You are scanning through your favorite online e-commerce store for a new laptop and you see some options with the same configuration but at a very lesser rate. Often these items are classified as refurbished or renewed. But what are these? Are they original, fake, or copies? Let’s understand what are refurbished laptops and the advantages and disadvantages of buying them.
What is a Refurbished Laptop?
The word Refurbished means to renovate or redecorate something. Similarly Refurbished laptops are previously owned, used, or returned products that are restored to new-like conditions. They are quality computers available at a fraction of the cost of a new one.
Refurbished laptops are new and unused products mostly returned by users due to minor defects. These laptops go through a rigorous process of inspection, testing, and cleaning. All of the parts are inspected for defects and replaced if necessary.
The software is updated and any user data left is wiped off from the hard drive to restore it back to a new-like condition.
After a final checkup then they are again put on sale as refurbished products at a very lesser cost.
There are many sources of these refurbished or renewed laptops like
- Laptops that have been returned by the users or some minor defects like a faulty webcam, faulty speaker, microphone, etc.
- Laptops that are used for field testing or demonstration purpose
- Laptops that are returned due to damaged packaging or box.
- Due to a defective batch company recalls products.
These laptops are then taken and tested by the company to make sure they are free of all defects and packed and sold as Refurbished or renewed.
Refurbishment Process of Laptops
The refurbishment process includes steps like
1. Functionality Test
The first step is to do a thorough functionality test to see if all functions are working efficiently. If there are any faults and errors they correct them.
2. Replace any faulty parts
They check if all the major components like the keypad, touchpad, display, input adapters, battery, web camera, etc are working fine or not. If any part is not working then they replace it with a new one.
3. Software upgrades
In some cases, refurbished laptops require a software upgrade like the Operating system or drivers update.
Thoroughly tested to see all parts are working fine like the Web camera, Microphone, keypad, speaker, display, touchpad, etc.
5. Data Wipe Out
The Laptop may have data from the previous user which is wiped clean of any memories to give it a fresh look and feel
Basic cleaning of the exterior body to give it a fresh look.
If the packaging is damaged then the product is given new packaging.
Pros and Cons of Buying Refurbished Laptops
There are advantages and disadvantages of buying refurbished laptops.
- Refurbished laptops are cheaper than the new ones
- You get a wide range of features and options at a fraction of the cost
- There is no legal definition of Refurbish, so different companies adopt different methods for refurbishing different products.
- Thorough due diligence is required while buying
- There is a risk of a data breach as some sellers do not wipe clean the memory before reselling
- Not every seller offers a money-back guarantee or return period, unlike the new one.
- You can not buy from every seller, only reputable sellers are trustworthy
What to Look For while Buying a Refurbished Laptop
When buying a refurbished laptop you are getting a device that has been previously used, owned, or returned which is remanufactured to a new-like condition. There are certain things that you should look into before buying a refurbished laptop.
1. Signs of Damage
Look for any visible damage sign on the laptop and if there is any then it is better to avoid it.
Always check the battery capacity of the refurbished laptop. The laptop battery should be at least 80% of the capacity of a new one.
Check the accessories of the laptop like the power adapter or any input device. They may not be original but should be in good working condition and compatible.
4. Due Diligence
Always do your own due diligence before buying any refurbished product. Just do not scan through the benefits and features of the product but also examine the product itself and also look at the reviews.
Check and compare the features and options with a new one and see what is missing. In some cases defective parts are replaced with compatible parts, not original ones, so check on that. Don’t forget to check if all functions are working correctly and as advertised.
5. Reputable Seller
Always buy refurbished products from reputable sellers like Amazon, Flipkart, eBay, Walmart, etc. These retailers only allow selected sellers who maintain a very high standard of quality to sell refurbished products.
A very important step is to check the warranties and return policy for the product. If you are buying from a reputable seller then they offer both warranty and a good return policy.
What is the difference between Refurbished and Renewed?
Basically, there is no difference between refurbished and renewed. These terms are synonymous with each other and are used interchangeably. Apart from renewed there are certain other terms like Refreshed, reconditioned, repaired, rectified, like-new and remanufactured that are used instead of refurbished.
Refurbished laptops usually have a warranty and are cheaper than buying a new one. However, there are some risks associated with buying a refurbished laptop, such as not knowing the history of the device or if it has been properly tested. So always do your due diligence before buying a refurbished laptop.