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How to value a used laptop

I am planning to buy a used laptop. Can somebody say how to value the computer based on age, like how they do for cars. If any.

Cheers

11 Comments

it's not an exact science....much depends on its condition,spec and age..and of course how much it cost new...although they do depreciate quite swiftly if the cpu/memory is old spec.
What is your budget?

I don't know how you'd value one - just be very careful. Laptops have a much shorter lifespan than their desktop counterparts (they get bumped around a lot more) and it's generally accepted that with the average user, a laptop will last 2-3 years. So be wary of someone trying to sell you a laptop which is about to stop working! There are some amazing deals on this site, you may be better off getting a reconditioned laptop, or one of the good deals for around £300 - £400.

One way is see if that model and spec has been sold on Ebay in the last few weeks. That will give you a ball park of what people are willing to pay in completed transactions.

If you are very technical or know someone who is, another way is to check the spec and see if its comparable with anything available new at the moment from the same quality of brand. Obviously the 2nd hand one will be valued at substantially less than that. I suggest 33% to 50% less if its one year old..

you can't really value them unless you know the market, post the specs and details of the laptop and I will try to give you an idea

p.s. brands come into it allot, i.e. dell devalue over 50% in 60 months if its a cheap model, whereas a cheap sony less

Original Poster

cheers guys.

I am looking between £350-£500. Although i have seen few offers for new laptop, in this price range. I am looking for high spec with low price.

hmmm, i say buy a macbook, they rock socks and are pretty cheap whilst better then most things on the market, you can pick up a as new one on ebay for about £500

markwills

it's generally accepted that with the average user, a laptop will last … it's generally accepted that with the average user, a laptop will last 2-3 years.


I disagree.

I am a heavy user, and have exclusively used my Toshiba Satellite 2455-S305 laptop for over 4 years now, EVERY day.

Ok, I'm not telling the whole story here, I have replaced the backlight in the screen, the hard drive, upgraded the ram, the DVD drive (twice), the wireless card and had to replace one key. However, the machine is of such high build quality that it is still going strong, and I have no intention of replacing it in the near future.

It has a Pentium 4 2.4GHz processor, which I would say, after some experience, outstrips the performance of a few of the new mobile dual core processors!

The only thing it lacks is a decent graphics card, with a lowly 32MB GeForce 4, but since I don't play games, I see no reason to change.

My advice would be to buy something with solid bulid quality, and go for a top brand too, if you're looking for longevity.

:pirate: CJ :pirate:

You disagree but you've replaced many parts (including the screen which is one of the most common things to break).

I was referring to the "average user" as in someone who is not a computer expert, not average as in amount of computer use. I meant that the average person will not look after their computer meticulously.

I still hold by my original post - I think it is a fair warning, as people may try to sell off second hand laptops that are at the brink of packing up.

markwills

You disagree but you've replaced many parts (including the screen which … You disagree but you've replaced many parts (including the screen which is one of the most common things to break).I was referring to the "average user" as in someone who is not a computer expert, not average as in amount of computer use. I meant that the average person will not look after their computer meticulously.I still hold by my original post - I think it is a fair warning, as people may try to sell off second hand laptops that are at the brink of packing up.


Oh, I agree wholehartedly with your second hand warning. I just wanted to point out that build quality is directly proportional to longevity, which is usually linked to brand.

:pirate: CJ :pirate:

PS I didn't replace my screen, just the backlight at minimal cost. :thumbsup:

if you buy 2nd hand, get only the very top brands and even model within that brand. Typically the business models are the best build quality. But they can change with time. E.g Toshibas arent what they were 10 years ago.
As an IT consultant, I am a very heavy user and travel with it. I bought the very best money could buy back in Nov 2003. It was the top spec in the Thinkpad T41 range at the time retailing at over 3500. Luckily I bought it in Hong Kong for 1800 ! Today, you can pick these up on ebay for less than 400. No other brand comes with 3 years standard onsite warranty that I know of. Thats always a great indication of how good a brand/model is..length of standard warranty. No part on my laptop has ever failed. Its still in mint condition. I changed the battery last month for 40..thats it ! Unfortunately the latest IBM/Leveno Thinkpad models are no longer what they used to be either in terms of build quality. So dont you believe it.. Absolutely NO brand keeps 50% after 60 months ! Laptops are valued at 0 after 3 years on the books of businesses.

My simple advice is if you have up to 500 budget, forget 2nd hand. Just buy new one from a decent brand like Dell with decent after sales and decent warranty. It will be powerful enough believe me !
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