The Pros and Cons of Buying a Refurbished Laptop

The single biggest reason for buying a refurbished laptop is that it’s cheaper than a new one. You could save several hundred pounds if you’re buying a performance model, such as a gaming laptop.

If you’ve got a budget of, say, £500 for a laptop, you should be getting more computing power for your money if you buy refurbished. You’ll be able to buy a laptop with a higher specification because you’re not buying new.

It’s important to point out that if you’re looking for the very latest technology, and if you want the experience of unwrapping a laptop that no one else has ever used, then you want to purchase a new one. 

However, a growing number of people are discovering that there’s real value to be had in buying a laptop that’s been professionally reconditioned or refurbished. On top of that’s, it’s a more sustainable choice.     

Other reasons for buying a refurbished laptop 

Reliable technology at a great price - for most computing tasks, you probably won’t notice the difference between a new and a slightly older laptop. They will both perform equally well. Laptop technology has been solid for years and some machines still work well after a decade.

They make an ideal first computer - which is why many people buy a refurbished laptop for their children. We know that kids aren’t always very careful with their devices, so it makes sense to give them a less expensive computer for their homework.

Great for short-term projects - sometimes you need a computer for just a few months. Maybe you’re travelling, or giving a year to cause, or starting a business, and you’re not sure how it will go. Buying refurbished gives you computing power on a budget.

They often come with a good warranty - one reason for buying a new laptop is that you’re protected if it goes wrong early in its life, because of the manufacturer’s warranty. However, a professionally refurbished laptop usually has a warranty of at least 12 months - giving you as much protection as when it was new.

If you are looking to purchase a refurbished laptop, be sure to look into the warranty on offer.

Read our guide to buying a used laptop

Reasons why people don’t buy refurbished laptops  

More and more people are discovering that buying refurbished can give them more value for money than buying new. Just like cars, you pay a premium for choosing to buy new. Many of us prefer to purchase a used car because it’s cheaper but there’s still loads of life in it.

However, just as you should check over a used car before buying, there are certain aspects of a refurbished laptop you need to consider.

Battery life - because battery life deteriorates with use, most refurbished laptops have a shorter battery life than when they were new. However, it’s relatively easy to replace the battery with an entirely new one. 

The life of a battery can be hard to measure because it’s affected by so many factors. High intensity gaming, with screen brightness turned right up, will drain the battery much faster than using less demanding apps with brightness lower. This also makes it hard to guarantee the length of battery life.

Wear and tear - some level of this is inevitable once a laptop is unboxed. The most common wear and tear marks are scratches on the lid, wear on the touchpad, cracks on the hinges and scuffs on the corners. 

Some refurbished laptops are only a few months old and can be virtually unblemished. Others have seen years of service, and it shows.

Outdated and slow - some people think that because technology advances so quickly, older laptops can be frustratingly slow and won’t run newer apps. In short, this isn’t true. There are many levels of performance, in both new and refurbished laptops. Some older machines are much better than some that are newer.

If you want more detail, read our article about factors that affect a computer’s performance.

All our laptops have been upgraded to run faster, meaning that in many cases, they are faster than when they were new.

It may be stolen - laptop theft is a real problem and most people don’t like the idea of buying stolen property. All the laptops we sell come from reputable wholesalers, many of whom work directly with the manufacturers. 

Refurbished or new - it’s your choice

What do you want to feel when you start using your new computer? 

If you want the equivalent of the ‘new car smell’, that experience of being the first person to use it - buy new.

If you want the satisfaction that you’ve got excellent value for your money - then seriously consider buying a refurbished laptop.

To make it easier, we offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. If the computer you chose turns out not to be what you wanted, you can send it back for a full refund or replacement.

Take a look at the refurbished laptops we have on sale right now.