Forgot to add that the package has a retail value of $1800 - she reckons it is a good buy - but she is a country hick (!!!!)
It's not the cost of her notebook. I'm not saying it isn't good or it isn't worth the money. What I'm saying is if it breaks down and it is not a famous brand name with established repair centres, you will have trouble getting it repaired.
So is the general consensus that at $1k - it is a risk given I am off o/s - correct?
Life is full of risks. Nothing is for sure. Her notebook could very well work fine for a long, long time. In which case, your purchase price of 1k will get you a 1.8k machine. Well and good.
What if it doesn't work fine and needs to be repaired and you can't find a repair centre that can repair it or the repair centre wants $$$ to repair it? How much out of pocket will you be compared to buying a warrantied name brand that can be repaired and repaired for free?
Do these things breakdown as a matter of course? Aren't they easily enough repaired by any reputable service depot?
If you buy what we call a "white box" desktop unit (like the ones that cw and gto recommend, any shop or even some of us could purchase the parts and repair it without trouble. These "white box" units have interchangeable parts even if we can't get the same brand or model, there will probably be another part that fits and works.
On the other hand, notebooks although some parts are generic, are generally one motherboard with no separate bits, one screen which is unique to the model, the case, hinges, keyboard are one off for that model. A simple thing like if one key is stuck, or the mouse pad doesn't work, the repair person might not have the part to replace it with.
Notebooks are portable things - your desktop unit sits on your desk for a long time. Notebooks can be put down heavily, can be carried with one hand, can be stuffed into a bag that is overflowing with other things, go with you to lunch, on the train, near food etc... - I still mourn the loss of my fav when my mobile phone slipped and fell on the screen. It may not be the notebook that fails, it may be the human's fault.