9 things to consider when buying a used HP, Dell or Mac laptop in Nigeria | TechCabal

buying a used HP, Dell, or Mac laptop in Nigeria

Buying a used or refurbished laptop in Nigeria can be a cost-effective solution for those who want to save money on a new computer. However, it is important to be careful when making such a purchase, as there are many factors that can impact the performance and longevity of a used or refurbished PC. In this article, we will discuss eight detailed factors to look out for when buying a used or refurbished PC. Please note that the tips below apply to all brands of laptop from HP, Dell, MacBook, to other brands.

1. Age and Model of the PC

One of the first things to consider when buying a used or refurbished laptop in Nigeria is its age and model. A laptop that is several years old may be outdated and may not have the performance or capabilities of newer models. Additionally, some older models may be more prone to hardware failure, making them a less reliable option. 

Before making a purchase, research the specific model you are interested in and consider its age, performance capabilities, and any known issues. Any laptop model older than 2013 is not advisable for purchase. 

2. Check for boot issues

When buying a used or refurbished laptop in Nigeria, most sellers would have the laptop on sleep/hibernation. So it’s practically on. Therefore once you open it and press buttons it’ll just come on to desktop. While there’s nothing wrong with sleeping a laptop, it could also be a ploy to keep you from booting the system from scratch because it has a boot problem. 

Laptops with boot problems can be very frustrating. Such laptops, instead of loading to the desktop interface, will keep getting stuck or crashing while loading and displaying error messages. This could be a hard drive or windows problem. Sometimes, it can be bypassed, but it takes a degree of technical know-how to do that. 

Therefore, as a buyer of a used pc, switch the laptop off completely, then boot it from scratch. You’ll not only discover if there’s a boot issue, you’ll also get to know if there’s a password or PIN that you should be given. 

3. Operating system

buying a used HP, Dell, or Mac laptop in Nigeria : Arrangement of refurbished laptops on the floor.

It is also important to consider the operating system of the used or refurbished laptop you’re buying in Nigeria. The latest operating systems, such as Windows 10, are more secure and stable than older operating systems, such as Windows 7. 

Additionally, older operating systems may not be compatible with newer software or hardware. If the used or refurbished PC you are interested in has an outdated operating system and can’t use a newer version if you choose to upgrade, it’s not advisable to buy it. 

Even if it can use a newer version, you may want to consider the cost of upgrading to a newer operating system.

4. Hardware components

When buying a used or refurbished laptop in Nigeria, it is important to check the condition of the hardware components. This includes the disc drive, RAM, hard drive, and other components. It is also important to check for any signs of wear and tear, such as cracks or dents in the case or any visible damage to the components. A refurbished PC will have been tested and repaired, but it is still a good idea to inspect the hardware components to ensure they are in good condition.

Please note that cracks in laptops’ bodies tend to extend beyond where they first happen. So don’t let a used or refurbished laptop seller cajole you into accepting a laptop with a crack. It’ll likely get worse, especially if the crack is near the hinges.

Also, please, press all the keys on the board to ensure they’re all functioning perfectly. You don’t want to get home to discover a part of your keyboard isn’t working or you can’t carry out important commands. 

5. Screen condition

buying a used HP, Dell, or Mac laptop in Nigeria: Laptop screen

If you plan to use a used or refurbished laptop for tasks such as gaming or video editing, the screen quality is an important factor to consider. Check for any dead pixels, scratches, or other signs of wear and tear on the screen. Also check the hinges and the bezel around the screen to make sure they are in good condition.

6. Battery Life

If you’ll be using the used or refurbished laptop you’re buying in a country like Nigeria where power supply is inconsistent, battery life is a factor you must consider. 

Check the manufacturer’s specifications for the expected battery life, and also run a battery test to ensure the battery can still hold a charge. If the battery life is short, consider the cost of purchasing a replacement battery and weigh your options before making a purchase decision.

7. Software Installed

Apart from reduced cost, one of the reasons some people go for used laptops is because the previous user may have probably installed very important software, so they may not have to spend time and money to get them. But when buying a used or refurbished PC, it is important to check the software that is installed, and ensure they do not require product keys. 

Make sure that all of the necessary software, such as a security suite or productivity software, is installed and functioning properly. Additionally, be aware of any bloatware or unwanted software that may have been installed and take the necessary steps to remove it. Please also ensure that drivers such as sound drivers and the like are installed too. Also, check that the speakers are sounding well, the Bluetooth is connecting, the backlight is dimmable, and that the Wi-Fi comes on and stays on until you put it off.

8. Warranty and Support

When buying a used or refurbished laptop in Nigeria, it is important to consider the warranty and support options. Some refurbished PCs may come with a limited warranty, while others may not have any warranty at all. 

If the refurbished PC you are interested in does not have a warranty, consider purchasing an extended warranty or support plan to provide added peace of mind. Also, for a used laptop, please try to ensure you get a receipt for it to avoid criminal cases.

9. Price

Finally, it is important to consider the price when buying a used or refurbished laptop in Nigeria. While used or refurbished PCs can be a cost-effective solution, it is important to ensure that you are getting good value for your money despite you not buying a new laptop. Compare prices and features among other things. 

Final thoughts on buying a used laptop in Nigeria or Africa

According to a recent study by Market Research, there’s actually a global demand for refurbished laptops beyond Nigeria and Africa. And this demand has increased by several million dollars in the past year, with a projected growth of 10.99% in the coming years. The affordability and reliability of these devices have made them popular among students, small businesses, and low-income households.

However, when buying a used laptop in Nigeria, regardless of the brand name, you need to do due diligence, so you can enjoy value for your money. Don’t be easily enticed with a fine laptop body, the fact that it may be convertible (to tab), or that it’s cheap. 

Remember, cases can be changed, convertibility doesn’t equate utility, and cheap could mean it was stolen. So please, ensure due diligence by going through the points explained in this article. Cheers!

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Jay Ndungu

Jay is a computer scientist and journalist with a passion for the intersection of technology and society. He has a background in computer science, developing a deep understanding of the technical aspects of the industry, including programming languages and software development methodologies. Currently, He writes for Nairobi Times, covering a wide range of topics including technology, politics, sports, and entertainment. With his unique combination of technical knowledge and journalistic experience, Jay brings a unique perspective to the stories he covers, able to explain complex technical concepts in an easy-to-understand manner. His work is dedicated to bridge the gap between technology and society, and to make people more aware of the potential of technology to make the world a better place.

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