By. M. Aamir Mursleen
Buying a used laptop in Pakistan requires you to be careful and attentive to the little details, otherwise, you end up regretting it later on.
With this guide, I’ll try to help you make the right decision when getting a laptop. I have bought many laptops in the past; I am sharing my experience here so that it can help you pick the perfect laptop without any issues.
First, a couple of general tips to get started.
When you want to buy a laptop from OLX, you must meet the person at a public place where security is taken care of.
The second thing that you must consider is knowing the reason they’re selling the laptop.
Not everyone sells a laptop for upgrading to a new one. I have seen laptops that have a major issue, but the seller doesn’t tell you until you discover it yourself when you start using it regularly.
Now, without wasting your time, let’s talk about the essential points:
1. Benchmark Score
This is the first thing that I check when buying a used laptop because it tells you everything about it including:
- The condition of the cooling system
- How fast its CPU is
- How good is its GPU
- How well does its SSD perform
You need to compare the laptop’s benchmark scores on GeekBench with the exact laptop that you are going to buy. For example, if you’re going to buy a Dell XPS 13, check its scores on GeekBench, then run the benchmark on the laptop you’re going to buy for comparison.
If the benchmark score is the same or close to it, then the laptop you’re buying is working at its full potential for its CPU, GPU, and RAM.
I bought a laptop that was getting a score that was around 2,000 less in the benchmark as compared to what it should be getting, it was a frustrating situation for me.
When I checked the issue, the problem was due to the laptop’s CPU that was not being 100% utilized thanks to a poor cooling system.
Its processor was not even going up to the full turbo boost potential it was capable of even on heavy loads.
I presume this is the main reason people sell laptops that have issues like this, and the regular people don’t bother to check it.
To check this, just go to the official website of Geekbench, download the setup (only 74 MB), and check run the Geekbench benchmark that would take 2 to 5 minutes for the CPU.
You can also use another benchmark software like Passmark.
Here is how GeekBench shows the scores, once you’re done benchmarking your laptop’s CPU:
Next, go to the search box on the official Geekbench site, and type your laptop’s name to check what it’s actual score should be to compare it against your laptop.
2. Check Harddisk Health
It is imperative to buy a laptop that has 100% Harddisk or SSD health.
You may find a laptop that has below 60 health; you will face many issues including slow transfer speeds, more blue screen of death errors, and your data may disappear at any time.
How can you check its health?
You can use a free software like Hard Disk Sentinel to test it, which shows the health as shown in the below screenshot.
3. Check the Model’s Review Online
Don’t forget to check online reviews of your laptop.
I always prefer to check on Youtube and watch a review in HD to know how the laptop performs and compares against other options even before buying.
Also, read the common issues that a laptop faces on Google and Youtube, and check whether it has a solution or not in the Pakistani market.
Some of the issues may be related to the over-heating, gaming, and processor.
4. Battery Health and Charger
It is the most common problem when buying a used laptop as it may not come with the best battery performance.
However, it should still get you an hour or two of use. Ask the person to charge it to full before meeting up with him/her to check how many hours the laptop’s battery can last. You can check this by looking at the System Tray and hovering your mouse over the battery icon.
Moreover, please check its charger before getting it.
Many shopkeepers give you a charger without testing, which could turn out to be a nightmare for you.
Say your laptop needs a 130W charger but the shopkeeper (if you’re buying it from a shop) gives you a 90W charger instead. Not only will it charge slower, it might cause other problems with your laptop’s charging IC later on.
5. Outdated Drivers Issues
When you buy a used laptop, if it’s old, the company might have stopped updating the drivers on their official websites due to some reasons.
Especially if you have a dedicated graphics card in your laptop from Nvidia and AMD, they update their drivers often, but your company website may not update it.
Due to this, go to the official website, and check the latest drivers for your dedicated graphics card.
Similarly, you must install the latest graphics drivers even if your laptop doesn’t have a Nvidia/AMD card installed. This is because of Intel HD GPUs, which are in almost every recent laptop these days. You should check for the latest drivers for them as well, on Intel’s website.
Always keep your BIOS updated, it solves many issues that you may be facing.
6. Check the Screen
Some people use a transparent sheet on the laptop screen to make it look new.
It helps them sell it for a little more price. You must uncover it before buying to check for any faults.
If you are ready to buy the laptop, make sure to remove the cover to see any scratches or flaws that the screen might have.
Also, download a white and black wallpaper from the internet, and open it to check the screen for dead pixels. Dead pixels are areas of the screen that stop working and don’t show any sort of colors.
7. Check All the Ports
This is also useful for some of us. Maybe you are a university student who needs to show a presentation with a projector for example.
I have seen many laptops which have VGA or HDMI ports but they don’t work with a projector.
Of course, you can’t check a laptop if you are at a place where no such thing exists.
That’s why I would recommend going to a place with laptop shops nearby and check the things that are working.
Also, you can check a monitor on your VGA or HDMI port. If it is working then the projector will have no issue either. Similarly, check other important ports like the USB ports (some old laptops have 1 or 2 USB ports that don’t work), the 3.5mm headphone jack (might have something stuck inside, happens) etc.
8. Check Keyboard and Touch-pad
The laptop’s keyboard is essential because some buttons may not be working correctly or it might be missing some keys altogether.
You can use a keyboard tester software or an online tool where you press all the buttons to check for any issues.
The same goes for your touch pad, don’t forget to check it.
9. Check Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Don’t forget to connect to the Wi-Fi and the Bluetooth as well.
Many laptops lack a working Bluetooth connection, you will need to get a separate device for Bluetooth connectivity. Also, if the laptop model you’re buying does have Bluetooth, do check it by connecting with your phone.
M. Aamir Mursleen is a tech and SEO enthusiast who currently studies at LGU.