Refurbished vs Brand New: What Kind of Laptop Should You Buy?

A staggering 261.2 million units — that’s the total number of personal computer shipments in 2019. These figures cover both desktop PCs and laptops.

Many of these new computers ended up in US households. After all, almost three-quarters of the US population own either a desktop or a laptop. Many, however, prefer the convenience and portability of laptops.

If you’re one of these folks, then you’ve likely come across the term “refurbished laptops”. Now that you need to get a new computer, it’s best that you know what makes buying a refurbished laptop a good idea.

Ready to learn what sets refurbished vs new laptops apart? Then let’s dive right into it!

What Is a Refurbished Laptop Anyway?

A refurbished laptop isn’t the same as a used laptop, which the previous owner could have used or even abused. Also, most used laptops don’t come with guarantees or warranties, unlike refurbished ones.

Refurbished laptops, however, aren’t “fresh from the factory”. These are computers returned to either the retailer or manufacturer.

The reason for the return varies, but most of the time, it’s due to minor defects. These “defects” are often cosmetic in nature, such as shipping damage like scratches. Their “previous owner” may have also returned them as they didn’t meet expectations.

Store models — the ones you get to test when you walk into a computer store — are also often refurbished. The same goes for overstock and opened-box models.

The biggest difference though is that refurbished laptops go through major testing first. All problems that the test reveals, be it software or hardware issues, are first corrected. Only after this extensive reconditioning process can they go back to the retailers.

Refurbished vs Used

Refurbishers disassemble each laptop to check for damaged components. They test the functions of the battery, screen, power supply, and connections. They inspect the processors, as well as the hard drive and optical drive.

Faulty or missing parts, like the RAM, capacitors, or hard disks, are then replaced. Refurbishers completely wipe all the data and fix the unit’s cosmetic issues. The equipment then gets its new OS, which in most cases, is the latest version.

Finally, the refurbishers package the refurbished laptop. They then sell it themselves or send it over to a retailer.

A laptop that doesn’t go through any of these steps is simply a used laptop.

When Buying a Refurbished Laptop Makes Sense

“So, should I buy a refurbished laptop then?” Well, it’s something that you should consider, especially if saving is a priority. Many refurbished laptop units come with as much as a 25% discount off of their original price.

More importantly, a high-quality refurbished laptop can be a good-as-new device. Again, these refurbished computers go through a lot of testing and reconditioning. All these ensure that you’re getting a laptop that’s free of hardware and software issues.

As most of their main hardware components are new, refurbished laptops can last as long as brand new ones. Meaning, they’ll give you at least three to five years of average service life.

Moreover, most refurbished units come equipped with the latest operating systems. Whether it’s a refurbished Dell, HP, or Lenovo, rest assured that it has the latest Microsoft Windows 10 in it.

Is It Safe to Buy a Refurbished Laptop?

Yes, so long as you buy a refurbished unit made by an established computer manufacturer. Refurbished computers are actually a big deal with PC makers like Dell and HP. These companies put their names behind such equipment.

In the process, they choose only highly-experienced refurbishers and reconditioners. This ensures that the product has indeed undergone major tests and appropriate fixes.

So, you don’t have to fret about the battery dying in just a couple of hours. Nor do you need to worry that a refurbished laptop will crash in only a matter of several months. Just make sure that you purchase a refurbished laptop from an authorized refurbisher.

When Going Brand New Is Your Better Option

Refurbished laptops are great, but they may not be the best choice for those who want the latest make and model. They’re almost always a generation older than their brand new counterparts. Still, reliable computer stores offer some refurbished units in the latest model year.

A brand new laptop may also be your better choice if you want or need more memory. For instance, some refurbished units may only feature 2GB of random access memory. Whereas most brand-new units now come with a 4GB RAM.

The same goes for internal hard drive capacity — most refurbished units come with 128 GB hard drives. Brand new models, on the other hand, now come with up to 512 GB hard drives.

If you’re one of the 212.million computer gamers in the US, you may also want to stick to a brand new laptop. These come with bigger and badder RAM, EHD, and internal fans. All these latest tech work together to bring you the ultimate gaming experience.

Speaking of which, the best gaming computers are custom-built. Meaning, you get to tailor each major component, from the RAM to the processor to the mouse, to your needs. You can even get an extra keyboard and speaker to use for your gaming sessions!

Choose Whatever Floats Your Boat the Most

There you have it, your guide on buying a refurbished laptop and what sets it apart used and brand-new units. If you plan to use the laptop for basic functions or regular computing work, then refurbished is the way to go. If you need it for more intensive jobs like photo and video editing or gaming, go with a brand new or custom-built one.

Ready to start shopping for a new desktop or laptop PC? Then please feel free to connect with us now! We’ll be happy to answer all your computer-related questions.