Refurbished Laptops: What to Look For When Buying Online
Are you looking for the latest laptops at affordable prices? If yes, you are in the right place! In this article, we’ll explain what a refurbished laptop is, and how you can purchase used laptops of the highest quality in the UK. Let’s get started!
What are refurb laptops?
A refurbished laptop is essentially a device that has been repaired or restored by its manufacturer for resale. Put simply, these laptops have been through a little journey of restoration and renewal before making their way back to the marketplace.
It is not necessary for a refurbished laptop to also be a used laptop. There are many cases in which customers return the laptops before even using them. This includes packages delivered with unsatisfactory packaging, laptops used for display purposes, wrong shipments, or not meeting the customer’s expectations.
You may be thinking that if a laptop is never used and is returned simply after the seal is opened, it may be resold as a new laptop. Thankfully, that’s not true!
Retailers or manufacturers can’t resell a laptop as new once its seal has been opened. These devices are then pitched as grade "A" laptops. The prices of A-category refurbs may not be as low as 50%, but they still offer a great discount as compared to the original cost of the product.
Used laptop vs. refurbished laptop
Used laptops are often sold cheaper than refurbished laptops. Now, it's not necessary for a used laptop to be damaged or default, but it still carries a risk. Even if you consider yourself a tech expert, there are still many things you might miss while buying a used laptop.
Used or second-hand laptops simply include laptops that were previously owned or used by a user. Instead of sending the laptop back to the retailer, the user directly approaches the market and resells his or her laptop.
This means if the laptop has a faulty battery or if any of its components are minorly or majorly damaged, you are getting it in "as-is" condition. Not only this, if you purchase a used laptop from someone and it stops working after a few days of purchase, there is pretty much nothing that you can do about it.
On the other hand, refurbs include certified laptops that are checked for quality in every possible way. The best-condition laptops are sold back to the manufacturers or retailers. They make sure that the laptop doesn’t have any permanent damage and then do multiple examinations for further reassurance. After that, all identified faults or damages are fixed, and then a certified product is delivered to the user.
A refurbished laptop also comes with a warranty from the manufacturer or retailer. For instance, Laptop Outlet offers a warranty of at least one year on the purchase of refurb laptops. This means you can easily get any repairs or maintenance done within this period without worrying about extra costs.
A refurbished laptop can be a better option than a "brand new" laptop
Yes, a refurb laptop is much cheaper than getting a brand new one. But is this better too? In some cases, perhaps , it may be!
Let’s say that you are a customisation freak who wants everything their way. You don’t want to be restricted to a specific graphics card, storage disc, or even display technology. In such cases, getting a refurb laptop is a much better alternative. You can ask the manufacturer or retailer to replace the components with the ones that best suit you.
This is also why most gamers, developers, and even tech enthusiasts have refurbished laptops. They customise it according to their tastes and preferences. As they are not "brand new" devices, you don’t have to bear the cost of devaluation. You can easily get cracking with your laptop, however you like!
But if you need flexibility on the exterior rather than the interior, then getting a brand-new laptop is a better idea. You can choose between your favourite colour and configuration. Also, you are getting peace of mind knowing that your device is foolproof.
The refurbishing process can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Fortunately , not every used laptop is taken back by the retailer. For instance, if there is any sign of long-term or permanent damage to a laptop or if the laptop is used roughly, the retailer or manufacturer might refuse to take back the product right away.
Only the best-condition laptops that don’t show any signs of long-term damage or issues are accepted by the manufacturers. First, the company conducts a brief inspection of the device. After checking the cosmetic wear and tear, the internal components are tested.
In some cases, the battery or other components that may hinder the user experience are repaired, restored, or completely exchanged by the firm. This is to ensure that you don’t face any problems after purchasing the product.
If there are any creaks or paint scratches on the lid, they are repaired. The latest version of Windows or software is installed to keep the device up to date. All repairable scratches on the screen are restored. When buying from a trusted retailer, you can rest assured that you are getting a fine-quality product without breaking the bank!
How to buy best condition refurbished laptops?
Refurb laptops can include products that are merely used or not used at all.However at the same time, they can also include laptops that are used by heavy consumers for a long period of time. While some of these laptops can look brand new, some may also come with prominent blemishes and bruises.
This means you need to keep your eyes open while buying a refurbished laptop. Here are some factors that you can consider ending up with the right product.
Source of Purchase
Choosing a reputable and reliable source is very important when buying refurbished laptops online. If you are relying on unknown sources to get a refurbished laptop, you may get stuck with something that’s not of any use.
Not only this, but you can also face multiple repair, exchange, or customer care challenges. That’s why choosing a trusted retailer is very important.
By trusting a reputable retailer, you can rest assured that the inspection, examination, and restoration are up to par.
Condition and Grade
Refurbished laptops come in various conditions and grades, which determine their quality and functionality. Common grading systems include Grade A, Grade B, and Grade C.
- Grade A condition laptops are in excellent condition with minimal signs of wear. These are usually the laptops that are not used or are negligibly used. These may include laptops used for display purposes.
Or the ones that reached the user’s doorstep with damaged packaging, so they returned without using the device.
In some cases, users may also return the product if it doesn’t meet their expectations. Hence, Grade A condition laptops are "just like new" and can also come with the original warranty.
- Grade B are the laptops that are used but very lightly. For instance, someone may have returned the laptop after a month or two of use. These are the best-condition laptops that don’t have any visible damage.
- Grade C laptops may have some cosmetic flaws but still function properly. These refurb laptops may have some signs of damage, or their components might have been replaced or restored, but you will not face any compromises on functionality.
It goes without saying that Grade A laptops are the ones with the highest prices for refurbished laptops. Then come the grade B and, lastly, the grade C laptops. You can decide the grade that suits you best according to your budget and preferences.
Everyone wants to keep up with the beat. Especially when it comes to tech, no one likes to flaunt an outdated or obsolete device. It's important to check the original time of manufacturing of the laptop, i.e., when was the model released in the market.
Let’s say that you have your eyes on the Microsoft Surface Go (21K-00004). The model was released in 2020 and has an Intel Core processor with integrated graphics. The laptop comes with a touchscreen and can also be used with a Surface Pen for additional functionality.
At the time of writing, the Surface Go 3 is the latest version released by Microsoft. That means there is a difference of only 2 models between the model that you are getting and the model that’s just been released in the industry.
This means you will get almost every technology that’s trending in 2023. The Windows, software, and all other features will be consistent with market trends. Moreover, your laptop will also be reliable and can easily be used for 2–3 years to come.
This makes the refurbished Microsoft Surface Go (21K-00004) an ideal choice for users who want a high-quality entry-level laptop without breaking the bank.
Ideally, a gap of 5 years or 3 models is recommended. But if you are getting an older model, make sure that it comes with easy upgradeability or repairability.
Evaluate the specifications of the refurbished laptop you intend to purchase. Determine the processor type (such as Core i7 or Core i3) and check if it meets your performance requirements.
If you are a gamer, getting a dedicated graphics card with multi-core processors such as the AMD Ryzen is important. And if you want to perform singular, dedicated tasks on your laptop, going for Intel processors with integrated graphics is a much better option.
For graphic designers, photo/video editors, or 3D illustrators, getting the latest desktop technology is very important. That’s where OLED screens and 4K displays come in.
The reason behind explaining these specifications is that your requirements will differ depending on your use, budget, and expectations. Hence, looking for the specifications that best meet your needs is important to ensure that your money is going in the right direction.
Fortunately, Laptop Outlet offers specific categories for different processor types, making it easier to find laptops with your preferred specifications (e.g., Core i7 laptops: Core i3 laptops). You can also filter through different storage capacities or graphics cards of your choice.
Warranty and Return Policy
Always check the warranty and return policy offered by the seller. Reputable sellers of refurbished laptops provide a warranty period, which indicates their confidence in the quality of the product. Ensure that the warranty covers potential issues and defects that may arise after the purchase. Additionally, familiarise yourself with the return policy in case you encounter any problems with the laptop upon delivery.
Important: Always look for a minimum of 6 to 12 months of warranty. Also, make sure that the warranty covers repairs, damages, or other issues. Don’t forget to ask if you can exchange or replace the product if it doesn’t meet your expectations.
In many cases, refurbished laptops that have been used for only 6–8 months may come with their original warranty. Let’s suppose that the manufacturer offered a warranty of one year. The previous owner used it for some months, and now it is refurbished. Back on the market to be sold again. You may think that getting only the original warranty is sufficient.
But it's not! Ending up with a warranty (even if it's from the manufacturer) that covers only a few months is never a good idea. So, always ask the seller to give an extensive warranty on their own. If the product is reliable, the seller should have no issue covering its repairs or maintenance.
Reviews and ratings
Before finalising your purchase, read reviews and check the ratings of the refurbished laptop model you are interested in. Look for feedback from previous customers regarding the performance, durability, and overall satisfaction with the product. This will give you a better understanding of the laptop's reliability and help you make an informed decision.
Compare the prices of refurbished laptops across different websites to ensure you are getting the best deal. While it's important to consider cost, don't compromise on quality. A significantly lower price may indicate a laptop with subpar refurbishment or potential issues. Find the right balance between affordability and quality.
Purchasing a refurbished laptop online can be a smart choice if you consider the factors mentioned above. Buying from a trusted source, checking the condition and grade, evaluating specifications, reviewing the warranty and return policy, reading customer reviews, and comparing prices will help you make an informed decision and find the best-refurbished laptop that suits your needs and budget.