1. Can you ship/deliver my order?

2. What is the difference between a laptop, notebook, netbook, chromebook, macbook, subnotebook, ultraportable, convertible, mobile workstation and ultrabook?

3. Business-grade vs consumer-grade computers

4. Inkjet or laser printer?

5. What’s “TurboBoost” and that “up to” speed for processors?

6. Battery life and battery wear level

7. The battery I got from you/the battery in the laptop I got from you won’t work.

8. I want to buy a new computer but don’t know where to start – please help!

9. Operating system and apps included on our systems

10. Do your computers/printers/monitors come with a power cord/adapter?

11. Can I run Android apps on a chromebook?

========================================================

1. Can you ship/deliver my order?

Orders placed on our website are intended for pick up from our location in Airdrie, AB, free of charge. We are able to offer courier delivery in Calgary area, cost depends on your location, urgency and what you want delivered as well (i.e. bulkiness/heaviness of the order is a factor). We are also able to ship smaller items using Canada Post, country-wide at Canada Post rates + 12% handling charge. If you wish to use your own carrier, we will only process a $5 handling fee for orders under 20lbs, and $10 fee for orders 10lbs and more. Unless otherwise specified, we are not able to ship large items or anything outside of Canada at this point. Just contact us for a quote prior to placing an order. Orders cancellation after payment on the base of customer unable to pick up or pay shipping fee will be processed for store credit only, as per our Terms and Conditions. We reserve the right to process a 20% administrative fee on such cancellations.

2. What is the difference between a laptop, notebook, netbook, chromebook, macbook, subnotebook, ultraportable, convertible, mobile workstation and ultrabook?

Laptop and notebook are synonyms and designate all types of portable computers.

A chromebook is a laptop running ChromeOS in opposition of Windows or MacOS. A macbook is a laptop running MacOS. The large majority of laptops run Windows and can be called Windows laptops but are usually simply referred to as laptops. Most chromebooks are designed for students use, however there are some higher end models that are gaming capable or even designed for business use.

A netbook is a small, lightweight and inexpensive laptop computer, running entry-level processors. They were first introduced in 2007 and have been replaced by chromebooks and entry-level ultrabooks. Netbooks are the slowest type of laptops, and also the most affordable ones. They are designed for classroom use (at the time) and casual use.

A subnotebook is a slightly smaller type of laptop, i.e. with a 12in or 13in screen. Their equipment is usually very similar to identical to similar 14in/15in laptops. An ultraportable laptop goes one step further with smaller screen (11in-12in) and are significantly lighter. Ultrabooks (first introduced in 2011) go another step further, with a slimmer body (<0.8in height) and LV or ULV processors for better battery life.

A convertible laptop, 2-in-1, or tablet PC is a touchscreen laptop that turns into a tablet (folding partially to completely), either with a stylus or not.

A mobile workstation is a heavy-duty laptop, that is intended to be running in rough conditions and packs more powerful components than regular laptops and use business-class dedicated graphics such as NVIDIA Quadro or AMD FirePro. They are usually bulky and heavy. Their cousins gaming laptops usually use similar components, but lack the sturdiness of mobile workstations, while using consumer-class dedicated graphics such as GeForce or Radeon.

3. Business-grade vs consumer-grade computers

In short – consumer-grade computers are designed to be eye-catching (using appealing design, glossy screens, etc.) and offering appealing features (such as large hard drive or high amount of ram) while usually cheaper components in order to be offered at a competitive price in stores. Durability is not a key focus on these laptops. Business-grade computers are generally built sturdy, both inside and out, with balanced components (i.e. good processor and good ram in order to avoid a bottleneck) and are generally much more expensive than consumer-grade computers when buying new. Consumer-grade laptops also come with loads of bloatware when you buy them new. When servicing or refurbishing them, we make sure to do a clean install without that bloatware. It is also typically easier to find parts for business-grade computers compared to consumer-grade ones, hence it is cheaper to fix them. We sell both types and the question you need to ask yourself basically is: do you want cheap or do you want durable? There is no wrong answer 🙂

Next step is military-grade computers, that are even sturdier than business-grade laptops, but are also much more expensive. We rarely get these in due to their high cost that cannot be justified for 98% of users.

4. Inkjet or laser printer?

Inkjet is cheaper to buy, more expensive to maintain. Ink dries out over time. They do the trick for casual users (but not too casual, for the reason mentioned above). Laser has a higher initial cost but if you print very little, or very much, they end up being cheaper. They usually are also much sturdier and should last you much longer..

5. What’s “TurboBoost” and that “up to” speed for processors?

Modern processors have the ability to switch automatically from a base speed to a maximum speed, called “TurboBoost”. It’s an especially desirable feature on laptops as you want your laptop to operate at the lowest speed possible on basic use in order to save energy and battery life, and at the highest speed on TurboBoost. A good laptop processor would operate under 2GHz on base speed and over 2.5GHz on TurboBoost, and a very good one would go over 3GHz. Titles of our listings reflect that “up to” speed and detailed specifications show that complete information.

6. Battery life and battery wear level

As much as possible, we try to provide accurate information regarding the batteries on our used laptops. It is however impossible for us to tell you how long your battery runtime will be as it depends on many factors that can affect it significantly, such settings, usage, load, ambient temperature and other factors, i.e. on the very same machine, 2 different users can get 3-4 hours of runtime for one and only half an hour for the other one. These fine prints are also present when you buy a brand-new laptop from the manufacturer or a big box store as it’s the nature of batteries. All the information we can provide is the battery wear level as gathered by Nirsoft’s BatteryInfoView (in short, 85 to 100% is good to great, 75-90% is average, 60-75% is low and below 60% is end of life) and the battery runtime as estimated by Windows and/or Nirsoft’s tool if we had the opportunity to test it that far.

7. The battery I got from you/the battery in the laptop I got from you won’t work.

A new battery or a battery in deep sleep (battery unused for weeks) needs to be initialized. In most cases, just leaving the laptop plugged in for 2 to 4 hours does the trick, then it is good practice to do 3 full cycles (all the way to 100% then all the way down to 0%, 3 times in a row) to get the best out of your battery. In a few cases, we’ve seen batteries taking 7-12 hours to “wake up”. Just leave your laptop plugged in overnight or more if necessary. If you battery doesn’t wake up after that, you have to physically “tell” your laptop to initialize it. To do so, turn off your laptop normally, remove power adapter and battery, then hold the power button down for 30 seconds. Then plug the laptop into the power adapter and power on the laptop without the battery installed. Let the system start up then shut it down. Install the new battery and leave the computer off for a couple hours, then power it on. If it still doesn’t work, contact us and we will test your battery and try to initialize it, and replace it if needed.

All the laptops we sell with a new battery are tested to take a charge on that battery. We do not complete a full charging cycle as leaving a laptop off for days or weeks after that could simply kill the battery. When you purchase a laptop from us, we will initialize the battery for you at no charge should you give us sufficient time (as mentioned above, it can take up to 24 hours, however 2-4 hours are usually enough) between purchase time and pick up time. If you choose to pick up your laptop shortly after making your purchase (or on the spot!) then obviously, the steps above have to be completed by the customer to initialize the battery. Some models (i.e. ThinkPads) have an integrated chip that prevents the battery to charge over 80%, effectively reducing day to day battery life in order to save how long that battery will be able to last before you need to replace it. That feature can typically be disabled either in the BIOS, in Windows power options or through manufacturer-provided software like ThinkVantage.

8. I want to buy a new computer but don’t know where to start – please help!

No worries, that’s what we do, and unlike some stores, we won’t try to sell you the most expensive computer out there, but rather something that fits your needs best.

So here’s a number of questions you can use as a template and send us with your answers so we can make suggestions based on your need, sorted by the most selective to the least one.

If you’re looking for a laptop:

1. what screen size you want (ranges from 10in to 17in)?

2. what will it be used for (i.e. web browsing, watching movies, playing games and if so – name a few of them as requirements vary A LOT based on that)?

3. what operating system you need (i.e. Windows 10, Windows XP, ChromeOS, MacOS,…)?

4. what’s your budget?

5. is portability (thickness and weight – laptops range 2lbs to 9lbs) a concern?

6. how much storage you need or what will you use storage for (i.e. frequent smartphone backups, installing AAA games, storage videos,… are big factors for that)?

7. what performance level you expect (i.e. will define how much ram, what processor you need as well as if you want a hard drive or a SSD)?

8. want/need Bluetooth? Backlit keyboard/ Full-size keyboard (with number pad)? Webcam? Lid color preference? Screen resolution?

9. outputs – need a digital video output (i.e. HDMI or DP)? Number of USB ports? Serial port? Other ports you need?

If you’re looking for a desktop:

1. what will it be used for (i.e. web browsing, watching movies, playing games and if so – name a few of them as requirements vary A LOT based on that)?

2. what operating system you need (i.e. Windows 10, Windows XP, MacOS,…)?

3. what’s your budget?

4. is size a concern (i.e. tower or small form factor, booksize, all-in-one, etc.)?

5. how much storage you need or what will you use storage for (i.e. frequent smartphone backups, installing AAA games, storage videos,… are big factors for that)?

6. what performance level you expect (i.e. will define how much ram, what processor you need as well as if you want a hard drive or a SSD)?

7. want/need Bluetooth? wifi?

8. outputs – need a digital video output (i.e. HDMI or DP)? Number of USB ports? Serial port? Other ports you need?

If you’re looking for a monitor:

1. what device will you connect it to (i.e. security system DVRs can be quite picky when it comes to supported resolutions, gaming consoles also have such limitations)?

2. what output(s) has your device? That will identify what inputs your monitors needs or what cables/adapters you will need to connect them together. The monitor’s inputs have little impact on what you need. You mostly need to identify if you require an analog (VGA) or digital (HDMI, DP, DVI, etc.) signal, then get the proper cable.

3. what screen size do you want (typically ranges from 15in to 30in)? Do you need a stand and if so what type (i.e. height adjustable and being able to pivot)?

4. what screen quality would you like (i.e. TN panels have slightly better responsiveness for fast-paced gaming, while IPS and PLS panels have and deeper blacks, better colour rendering and better viewing angles. The less common VA panels are similar to IPS but with better contract and weaker viewing angle)?

5. what’s your budget?

9. Operating system and apps included on our systems

All the system we sell use a legitimate, legal to use, operating system license. The systems we sell also include LibreOffice productivity suite (or Google Docs on a chromebook), Google Chrome web browser, Skype, Acrobat Reader, MPC or VLC media player, fully licensed antivirus and firewall with no expiry – and no bloatware.
Why do we use LibreOffice because of MSOffice? Simply because LibreOffice is free to use, fully compatible with MSOffice, and over 98% of our buyers since we started business in 2011 have enjoyed that switch, while MSOffice license is quite expensive. Some other sellers include illegal versions of MSOffice (i.e. Office 2013 Pro Plus or a cracked Office 2016). We don’t deal with illegal software. We do sell legit Microsoft Office licenses too if you prefer it over LibreOffice or other free alternative like OpenOffice, FreeOffice or Google Docs, as well as MSOffice365 online. Microsoft also usually provides MSOffice for free for 1 month on new accounts on Windows 10 computers.

10. Do your computers/printers/monitors come with a power cord/adapter?

Yes of course, all our new, reconditioned and refurbished items come with power cord/adapter unless otherwise stated, otherwise it would just be like selling a car without wheels 🙂

Printers and monitors also come with one connection cable, either USB or ethernet for printers, and VGA or DVI for monitors. We also provide a free USB cable upon request for monitors with an integrated USB hub. Other cables/adapters (i.e. DP, HDMI, uDP, etc.) can be purchased separately.

The only exception is warehouse deals – they come without any cable or adapter of any sort.

11. Can I run Android apps on a chromebook?

In short: maybe, but most likely not. Chromebooks run ChromeOS, while Android is the OS used in a number of tablets and phones. These are two different operating systems, that don’t have access to the same apps catalog. Google (owner of both Android and ChromeOS) have however started to grant access to the Android catalog to some of the chromebooks – so far (April 2021), about 25% of them only have access to it, most (but not all) being newer chromebooks. If you are not sure, you can just look up the list on Google website, or just ask us!