As laptops are overtaking the desktop computer as the most popular choice of PC, an increasing number of people are looking to save money by opting for refurbished laptops. Refurbished laptops are devices that have been sent back within warranty for an imperfection, have been fixed by manufacturer, put through tests, and put back on the market at a reduced rate. Although this option can significantly reduce the cost of purchase, there is more to consider than merely the price. This guide aims to escort you through the benefits and potential pit-falls, and will help you decide whether a refurbished laptop suits you, or if it is safer just to buy a new model.
There is only one real pro to buying a laptop, but it is a big one…
Cost. Refurbished laptops will always sell at a reduced price. Anywhere from 10% to 70% discounts can be found for a refurbished model. If the refurbished laptop in question only has superficial imperfections, such as small scratches to the screen, that don’t really bother you anyway, then you may have found yourself a bargain! The best deals can be found online, as always, and it is better to search for desirable specs rather than specific model, i.e. Googling ” refurbished laptop Intel i5″, will offer more results than “refurbished HP Elitebook 8440p”.
There are a few possible snags to consider when deciding to buy refurbished. Hopefully, by outlining them here, we can help you avoid them.
The term ‘refurbished’ has no strict definition, and can account for a vast number of imperfections. It is up to the individual vendor to classify what the term means to them. This means it is very important for you to read the small print on what was actually wrong with the device and what has been done to fix it. If the problem was purely superficial, such as scratches or small dents, and the manufacturer has run extensive tests to ensure the system is functioning perfectly, then you can normally buy with confidence. If the problem was a faulty motherboard, and the vendor has fixed, rather than replaced the component, the issue may flair up again in the long term.
Anyone can claim to be selling ‘refurbished’ laptops. You have to be careful you are buying from a trustworthy dealer. It is not unknown for stolen laptops to be sold ostensibly as ‘refurbished’, and then for the buyer to have the device confiscated by the police, with no refund. Incidences of this are rare, but you should always try to buy direct from the PC manufacturer’s website. HP and Dell have a page dedicated to refurbished laptops. These companies value their brand name, and are therefore unlikely to sell you a bad device. Also, most big companies will offer a short term warranty, normally 90 days, so you can buy with the confidence that if the product is found to be functioning inadequately, you can send it back immediately.
To summarise, as long as you take your time and follow the above guidelines, then there is no reason why you can’t save money by opting for a refurbished laptop. By accounting for the discount, you can set your sights higher than if you were buying new; a ninja i7 20inch screen capable of maximising your fibre optic internet is not as far away as you might have thought!