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What do I Consider When Buying a Refurbished Laptop?

It's important to ascertain what a vendor specifically means when they say that a computer is "refurbished".
A couple using a refurbished laptop.
A refurbished laptop.
Purchasing a refurbished laptop can offer considerable savings compared to buying a new computer.
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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 17 July 2014
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Choosing to purchase a refurbished laptop has a lot of advantages. The devices tend to cost considerably less than new models, often have all the features you want, and still have some type of limited warranty. However, there are a few things you should look for when purchasing a computer notebook or other laptop that is advertised as refurbished. Here are a few tips to help you make a wise purchase.

When looking over the refurbished laptops offered by a vendor, it is a good idea to ascertain what the vendor means by refurbished. Unfortunately, there is sometimes a bit of confusion as to the difference between a used laptop and a refurbished laptop. Used laptops are generally sold as is, while a refurbished laptop has been thoroughly tested, and sometimes upgraded with more memory or some other feature. Watch out for vendors marketing previously used laptops that were not checked and brought up to standards, even though they are promoted as refurbished. Taking a moment to clear up this one point can save you a lot of money as well as frustration down the road.

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Another consideration has to do with the service and protection offered to the buyer. It is worth your time to take a long look at the warranty and any guarantees that come with the refurbished laptop. It is not unusual for vendors to offer anywhere from a one- to three-year guarantee on specified components of the notebook or laptop. Read the terms of the guarantee, so you fully understand what hardware is covered and what is not. The best computer deal is often a refurbished laptop that has warranty coverage similar to that of a new system.

Comparing the price of the refurbished laptop computer with a similar new model is also a good idea. Ideally, you will see a significant savings without sacrificing much in the way of features. Depending on the make and model, refurbished computers may sell anywhere from twenty to sixty percent of the purchase price for a new unit. If the difference is less than twenty percent, you may do well to look elsewhere.

One final consideration when looking into a refurbished laptop is the type of operating system loaded on the system. It is not unusual for consumers to go with a refurbished unit simply because they are unhappy with the latest release of an operating system. There is a good chance that the refurbished unit will utilize an older but still popular operating system, one that the consumer knows well and likes. This will not only prevent frustration from dealing with a new and unfamiliar system, but also allow the consumer to wait until all the bugs are identified and addressed in the newer system releases before upgrading.

All in all, a refurbished laptop can be a great option for just about anyone. Students do very well with refurbished computer units, as well as people who simply want a reliable system to use at home or when on the road. With the smaller price tag and the assurance that the major hardware is covered, going with a refurbished unit is well worth considering.

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Discuss this Article

anon343649
Post 7

For the most part, I am not seeing much discount on refurbished laptops or desktops. They are between 10 percent, and as much as 20 percent rarer. I am also finding that it's hard to find the exact model and specs on the actual new model. If you are going to buy an extended warranty, you will wind up spending more than buying the new model. I've searched out the prices and it doesn't seem worth it. If refurbs were as good as a new one, why only give a 90 day warranty? again to sell an extended warranty?

anon321865
Post 6

Are you intending to buy a computer but the sky-rocketing prices of these computers are really giving you the creeps? You absolutely do not need to get worried about it as there are a number of very good online sites that offer some of the best computer deals available in the market.

These online shopping sites have large variety of products which they offer at discounted prices. If you are asking why they would offer good products at discounted prices and that there must be some sort of scam involved, well, although a number of such online shopping sites are big scams, there are still a few which genuinely offer quality products on discounted prices.

Offering discounts is a useful technique for generating big sales on something like Dell refurbished laptops, which means heavy profits for them also. So before ignoring such deals, try doing a little search to see if that company is genuine or not.

danishwali
Post 3

There are many advantages in buying a refurbished laptop for someone who requires more computing power or desires a higher-end model for less money. You save not just money, but on frustration by buying low-end cheap laptops that can easily handle emailing and web browsing.

I was also looking for a refurbished laptop and bought it online.

MrSmirnov
Post 2

Always make sure to get a warranty on your refurbished laptop. Most come with an automatic 90-day guarantee, but if you aren't sure, do ask.

While the service may be excellent at a store, and the staff seems competent, if possible, purchase the extended warranty. These are usually available for about 10% of the purchase price.

I believe that because refurbished laptops are still used, and even though they have been fixed up, they can still have a few problems to contend with. While they are much cheaper than new computers, they still cost a couple hundred dollars, and you should protect your investment.

animegal
Post 1

A refurbished laptop can be a huge saving purchase for students. While the new laptops have a lot of bells and whistles, I found that I could get a refurbished one, with lots of little upgrades, cheap. If you need extra RAM or hard drive space, you can usually get more than you would expect, even on a budget.

If you are willing to deal with an independent store, you can even get little extras thrown in as a bonus. When I got mine I was offered extra accessories, like a mouse, cleaning tools and some CDs for burning. Talk to your dealer, and they may be able to cut you an extra good deal.

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