Used Notebook Buying Guide - Page 2
What price should you pay for a used notebook?
A notebook has a useful life of about 3 years before it reaches its
salvage value. After 3 years, the notebook will no longer run new software
Also, a new notebook loses between 5-20% of its value as soon as it
is sold. If you can buy a new notebook for the price someone wants to
sell you a used one, wouldn't you buy the new notebook instead?
|General Pricing Rule. A notebook loses about 20% to 30%
of its value every year until it reaches its salvage value at the
end of the 3rd year.
Example: You buy a new notebook for $2000. After 1 year the
notebook is worth about $1400. After 2 years the notebook is worth $800
and after 3 years the notebook is worth only its salvage value of $400
depending on its condition.
What price should you pay for software that is included with
the notebook? Software that is included on the notebook hard drive,
without original installation disks, is worthless. The only exception
is that on some older notebooks you can make backup installation disks
Keep in mind that it is usually your responsibility to supply an operating
system (Windows, Linux, etc.) unless you specifically purchase it with
|Used Software Rule: You should not pay additional money
for a notebook with a hard drive full of software. If original installation
disks are included or you can make backup system disks, then the
software has at least some value.
Windows software drivers must be available. While applications
and operating system software are worthless without backup disks, it
is important to remember that without the appropriate Windows drivers
your notebook will not run. At the very least you need a Windows video
driver and you might need a sound, modem, SCSI, USB, or other drivers.
These drivers should either come with the notebook or ideally be available
on the notebook manufacturer's Web site. Don't assume that you can obtain
the driver from the component manufacturers or think you can locate
drivers after the purchase.
Shopping Rule. Windows software drivers must be available
when the notebook is purchased, otherwise shop somewhere else.
Hard Drive Formatting Rule. Never ever format a notebooks
hard drive unless you are sure you have operating system software
(Windows) and software drivers that can be used to restore the
Formatting a hard drive is the absolute last thing you should
ever do on a notebook or laptop computer.
If you need help restoring your laptop or notebooks operating
system or drivers see our article Computer