Purchasing a used or second-hand laptop can be a good idea, especially when you’re on a tight budget. You’ll get a fully functional computer with no compatibility issues and a warranty for a small fraction of the price.
But, sometimes, it comes with a set of risks. So, it is necessary to perform certain tests to ensure the device you’re buying will not crack the very next day.
It’s a great idea to ask your seller all the important questions to ensure that it is worth purchasing a used laptop. Here are the top 10 questions you may ask.
Model, Specifications, and Configuration
Check the model or a serial number of a laptop and match it from various sources. After getting the serial number, look for its warranty coverage and authenticity to confirm its longevity. Even if the laptop looks good in appearance, it’s great to examine the model configuration and specifications.
Most users forget to do a comprehensive battery check. But, this is a vital consideration as poor battery health status can affect the system performance. MacBooks are known for their excellent battery performance. So, ensure that the Mac you’re purchasing will not drain quickly by following the procedure mentioned here.
Go to the Power Management Settings and check the Health Information section to determine how long the battery lasts and how much charging the battery can hold.
Actual Date Identification
Determining the actual purchase date of the specific device can be easily done through the About This Mac section. You will be able to get the model and the launch year.
In case macOS is not installed on the second-hand laptop or the year is missing in the About this Mac, check the age with its serial number. Do not buy a laptop that is more than three years old as hardware may turn redundant soon, and you will stop receiving software updates.
Thoroughly inspect the laptop body to ensure it is free from any physical damage such as cracks or visible scratches. Also, look for the hinges and screws, ensuring nothing is missing or loose.
Make sure the display panel hinges are powerful enough to prevent it from casual falling. Examine the screen – the rubber gasket ensures it should not be worn out.
Even though passwords are good for system security, they can become a severe headache for a new Mac user.
If a used laptop has a firmware lock, you would not be able to start your system from the USB drive. Moreover, you cannot change the SSD or boot from an external disk. So, it’s the best choice to disable the firmware password.
It’s important to ensure that the keyboard works satisfactorily. Before finalizing a used Mac purchasing decision, run a keyboard test using the macOS built-in Text Edit app. Another method includes using the Show Keyboard Viewer in the language menu at the top menu bar.
The good working condition of the display is crucial for enhanced performance. Check for brightness, flickering, bad pixels, and discoloration.
Dead Pixels Checker is the way you can identify defective pixels on the screen. Another method is to open pictures with a mono-color background i.e., red, blue, green, black, or white background. You will see tiny spots on the screen if the pixels are defective.
Another considerable thing you should check before investing in a used Mac is to run a webcam diagnostic. To do so, install Apple’s Photo Booth app or the Facetime application.
If you’re clearly seeing your face, it means there is no issue with your webcam, and it’s working perfectly. However, if you’re getting a pop-up message “there is no connected camera,” change the default setting to the iSight camera.
A failing hard drive can reduce performance and productivity. So, it is essential to check your Mac’s hard drive health status.
You can do this by navigating to the Applications folder in the Finder. Next, click Utilities, tap Disk Utility, go to First Aid and select Run. If you’re getting any message in red, it means the hard drive is not working properly.
The final step is to run an Apple Hardware Test to ensure all hardware components function properly. Thoroughly examine the logic board, keyboard, memory, trackpad, speakers, all ports, or BlueTooth.
To begin the Apple hardware test, disconnect all external components and turn off the system. After a minute, turn on the Mac and hold the D key. Choose the preferred lingo and click the arrow button to start a test.
Buying a second-hand laptop from a trustworthy party after keeping in mind these things can help make a wise decision. Last but not least, you should consider the cost. Make sure you get the best deal for your needs and budget to get the most bang for your buck.