If you’re in the market for your next laptop, you could be one of two main categories of buyers. The first is the category of gaming enthusiasts and users who absolutely must have the newest of gadgets and the latest of models with the best specifications available in the market. This category of users may also include professionals like designers, architects, and similar experts who need the newest of applications to do their job.
Then, there is the second category of users who need a model that is compliant with the latest developments of the internet. And, can perform little more than just the basic functions. If this is you and you’re looking for a laptop that works well, but is also economical, consider checking out the refurbished laptops available on most manufacturer and other dealers websites.
The interesting thing about refurbished gadgets is that with a little research, you should be able to find a barely used or almost brand new device for much lower prices than a similar model that has never been opened.
Here are some of the important factors to keep in mind when looking for a refurbished laptop.
1. Look for a Model that is Less than 6 Months Old
Like this feature on Life Hacker explains, when considering the different models, check for the date when the particular model was first released in the market. If the date is around 6 to 8 months old, you’ll know that the laptop likely hasn’t been used much. Keep in mind that new laptops may make their way to the refurbished market even if they have been returned to the seller without ever having been opened.
Like, for instance, a gift that the recipient didn’t want or a billing error. But, once the gadget has been dispatched from the company, the law does not allow the company to sell it as a new device. You could also be lucky enough to find a device that arrived with damaged packaging because of which it was returned even though the device was actually untouched.
2. Buy from a Reputable Company
The best place to look for a refurbished laptop in on the website of the original manufacturer. On receiving returned gadgets, companies conduct extensive testing on them to check for defects, missing components, or even, missing accessories because of which they were rejected. Here’s another interesting fact. Companies may check only one or two devices in an entire lot by way of quality control checks. But, before putting up refurbished gadgets in the market, they check every piece thoroughly for functionality.
Aside from the manufacturing company, you can also safely rely on dealers like Amazon, Newegg, ReUsetek, Best Buy, or other such companies. These dealers have Microsoft-certified technicians on board that check devices carefully and repair them if needed before placing them on the sales pages.
3. Choose a Refurbished Laptop that Comes with a Warranty
If the dealer offers you a warranty and has an attractive return policy, you can know for sure that the gadget is worth buying. For instance, Apple and PCRR stand by their refurbishes by providing a 1-year warranty. Other vendors may have their individual policies like Microsoft that extends a 90-day warranty. The LaptopMag advises that a warranty or return-back policy gives you the opportunity to test the product and make sure it is in good working order. In case you aren’t quite happy with your refurbished laptop, you can always return it for a new gadget. However, you may want to check with the vendor for any restocking fee you may have to pay to return the device.
4. Opt for a Corporate Leased Device
If you want to be sure that the laptop does not have a reported manufacturing fault or is possibly not working, you can opt for the corporate leased devices. As the name suggests, these gadgets have been leased by big companies for a couple of years. Like the folks on NerdWallet will tell you, once the contract ends, the gadgets find their way back to the companies. Here they are checked for flaws, signs of wear, and functionality. If they pass quality checks, they’re put back for sale. But, if you note dents and scratches, you may want to pass up on the offer.
Like Microsoft refurbisher Cade explains, “We try to make the product look good — especially keyboards, cases, palm rests — those things have to be in Grade A shape. If you get a laptop that doesn’t look nice, or there’s scratches, or the keyboard is wonky, it may be an indication that they didn’t do a good job of making the computer run.”
5. Check for the Condition Statement Accompanying the Gadget
A reputable company selling you a refurbished laptop will give you a complete list of the possible faults with the gadget in detail. Check out this feature on Windows Central that advises you to check the statement before making your choice. However, many of the best-sellers like Apple or Amazon may not provide this description, but only give you standardized statement with each refurbished product. But, since they also give you a warranty, you can safely buy gadgets from such companies.
Keep in mind that the “opened box” tag may have all different kinds of implications. For instance, the gadget may have been used in a trade show or retail store to give demonstrations to buyers before being repackaged and sold as refurbished. Such devices have a rare possibility of having any defects.
Buying a refurbished laptop in place of a brand new closed box gadget may have a ton of positives besides, of course, being cheaper. By spending a small amount of time researching for the right gadget, you may just be able to find a little-used device at very attractive prices. And, prevent an almost-unused device from ending up at the recycling plant. Try it!