Refurbished or Used Computers, What’s the Difference?

Refurbished or Used Computers, What’s the Difference?

How to Properly Distinguish a Used Computer from a Refurbished Model

While searching for a good computer deal, you may have come across retailers advertising both used and refurbished models that are available on the market with variations in price points and promised quality expectations. As a consumer, one might ask themselves if purchasing a refurbished computer over a used computer would meet their expectations and perform to the standards their business or personal matter requires.

The simple answer is that yes, a used computer is not the same as a refurbished one. A refurbished computer has undergone the process of being properly audited, cleaned, internal components upgraded (if needed) and tested. It would be a mistake for the consumer not to understand what sets refurbished computers apart from used equipment. After reading this article a purchaser will be able to expertly distinguish between the two, which will undoubtedly assist with future computer purchases

What Buyers Can Look for When Purchasing a Refurbished or Used Computer

Where does one start with differentiating refurbished computers from used models? One of the main differences is that a refurbished computer has been restored to ‘like new’ qualities that can match or even exceed the performance of a comparative brand-new model. You can explore this entire process in more detail on our refurbishing page.

In some instances, a used computer has not had any routine maintenance done to it, sometimes not even a cleaning of the keyboard. This common lack of attention includes the physical replacement of any parts (both inside and out), that have been damaged or affected by general wear and tear. Broken or faded keypad buttons, sticky USB ports, glitches in the screen and loose parts of the hardware. Most importantly a properly refurbished computer will have had its data erased, its basic functionality set back to factory settings and the hard drive may be replaced with a solid state drive (SSD).


Used and Refurbished Laptop Computer Manufacturer Specifications

For example, let’s say you had purchased a slightly older used HP EliteBook laptop that had not been through any sort of refurbishment process. Chances are, this model will not operate to a quality standard that one would expect of a certified refurbished computer.

This piece of the purchasing process becomes most relevant and can become time consuming to ensure they are purchasing a reliable piece of hardware. Knowing and trusting your refurbished and used computer retailers becomes invaluable as a customer. Researching the retailer as well as the manufacturers specifications is something that the customer must look into on a more serious note and only then proceed to purchase.

Vendors Who Refurbish Computers and Those Who Sell Used

Another extremely important difference between refurbished and used computers is found when you begin to compare what sort of warranties are being offered for each. By now, you are probably aware that refurbished computers can come with comprehensive warranties that will cover your computers thoroughly. A good example of this can be seen right here at 2NDGEAR with our industry leading standard warranties on refurbished laptops, desktops and other IT equipment.

Used computers can be a completely different story with little or no extra work put into them before they are sold. A used computer is generally going to be sold ‘as is’ or with extremely limited and weak warranties. This is because it is not known to what level of performance they will operate on, or how much longer they will continue to work – making it impossible to back up with any sort of decent warranty. This uncertainty in performance and condition can leave buyers with a broken machine and no ability to return the equipment.

Confidently Purchase Your Next Refurbished or Used Computer

With having the knowledge to recognize the difference between a refurbished computer and a used one, customers can have little to no buyers’ remorse. From refurbished Dell Ultrabooks and HP Elitebooks to refurbished Chromebooks, one will be able to make a purchase decision based upon knowing exactly what level of quality they are receiving.

Here at 2NDGEAR, our wide range of fully certified and refurbished computers (not to mention other IT equipment) is a great place to start browsing for deals on all the top brand named manufacturers. From refurbished Apple and Dell computers to Lenovo refurbished laptops you can compare these models against other reconditioned computer retailers.

Contact one of our friendly and experienced team members today and let them help assist you. Call (866) 841-1679 or email



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