LaptopsLaptops: Guides

What Do You Need to Know When Buying a Used Laptop

how to buy a used laptop


A new laptop with the latest specs isn’t always in our range. So, you have to improvise a little to find something that is within your budget.

Most people go for budget laptops when trying to save money. These budget laptops are mostly used or second hand. However, in this situation, you’ll need to know what to look for when purchasing a used laptop.

Purchasing a second-hand laptop can be a fantastic option. You get a properly operational machine for a fraction of the price. However, buying a used laptop comes with hazards, and just like buying a new automobile, there are some inspections and safeguards you should conduct.

This article has everything you want to learn before purchasing a used laptop. But first, we will look at some of the valuable advantages of a used laptop. Let’s find out!

Advantages of Second-hand Laptops

The first benefit of acquiring a used laptop is its dependability. Even while modern computers on the market offer greater capability, the chance of unanticipated defects cannot be ruled out. Only after the product has been utilized in the actual world do the defects become apparent.

Furthermore, because used devices (when refurbished) are rigorously examined and verified, any bugs or problems that may have been identified and rectified for you may have already been detected and corrected.

Buy a used laptop if you wish to help the environment’s long-term sustainability. Second-hand laptops offer all of the new features and qualities of new laptops but are less expensive.

Now, it’s time to move on to the things that need to be looked at before buying a used laptop.

Inspect the Laptop Body

If you have the opportunity to view the laptop in person, a complete exterior examination is required. You must ensure that the laptop frame is clear of fractures and marks of impact. Look for any lost screws, weak hinges, or other anomalies.

Sometimes the laptop looks OK, but you may have no idea what type of interior problems there may be, which may limit the laptop’s lifespan.
So, that can be classified as a disadvantage but do your best to find faults before purchasing it.

Test the Keyboard and Trackpad

Because the keypad and touchpad are the most frequently used components of desktops, both must work properly.

Examine the keyboard for damaged buttons, pay focus to the arrow keys, and see if you’re comfortable typing on it. If you’re a smooth typist but commit too many mistakes, it could be a good idea to test out other laptops.

Look out for the trackpad’s supported motions and give them a try, such as pinch-to-zoom, two-finger scroll, three-finger swipe, etc. If you have mouse keys, make sure they’re straightforward to use.

Test the Ports and CD/DVD Drive

Experiment with all of the accessible USB ports, earphones jacks, Ethernet ports, HDMI, SD card slots, as well as other inputs. Most of these are directly connected to a motherboard, which is expensive to replace. Despite CDs and DVDs are no longer in use, many older laptops still include a CD/DVD drive. Test to see whether they work if you think you will need them.

Check the Amount of RAM

Although Win 10 requires a least 1GB of RAM to function, you should never use less than 4GB RAM (in fact, at least 8 is required for most demanding tasks). It will slow down the laptop and affect the system’s overall performance.

It’s doubtful that you’ll discover a laptop with less than 4GB of RAM. However, if you do and you’re interested in it, go search up the price of new RAM modules. Several older RAM modules might be rather pricey.

8GB of RAM is an excellent starting point. This should be sufficient to maintain your machine working smoothly with most software apps and Windows 10/11.

To view the hardware details, type msinfo32 in to run box and hit enter. You can also check it by right-clicking on This PC and accessing the Properties tab. It will show you the device specifications and show you the Installed RAM.

pc specs

Confirm the OS is Genuine

We know that the hardware is your laptop’s physical body, but the software is its brain. When purchasing a laptop, you should ensure that the operating system is functional, active, and authentic.

If you use an unlicensed laptop operating system, you are more likely to experience flaws, viruses, hacks, and data corruption.

The Windows 7 operating system is no longer supported by Microsoft. The company suggests purchasing a new laptop and upgrading to the latest operating system. However, even if you’re comfortable working on an ancient operating system, you should nonetheless verify its validity.

Software Checks

There are several software tests you must run. Firstly, ensure that the installed OS is legitimate, as previously suggested.

Examine the software licenses provided with the laptop and ensure that almost any product keys are made accessible to you. Request the device’s original program Disc, recovery CD, backup media, and drivers.

Check the Screen Condition

The next critical step is to ensure that the display is in proper working order. Examine the screen for flickering, discoloration, clarity, and damaged pixels.

Watch a video and check to see whether the watching angles are sufficient. Before buying a product, it is helpful to compare it to other laptops as well.

Check Wireless Connectivity

Nobody likes a laptop that can’t access Wi-Fi, so ensure that you can quickly access Wi-Fi connections. Examine Bluetooth’s performance as well.

Additionally, check the Wi-Fi cards as well. Typically, the laptop has a great range and forms a connection even if the device is at a considerable distance. However, a faulty Wi-Fi card will not catch a signal if the device is in the next room.

Examine the Speakers and Webcam

The majority of laptop cameras are mediocre. Still, having a lousy functional camera is preferable to having no webcam at all.

Although it is doubtful that laptop users utilize its speakers, it’s still a great idea to examine how loud they can get. Sometimes the laptop speaker may have a problem, and the sound becomes muffled or distorted quickly.

Battery Health

In most circumstances, you might not be able to do a comprehensive battery test. However, you can get a clue how long the battery will last by navigating into the power control settings of the installed operating system and looking at how much capacity the battery can retain as well as the battery health status.

Also, ensure that the battery charges correctly and does not deplete too quickly. Otherwise, request a discount to obtain a replacement.

Get to Know the HDD or SSD Health

A hard disc drive (HDD) or a solid-state drive (SSD) is installed in a laptop. Regardless of which one the laptop has, both serve as a massive storage system and data reader/writer. These discs keep your information also when your device is turned off.

Use tools like SSD life to monitor the health of your SSD. Look to HD Sentinel if you’re using an HDD. It would help if you also looked at the company’s credentials as a faulty HDD.

It is OK to have a few IO faults on the record. You shouldn’t need to hunt for a new laptop just yet. If there are too many negative sectors, search for alternatives.

Conclusion

When you decide to buy a second-hand laptop, contrast the offered price to the cost of it when it was brand new. If you intend to update the hardware, thoroughly investigate the pricing so that you really can take an educated decision about whether you should buy new or used.

Additionally, consider and check the above components when buying a used laptop. Besides this, you can also check the cooling fans, motherboard, etc.

About author

A finance major with a passion for all things tech, Uneeb loves to write about everything from hardware to games (his favorite genre being FPS). When not writing, he can be seen in his natural habitat reading, studying investments, or watching Formula 1.
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