Second Hand Laptops for Sale with Checklist

Second hand laptops are just like many other goods which are pre-owned in the sense that they allow you to get the item at a price far lower than what they were new. The key to making this really work in your favor is to get one that functions exactly as it should.

While you are looking for second hand laptops for sale this checklist will help you cover the bases, so to speak . We use the strategies in this checklist ourselves when we do assessments of used laptops and we recommend at least keeping the basics in mind to help make sure that your assessment is beneficial too.

Second Hand Laptops Checklist

  • Outer Cosmetic Condition: While this is not going to be the most important aspect of getting a used laptop that has the potential to run great for years to come, it is the first thing that you notice. Typically second hand laptops will have some minor signs of use in the form of light scratches on the case. These will almost always appear after any laptop has been used for a while and is no indication of issues. Minor surface scratches are OK and are often not even noticeable unless you are looking very closely for them.
  • Screen not Cracked or Scratched: The screen is what you will spend the most time looking at so you do not want to find any scratches at all here. When this is present, any reputable seller will specify if there is damage such as this within the description of the laptop being offered for sale.
  • Latches (if any) in Working Order: Not all laptop designs will incorporate latches to keep the top cover closed. Many are simply designed with the hinges providing additional resistance to keep the cover closed nice and snuggly. If there are latches and they have issues then keep in mind that the parts (depending on which ones) are usually not expensive. The labor will not be too expensive either in many instances, but if the entire hinge assembly needs replaced it will be more time consuming.
  • All Keys on Keyboard: It is a common repair job to have to replace the keyboard, or just individual keys on a laptop computer. In most instances this is a very simple process to replace one. We always take a minute to check that the keys are all in place and functioning properly during a used laptop assessment.
  • Laptop Powers On: Make sure that the laptop powers on when the power button is pushed. This is also your opportunity to check that the laptop stays powered on with AC and battery power as well. Power up the computer with the AC power brick as the source and then unplug it making sure that the battery is functioning as well.
  • Boots to Operating System: When assessing a used laptop the next item of interest after the computer powers on is that it actually boots into the operating system. It is not uncommon for the cheap second hand laptops to come with a fresh installation which is actually a good thing. Often the previous owner will format and reinstall the OS fresh so that they minimize the likelihood of their personal data being retrieved. The most secure approach to this however is to keep the hard drive and sell the computer without one or supply a replacement. The majority of sellers do not however.
  • Check Device Manager for Issues: Once booted into the OS, a quick look in the Device Manager can be a great indication of any hardware issues or simple driver issues. It is not uncommon to find some drivers that need to be installed if the drive has been freshly formatted. This is in most cases an easy task to rectify. However with the original image on a recovery partition or via the system disks this is usually not necessary. You can also note in the Computer Properties that the CPU and RAM amount/speeds all check out as they should be.
  • Ports all Working: When making an assessment of a second hand laptop it never hurts to take a couple of extra minutes to test the ports. It is quite easy to take a USB key for instance and plug it into each of the USB ports on the used laptop to verify that the key is recognized. The same holds true for checking the SDHC or any other slots/ports with the appropriate device. You will also want to check that the computer gets on the network/Internet as it should. This can include testing the RJ-45 Ethernet port as well as the wireless NIC as applicable.
  • Responsive (pop ups, system messages or alerts): Responsive second hand laptops are exactly what the end goal is all about. When we know what the specs are (amount of RAM and CPU speed) we have a good idea of how quick the computer should be to respond to commands. Keep in mind that when the OS has been freshly installed, the laptop will be at its absolute fastest performance level. As you probably know however, things like too many pop ups can slow the laptop down to a crawl. This is typically an indication of a need for a bit of a tune up. However, you may want to start with a fresh operating system installation.
  • Operating System Disks Available: Some laptops come from the factory with system disks and some do not. Many will have a recovery partition with an image of the system just as it was when it left the factory. Either way will be fine if you ever need to replace the hard drive or simply reinstall the OS so check which one the used laptop will provide as a means of being proactive.

Some of the second hand laptops under 100 dollars will have a warranty with them. However this should not be expected since the price is so cheap. Reputable sellers will give adequate descriptions of the laptops they are selling in most scenarios. Using this checklist as a guide will help you make a solid and well informed decision. Some of this information can be applied to the new cheap netbooks under 150 as well. Warranties vary among laptop computers so the more familiar you are with each one, the better decisions you can make. Using some basic common sense along with this checklist is a great way to finding an ultra low cost solution to your portable computing needs.