a strong battery, we had lots of choices and flexibility. We also wanted to send something that already had Windows 11 installed to be more “future proof” to the sunset of Windows 10 at the end of 2025.
So we decided to buy something new. And we decided to buy a Dell Latitude laptop.
Personally, I have had many Dell desktops over the years, and they’ve always performed well. Searching on the consumer side of their website, we found a latitude laptop that was less than $300 and also included free next day shipping. The nCompass Executive Director was heading to Haiti within a week, so this was a huge bonus as well. The computer, thankfully, was shipped quickly and is now in use at the Maranatha House in Titayen.
This picture includes additional machines generouly provided by nCompass supporters
We will be assessing how reliable this will be in the long-term, especially because it is going to get lots of use from the students in Haiti. Regardless, a brand-new laptop that already includes Windows 11, a solid-state hard drive, and has a strong battery in it seems like such an impressive deal.
Refurbishing a laptop is generally less than $100, depending on what parts are needed and if the machine needs a new Windows license. However, for something with completely new parts, it may be worth considering spending the extra couple hundred dollars for longevity. The Dell we chose did not have the best hardware available, we recommend opting for at least 8GB of RAM, for example. For a budget of closer to $500, this would more than cover the hardware needed to buy a machine that would provide several years of solid performance.
We are fortunate that our eBay sales and internal funding allows us to purchase technology like this periodically and provide it when there is a need.
We are grateful for everybody support over the last several years with our work in Haiti!