If you’re on a budget, buying second hand can be a great way of finding a laptop.
If you are only planning on using your notebook or laptop for browsing online, then you don’t need anything too high spec. As long as your laptop has a relatively recent operating system, you should be able to download the latest Chrome, Firefox or Explorer browser.
If you are going to use your laptop for watching movies then you’re going to need a decent screen size to save yourself watching them with your laptop only a few inches from your face.
Any gaming will require a laptop with a big screen, plenty of memory and plenty of storage.
Buying new or used laptop from a well know manufacturer is always advisable. If something goes wrong with the laptop, you will have more online resources available and can contact the manufacturer's customer services team directly for help.
No matter what manufacturer you go for, ensure that your laptop has a relatively new OS installed, or that the spec allows you to upgrade to the latest OS yourself.
Many new software programs won’t run on old Operating systems, and you will find that older OS are just sluggish and inefficient in comparison to today’s operating systems. If you end up stuck with a laptop that you can’t upgrade further than Windows 2000 it's going to effect what tasks you can perform on it.
All laptop batteries deteriorate, and older batteries will hold their power for shorter times than brand new ones. Ask the buyer how long the battery lasts on full charge, and if it’s not sufficient, you might be able to ask for a discount off the listed price, and invest in a new battery. Unless you have bought laptop made by an obscure manufacturer, a new battery will be easy to get hold of and they can be bought from the manufacturer directly.
With every new release, laptops & notebooks have more storage than their predecessors. More storage allows you to store more movies, music, files and other applications. If you decide to buy a pre-owned laptop, ensure that there is plenty of storage space for the files you already own plus any additional storage space you think you might need.
It’s much more difficult (and in some models impossible), to upgrade a laptop or notebook with the additional storage, and running out of storage space can be incredibly frustrating.
The only solution to a laptop or notebook lacking in storage is to buy a portable hard drive to store extra files on. This might be an acceptable solution if the pre-owned laptop is cheap enough.
RAM (random access memory), is the measure of how much temporary memory the laptop has. Basically the more you want to do, the more RAM you need. If you’re planning on using your laptop for any high graphic resolution gaming, you will need a lot of RAM. You can buy, or upgrade your RAM on most laptops, and many laptops might even have a spare slot where you can add more RAM. Most 2in1 laptops or notebooks will have their RAM built in, and therefore these will be much harder or even impossible to upgrade.
Check with the seller which ports the laptop has. Most laptops should have at least two usb ports and a network cable point. You also might want your laptop to include an HDMI, VGA or DVI port to enable you to connect the laptop to another monitor or to your television.
If you can meet the buyer to inspect the laptop, make sure you check the laptop thoroughly. If you are unable to meet the buyer, ensure you ask plenty of questions. You could even set up a video call with the seller so that you can see the laptop performing any important functions.