2nd Gen Core 15" Laptops (2011 - 2012) - "Sandy Bridge"

Prices reflect sold dates from Februrary 2016 to April 2016.

I highly recommend this era of laptops as most can be had under $200 and work very well!
8GB RAM + 256GB SSD cost maybe $120 and will make your machine damn bulletproof!

Sandy Bridge i5 processors are powerful enough for anyone, and most have equal or better CPU scores than laptops you see at Best Buy, Target, & Apple stores for $500.
As usual the first three laptops will be Dell, Lenovo, HP, Apple in that order unless they didn't make a laptop for that category, 'xxxx' be posted to signify that there wasn't one.
On some models, I may post the Manufacturer name of that laptop at the end.

LISTING FORMAT (colored text emphasizes whats new)

E.G E6420 - $120 - 260 // 370  ~ 1000 v 2900

$120 signifies the starting price I see of a laptop that has been sold with an AC adapter, HDD/OS and (hopefully) good battery.

- 260 signifies the max price you should pay for a used fully working machine that has a good battery, OS installed, OEM AC adapter and not banged up.

// 370 signifies the price I've seen that should be sold with at least one of the following

  • Recognized seller, Microsoft Authorized Refurbishers, Enthusiast, or Original owner w/ original box, manual and/or recovery discs.
  • Top spec'd machines: upgraded/new components, modded, comes with a dock, a badass bag, or extra swag like batteries, hard drives, AC adapters, etc.
  • Manufacturer refurbished or seller refurbished - Your warranty should start the day you bought it.
  • Comes with software that is guaranteed NOT pirated  (price can be more if it has $500+ software loaded)
  • Overnight shipping, local store/ local owner price (just an educated guess)
  • Not gonna lie, I shoot for this price when I list as seller refurbished if I got a damn great machine.

~ 1000 signifies how many laptops are available when I searched for it.
v 2900 signifies how many laptops were sold in the past four months.


  • This number is not necessarily true as some of those listings will include parts/incomplete machines, just laptop part not a whole machine, sometimes laptops are miscategorized (think i5 laptop, no brand or wrong model, or dumb macbook sellers) and some are of lots or multiple quantity.
  • This is essential information to know if you desire to resell it, want to buy a whole laptop to source one part or extra, or just know whats in demand or not popular.
  • If there is a lot listed but not a lot sold for the particular model you want to get, you could nab a good deal w/ a best offer
  • Note, I only can source numbers sold in burger land, international results are not included! :S

Disclaimer: I did not research much about reliability, build quality, parts prices, reviews or common problems on these laptops! Laptops at the lowest price point may/may not come with an OS, BIOS locks, or AC adapter, so you might need to put some work into them if buying the lower priced units!

15"

Mainstream

E6520 - $150 - 250 // 310 ~ 172 v 990
T520   - $140 - 230 // 300 ~ 95 v 360
8560p - $135 - 220 // 260 ~ 65 v 330
MC723LL/A - $440 - 550 // 680 ~ 42 v 210 (2.2GHz i7-2720qm, Early 2011, MBP 8,2)
MD322LL/A - $550 - 700 // 800 ~ 14 v 54 (2.4GHz i7-2760qm, Late 2011, MBP 8,2)
15" Vaio - $120 - 400 // 500 ~ 7 v 10?
  • Something about them Dell E6520's, a few M$ Refurbers sell them for $320 - $370, dem FHD displays.
  • I nabbed a T520 for under $120 w/o HDD, it needs a keyboard and battery tho, these models are cheap but IMO you might as well get a W520 if its possible.
  • I saw quire a few HPs at $180... giving them the benefit of the doubt.
  • Top of these Macs hit $1,000, good luck! I'd wager $470 is a good price for a machine like this in good used condition. Some sell for parts up to $400, notice the difference a later model gets
  • This is for an i5 Vaio, some results were wrong sized laptops... 

Budget

E5520 - $90   - 180 // 230 ~ 80 v 300
L520   - $80   - 160 // 200 ~ 6 v 9
6560b  - $100 - 180 // 240 ~ 76 v 203
6565b -  $70   - 150 // 170 ~ 15 v 72    (AMD A4-33xx, A6-34xx, A8)
MC721LL/A  -  $400 - 575 // 650 ~ 90 v 95/680?? (2GHz i7-2635qm, early 2011, MBP 8,2)
MD318LL/A $450 - 400 // 700 ~ 26 v 102 (2.2GHz i7-2625qm, Late 2011, MBP 8,2)
Tecra R580   - $140 - 200 // 250 ~ 7 v 20 (Toshiba)

  • E5520 is probably the only one out of the bunch that can get 1080p
  • L series probably has bad speaker design... idk cant confirm but read problems about them
  • PROBOOKS SO CHEAP, JUST BUY EM, NOTHING COULD GO WRONG!!! D:
  • Can't confirm the 2GHz MBP 15"... which is why I am not sure if there are is 680 of them in the market or only 95, hard to search for them with the two terms and get a solid number.
Workstation

M4600 - $200 - 380 // 450 ~ 170 v 400
W520   - $220 - 400 // 500 ~ 59 v 225
8560w  - $180 - 370 // 450 ~ 85 v 250
MD035LL/A - $450 - 620 // 750 ~ 15 v 23 (2.3GHz i7-2820qm, Early 2011, MBP 8,2)
CTO MBP - $470 - 700 // 850 ~ 5 v 64 (2.5GHz i7-2860qm, Late 2011, MBP 8,2)
  • I personally bought a W520 w/ an i7 for $350 locally and sold it for $520 after clean install, had I not put carbon fiber wrap on it, it might of sold for $450 (ebay fees and pp fees would of been about $60 taken out, so I would of profited only $50 or so)
  • No real name for the top end MBP 17", this was the last year for the 17" MBP(´・ω・`)

Gaming

Clevo - $??? - 800
????

  • Couldn't find much info about gaming laptops this time, YOLO!


Pleb

XPS 15 -$170 - 300 //400 ~ 6 v 69 (Dell)
DV6 - $150 - 300 // 350 ~ 7 v 72
  • DV6 pricey because muh beats audio
Why no 17" laptops?
Gonna do a different sort of guide for them. :D

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