Knowing what to look for when choosing refurbished laptops is important. Here is a list of certain features that you should compare when shopping for one.
Let's begin with laptop basics-
Processor Speed- This is the speed at which the laptop can retrieve data and information. You'll often see speeds like 900MHz or 1.2GHz. The larger the number the faster it is. 1.2GHz is 1200MHz. Gigahertz is more than megahertz. When choosing a refurbished laptop this is sometimes important. If you are only going to use it to surf the internet (surfing the web only depends on your internet speed and not the computers speed), or operate a few application software programs, or use if for document creating a lower speed is all you need. The lower the processor speed the cheaper it usually is. If you plan to use it in a business setting, gaming, or need it for several operating procedures then you'll need a faster processor speed.
System Memory- Here is where you'll see the 128mb, 256mb, or 512mb system memory. The system memory is the place where the computer holds current programs and data that are in use, or holds the instructions that the processor executes and the data that those instructions work with. Picture it as the central nervous system of your laptop. It allows everything to work and also is needed for faster processing speeds. The system memory is essential for operating multiple functions at once. The 128mb and 256mb are ample amounts of memory. If you plan to do a lot of things at once the higher number is better.
Hard Drive- The hard drive is what holds all your memory on the computer. The higher the number the more storage you have. An example is a 20GB hard drive. That holds all your programs, downloads, pictures, music and more. Many users don't need much more than 10GB of storage, but if you plan to keep a laptop for an extended period of time you may want to consider a larger hard drive.
Optical Drive- The optical drive is either CD-ROM, CD-RW, or DVD-ROM/RW, or a combo of both. ROM stands for "read only memory" and RW stands for "re-write", for copying disks. The CD drive is for software and can play music CD's. The DVD drive can do everything a CD-ROM can do and more. It can play music, software, and DVD movies. It's like an upgrade to the CD drive. Some laptops do have a floppy drive which operates floppy discs. Most programs are on CD though.
Modem- This refers to how your laptop connects to the internet. A 56K modem is for dial-up and DSL internet. There is also wireless internet called Wi Fi. If you choose a laptop with a 56k modem it is still possible to buy hardware for Wi Fi.
Network- You'll see something like 10/100, or 10/1000 and this refers to how fast a laptop computer can transfer data to other computers on the network. Although most don't use a computer on a network it is important if you're in a business setting, or something similar. For most people this isn't a determining factor in choosing a computer.
Operating System (OS)- The operating system is referring to what system the laptop is using. The most common are Windows, Linux and Unix and Macintosh. By far the most popular is the Microsoft Windows programs like Windows 98, 2000, Millenium, and the most current XP home, or professional. This is a big factor in choosing a refurbished laptop. You need a compatible OS to function with what you need it for. For a few highly inclined individuals the Linux and Unix systems are great. For the vast majority of people a Windows based OS is the best. It is the most user friendly and most compatible with more software and hardware programs. If you are not sure what's the best operating system for you choose the Windows program.
Expansion Slots- Most laptops will have open slots like USB, serial, or ethernet slots which allows for multiple items to be added like a mouse, printer, external hard drive, modem and things like that.
Upgrades- Most refurbished laptops can be upgraded. You can add things like external hard drives(for more memory), external optical drives, add the wireless internet capabilities, flash drives, and more. The advantage is you can choose a refurbished laptop with a fair amount of hardware and just add to it what you need. It's nice feature that will come in handy when you rely on your laptop computer to do more. It's just like upgrading a desktop, most external hardware uses a USB connection and there is also hardware to add more USB connections. It's great!
We hope to have answered some of your questions about which refurbished laptop is right for you. Technology is wonderful these days and refurbished laptops are a great investment for school, business and general use.
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