Buying second-hand equipment is always a risk and it is a decision that must be made in a very personal way. Now, there is a category known as refurbished, which is a bit different than second-hand. In case you want to buy a refurbished laptop, you need to consider several aspects.
A refurbished laptop is a very good option if you are on a tight budget and want to purchase a computer with decent features. In general, they are computers that work well, but of course, they are not perfect and, depending on the situation, they can present certain problems.
In this article, we will take a closer look at what refurbished laptops are and when they are worth buying.
What is a refurbished laptop?
A refurbished or reconditioned laptop, as it is also known, is a laptop that has been repaired to function as if it were a new computer. As a rule, stores sell this type of device much cheaper than the same model that is new.
There are users who think that these computers are a lottery because they can work wonders. Other users think that they could be a complete disaster. Actually, there are certain parameters that will help you identify if a refurbished laptop is a good option.
In addition, a refurbished computer does not necessarily have to be used, or second-hand. In this case, we can divide these devices into two categories:
Factory Refurbished Laptops
These are laptops that present failures after their manufacture in any of their internal or external components. In view of this, it is possible to do a reconditioning so that the machine is in good condition.
However, as it has already been launched on the market and then has been repaired, it loses its value. If you look at it, it is a practically new laptop, but at the same time, it has been labeled as refurbished.
It also happens that someone buys a laptop online and when the order arrives, the PC has a problem. When processing the return, the buyer receives a new product, and the old one remains in the seller’s warehouse.
From there, the computer can be reconditioned, the fault corrected, and then sold back to the market. Again, it is a device that, although it passed through the hands of someone else, technically speaking it is not used but is reconditioned to be able to be sold again at a lower price.
Second-hand refurbished laptops
The second category is the refurbished laptops that have already been used by the consumer. They have been in operation for several years and at some point, they were discontinued. A specialized company takes these laptops and reconditions them to be sold at a very attractive price.
In fact, there are companies that are dedicated completely to buying used and defective equipment to recondition it and offer it again at a reduced economic cost.
Either way, it is unlikely that you will come across a refurbished laptop of this category that is of a fairly current generation. Refurbished models are almost always a bit old, so you have to be careful.
However, nothing prevents you from running into a next-generation model, if the conditions mentioned above are met.
Advantages of refurbished laptops
The only advantage of a refurbished laptop over a brand new one is its price. You have the opportunity to buy a laptop with very good features, but without spending the same amount of money that you would on a new laptop.
If you want to save some money, or are in a hurry and need a laptop quickly, a refurbished laptop is a great alternative. It goes very well for day-to-day tasks, to study and perform basic activities. Of course, it might not be the best if you require a computer to use it in a more professional way.
Possible downsides of refurbished laptops
As we have said before, there are those who see the purchase of refurbished laptops as a lottery, and in part those users are right. It all depends on how trustworthy the seller is and what kind of refurbishment the laptop received.
A Dell computer sold on Amazon is not the same as a generic brand offered by a small store clerk. In addition, there are people who only clean the laptop and reinstall the operating system, and with that, they already say that it is reconditioned, but it is not as simple as that.
You have to remember that a refurbished laptop is one that has undergone a thorough analysis of all its components. Then, all the components that are in good condition are identified and the ones that are defective are checked for replacement. In that way, a relatively new laptop is offered, but at a lower price.
The problem is that many sellers of refurbished laptops do not take the task of doing all this evaluation, but simply sell used equipment. Therefore, whenever possible, ask what type of reconditioning the machine has received.
Used vs refurbished: is it the same?
A used laptop differs a lot from a refurbished laptop, for the reasons we showed earlier. If you buy a second-hand laptop, you will have no guarantees of any kind that the equipment will last for a specified time.
You do not know what use has been given to the computer, what is the estimated life span of its components, or the general condition of each of its parts. Likewise, used laptops can be sold by anyone and in any imaginable condition.
In contrast, refurbished laptops require inspection by a technician, who certifies that they are ready to be sold to the public without inconvenience. Of course, this does not eliminate all the risks, especially if it is an old computer. However, there is a great warranty behind them.
Tips for buying a refurbished laptop
As with any type of purchase, the most important thing is to be careful with the product you choose. A refurbished laptop can be a great investment, but it could also be a waste of money depending on where you buy it and the general condition of the laptop.
Some practical suggestions that will help you are:
Look for a certification
Aside from new, refurbished laptops and used laptops that have received a refurbishment, there are also two other types of refurbishment. There is the common refurbishment, which is done in any computer store, and also the certified refurbished.
A refurbishment certificate offers a lot more trust than a computer without such a label. For example, brands such as Dell, HP, ASUS, or MSI have refurbished equipment with their respective certification label.
Look for warranties
If a store does not offer you a warranty of at least 60 days, it is a sign to be suspicious. When a warranty is not granted, it can be because there are many risks that the equipment may present a failure and that it has to be returned. However, if the place where you buy the computer complies with the return policies, the equipment is probably in excellent condition.
In the same sense, the longer the warranty, the better, because it means that the equipment has been thoroughly inspected and it is known that it will not present problems.
Test the laptop
Regardless of whether you buy it from an online store or a physical store, the first thing to do is inspect the equipment thoroughly. Look at both the exterior and the internal parts of the laptop.
It is even very important that you pay attention to aesthetics. Do not forget that refurbished are sold as almost new equipment, so if the screen looks odd, the keys are worn and the structure has scratches, they have sold you a used laptop without reconditioning.
For a piece of equipment to be truly refurbished, it must give the feeling that it is new but knowing that it has been renovated in some respects.
Is a refurbished laptop worth it?
If you are short on budget or see an interesting opportunity to buy a refurbished laptop, you can take advantage of it. They are computers that work very well, as long as they have been given the proper reconditioning and that they are preferably from a recognized brand.
Of course, it will not be without risks and nothing prevents you from having a bad experience. Despite this, 90% of refurbished laptops perform well and have not been a bad investment.