If you’re considering buying a used laptop, we’ll explain what you should consider before buying one of these computers. We’ll explain where these laptops come from and what you should consider before buying.
Used laptops can come from a variety of sources, the most common being overstock in warehouses or shop windows. Sometimes, these used systems come from reconditioning equipment that would be subject to failure.
What to consider when buying a used laptop?
Now we will explain what you should consider when buying a used laptop. We will focus mainly on second-hand laptops from manufacturer stock remnants. Refurbished or showcased laptops are often quite modern and no longer a secret. Let’s see what you should pay attention to when buying a laptop with excess stock.
The first thing we need to know is the processor used by the laptop in question. We can easily find used laptops with Intel 5th Gen and 6th Gen processors. These processors are not really bad, the problem is that they may have fewer cores and frequencies than newer processors. They’re also generally less energy efficient and tend to be a little warmer. As for AMD processors, these are usually processors from the pre-Ryzen family, so they will have limited frequencies, low core counts and will be quite energy-inefficient.
Video card age
Probably if we choose a used laptop, we will definitely use it for work, education or navigation and other light tasks. Used laptops often have graphics cards from several generations ago, possibly the NVIGIA GTX 700 Mobile and AMD RX 400 Series models.
In the graphics card industry, the situation is slightly different, you will probably be able to run simple games, but not the latest games. These older graphics cards will not support AMD FidelityFX as well as new technologies such as NVIDIA Ray Tracing and DLSS. While all these technologies are not relevant in many situations, technologies that allow you to achieve more FPS in games may be of particular interest.
This is a very important factor that we must consider. The minimum resolution on a laptop today is 1080p because that’s the minimum resolution for everything today. The problem with an “old” laptop lies in resolution, because in most cases they offer lower resolutions than what we can consider the minimum today. Without a doubt, it is recommended to opt for a computer with 1080p resolution and nothing below it.
Amount of RAM memory
The amount of laptop RAM is very important and we should choose it keeping in mind current and future needs. It is currently not recommended for a laptop to have less than 8GB of RAM. At least 8GB of RAM is required for office tasks, navigation, education and the like. Maybe a laptop with 16GB of RAM would be more interesting, but (currently) second hand laptops with that much RAM are very hard to find.
Another thing to consider about RAM is its standard. The vast majority of used laptops are based on older Intel processors with DDR3 RAM. This is somewhat problematic as the performance of DDR4 RAM is superior to DDR3 RAM mainly due to its operating frequencies. If we find a good offer with 8GB of DDR4 RAM, we will always have better performance than the same amount of DDR3 RAM.
Storage drive type
The difference between mechanical hard drives (HDDs) and solid state drives (SSDs) is day and night. We will notice a big difference in the loading times of the operating system and the different applications we launch.
SSD drives offer read and write speeds 6-10 times faster than HDD drives. Not only that, SSDs are more efficient, lighter and more durable than mechanical hard drives. For all these factors, it’s better to choose a laptop with an SSD drive whenever we can because we’re going to notice it a lot. If not, replacing the hard drive is pretty simple and we can find pretty cheap SSD drives in the market.
One of the critical points of a laptop (or desktop) is the connectivity they offer. The minimum we can demand from a used laptop is that it has a USB 3.0 port for better performance. It would be interesting if the laptop included at least one HDMI port, an RJ45 connector and 802.11b/g/n WiFi connectivity.
Finding a used laptop with USB 3.1 ports, USB-C ports, or 802.11ac WiFi or better is nearly impossible. These interfaces and connection technologies are quite new and impossible to find on “old” laptops of around 5 years old. There may be a case of finding a used laptop with these, but for now it will be difficult.
Something quite common with occasional laptops is that they don’t have a Turkish keyboard. Usually these cheap laptops have English keyboard layout as it is “standard” in the industry. Some vendors invest in putting stickers on the keys to “re-convert” the keyboard from English layout to Turkish layout. Note that the seller is obliged to indicate that he has affixed labels to the keys to adapt them to our language.
Over time, laptops have become more compact and lighter. This has been made possible by the development of increasingly efficient equipment, both in terms of energy and cooling. In addition, technologies such as SSDs in M.2 format or soldering SSD and RAM onto the motherboard have resulted in reduced size and weight.
This is nearly impossible to find on “old” laptops, as they are based on less efficient hardware. Something that causes these systems to be quite bulky and in many cases weigh more than 3 kilograms.