try and get them down to £100 - £120 as the processor is old tech and vista is poop. so it shows the laptop is a few years old and parts could give up the ghost anytime and will cost you more in the long run.
The price actually seems reasonable if it is in good shape.
There's really nothing wrong with Vista now that it's received updates. The average user would never notice the difference aside from the Taskbar.
Feel free to keep looking but I would never buy a used laptop unless I could touch it.
*I just upgraded my dad's laptop from Vista to Windows 8 Pro (digital download version). I just had to install one driver for the SD reader that W8 couldn't detect. It boots up and shuts down far faster now, and if you hate the new Start Screen there are workarounds like Start8. The deal ends January 31st 2013. Just FYI.
(The Windows 8 Pro upgrade must be 32-bit if Vista is 32-bit or 64-bit if Vista is 64-bit. Also, it will keep NONE of the programs currently installed if Vista or XP.)
How would it perform on the specs it has? I think a Windows 8 upgrade for it will be a required if we get it
Performance is relative. It's not a gaming machine and other slow downs are hard drive related (an SSD would be faster).
Why are up "upgrading" to Windows 8? It's not a bad idea, but it won't make a huge difference and you might hate the new interface. Also, if you add the cost of the upgrade to the laptop you're approaching the cost of buying a new laptop with Windows 8 anyway. Seriously, shop around you can find some half decent new laptops for fairly cheap.
If you still wish to upgrade to Windows 8:
0. Be sure that it's a legal copy of Windows on the laptop (it should be).
1. Get the digital download version of Windows 8 Pro. You MUST get 32-bit if XP/Vista/7 is 32-bit and 64-bit if upgrading from 64-bit. (no 32-bit to 64-bit upgrade path)
2. Download the ISO and BURN a DVD as part of the upgrade process (in case you need to reinstall).
3. Do the upgrade (no programs are kept for Vista-> W8 so it's basically a fresh install).
4. open the Device Manager in Windows 8 and look for missing drivers (if so you'll have to figure out what they are. May be a generic name. I only had to install the Ricoh Media device drivers for the card reader. I simply found the Vista 32-bit equivalent drivers and they worked fine.