The price tag attached to a brand new laptop computer can be an intimidating sight. Laptop technology advances swiftly, and it’s easy to be scared away from such a purchase altogether. However, much of this demanding cost can be cut away by shopping for a refurbished laptop. So long as it’s acquired from a reliable vendor, a refurbished computer can be just as reliable as one fresh off of store shelves.
What Will You Use Your Computer For?
Before shopping for a refurbished laptop, you should determine what you’re going to use the computer for. Laptops are built with far more specific purpose than their desktop counterparts, so this simple step is very important! Is the laptop for work? Is it for gaming? Is it for travel, or for minimizing your computer’s presence in your home?
What you want to do with your computer will affect both the price tag and the features you search for when shopping. Let these priorities guide your hunt, and you’re certain to end up with a laptop tailored for your own experience.
Who Refurbished It?
Refurbished laptops can come from many different sources. Many manufacturers often do their own refurbishing. They then sell these computers through their own stores and various retail outlets.
When the manufacturer does the refurbishing, they often apply a fresh warranty to the laptop. While it’s rarely as good one that covers a brand new computer, it’s still worth considering. You’ll feel safer with your purchase if any problems with your laptop are guaranteed to be fixed.
Appealing Price Points
The biggest benefit of shopping for a refurbished laptop is the price tag. A refurbished product could simply be a system that was bought and then returned by another customer. It could also be a computer that has undergone significant repair.
In some circumstances, a refurbished model may simply be a laptop that had its factory packaging opened, either for display or testing purposes. It’s possible that the computer hasn’t been used at all! This is often designated by the computer being labeled as a “floor model.”
The fact that the product is no longer “factory new” will often slash significant amounts off of the usual retail price. When the result is still a computer that can afford you with years of service, the reduced price becomes quite the appealing bargain.
Don’t Be Afraid if Your Computer Isn’t “New”
We all understand that new things can be more fun. It may not be as satisfying to spend money on a laptop that isn’t brand new. However, new laptop models release just as often as new smartphone models—almost once per year! No matter if your laptop is new or refurbished, it won’t be “new” for very long! It’s more important to find a laptop that fits your needs than it is to spend a lot of money.
In less than a year, a refurbished laptop will be just as used as any other, and you’ll have saved a large chunk of change! Sure, someone else was allowed to break the factory sealing on the computer. Does it really matter, when you can save hundreds of dollars and still own a great computer?
Some skepticism when shopping for refurbished products is healthy. This is especially true for computers. Not all refurbished models have been cared for to the same extent, so purchasing a laptop that has no retailer’s guarantee is not advised.
Online electronics vendors that also sell new computers are often a trustworthy place to make your purchase. Independent sellers on open marketplaces offer less guarantee, and should be regarded with less trust. There is no standard for what “refurbished” means, or how much effort must be put into testing a laptop before it goes back on the market.
Still, it’s rare that a refurbished product won’t have been cared-for enough to make it appear “like-new.” Choosing where to source and purchase a refurbished laptop can greatly increase the likelihood that the computer you end up with has been cared for and repaired properly.
Newegg and Tiger Direct carry many refurbished laptops. These companies have built their reputation on providing reliable service for all of their products. Since they specialize in selling electronics, it’s much easier for consumers to see the minute features of every computer up for sale.
A computer’s information will be provided for you, in an accessible list. Determining the exact type of CPU, memory, screen size, and more becomes simple.It’s also much easier and less time-consuming than shopping at a physical retail outlet. You’ll likely be surprised at the wide variety of refurbished laptop models available at online stores such as these.
Newegg and Tiger Direct also offer very appealing shipping options that will have a refurbished laptop delivered swiftly to your door.
The Manufacturer is Your Best Choice
Manufacturer-refurbished laptops remain a consumer’s best purchasing option. A laptop refurbished by the company that built will be the best cared-for. The computer will often have been brought as close to its factory-fresh state as possible before being placed back up for sale, and will still have a steep amount of cost slashed away from its original price.
Most major manufacturers that sell through their own online stores also sell refurbished laptops. Dell, HP, Apple, and others all maintain this practice, and the quality assurance that accompanies their sales is stellar.
Regardless of which reliable source one chooses to pursue for a refurbished laptop, the benefits of doing so remain largely the same. The necessary cautions and skepticism do as well, but a general rule-of-thumb is that a reputable retailer of new computers also can be counted on for a strong reputation with their refurbished machines.
Some form of guarantee or return policy should be included, if only to ensure the retailer’s commitment to their products. Cast away the falsehood that refurbished laptops are in any way “second-hand,” and you can end up with a computer that possesses nearly as great of longevity as a brand new model.