10 tips you should know before buying a used laptop

A used laptop … how many of you were at least once tempted to save some money for buying a laptop and instead of buying a new one, you were tempted you to buy a used one?

In this article, I will give you ten tips to help you purchase a used laptop. You may have thought of some, others not.
The Internet is full of such offers, but “you should not eat everything that flies” or, not everything that is written is correct. The tips are meant not to fool you when you want to buy a used laptop and buy it at a significantly lower price than the new ones in the store.

Probably the time has come when you want to get rid of a desktop PC, you would prefer to have more space and have something more elegant on your desk to work with, so the idea of buying a laptop is in your mind, especially if you are travelling a lot and your laptop is a “must-have” always permanently on you.
You start to get interested in buying a new laptop and when you look at its price “again”, you immediately want to give up the idea to buy a new laptop.
However, there are also used laptops, immediately thinking about it, new opportunities are already opened for you at a low price, opportunities, but also dangers.

To support those who want to buy a used laptop, we have gathered, in one place, a series of tips, whether you want to buy it from an authorized store, or a friend, relative, acquaintance, either from a second-hand sales site, or from that dubious individual on that deserted street who has, for unexplained reasons, a trunk full of laptops. Obviously, from where you purchased it you must pay attention to the following:

Lying descriptions of laptops

You will often encounter this problem when you want to buy a used laptop, especially from a site and it is not always intended, some people who sell a laptop do not even know what configuration it has. So they will mistake the amount of RAM, confuse SSD (solid-state drive) with HDD (old hard disk), put a 7 instead of 3 on the processor and so on.
You will have the laptop in front of you and you will know exactly what configuration it has and in what general state the system is, but from the pictures on the net, you can be misled.

A simple way to find out if your laptop has the clutter described in the ad is to take the following steps:

how to find laptop configuration

laptop configuration

You will also find descriptions such as “perfectly functional”, “almost unused”, which will not always be correct. That is why it is very important to inspect that laptop with your own eyes before purchasing, otherwise, you may have all sorts of unpleasant surprises

The battery is (probably) dead

An undeniable fact of current technologies is that the batteries are running out. After approximately 3 years of enduring use of a laptop battery, it reaches the level at which a laptop is no longer a portable device. The older a laptop is and the more signs of wear, the more confident you are that you either have to find another functional battery or use it as a desktop.

The additional cost of a battery should be taken into account when buying a used laptop. In general, you will have no problem including the old laptop battery, unless you buy a very old laptop for which there are no compatible models for years. In this case, I’m sorry to tell you, but you bought a desktop.

The keyboard is (definitely) a random hazard.

People are sometimes disgusting creatures, and a keyboard that has been used for a long time is undoubtedly horrible. If you have purchased a laptop from a source other than specialized stores that deal with hardware restoration, I recommend using gloves to manipulate the laptop until you clean it. You will usually solve the problem with alcohol, napkins and patience.

There is a chance that someone has spilt juice or coffee on their laptop.

Going on the idea that sometimes people are disgusting, there are sometimes clumsy. So a used laptop may have gone through some adventures. Someone, at one point, spilt something on him. If it was a high-sugar carbonated beverage, you will notice this aspect in the viscosity of the keys and the way some of the keys are heard when you press them.

However, the problem extends beyond the keyboard. A laptop, in general, is not sealed against fluid infiltration, so some components were probably damaged leading to their degradation and inevitable failure.
Without opening the laptop and looking at the motherboard, you will certainly not know how affected the laptop might be, but you will notice this when the screen starts to blink.

The laptop screen might have surprises

If you buy the laptop from various dubious individuals on the internet and you see in every picture where the system is on, a hand on the screen or only part of it appears in the pictures, I have news for you, that screen will probably need to be repaired or replaced.
In the best case, contact behind the LCD screen has been detached and must be glued in place. If you do not have the tools to do this, then you must go to a service.

In the worst case, you have a crack in the screen of the laptop that makes part of the screen unusable.

I once had the pleasure of changing the screen to a Macbook Pro, which for various reasons was broken. I contacted a specialist service to repair an Apple laptop, and after talking to two specialized Apple services, they told me that the repair cost $ 600, which I found very expensive. I changed tactics and searched for cheaper resources on the internet and got lucky.
I bought this screen from this Chinese website, changed the old broken screen and saved about $ 250.

You will need an SSD (solid state drive)

What is an SSD? It is, in fact, a hard disk that moves much faster, compared to the old hard disks that had a much slower speed. So equipping a laptop with an SSD is a very good option if you want some faster movement of the laptop, the operating system will load faster, the various applications will be faster, and using an SSD will not make you get very angry often.

Format, delete, clean everything.

Even if you do not replace the storage unit, it would be a good idea to delete everything on that laptop, but absolutely everything. Format, delete everything. This should be done by the person selling the laptop, but not everyone has that much imagination. A system used by a person you don’t know could be so full of viruses, it could be so loaded, that it would no longer work properly, not to mention why other things the former owner might have left behind laptop, however a wallet with 10 Bitcoin and password in a file may be forgotten in the laptop 🙂

You will need an operating system

Now that you’ve cleared everything, you’ll need to install a new operating system, most laptops tend to come with a pre-installed windows system, and a windows key should be glued to the laptop. A Windows 10 license is not exactly cheap, but not too expensive.
If you do not like Windows, you can always opt for the dozens of versions of Linux available on the market, absolutely free. Sure, not all Windows applications run on Linux, but there are always alternatives, so on Linux, many alternatives can work even better.

You may need to search for laptop drivers

If your laptop is older, the last step you need to take to get your laptop to work is to find drivers for it. Normally this should not be a problem, almost all modern operating systems tend to support older hardware, but on the laptop side, there are problems because sometimes we talk about custom hardware made by companies that might not exist today. The most common problems are the failure of a component, which the operating system does not support the driver.
You can still force a driver, but you have to be very careful about the brand that made that component, always looking for solutions on the brand’s official website.

There is a low probability that the seller stole the laptop

Sometimes you will find laptops at a very good price to be true and functional from all points of view, which can be said that it is not the legal property of the seller. If the laptop is sold from a trunk full of electronics and without a charger, you can be sure that it has many chances that the laptop is not exactly legally acquired, and the legislation is not permissive in cases where you buy, with knowledge, such goods, especially if the laptop is new and looks great and is exposed for sale without a charger. So be careful.

So using these tips you have a better chance of finding a laptop whose purchase you will not regret at all. Also check the laptop, turn it on, push all the keys in the keyboard, watch battery life, inspect the screen for small damages such as dead pixels, and, yet again, check to see if the laptop has a charger 🙂 .