Top 5 Reasons to Buy a Refurbished Computer

When it comes to choosing a computer for your home or office, the average consumer or business has more options to choose from than ever before. One such option that is increasing in popularity is to purchase a refurbished computer, be it a laptop, desktop, or even other computer accessories such as LCD displays and other business equipment. Why are more and more consumers and corporate IT managers choosing to buy refurbished equipment? We've assembled what we believe are the top five reasons why refurbished computers are a smart and popular buy.

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1. Great Prices.

The first reason is probably the most obvious one. If you're looking to buy a laptop or desktop computer from a trusted brand like Dell, HP, Lenovo, Panasonic, or Toshiba, buying a refurbished computer will almost always be the more affordable option compared to buying the new version of a similar or even identical model. You might be wondering Why are the prices for refurbished computers lower? If you're thinking it's a quality issue, think again. There are many factors that contribute to higher prices for new computers, not the least of which include original design, engineering, and manufacturing costs, multi-million-dollar marketing campaigns, and costly service programs. All of those costs have to be factored into the price of a new computer, which means by the time a machine appears on the refurbished market, all of those costs have already been addressed and no longer need to be a factor in the price.

2. Better Value for Performance.

The gift of great prices keeps on giving when you start to look at exactly what you're getting in terms of performance features out of a refurbished machine. A new entry-level laptop typically comes equipped with Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium and with the bare minimum of processor and memory capacity required to run the operating system, (usually 2.3 GHz and 2.0 GB or less, respectively), all for around $500. Spend that much money on a refurbished laptop and you're able to get Windows 7 Professional, a faster processor, and double the RAM. By purchasing a refurbished machine instead of a new one, you're essentially getting a fully-featured computer at entry-level prices.

3. Proven Hardware Reliability.

Perhaps it's counter-intuitive, but you can actually feel more confident in the reliability of a refurbished machine compared to a brand new model. Provided that you're shopping from a reputable refurbisher (see related article, Top 5 Questions to Ask About Refurbished Computers), the machines which are being refurbished and re-sold were not previously broken or in need of repair. They should simply be previously-owned computers which have been professionally sanitized and wiped of all data, ready to serve a new owner. The net effect of this is that the computers which are available on the refurbished market have already proven themselves to have reliable hardware, whereas new models have yet to be tested by the market and you don't necessarily have the confidence that the hardware in that entry-level PC will stand the test of time.

4. Responsible Sustainability.

Buying a refurbished computer is a meaningful way to help reduce the incredible volume of e-waste that is currently pouring into landfills around the world, creating health hazards among already-vulnerable populations. According to the International Data Corporation, there were over 338 million desktop PCs installed in the United States alone during 2010, with an annual retirement rate of 20.5%. That's nearly 70 million desktops, not to mention the additional millions of laptops, tablets, and smart phones being discarded every year. A dangerous byproduct of this explosion of e-waste is the growth of foreign scrap markets which fail to dispose of equipment properly and threaten human health and the environment. By purchasing a refurbished computer instead of a new one, you are taking one more computer out of the e-waste system, increasing the usable lifespan of the equipment, and doing the right thing for human health and the environment.

5. Affordable Software Licensing.

It's important to confirm that your refurbisher is using genuine and authentic software (see related article, Top 5 Questions to Ask About Refurbished Computers), but assuming that they are, refurbished computers offer you an incredibly affordable way to acquire fully-licensed software such as Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium or Professional Edition. Buying the full version of Windows 7 Professional direct from Microsoft or another re-seller costs as much as $300.00, or you could purchase a refurbished computer with a new license of Windows 7 Professional (including disc) for as little as $284.99. Why pay more for nothing but the software when you can get the exact same software and a computer to run it for even less money?