The Ultimate Computer Holiday Shopping Guide 2023 | System Liquidation

The Ultimate Computer Holiday Shopping Guide 2023 | System Liquidation

The Ultimate Refurbished Computers Holiday Shopping Guide 2023

Finding the perfect gift can be really challenging, especially if you’ve decided to buy someone on your list a new computer. How do you go about finding the perfect new machine without eating up your entire gift-giving budget?

Opting for a refurbished PC or laptop can help you find the right unit for anyone on your list without costing more than you want to spend. A refurbished computer has been individually tested and repaired to operate as originally designed.

Choosing the right refurbished computer is similar to buying a brand-new computer, with a few other considerations along the way.

We put together this guide to help you understand the differences between refurbished and new, then navigate the different specifications to optimize your purchase. So, read on to learn how to pick the perfect computer for anyone on your list.

Benefits of Buying Refurbished Instead of New

If you look at refurbished laptop deals and new laptop deals, you’ll quickly discover that refurbished laptops are significantly cheaper than new ones. What does refurbished mean, and is it beneficial to go this route? Let’s explore the differences and benefits:

  • Individually inspected and repaired: Refurbished computers offer a cost-effective alternative to new ones, providing significant savings without compromising on quality. Each refurbished unit is rigorously inspected and tested by skilled technicians to ensure optimal performance, akin to their brand-new counterparts. This process not only guarantees reliability but also makes these computers more affordable. By choosing a refurbished computer, you can enjoy the benefits of a fully functional machine at a fraction of the cost of a new one.
  • 1-year warranty: You don’t have to miss out on a warranty for refurbished laptops or desktops. Used computers won’t have a warranty, but every machine sold by System Liquidation includes a 1-year warranty, so you have peace of mind in your purchase.

We’re Now Offering New Machines

While we’re refurbishers at heart, we’ve also recently begun stocking new, factory-sealed machines to cater to customers who prefer to go this route. We strive to offer competitive prices, excellent service, and fast shipping — just like our refurbished and reconditioned laptop computers and desktops.

Want to check out our new laptops and desktops? Shop our current inventory to see if we have the perfect gift for your loved one (or yourself).

Making Sense of Components to Maximize Your Budget

Buying someone on your list a new or refurbished can be a wonderful gift and make their entire Holiday season. However, the individual components in a laptop or desktop computer directly affect the price. You don’t want to pay too much for something the gift recipient won’t even use.

So, you should have a good understanding of how the giftee will use the new computer to make the most of your gift-giving budget.

From there, you can explore different units and balance the component specs across refurbished desktop computers or laptops to put every dollar to the best use possible. Let’s break down these components to help you find the right machine.

CPUs

One of your first choices to make is which Central Processing Unit (CPU) to choose. The two major brands are AMD and Intel, and either option is fine for most users. You’ll find people arguing one over the other, but those differences only matter at the higher end of the pricing spectrum.

Other than brand, you want to consider the following specifications when it comes to choosing the right CPU:

  • Clock speed: The first spec most people look at is the clock speed, measured in gigahertz (GHz). Higher clock speeds mean faster computers, but it’s essential to keep the other specs in mind to better understand the CPU's performance.
  • Cores and threads: The number of cores a computer has is a vital spec to pay attention to when shopping — it also affects CPU speed and costs. Most users will need 2-4 cores, while more intense tasks require higher core counts. Threads also indicate the capabilities of each core, so it’s worth looking for both stats.
  • Generation: Specific CPU models are typically around for a while, like the Intel i5. However, new generations are periodically released that offer new capabilities and often increased speeds. Opting for a CPU a few generations old can help save money while going for the latest and greatest will add a premium.
  • Benchmarks and reviews: Even if you have a deep understanding of CPUs, it’s hard to truly understand how it will perform compared to other options. Benchmarking sites help narrow down the options by testing different CPUs against each other, while reviews from reputable sites further narrow down your options.

Memory (RAM)

Memory plays a significant role in your computer's speed and capabilities. Often also known as Random Access Memory (RAM), the amount of RAM a computer has dictates what you can do with it.

Tasks like video editing, high-end gaming, or Computer Animated Drafting (CAD) require a decent amount of memory, at least 16GB. Otherwise, you’ll struggle to get anything done.

Conversely, you don’t need much memory if you’re looking for a computer for web browsing, basic business software, and watching streaming videos. You can get by with as little as 4GB, but 8GB is a good way to go for reliability.

RAM directly affects the cost of a new or refurbished desktop PC or laptop. The machine needs to have the right motherboard on top of enough RAM to start reaching into 32GB and beyond.

Graphics

Every laptop, desktop, or Chromebook needs a component to render graphics on the screen. You’ll see two general categories when it comes to graphics: Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) and onboard graphics.

Any desktop or laptop with a GPU is going to cost more than one that relies on onboard graphics. However, you (or the person you’re shopping for) might need a GPU, depending on the intended usage.

Gaming, video editing, and other specific use cases will need a GPU. If your chosen laptop or desktop does not have a GPU, it will either perform poorly or be entirely unable to take on the task at hand.

However, onboard graphics might get the job done for more basic uses. Onboard graphics can handle basic web browsers and video streaming.

Opting for a GPU instead of onboard graphics will significantly increase the price, but that may be necessary depending on the intended use case. However, if it’s not required, it’s better to choose onboard graphics to cut down on the total price.

Storage

Storage is where any data is stored, including downloaded files and installed programs. Much like other items on this list, storage directly affects price. There are two broad categories to be aware of when shopping for refurbished desktops and refurbished laptops for sale:

  • Solid State Drives (SSDs): An SSD does away with spinning discs and instead uses clever engineering to store data on a solid state. The lack of moving parts increases read and write speeds on top of typically lasting longer. These drives are more expensive than HDDs.
  • Hard Disc Drives (HDDs): Before SSDs, HDDs were the standard and relied on an internal spinning disc to read and write data. Now, these drives can still be found on some models and are cheaper than SSDs. However, resource-intensive uses might be slower with HDDs, so be aware of the intended use case before choosing a machine with only HDDs.

Additionally, be aware that it’s easy to buy external storage after the fact when necessary. Having a reasonable amount of storage is important, but it’s something that can be expanded later.

Displays

You might not need to buy a separate display if you or the person on your shopping list already has a decent monitor or if you’re buying a laptop. Fortunately, you can find great deals on refurbished monitors and avoid paying the factory new markup on them as well.

When it comes to laptops, the size of the display directly affects the price of the unit. The same is true for standalone monitors, but since they’re separate from the desktop, you have more flexibility to make the most of your budget.

A few things to consider for displays are:

  • Size: Laptop displays typically range from 12” to 17”, whereas standalone monitors can go from similar sizes and way beyond, such as 38” Ultrawide monitors. Additionally, a laptop's weight corresponds to screen size, so if the person on your list will use it to travel, it might be worth looking at smaller displays.
  • Resolution: You’ll find 1080p (1920x1080) resolutions standard on modern laptop displays and monitors. However, some models have 2560 x 1440 or 4K displays if you want to step into the Ultra-HD range.
  • Brightness: Most people don’t think about brightness when display shopping, but it’s a critical spec to keep in mind. Brightness is measured in nits, with roughly 250 nits being fine for most people. This factor usually comes down to preference, but the same use cases may need higher nits, such as graphic design or video editing.

Buy Top Brands from System Liquidation

You don’t need to veer off into off-brands when looking for a refurbished computer. System Liquidation focuses on refurbishing the best brands on the market to help you find a great deal on a reliable machine.

We offer everything from refurbished computer towers to laptops to all-in-ones. Let’s quickly touch on the brands we carry for each type of computer.

Desktops

  • Dell
  • HP
  • Lenovo

Laptops

  • Dell
  • HP
  • Lenovo
  • Apple

Chromebooks

  • Acer
  • Samsung
  • Dell
  • HP
  • Lenovo

All-in-One Computers

  • Dell
  • HP
  • Lenovo
Are you ready to find the perfect machine for anyone on your list or find a gift for yourself? Shop quality refurbished computers from System Liquidation this holiday season!
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