Imagine you are a writer, and your laptop breaks down before submitting an article that will pay your bills. Or you are a student, with only an aging PC to help you with school projects, which is slower than going to the library. Or a parent, with two rebellious teenagers at home for holidays, demanding their own laptops? Just the mere thought of having to invest in a new computer is enough for you to sweat nervously, right?
For most of us, buying a laptop, especially on short notice, is not an easy task. From budget constraints to the daunting job of having to choose from so many different models, the process is nerve-wracking. But with newer PC models coming out every second and prices climbing, how can you afford an upgrade without making a dent in your bank account?
Secondhand laptops are just too glitchy and unreliable to be considered a realistic alternative. This is where Xtra-PC can help. It is a fairly inexpensive solution to get your old laptops back in shape. If speed is the only issue with your PC, and the rest of it is fine, then instead of throwing a good thing away, you can consider investing small in software that can prolong the life of your old machines by around five years, boosting both efficiency and speed.
Xtra-PC has been created by Mark Oman, a former employee of the Hewlett-Packard Company (HP), one of the most well-known tech companies in the world. Mark and his team saw a need to ease the burden of families when it comes to buying a new PC, as well as a need to curb the amount of e-waste being generated in the world. This led to him founding Prairie IT, a family business dedicated to making obsolete PCs reusable, which then created Xtra-PC.
Think of Xtra-PC as your old computer’s fairy godmother. Basically, it is a USB flash drive that comes with a Linux based operating system and storage capacity. It is optimized for basic computer functions – internet browsing, working on documents, playing music, viewing photos and setting up your printer and Wi-Fi. This will take care of your work part.
Now for the fun part. The software comes pre-optimised to run websites like Facebook, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Minecraft. Even Google Docs can be used with Xtra-PC, just like you would use it on any other operating system.
How Does Xtra-PC Work?
The software comes in the form of a USB flash drive, which can be plugged into the built-in USB port of a PC. It works by overwriting your old, slow operating system of Mac or Windows with a much faster and reliable Linux operating system. All you need to do is follow the prompts on-screen, and click away to a brand-new, faster PC.
Because it runs on a USB drive, your original hard drive, old files, and data is not modified or lost. So you don’t need to worry about losing any important data. Another benefit to it running on USB is that even computers with missing or broken hard drives, which do not have an operating software on them, can run it.
System Requirements For Xtra-PC
Created to make obsolete PCs reusable, it is but natural that Xtra-PC will run on most old PCs. This includes your old laptops, desktops, as well as netbooks, including the ones running on unsupported OS like Windows Vista and XP. Basically, any model that was made after 2004 and can boot using USB can run Xtra-PC. If you are unsure whether your model will run the software, just contact the support team of the manufacturer for help. In any case, listed below are some specific system requirements that are needed to run this software:
- Processor – Your PC’s model must have a processor that is at least 700 MHz or higher.
- USB Type – Only USB 2.0 and 3.0 will be able to boot from the flash drive.
- RAM – The minimum RAM required to run this software is 512 MB, while the ideal or recommended RAM would be around 2GB.
- Graphics Support – Xtra-PC needs VGA, HDMI, or DVI support to run efficiently.
- BIOS – BIOS stands for Basic Input/Output System and refers to how your computer boots itself. To run this software, you need a PC that can boot from USB drive.
- Network – For using the internet, you need network card support, either Wi-Fi or wired.
How To Use Xtra-PC?
Since Xtra-PC is designed for the use of those who are not very familiar with technology, you can get it working in just a few quick steps. After you use it, you might even be surprised at how easy it is to use this tiny stick. Follow these three simple steps:
- Plug it in – Find the built-in in a USB port on the side of your old PC. Plug the flash drive into the USB port.
- Restart – Restart your PC using the power buttons.
- Reboot – Hit boot key to open the boot menu. This will differ depending on which version of Mac or Windows you are using. Set your PC to boot off the USB drive.
And that’s it! You won’t even need to wait for a minute, it’s that fast.
Benefits of Xtra-PC
- Affordability – Even lower-end PCs these days cost nothing short of a few hundred dollars. And if you want something that has a brand-name, good after-sales service and will last for a while, the options and limited and expensive. Even the most expensive variant of this product won’t cost as much as a basic, new computer.
- Ease of Use – This product is not just easy to install, it has specifically been designed for those with little technical knowledge. In three easy steps, you can have a new system running in no time. All you need to do is follow the commands on screen. It has all the basic programs and apps pre-optimised. It even takes off the burden of having to back up your old data from your shoulders.
- Wide Range of Support – This software supports both Windows and Mac PCs dating back over a decade. Think your old PC from back in 2007, that had the now-obsolete Windows Vista installed on it. You now have the option of breathing new life into a machine that old. Not only that, even computers missing a hard drive can start working with Xtra-PC.
Purchase And Price of Xtra-PC
As is the case with any software, many counterfeits exist in the market. If you fall for schemes or fake deals online, you might just end up losing a lot of money. Make sure to do a lot of research before your purchase. Buy the product only from the manufacturer’s official website instead of third-party websites.
To give you the flexibility to choose the product most suited to your usage and budget, the Xtra-PC flash drive comes in multiple variants. Please note that the prices mentioned below do not include the extra charges for shipping and handling, which are $7.99 for each order.
The following are the three variants of the product, sorted by storage, price, and needs:
- Xtra-PC Turbo 16 – This is the 16 GB variant and is priced at $49.99. It is perfect for home laptops and desktops, and doing basic stuff like browsing the internet, watching YouTube videos, and playing games. Due to the ongoing sale on the manufacturer’s website, you can get this one for 30% off, making the current price $34.99.
- Xtra-PC Turbo 32 – This is the 32 GB variant and priced $119.99. This version has twice the storage compared to the previous one and is also much faster. It can fully transform your old computer, giving you the speed and efficiency of a brand new mid-range laptop. You can avail of a 50% discount on this one and get it for $59.88.
- Xtra-PC Pro – This is the 64 GB variant and is by far the most popular version of this product. It is a one-stop solution for all needs – storage, browsing, gaming, and movies – making this version the most value for money out of all three. It is priced at $159.99, but because of the sale, it is discounted by 50% making the current price $79.88. This version comes with free file rescue software called FileRez worth $99, which can help you retrieve important files from your old PC.
Money Back Guarantee And Refund Policy of Xtra-PC
The manufacturers of Xtra-PC provide a 30-day window to return your product, in case you are dissatisfied or have complaints. All you need to do is email the manufacturer within 30 days of purchase, and return the unused product with its original packaging.
It is important to note that the refund amount will not include the taxes and shipping fees paid by you. The manufacturer also offers a replacement in case of a defective product, but like with returns, you will have to bear the shipping for this, too.
Pros of Xtra-PC
- It has been designed for the use of non-tech-savvy people.
- It comes with easy instructions and an excellent support team.
- Multiple variants cater to everyone’s budget and needs.
- System requirements to run it as minimal.
Cons of Xtra-PC
- OS is Linux-based and requires time and effort to get used to it.
- In the case of Apple computers, only models made in 2011 or later are able to run the software, which leaves very limited options.
- In case you want to return the product, shipping costs will have to be borne by you.
Mark – When my teenage son asked for a new computer, I was worried because I didn’t have the cash to buy him one. All I had was a five-year-old HP laptop that I hadn’t used in ages. I wasn’t even sure it switched on. But after reading reviews of Xtra-PC, I decided to give it a go. I couldn’t believe my eyes when my old HP restarted and worked like it was a whole new laptop. The features it comes with are perfect for the browsing needs of my son. I’ve saved hundreds of dollars and also the fear of disappointing my son!
Jenny – I’m a tech professional, and that’s not always a good thing, because my whole family comes to me for their computer-related problems. But now, instead of turning people down, I simply point them to Xtra-PC. It has saved me so much time. As someone who is familiar with Linux, I tested it myself before recommending it to my friends and family, and I can say with complete confidence that this is a wonderful software, especially considering the price it is worth. I no longer have to spend family gatherings fixing people’s laptops.
After gauging everything from ease of use, affordability, pros, and cons, it can be said that this software is one of the best ways to refurbish an old PC. It doesn’t matter if your old PC works or not, as long as it meets the system requirements needed to run the software, you will have a newer, faster, and more efficient machine in your hands.
From being easy to set up, having a built-in web browser, having a Linux OS which is reliable with most programs needed to run a PC, there is nothing within the gamut of computer-related functions that this product does not offer. Play music, watch movies, work for hours or game your days away – there are no limits of compromises after you switch to Xtra-PC.
Having one computer for the whole family is not realistic anymore since everyone has different needs. But buying a new PC is just as far-fetched on short notice or if you are on a tight budget. If you have an old PC lying around and have a basic knowledge of working with computers, you can take the opportunity to try this DIY solution to bring your old computer back to life.