Everyone likes to buy completely new devices because they transmit quality, guarantee, and up-to-date hardware. Now, there is a category known as refurbished that is presented as the middle ground between new and used devices and has gained good acceptance in the market.
Before buying a refurbished computer, look at the generation of the device, the type of reconditioning it has received, and what parts have been repaired. In the case of a laptop, check the condition of the battery and the authenticity of the components. Also, make sure that the PC is from a certified brand.
Although many people believe that buying a refurbished laptop can be risky, it is actually a good investment if done correctly. For this reason, in this article, we will explain everything you need to know when purchasing a refurbished PC.
What exactly is a refurbished computer?
There are still many people who do not understand what a refurbished computer is and think that it is simply a used computer. Technically speaking, refurbished computers are not new devices, but they are not used either. They are reconditioned or repaired.
That is to say, these devices have been prepared to be in very good condition to work, and in some cases like new. This type of computer has been thoroughly tested, analyzed, and repackaged to be offered again to the final consumer.
Unlike used products, a refurbished PC comes with a warranty and is sold by a certified store, and even large companies, which is not the case with second-hand computers.
How to choose a good refurbished computer
The selection process is more or less similar to what should be done when buying a new computer. You have to look at the features of the computer and see if it meets your expectations.
This means that you have to evaluate the processor, the amount of RAM, the hard drive, the screen, and a series of other characteristics that increase or decrease the performance of the PC.
But beyond the components, there are some additional criteria you should consider before buying a refurbished computer, and they are the ones we are looking at right now:
Many of the refurbished computers that can be found nowadays are not recent. Some can even be quite old models, even close to 10 years since their commercial launch.
Until some time ago, these devices were still a very good option, especially because of their low price. After all, although they were old machines, they offered a satisfactory performance for conventional users. However, with the release of Windows 11, the situation has changed.
Only computers from approximately 2016 onwards are compatible with this new operating system, due to the implementation of TPM 2.0. Therefore, make sure you buy a relatively modern refurbished PC. In this way, when you decide to install Windows 11, there will be no problem.
One very important thing to keep in mind is that refurbished computers are sold by large companies. That is, brands such as HP, Dell, Síragon, Lenovo, among others, offer their customers reconditioned equipment.
Buying one of these computers from official brands confers more confidence because there are guarantees that they have been subjected to an arduous verification process. On the other hand, a computer refurbished in a store or by an unqualified technician could cause certain problems.
In harmony with the previous point, you will only get the warranty if you buy a computer from a certified manufacturer. If the place where you are going to buy your PC does not offer a warranty, it is preferable that you consider buying a laptop elsewhere.
When a warranty is not given, it can be because there is a suspicion that the equipment may not function correctly, which shows that it has not been properly reconditioned. You would simply be buying a used product, and that is not what we want you to do.
Types of refurbished computers
Not all refurbished computers are the same because some computers probably had some very small repairs, while others probably were returned by users after having big problems. In any case, a good way to classify the types of refurbished is through the following categories:
A brand new refurbished computer is practically like new and has never been used. Likewise, it is delivered with the original accessories and does not present any damage.
It has been reconditioned because perhaps a fault was identified at the time of sale, which was later corrected or repaired. Despite this, it is a new computer, except that by losing the original packaging, it can no longer cost the same price as before.
Almost brand new
This category is similar to the previous one, although this time someone has already used a computer, but very little. The equipment was returned, refurbished, and then put up for sale again at a reduced price.
It consists of a product in perfect condition and with excellent performance, although it has small flaws, such as marks or scratches, which are not visible to the naked eye. As in the categories above, it is almost always delivered with all the original accessories.
These computers have been lightly used, but have never been dropped or used incorrectly. However, they do have visible damage, with marks or scratches of 3 cm or more, but they do not affect their performance. Also, you may no longer have the original packaging.
Their use has been a bit more noticeable, but they remain in very good condition. They have their respective flaws, but they do not affect the performance. As for the accessories, they are supplied with universal or generic parts to be able to function.
Although you might think that a D-grade refurbished computer is the worst of the alternatives, that’s not always the case. The main difference with the previous categories is that this product has been completely repaired, but this repair has been carried out by qualified personnel.
Therefore, the computer is left practically as new, although of course, perhaps its parts are not completely original. In addition, it is the one with the cheapest price.
What to consider when buying a refurbished laptop?
Buying a refurbished desktop computer is usually not a problem and it is a piece of equipment that can work wonderfully. However, you have to be a lot more careful with laptops. They are delicate devices when they are new, even more so when they have been reconditioned.
For this reason, if you’re looking for a refurbished laptop, consider the following:
The outer area must be completely intact, without marks or scratches, at least not noticeably. You should also look at the keyboard and see if it looks new, if the keys are not worn, or if it is not damaged.
Remember that a refurbished computer, be it a laptop or a desktop, is not a used product and therefore should look very similar to a new product.
It is one of the most important parts to evaluate, so make sure the screen is clear, bright, has no dead pixels, marks, or scratches. Otherwise, it would simply be a used product, wrongly called refurbished.
It is recommended that you check each of the available ports on the laptop to verify that it works without problems. It applies to both flash drive connectors and internet connection ports or Audio and Video inputs and outputs.
Just as it is important in a desktop computer, it is also essential that you make sure each of the internal components works. First of all, make sure it’s a relatively current generation laptop.
Then, pay attention to the sounds the laptop makes when it’s turned on. If the laptop is too noisy, something is probably wrong and it hasn’t been properly refurbished.
As such it is not mandatory, but a sticker indicating that the equipment has been reconditioned conveys a lot more confidence. It is an indication that the technician or company that has performed the reconditioning is completely honest and has not tried to sell you a product as if it were new, when in fact it is not.
Is it worth buying a refurbished computer?
The main reason to consider buying a refurbished PC or laptop is to save money. If you want to spend less money, but also want to have a computer with reasonable performance and good quality, a refurbished PC is probably the best alternative.
Of course, you must evaluate the aspects that we have mentioned in this article so that you acquire a machine that is really worthwhile. Make sure the equipment has been refurbished by a team of professionals and is not just a used item.