Thousands of old laptops end up in landfill every single year, which is a real shame because there are dozens of things you can do with them which don’t involve polluting the planet. Not only is extending the life of an old laptop good for the environment, it can also benefit you and others.
Buy one and use it!
Whilst technology is constantly evolving, there’s no reason that you have to get the very latest piece of kit. Buying second-hand is a great way of saving money on budget laptops, especially as you can often find a machine with a far greater spec than if you had bought the same one brand new. It’s still likely that you’ll get years of use out of it if you look after it carefully.
Use it for parts
Even if there is a fault with the laptop, components such as the hard drive and memory can be taken out and used for something else. Provided they are in good condition and compatible with a different laptop, they can easily be reused in a newer machine.
Use an old laptop as a second screen
Having a second PC screen can be very handy and it can significantly improve productivity. An old laptop can be converted into a second screen for use with another computer. So if you find one cheap enough, it may actually be cheaper than buying a screen itself.
Give it to the kids
You could get an old laptop to let your kids use it as their first experience of computers. The fact the laptop is old usually means that if it breaks then it is not a big issue because second hand parts are relatively easy to come by and are cheap to purchase.
Even a broken laptop can still be useful for the children. With a bit of patience a young person can usually get an old laptop up and running again. It is a great way for them to learn about electronics and give them the confidence to try other challenging projects.
Use it to store old files
An old laptop that still functions can make a good secondary backup for files. If you take off all of the junk that you do not need, there should be space to backup your standalone PC or new laptop files onto the old device. You just have to be sure that the hard disc on the old laptop is still in good working condition.
Most old laptops are fully functional, but are just slow to use. You could perhaps consider stripping out the old files and operating system and try getting it going again with Linux or the new Chrome OS. Both of these operating systems take up very little space and do not require much processing speed. With these operating systems it is usually possible to get a slow laptop running at a pace that turns it back into a useful and useable machine.