View Full Version : Buying a Used Laptop Computer

11-18-2005, 01:54 PM
Buying a used or refurbished laptop is much the same as buying a new one - except you are going to get a much better buy! When considering buying a used laptop, the first thing to do is to determine what your needs are.

What do you want to use the laptop for?

*Word Processing
*Internet Browsing
*Use at Work and at Home
*On-line Shopping
*Database Applications
*Personal Finance and Online Banking

The reason for assessing what you applications you need are that most refurbished laptops often only include the Operating System (OS). Some don't even have an OS installed so make sure you know what you're buying before you spend your money.

Once you establish your computing needs, you need to determine your budget.

Refurbished laptops don't always come with an operational battery. If you need a battery, shop around to figure the cost to replace one. You should know that older laptop batteries don't last more than an hour or two, and even purchasing a new battery for the purpose of longer battery life may not be worth the expense. You should also stick with name brand battery manufacturers like IBM, Dell, ******* and Compaq-HP.

Once you have your refurbished laptop, you may not know what to do next. If you are new to computers and you want to browse the World Wide Web, you will need to obtain the services of an ISP (Internet Service Provider). There are basically two types of Internet access options: broadband (cable modem, DSL, satellite) and dial up. Broadband is the preferred type since download speeds can range from 128kbs to 6000kbs (faster is better). But, if your budget is tight, dial-up access will work fine for typical browsing and e-mail usage.

If you bought your used laptop for gaming, you definitely need a reliable broadband connection. Gaming over a dial up connection will be frustrating and on some cases even impossible. That is why it's critical that you check out the minimum systems requirement for the games you like before buying the laptop. You want to make sure the CPU speed and the RAM and graphic chip requirements will support your needs.

Finally, where do you buy your used or refurbished laptops?

* Some people choose to search at www.ebay.com . If you be sure to check out the seller to be sure you will have a smooth transaction.
* Many don't want the hassle of bidding, so will use their favorite search engine: www.google.com or or www.msn.com for the terms used laptops or refurbished laptop.

How do you choose once you have a list?
1. Look for online reviews
2. Make sure they have a BBB Online Insignia
3. Make sure their service is up to you standard. Most of the vendors have 800 numbers, so it won't cost anything to call.
4. What do their prices look like?

If all the above seems like too much of a hassle, then buy a new computer. It will cost around $800 + but will come with a new battery and a one year warranty (although some new ones seem to have only 90 day warranties). It will also have the latest Windows XP system and an 800 number to call the vendor, should there be a problem.

Article By: David Perlmutter