What should you consider before buying a second hand laptop?

Surely you have ever thought about it, although you may not have dared. More and more people buy and sell used computers online, but you have to be vigilant.

buying second hand laptop

A few years ago it was almost marginal. Nobody was encouraged to buy a second-hand computer online and it was not easy to find them either. Now, with the popularization of buying and selling websites and the guarantees that these spaces are giving, it is possible that even you have rethought it. But what should you consider before buying a second hand laptop?

These are usually large and complex devices, with many details and that does not help when it comes to launching either. But here we are going to advise you so that you can at least shuffle this option and more with the increase in the price of many current models. Because as it happens with mobiles and other technological products, in this secondary market there are somewhat older models, but with very interesting capabilities that at least deserve to be carefully analyzed and why not, get to acquire them.

It’s not all about choosing a model we want and comparing prices. There are still points to keep in mind before taking out the money. In order not to take a bad experience and make sure we do the right thing, here are some tricks that will help you dispel all doubts.

What to look at in the hardware

We start with what stands out the most at first glance. Normally when buying one of these products we look almost more at its internal specifications than the external ones, but in the case of second-hand devices, looking at the outside can give us many clues and help us to filter.

Many times we only see the computer by photos and when we have it in our hand hardly have time to test it, so a good physical analysis can be a key. Let’s go with the key parts that can tell you if that ‘bargain’ really it is.

laptop hardware

1. Keyboard And Mouse

The first thing that jumps out when you open a laptop. We must make sure that these two parts are not very worn and check that the pulsations work perfectly. We will avoid surprises that may appear weeks after purchase.

2. Display

It is hardly worth or comments on it but check carefully that the display does not have any problem or hit that affects vision. Of having it, you can ask for the price of the repair, but it is quite likely that it will not be profitable.

3. Battery, if possible

If it is a laptop with a removable battery, it would be very interesting to check its state and its hooks. Let’s remember that the target is that in spite of not being a new device we want it to hold.

4. Ports

A good trick is to carry a ‘pen drive’ or something similar that you can use to check that the USB ports and others work just like the charger. In the end, these points are key to the proper functioning of the laptop and it is easy for us to overlook a fault in them.

5. Corners

Finally, don’t forget to look at the points of greatest friction, such as the corners, where we can also find clues about how the laptop has been treated and cared for.

What about the software?

Once the external test is passed, it is time to enter the entrails of the computer. And here, as in the previous case, we must move with lead feet and not venture without checking that everything is correct. And the fact is that fiddling with the ‘software’ we can know what the real characteristics of the computer are, but also to confirm that it is not a stolen device and even know the health of components such as the battery or memory.

Of course, this time we must separate, as usual, between manufacturers. Let’s talk on the one hand about the models that work with Windows and those that do with Apple’s MacOS. Both hide good tools to have a much simpler and quieter purchase.

What to check in Microsoft laptop

Microsoft laptop

Serial number

The first thing you should do is ask for the serial number. It must be visible on the laptop and will allow you to verify that the laptop has not been reported and is legal. In addition, if it is really stolen it is very possible that the current owner either does not have the number or does not know how to get it, so you already have a good filter. Then you can also ask for the original invoice which will be another key point to check its legitimacy.

Main features

Once this is achieved, another aspect to analyze is the features of the laptop that we are about to buy. It is very possible that the seller has already offered them to you, but to avoid problems you can do a new check by going to My Computer> Properties. With other tools like DXDIAG you can go much deeper, but this first measure will be enough to check that everything fits.

Battery health

Lastly, you can also see the battery status. It is something that we all ask and that is always a source of conflict with the seller. Sadly, Windows does not have a system like Mac cycles (full battery loads), but there is a trick to know all the information about the power. You should look for the program ‘Command Prompt’-> type ‘powercfg/batteryreport’-> press ‘enter’-> go to ‘C: Users name’ and find the generated HTML file that will show you all the details. We leave you a video that details the entire process.

What to check in MacBook laptop

MacBook laptop

Serial number

As we mentioned before, it is key that when talking to the seller, he offers you data that shows that the laptop is completely legal. In this case you can ask if it has the box or things like its charger. It is more in the box the serial number usually appears, although it can also be obtained in your Apple space if, obviously, you are the owner of the device or you have registered it as yours.

Main features

We return to the same as before. We must check in detail that everything corresponds to what they told us both in the announcement and on the official Apple page said about model. To see the characteristics, in this case you must go to the upper left corner-> apple icon-> About this Mac. There you will have the details.

Battery health

This Apple has it much better structured than Microsoft, and in a glance at what they call battery cycles you can know the trot that the battery carries. Go back to ‘About this Mac’ and click on ‘System Report’. There, look for the ‘Power’ section and locate ‘Number of cycles’. Think that the recommended maximum is 1000 cycles for a battery so do the math.

Apple Hardware Test

Finally, Apple has a very interesting tool for a computer review. It is a test that checks that everything works correctly and warns you of possible failures. To use it, you just have to follow the steps indicated on the web that we link to you here.