How to Buy a Used Laptop or PC in 2023


If you’re thinking, “who buys second-hand computers?” Well, there are approx. 4.9 billion who do! When you can buy used laptops or a PC for a fraction of the cost of a brand-new one, there’s no need to purchase a new one. You can easily find them at a garage sale, thrift shop, or online auction.

Buying a computer that has been used before is alluring due to their low cost. Particularly when your requirements are simple, like access to the internet and email, or if you want to help your children with their homework. Isn’t there any safety concern regarding used desktop computers?

There is no cause for alarm when purchasing a second-hand PC. Selling a second-hand computer with malicious software installed is very rare. On the other hand, you have no idea where that PC has been.

Has the prior user taken enough precautions to ensure the safekeeping of this item? Was malicious software or unsuitable data accidentally left behind? Precautions should be taken, and they can be. Let’s find out more!

What Exactly are Used Desktop PCs?

Your computer is getting on in years, and its performance is starting to show its age. All your company’s computers are vulnerable to the same threats. The more you gaze at your monitor, the more you realize it’s time to upgrade.

There are a variety of alternatives to choose from, including new, second-hand, and rebuilt laptops, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

There are so many possibilities that it might be hard to research them all, especially when your present computer is functional. For day-to-day operations, nevertheless, a more robust system is required.

First and Foremost: How Old is Too Old?

Using the computer age can be a quick way to restrict your search. Because age impacts many other criteria, it can be used as a catch-all to eliminate fewer desirable choices. But when is it time to slow down?

Try to get a computer or a second-hand Chromebook no more than three years old. Regardless of how much you save, it’s not worth buying a second-hand computer that’s more than three years old since it will be too sluggish, too damaged, and too outdated.

Age brings many issues to machines, especially after only a few years have passed. Firstly, the electronics and ventilation motor have accumulated dust over the years, which might lead to maintenance issues down the road. Whereas the rate of improvement in storage media and functions has slowed, Moore’s Law is still in operation; the gap between computers built only three years ago remains quite large.

As an illustration: An iMac with a 27-inch display released in 2012 that included HD resolution, 8GB of RAM, a 2.9GHz CPU, and a 1TB hard drive on the basic model.

A speedier 1TB hybrid disk, Retina 5K display, 8GB of RAM, and a 3.5GHz CPU are all standard on the 2014 model. Some specifications are the same as before, while others have seen substantial improvements in only the last two years.

Battery Matters!

Then, think about how long a charge on a laptop computer will last. A laptop with a three-year-old or older battery will not survive if it once did, and if the laptop has been mistreated, the battery might be in extremely terrible shape.

Even if you get to try out the computer when you purchase it, it might be challenging to assess the battery. Be wary of the laptop’s battery life and attempt to save up for a replacement battery if possible. After many years, the battery in a laptop is likely in need of replacement. However, not all laptops allow for removable batteries and those that don’t tend to be low-quality when utilized.

How to Inspect Technical Specifications of a Used Laptop/PC

Before making any purchases, choose between the computer and the laptop! Then, you should check out the second-hand computer thoroughly or get a full rundown of its specs.

To know exactly how your system is set up, you must investigate it independently and not rely on what they tell you. By using the excellent system info program ASTRA32, you can learn everything about any computer’s settings.

ASTRA32 is a powerful operating system utility that doesn’t weigh a ton. Discover all the specifics of a computer’s hardware with this helpful application. You can find out every information about a computer’s hardware or parts by downloading the mobile version of ASTRA32, unzipping it, and copying it to a Pendrive.

10 Things to Look for When Buying a Used Laptop

1. Ask About the Software It Comes With

This is a handy feature when programs like Microsoft Office are now on the hard drive. Another pricey yet frequently required tool is Adobe Photoshop. Look into the price of any additional software that can be required.

This will give you a rough estimate of the benefit to your PC. If you notice any handy pre-installed applications, don’t forget to request the corresponding product keys.

Even while it is essential to have an updated antiviral, it is not essential to have subscription software to ensure that your system is free of malicious software and viruses.

2. Run Benchmark Tests

Computers are tested and ranked based on their performance in benchmarks, which use the machine’s full capacity. By doing so, you can see your computer’s specs via the lens of the testing program.

As a bonus, once you get the results of the tests, you can easily compare them to other computers with comparable specs. There could be something incorrect with the PC you’re examining if the results you obtain are drastically different from the norms of comparable machines.

An expected performance decrease with computer age is about 10%; if the decline worsens, you can investigate replacing the machine. If a noticeable drop in performance results, the PC can have underlying issues.

Problems can be fixed in various ways, some as simple and inexpensive as applying fresh thermal paste, while others can need more extensive and costly measures, such as purchasing a new RAM stick.

3. Always Check the Battery

The computer’s energy is the device’s single most crucial element, and the degradation of that battery is the leading cause of its eventual disposal. Ensure you can charge the batteries to 100% and operate the laptop till the battery is dead if you’re buying an old computer.

Please take the exam again if you have the luxury of doing so. If the battery doesn’t retain a charge for more than a few days, you should get a refund unless you can get a new battery for next to nothing. Remember that getting a new battery for your laptop’s age can be difficult.

4. Consider the PCs Resolution

The screen on a laptop computer is the screen you get. If your laptop is older than three years, you can need to settle with 1,600 x 900 or 1,366 x 768 resolution rather than the recommended 1080p.

Above that is not advised. Assuming it’s a PC, you’re free to choose whatever display you wish so long as its ports are suitable for the desktop. The minimum need is a 22-inch screen with a 1080p resolution LCD monitor, or you can look for a pre-owned computer monitor if you cannot afford a new one!

5. Check its Processor and Motherboard

Use the ASTRA32 system information utility I described before to double-check the CPU model and motherboard type. Check the processor speed to determine whether it is enough for your needs or the tasks you want to do.

There is no purpose in purchasing a computer if the CPU is so old that it cannot run even the most basic of modern programs. The next step is to verify that the motherboard’s type has compatible components accessible on the internet for the software you want to use.

6. Make Sure You Have All the Discs, Cables, and Connections

It’s easy to overlook that when purchasing a used pc, whether a desktop or laptop version, you’ll also be getting all the necessary accessories.

Many people don’t think to double-check what extras come with a product they’re buying, but if you ever find yourself needing extra cables, storage devices, etc., you’ll be happy you held on to those. It would help if you considered this before settling on a used computer to purchase, as it might save you a lot of money and effort.

7. Factory Reset the PC (If you’ve bought it!)

You must be asking, who buys second-hand computers? But for the sake of argument, let’s pretend you’ve just purchased a second-hand PC running Windows 10. The first setup panels you see upon powering it on should be identical to those you would see if you had just purchased the product. Set up wizards that let you customize Windows to your liking.

This indicates the previous owner restored Windows to its original state by erasing all user data and installing Windows again from scratch. Most legitimate PC refurbishes will use a copy stored on the machine in a dedicated recovery sector.

Also, many savvy private sellers won’t want to leave any traces of personal information on a gadget they’re selling. What, however, if booting up the PC brought you directly to the Windows desktop, ready to go to work?

In such a scenario, it’s recommended that you do the reset manually. You should verify the Windows installation is active before attempting a reinstall. Select the Start menu, followed by Settings, Update & Security. If “Windows is enabled with a virtual license,” everything is in order. Take note of the 25-digit product key if you see one. It would be best if you prepared to use it.

8. Ask If the Product Key Can Be Given

It is recommended that a clean Windows installation be performed whenever a new hard drive is installed, which will need a Windows key. Be sure to get the licensing keys for any additional commercial software, such as Microsoft Office, that can come included with your purchase.

You should always have your license keys handy if you ever need to reinstall the OS since doing so might result in you having to buy a new copy of the OS and any other software you use. You could always save a copy of the current setup for reference, but you’ll inevitably have to start again at some point.

9. Count all the Important Accessories

Look at the computer case, but don’t neglect to verify that you have everything that came with it. Check the adapter out before you purchase that second-hand laptop. Is this a new charger, or does it come with the original device? Is it in usable condition even now?

Can the PC still be charged with it? Is a display included with your desktop computer purchase? What’s the status of the screen? Is the colour it produces still true? Is this form factor small form worth it? Don’t waste time and money dealing with damaged accessories by not checking everything that comes with your order.

There’s a good chance you’ll also want to make sure they’re clear of dirt and dust. This is particularly true with keyboards, which harbor all kinds of debris behind their keys, including dust, grime, hair, and more. And besides, you do not wish to get your hands dirty with another person’s grime.

10. Ensure All the Key Specs are Present for PCs to Buy

Whether you aren’t up to date on computer technology, it might be tough to tell when you’re receiving a good deal on a pc that is a few years old. Let’s find out what to look for in a laptop!

  • Concerning the brains of the machine, try to get an Intel Core CPU from the 7th generation or later. For example, the Intel Core i3 or Intel Core i5 -8400 will have a value in the -7000 or -8000 range or greater (as in Dell Optiplex). Any CPU that isn’t at least 7th generation, or a low-end one like a Celeron, will become too sluggish.
  • Before everything else, stay away from machines with hard drives (HDDs). A solid-state drive (SSD) should be considered essential in every computer. Many outdated PC laptops come with small 64 GB SSDs, which are virtually unusable, so yours must be at least 128 GB in size.
  • You must also seek IPS panels with full HD resolution. Displays with a TN panel will have a washed-out appearance, and values under 1920 x 1080 won’t provide you with enough value.

Here’s a tip of advice: buy these best laptops for photo and video editing if you’re into vlogging!

Things to Avoid When Buying a Used PC/ Refurbished Laptop

Do Not Buy a GPU Used for Mining Crypto

You risk computer failure if you utilize your GPU for mining. When compared to other GPUs, their capabilities are severely lacking. Furthermore, they produce excessive heat and are easily broken.

You can check the health of your GPU using programs like 3Dmark and ADA64. The employed GPU’s heat tolerance must be tested. The decision as to whether the GPU is utilized for mining rests with the top brass.

Anything Below 64GB isn’t Worth it

There won’t be enough free space for Windows and your frequently used programs, much alone Windows Update. Besides using slower and non-upgradeable eMMC, a lower disk array, most pcs with such small SSDs utilize eMMC when you buy a used laptop.

Screens with 1366 x 768 Resolution

These low-resolution panels, also known as HD or WXGA screens, cannot show as much data and have a fuzzier appearance than their higher-resolution counterparts. Cheap, washed-out TN controls is increasingly common in these devices.

Sluggish Processors

The AMD A-series and Intel Celeron/Pentium/Core 2 Duo/Quad/First/Second/Fourth/Sixth-generation Core CPUs are all included. Each of these CPUs is an older or weaker model, which shows when you use them. Some might have problems even operating macOS Mojave or enabling Windows 10’s bare minimums in terms of functionality.

Benefits of Buying a Used Computer

Save Yourself a Ton of Money

You can save hundreds by purchasing a used or reconditioned pc. Thrift stores are great places to get a cheap, fully functioning computer for under $100. Even if it can’t run the newest copy of Windows, that computer could have years of useful life remaining if you install Linux on it.

As prolonged as it continues to get security updates, even an outdated version of Microsoft Windows, like Windows 7, is acceptable. You needn’t resort to such antiquated technology, however. The average age of computers sold on the internet is only a few months.

Think about getting a laptop from a company like Dell, HP, or Apple from the generation before yours. You can even buy a second-hand Chromebook or buying a second-hand gaming pc.

Many improvements made to modern versions are just aesthetic, such as a better screen or longer battery life. Is it wonderful to have them? Sure. Nonetheless, your demands can dictate that the increased price tag isn’t worth it.

It’s an Eco-Friendly Choice

Electronic waste can be reduced by purchasing second-hand equipment rather than brand new. Metals like lead and mercury can be found in computer parts. Toxins that seep from obsolete laptops in landfills threaten nearby animal and plant life.

When fewer people buy new devices, there is less of a need to produce more power. Air pollution and environmental pollution, two unwanted byproducts of microelectronics, are also diminished. That’s why buying a second-hand computer is ideal!

You Can Avoid Unnecessary Add-Ons

The price rises over the previous model whenever a new laptop version is announced. This is due to the enhanced capabilities that came with the upgrades.

It can seem completely superfluous to the average person, and they could be spending for nothing more than a clever advertising ploy. However, if you purchase a second-hand laptop (either an older or a newer one) from a reliable vendors/ pc seller, you will avoid spending money on unnecessary upgrades. Some Systems are Tested for Good

Computers used are routinely reviewed and tested before being placed back on the market. You’ll see a tremendous improvement if you compare this to brand-new machines. A brand-new computer cannot be in tip-top form despite its appearance. Buying reconditioned reduces the risk of receiving a non-working item.

What’s the quality like on reconditioned computers? We do not doubt it, yet many would suggest that these machines might have been flawed at one point. Whenever these drawbacks are investigated, they are reworked.

Before the test, the laptop is restored to a state closer to brand new by replacing its broken components. Restored computers (such as refurbished dell) have their exteriors used as well as their internals when necessary.

Used Doesn’t Mean Old

It’s hard to say why individuals get rid of their computers, but it’s not always since the device is completely useless. The overwhelming majority of previously owned laptops originate from companies in the process of a complete hardware and software upgrade.

As a result, you can expect exceptional performance and reliability from preowned laptops and used desktop computers. Some individuals want to be on the cutting edge of technology and have the most recent laptop model available.

It’s not uncommon for consumers to toss their laptops when they discover a minor issue that might be solved with a software update. Look for a second-hand tech store to find an exceptional device to buy a refurbished PC or a used workstation pc for yourself!

Closing Words: Buy a Used PC/ Second Hand PC with Some Excellent Specs Now!

Used computer parts are a popular choice for anyone looking to save costs while building a PC. However, purchasing a used computer or computer components or even an Xbox series is associated with dangers.

Therefore, it takes more time and effort to browse for pre-owned computer monitor deals than a brand-new ones and find out the best place to buy pc. However, if you’re looking for the most bang for your buck, parts from even a few years ago should suffice.


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