Used Laptops FAQ

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FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions


What does Swappable mean
Swappable means that The Laptop will come with a CD-ROM Drive and a Floppy Drive. However, only one of the drives can be used in the Internal Drive Bay at a time. In order to change Drives, the drive currently using the drive bay must be physically removed (Swapped Out) and the other drive installed, while the unit is turned off.

How old are these Laptops and Where do they come from?
We can not say how old they are because we don't know who the original owners were or when they bought them. And most Laptops do not have Dates on them. We buy these laptop computers from brokers who have purchased them in large lots from companies that are upgrading or liquidating their equipment or selling off lease equipment. Generally, the laptops are pulled from a working environment and are usually not factory refurbished units.

What is the difference in the types of Displays available?
Active Matrix (also known as TFT) is the best type of display that is made. If you are very fussy about your display, you should get this type. HPA (High Performance Addressing) is the next best. It was designed by IBM. Dual Scan is the third best option. The quality of Dual Scan varies greatly. Some are acceptable, and some are not. Dual Scan is the least expensive option.
     An active-matrix display is considered better than a dual-scan one because it is brighter, is easier to view at side angles and minimizes the so-called ghosting effect when the cursor moves across the screen. A TFT display will cost more.

How do the different display sizes relate to resolution?
As a general rule:
Displays at 10.5 inches or less run at VGA resolution which is 600 x 480.
Displays at 11 to 12 inches run at SVGA resolution which is 800 x 600.
Displays at 13 to 14 inches run at XGA resolution which is 1024 x 768.

How do I load software onto a Laptop Computer that does not have a CDROM?
There are basically (3) ways to do this.
  1. Acquire the floppy disk version of the software that you want to install. This is usually available from the software company at no additional cost.
  2. Purchase a LapLink Cable (about $10). Then using the parallel ports on your laptop computer and a workstation, connect the two computers. For DOS, you can use INTERLNK.exe and INTERSVR.exe. For Windows 95, you can use Direct Cable Connection (which comes with Windows 95) and share the workstation's CD-ROM.
  3. Purchase an external portable CD-ROM Drive.
What is the difference between Notebooks and Laptops?
Today, they are virtually the same. With earlier generations, Notebooks were smaller and lighter in weight than Laptops.

How long should a battery charge last?
Healthy batteries will usually last about 2 hours. As they get older, they will not last as long.

What is the difference in Batteries? How do I know if a laptop computer is Internet Ready?
Here is what we recommend for surfing the Internet today at top speed:
You will need a modem.
If you are using a laptop computer, then make sure that it has an open PCMCIA slot to install a PCMCIA modem.
Make sure you have a 486, Pentium, or better notebook with at least 16mb RAM and running Windows 95.
Your speed on the Internet will depend heavily on your modem speed so get the fastest that you can afford.

Are there degrees of "Wear and Tear" on used laptops? How do I tell what is good, better, and best?
The condition of Laptops are rated by used Laptop Dealers as:
"A" = Excellent, no major cosmetic defects, functioning 100%
"B" = Good , some minor cracks, scratches, and cosmetic defects but functioning 100%
"C" = Poor, serious cosmetic defects and only good for parts.
All of the laptops sold here are "A" condition unless otherwise indicated.

How can I purchase a Used Laptop Computer with confidence that I will not get ripped off?
First:  You can check out the Owner's Resume and see that he stands for integrity.
Second:  If you purchase with a Credit Card, you will have some protection with your credit card company.
Third:  Take a quick look at some unsolicited feedback from satisfied customers.


More Notebook Information Links

. Used Laptops Notebooks Guide.......... Tutorials and guides for buying, upgrading, or repairing used laptops.
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Laptop Reviews - Laptopica - the unbiased laptop review blog.



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