Used Computers

A used computer may be a logical purchase choice over a new system. Purchasing used computers helps with the Green effort and your budget will benefit as well.

A refurbished system may be the best bet if you're looking for something reasonably priced, pre-tested and guaranteed. These used computers have been rebuilt, certified and tested and often come with a warranty.

Used computers may be found as an option in retail computer stores, online, computer manufacturers or third party sources such as newspaper or garage sales. Dedicated used computer stores also exist with most locations being served by at least one. London is home to hundreds of used computer shops offering refurbished computing equipment from high street shops, business parks and offices in areas such as Camden, Kensington, Hanworth, Wimbledon and Dartford.

Here are a few helpful tips to assist in finding a good system.

Decide the Purpose of the Computer

Think about your present and future uses for the computer. You may find a system that will surf the net efficiently but may have serious problems playing videos or graphic intensive games.

Look at the specifications for present and future software applications you plan on running on the computer. The specifications will list the minimum system requirements needed to run the software.

What to Look For

You should generally have an idea of what type computer you want whether it's a desktop model or a laptop. You'll have to decide on whether the case is small and can sit on your desktop or a tower that sits on the floor.

For a desktop model here are some basic things to look for.

CPU- The processor or CPU should be of a speed fast enough to run the software and applications you will be using. Although most modern computers have fast dual processors a single processor may meet your minimum requirements.

Memory- The computer should have at least the minimum amount of RAM (Random Access Memory) to run the software you'll be using. It's always better to have more memory than minimum requirements.

Hard Drive- The hard drive should be as large as possible. If you're planning on storing pictures, music or videos on the computer this quickly uses up hard drive space. The system should have at least a 20 gigabyte hard drive.

DVD- DVD/CD combo drives are standard on most computers except for very light weight laptops or NetBooks. As a minimum there should be a DVD/CD drive that can burn cds. This gives you the option of creating music or photo cds. A drive is also essential because most software is installed using cds or dvds.

Network Port- Most computers will have a built in network port. The network port is essential for a broadband internet connection or connecting computers together in a home network. It may be a wired or wireless connection.

Software- All operating system software cds or software license keys should be included with the system. If there is a crash or system failure you should have all the software to restore the computer back to normal operating condition.

Here are some additional things to look for on a laptop computer.

Screen- Check the screen for damage, dead pixels or an off colour.

I/O Ports- Be sure all inputs and outputs are functional. Audio, video, USB and any other connections should work.

Battery- Verify the battery is serviceable and can power the computer for a sufficient amount of time. The system should run for at least an hour on battery power.

Above all don't be afraid to ask if the computer can be returned if it doesn't work as advertised by the seller.

Knowing what to look for will make the search for the perfect used computer much easier. You'll end up with a computer that will serve your present and future needs while saving substantially over the cost of a new system.