Hamburg/Munich “The trend is towards thinner, flatter notebooks, which often have very good basic equipment,” says Sven Schulz from “Computer Bild”. For most interested parties, however, it is difficult to tell at first glance how good a new device actually is. The many logos on the packaging are usually not very informative.
Make a preselection and check the processing
It is therefore a must to find out before you buy. “Anyone who wants to buy a new, inexpensive notebook should first orientate themselves on tests and make a pre-selection,” advises Schulz. It also makes sense to inspect the device in store in advance if possible. How is it processed?
The manufacturers would save on the display, for example, which is then often noticeable in the image quality, says Schulz. With many laptops, it is often not possible to upgrade the computer later because components are soldered or the device is difficult or impossible to open.
Expensive notebooks are used longer
Higher quality notebooks can then be the better choice. “If you invest more money, you can use a notebook longer,” says Schulz. “Another option is to buy a laptop that has memory upgrades or a larger SSD that can be upgraded.” Unfortunately, this is less and less the case with thin models.
If you don’t want to spend much more than 200 to 400 euros, you should also be on the lookout for used devices, says Matthias Wellendorf from the online magazine “Inside-digital.de”: “If the budget for buying a notebook is not the largest, it’s worth it definitely looking at used equipment.”
High-quality leasing returns
According to Wellendorf, business models that come from leasing contracts with large companies account for a large proportion of the offer. Second-hand devices of this type are often high-quality computers that are well made and equipped. If you want to buy a used laptop, you can and should make sure that the equipment is as high quality as possible.
According to Sven Schulz, used models are particularly worthwhile if the purchase price is significantly lower than that of a comparable new device.
The longer use compared to the new purchase is always more sustainable. A source for devices of this type are the well-known online marketplaces, refurbished portals or the websites of the refurbished providers directly. “Professional dealers buy up large numbers of used notebooks and, after they have been refurbished, sell them there as “refurbished” with a one-year guarantee,” explains Wellendorf.
Some refurbished offers are overpriced
But you have to take a close look at the offers, also and especially at large electronics dealers, who now often offer refurbished goods, says Wolfgang Pauler from the “Chip” specialist magazine: “In our experience, used notebooks from large dealers are rarely attractively priced. The hardware is often quite old and is often not in a sensible price relation to new products.”
In any case, the fact that many components are up-to-date speaks in favor of buying a cheap new device. “New fans are quieter, the operating system is up to date and the display is definitely scratch-free,” says Wellendorf. The battery is also new. You might have to make compromises in terms of the size of the main memory or the performance of the processor.
Cheap laptops with poor equipment
“The main memory is usually only four gigabytes and often the cheaper and slower eMMC modules are installed instead of the SSDs, which are also permanently soldered,” says Wellendorf, naming typical negative equipment examples for a cheap new laptop. Ultimately, it depends very much on the need whether a more or less cheap new device or a used notebook is the better choice.
“If you just want to surf and write a bit, a used notebook can be suitable for just a few hundred euros,” says Wellendorf. However, if you want to use complex graphics programs or online games, you should only invest in a particularly high-quality second-hand device and otherwise opt for a new device.