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Refurbished. It sounds so unappealing. Like warmed over mashed potatoes. “Honey, should we have refurbished food tonight or get take out?” When it comes to electronics the word can be even more confusing, although you can be pretty sure it doesn’t have anything to do with warming up mashed potatoes for a second go-round. So just what is a “refurbished” laptop anyway? And are there any circumstances when refurbished cheap laptops would constitute a wise purchase? The answer to the second question is a loud and clear “Yes”. And we’ll get into the details below. The answer to the first question is; a laptop that has been sent back to the manufacturer for some reason, reconditioned and then offered for sale once again.


How Refurbishment Produces Affordable Computers

So we’ve established that a refurbished laptop is one that has been sent back to the manufacturer for some reason, reconditioned and then offered for sale. But why do these machines get returned to the manufacturer in the first place? Actually, there are any number of reasons, including:

  • A cosmetic defect - Perhaps the laptop had a ding in the surface. Or maybe the screen was scratched. Or maybe the letters on the keypad were barely visible. These and a hundred other cosmetic defects will result in the computer being sent back to the factory.
  • It was the wrong laptop - Let’s say the customer in Wheat Ridge ordered laptop A and was sent laptop B. He signed for it, opened it and set it up, not realizing it was not the machine he ordered. After a few minutes it dawned on him that the screen was smaller than what he expected and on closer inspection he discovered it was the wrong model. He put it back in the box and returned it.
  • A hardware or software glitch- It could be that the customer got the laptop home, set it up and discovered that it wouldn’t boot up properly or maybe it wouldn’t boot up at all. These and other types of hardware or software glitches will result in the computer being returned to the factory to be refurbished.

These are all reasons why a machine may be refurbished by the factory but they’re not the only reasons. Sometimes a refurbished computer was never offered for sale but was a simply overstock that was never shipped. Instead, it sat on the shelf at the factory until it was taken down, dusted off, checked and rechecked to make sure it works as advertised and then sold as refurbished. The most important thing is that refurbished doesn’t mean “used”. Instead it means the machine was inspected by technicians at the factory, any and all issues were addressed and, if necessary, fixed and the machine was subjected to rigorous quality control checks before it was offered for sale. So why should you buy one of these cheap laptops?

Reasons Why You Should Buy a Refurbished Laptop

Because “refurbished” is often confused with “used” people are reticent to consider buying such a machine. But most refurbished machines have never been used by a customer and the ones that have were only booted up once or twice before being returned and refurbished. As such there are plenty of reasons why you should consider buying such a machine.

  • They make economic sense - While the cost of laptops has come down a bit over the years the top of the line machines are still incredibly expensive. Which begs the question: why would you pay $1,500 for a “new” laptop when you can get an equivalent refurbished one for half the price? If you answer “I wouldn’t”, congratulations. You’re beginning to understand.
  • They’re not used - A quick check of Internet forums on the subject shows that most people still confuse refurbished with used. But they’re not the same. A used laptop is one that has been owned by someone for some time. They’ve spent hundreds or even thousands of hours on it, surfing the net, editing photos or video, writing papers and more. At some point they decided that the machine no longer met their needs and they offered it for sale. A refurbished laptop may have never been started up. It may have just been shipped to the customer who sent it back without ever taking it out of the box because he or she realized it wasn’t what they ordered.
  • They’re still under warranty - Most reputable sellers of refurbished cheap laptops will offer a 1 year warranty. Try getting that from the guy who sells you his used laptop. You may even have the option of purchasing extended coverage, which won’t cost much and be well worth it. The most important thing is to make sure you buy from a reputable reseller like Affordable Computers & Repair in Wheat Ridge, Colorado.

So Should You Buy One?

If you enjoy a bargain. If you enjoy getting the most for your money. If you don’t mind that one or two people are going to know that the cheap laptops you bought for your staff are not technically “brand new”, then yes. You should absolutely buy refurbished cheap laptops instead of wasting your money on something that costs twice as much but is not quantifiably better. Talk to the pros at Affordable Computers & Repair about these and other advantages to buying refurbished laptops and get ready to keep more of your hard-earned money in your pocket where it belongs.


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