Last Updated on September 15, 2022 by admin
A second-hand laptop is a great alternative for those who cannot afford a brand-new computer. Sure, there is an argument to be made about spending money on a device that is more likely to have performance issues, but for some, it is cheaper to fix the problems of a used computer rather than getting a new one.
Keep in mind, though, that purchasing a second-hand laptop is not that easy. There are a lot of sellers who are looking to take advantage of less experienced buyers. You need to pay attention to certain things before you give your money for a laptop.
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Check if basic computer functions are working properly
Do not, by all means, purchase a laptop before you try it yourself. First, see if it loads properly and how long it takes for the system to load. The previous owner might have neglected to take care of startup items, or they might have added too much clutter to the desktop, which can slow down the loading speed, so keep that in mind.
Once the laptop loads, check its operating system version. Next, move to expected features and test them one by one. For example, if you are planning to purchase a Mac, find out if Activity Monitor is showing background processes properly.
You will also need to check if the restart button is working properly since RAM and memory leaks on Mac computers that have been used are quite common.
The bottom line is that you need to go through as many functions as you can and confirm that things are in order. The more thorough you are, the less likely you are to get ripped off.
Look for potential scratches and other damage
A scratch here and there is expected when you are purchasing a second-hand laptop, and you can hide those with a few stickers.
However, if there are noticeable physical damages to the device, and they were not visible when you looked through the pictures in the ad, consider that as a red flag. Discuss the issue with the owner and figure out if it is still worth getting the laptop. If you decide to, use noticeable damages as leverage to negotiate a better deal.
See if there is dust inside the computer
The dust inside is another thing you need to keep close tabs on. After you turn on the laptop, you should be warned by a loud noise coming from the internal fans. Overheating should also be noticeable even if there are no resource-heavy applications running in the background.
Such issues could be the result of other causes, like cybersecurity threats, but the accumulation of dust inside is the likeliest reason.
Cleaning the dust inside a laptop is tricky, but you will need to do it anyway if you want to use the device without putting the internal hardware at risk.
Type the keyboard to see if all the keys are working
Take some time to type every key on the keyboard to see if they are responding properly. Replacing keys on a laptop’s keyboard can be a bit of a challenge because you may struggle to find the right replacements, so it is better to get a laptop that has a properly functioning keyboard.
Other than the individual keys, you should also hit a few keyboard shortcuts just in case. If the keys themselves are okay, the shortcuts should work as well, but you still want to be certain.
Test mic, speakers, and webcam
One of the benefits of having a laptop is that you do not have to invest in external accessories, such as a microphone, speakers, and a webcam.
That said, a second-hand laptop might not have properly functioning integrations of the three, so you will need to test them thoroughly.
For a microphone, use the sound recording tool and record your voice. You can also use voice chat software and give someone a call. Doing so would allow you to test the webcam, microphone, and speakers simultaneously.
It is worth noting, though, that audio issues might still ensue if individual applications do not have permission or if there are problems with the audio settings, so do not forget that.
Find out what is battery’s lifespan like
A poor battery lifespan is another thing you can expect by purchasing a second-hand laptop. Nevertheless, it should still be sufficient enough so that you can use the computer without needing to plug it in for charging all the time.
Use the laptop for a bit and notice how fast the battery drains and how quick it charges when you plug the charger in. Since replacing a laptop’s battery is expensive and difficult, try to avoid potential battery issues if you can when buying a used laptop.