You've decided to purchase a refurbished laptop. But with so many options available, it can be difficult to know what to choose. If you're not familiar with the terminology, you may end up with a laptop that doesn't match your requirements.  Is it for personal or business use? Will you use it to watch movies or play games? 

You don’t want to overspend on a specification that you don’t need or spend too little and not get the functionality and performance you require. Our six guidelines below will explain the terminology and give you some points to consider before purchasing a laptop.

1. Size & Display

The size of a laptop relates to its screen size - so it measures in inches from one corner of the screen to the opposite corner. Laptop screens can range in size from 11 inches through to 15 inches. The smaller the screen the more portable the laptop is for those ‘on the move’ as the laptop will be smaller, usually lighter, and therefore easier to carry. You need to figure out just how portable you need your laptop to be but remember to think about the balance between portability and usability. Regarding the display, you should think about the screen resolution - a measure of how many pixels are on the screen. The more pixels you have, the more content you can fit on-screen, and the sharper it will look. You might also consider if the laptop has LED backlighting and a glossy or antiglare surface.

2. Processor

The processor is also known as the CPU and relates to the the speed of your laptop. Performing everyday tasks such as emailing and surfing the internet will only require a basic processor. A higher processor will be required if you are looking a laptop for gaming or photo/video editing. Entry level processors include the Intel Pentium and the Core 2 Duo range. These are followed by the i-range family; the i3, the i5 and the i7 processors. Generally speaking, i7s are better than i5s, which in turn are better than i3s. You'll also need to consider what generation the processor is. Each of the i-range processor types have six generations. For example, the i5 processor is available in six different generations; the 1st generation right through to the 6th generation. The 2nd generation will be better than the first generation, the 3rd generation better than the 2nd generation, and so on. The higher the processor and the higher the generation the newer the release and the better the feature and performance enhancements will be.

3. RAM

RAM stands for Random Access Memory and is made up of memory chips in your laptop. Most laptops have at least 4GB of memory already, but it can be added to. The RAM also contributes to the speed of your computer - every time a program (like MS Word) is opened, it gets loaded from the hard drive to the RAM. Adding or upgrading your RAM can actually be more beneficial to your computer's performance than upgrading the CPU or Processor. 

Most of our stock already comes with 4GB of RAM, but you can upgrade to 6GB or 8GB. If you require a laptop for gaming or video editing you'll probably need to go with RAM of at least 8GB.

4. Hard Drive / Storage / HDD

The hard drive is where files such as photos, music, films and documents are stored. The more you want to store, the more hard drive space you will need. Most of our laptops come with at least 250GB which is ample amount of storage for the everyday personal or business user. Multimedia (photos or videos) takes up the most space, especially video, so if you're storing high quantities of such media you will need a hard drive above 320GB. Extra storage space can be purchased easily from external hard drives and USB memory sticks.

Most of our refurbished laptops already come with at least 250Gb Hard Drives (HDD), but you can upgrade to 320Gb, 500Gb or even 1Tb on some laptops. 

Some laptops now come with a Solid-State Drive (SSD) instead of a standard hard drive. The SSDs are faster and are less like to fail as they don’t have moving parts. They do cost more and have less storage but they have a greater durability and performance.

5. Operating System

The most popular operating systems are Windows, Apple’s OS X and Chrome OS. If you’re buying from, all of our stock comes with Windows 7, an easy to use, streamlined operating system. As more software is designed for Windows than any other operating system, you should find everything you need right out of the box.

6. Budget

More often than not, people can pay for a laptop spec that is too high for their requirements. You need to determine what spec you require and then look at budget, ensuring you pay only for what you need rather than having a high-end laptop with functionality that you will never use or need.

The above is an overview of different points you should consider when purchasing a refurbished laptop and a simple description of the terminology you will come across. By following this guide you should be able to choose a laptop that will contain the features, functionality and performance that you require within your budget.

View our professoinally refurbished laptops here.