Although your rights to purchase a refurbished laptop (see below) are obvious, there are already some downsides you should be searching for.

Latest Windows, old machine: the best thing about Windows 10 is that it fits on a wide range of laptops. However, when built on very old computers, it seems extremely sluggish and is not suited to very old hardware, even though it is functionally compliant. Old company laptops (such as our eBay example above) are not going to be fun to use.

Battery problems: if you’re buying a used laptop, the battery may have been around the block a couple of times. There isn’t a whole lot you can do with it, apart from being prepared for it. If you think about battery life, check if official spares are usable or, at least, check for suitable replacements.

Charging: The most widely exploited part of any notebook is the battery and the laptop’s charging ports. Plugged in and unplugged every day and packed in bags in a panic, this is a typical failure point. If the dealer of a second-hand laptop doesn’t display the condition of the charging port or the battery, check for pictures and see if it appears hazy or broken. Spares are almost always available, but they are not inexpensive.

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