Should I buy a used laptop computer?

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Used laptop computer vs refurbished: which should I buy?

In the technological world today, almost everyone needs a computer.  Not just a computer, but a computer on the go.  Thus laptops are a great thing for almost anyone.  Usually as far as most purchases go, cheaper is better because it's much easier on the wallet.  But should you really buy a used laptop computer?

Consider this before you go out searching for a used laptop.  Most people don't need a completely new, shiny, up-to-date computer.  As enticing as they are, a lot of us just won't use everything that a new laptop can offer.  However, if you find yourself in need of these new technological advances, than a used laptop is probably not a good idea.  A used laptop will be an older version. You can purchase laptop accessories, including a laptop desk, stands, grips and cases, that will make a used or refurbished laptop almost better than "new."

Next, what does it actually mean to use the term used?  Frankly, buying a used laptop from sites which allow individual people to sell their used goods is probably a bad idea.  You don't know the person you're purchasing the computer from, and you have no way of knowing how he or she treated the computer before.  The thing that makes laptops great is that you can take them anywhere, but this is also the main reason why you shouldn't buy a used computer from some unidentified source.  It could have been dropped, thrown around, smashed -- you just never know.

So what do you do if you find yourself in need of a cheaper computer but don't want to risk buying it from some random person?  Try buying a refurbished laptop.  While refurbished laptops are still considered "used," they are a much safer bet.  Being refurbished means that it was sent back to the manufacturer and has gone through a thorough inspection.  After this inspection, the laptop should be in as good of shape as it was when it was brand new.

Many refurbished laptops still come with a warranty, something you won't necessarily find if you just buy a used one.  If you do find yourself looking for a refurbished laptop, make sure that you buy one straight from the manufacturer or from a reputable refurbisher.  This way you'll know for sure that you're getting exactly what it says.

Just like with any computer, shop around and look for the best deals, and keep in mind what you really need your laptop for.  Certain gadgets might seem nice to have, but you may not need them for the type of computing you need.

Bigger isn't necessarily better, but cheaper is certainly easier on your pocket book.  If you're out searching for a new laptop computer, you should definitely consider a refurbished one.  They're just as good as a brand new computer (since they've gone through an inspection at the manufacturer), but they're much cheaper in price.

Why you should buy a refurbished laptop
10 things you should never buy used

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