Are Refurbished Laptops Good? – Pros and Cons of Refurbished Laptops

With the fast-paced development of the tech industry, it’s difficult and expensive to keep up with all the latest gadgets!

Especially if you don’t need all those fancy processors and operating systems, you can a cheaper alternative –– refurbished laptops.

In this article, we’ll discuss:

  • What makes a refurbished laptop different;
  • Pros and cons of getting a refurbished laptop;
  • When you should get a refurbished vs. new laptop.

Refurbished laptops are a great alternative for budget-conscious shoppers who want a “good as new” laptop. They’re 100% repaired and tested to ensure that there aren’t any software or hardware issues. There are some trade-offs, though, like limited RAM or hard drive storage.

Let’s dig deeper.

Table of Contents

What is a Refurbished Laptop?

You’re probably wondering, “Is a refurbished laptop the same as a used laptop?”

Not exactly.

Unlike a refurbished laptop, a used laptop could’ve been mishandled and abused. It doesn’t come with any warranties or guarantees either.

But, refurbished laptops aren’t fresh off the factory conveyor belt, either. 

Refurbished laptops are returned to the retailer or manufacturer for a refund. Returns can be due to a minor defect, or the product may not have met the customer’s expectations.

But here’s the thing: Refurbished laptops are repaired and fully examined to work as good as new ones! 

The Laptop Refurbishing Process

All defective and damaged parts are replaced. Then the battery, power supply, display, connections, and all the features undergo comprehensive testing. Refurbishers will fix all cosmetic issues and reformat the laptop to factory settings. 

A refurbished laptop will most likely be updated with the latest OS.

Finally, the refurbished laptop is repackaged and relabeled as “refurbished” or “reconditioned.”

old Laptop

How different is a Refurbished Laptop from a New Laptop?

Now you’re wondering, “what are the specific differences between a refurbished laptop and a new laptop?”

The major difference you’ll find between a refurbished and new laptop ar the:

  • RAM
  • Hard Drive Storage
  • Built-in features
  • Price

Let’s take a look:


Newer laptop models will most likely have bigger RAM. RAM dictates how fast your computer processing speeds are.

In short, bigger RAM makes your computer more efficient.

Most refurbished laptops will have about 1 GB of RAM, while newer models will most likely have about 4 GB or more.

RAM is a key consideration, especially if you’re expecting to run some heavy-duty software and programs on your computer.

Hard Drive

Older refurbished models will also have lower storage.

New laptop models can have at least 320 GB hard drive space than refurbished laptops with 60 GB or 120 GB storage.

If you need bigger hard drive storage, you might need a new laptop or upgrade your refurbished laptop storage space.

Built-in Specifications and Features

New laptop models will have the latest features, but refurbished laptops aren’t much different.

Most refurbished laptops will most likely have built-in advanced features like an upgraded OS, built-in networking features, or even a premium graphics card.


Refurbished laptops are 10 to 25% cheaper than the laptop’s original retail price.  The trade-off is that the refurbished laptop will stay in the refurbishing center for a few months. Imagine all the latest and greatest models in the market once it’s gone through the refurbishing process!


Refurbished vs. New Laptop: Pros and Cons

Still, debating whether a refurbished or new laptop is the best choice for you?

Take a look at the pros and cons of getting a refurbished laptop:

Pros of Refurbished Laptop


Refurbished laptops work like new, but you can get huge discounts of up to 25% to 50% of their original value.

What’s more, refurbished laptops come with manufacturer warranties and guarantees.


Did you know that  50 metric tons of electronic waste are dumped in landfills worldwide?

The US contributes about 7 million tons of e-waste per year, and it represents 70% of overall toxic waste in the US. 

It’s a real problem…

Toxic waste gives off harmful lead, zinc, nickel, barium, chromium, and other flame retardants.

By buying a refurbished laptop, you’re taking perfectly capable laptop components out of the dump! 

Product Reviews

When you get a refurbished laptop, the chances are that thousands of customers have bought that product as well! It’ll be easier to research the specific device features of older models using existing customer reviews. 

In this way, you can get the basic research down and find a laptop that truly fits your needs.

As Good As New

In most cases, refurbished models are barely or completely unused by the customer who returned them. After the refurbishing process, it’s unlikely that you’ll find any performance or cosmetic issues.

Upgraded with Latest Technology

Want to get the latest operating system or processors? 

No problem –– most refurbished laptops are upgraded with the latest OS, graphics card, and processors during the refurbishing process.

Cons of Refurbished Laptop

Cosmetic imperfections

Some refurbished laptops will come with minor cosmetic issues, like dings, scratches, and dents. Some of these are impossible to remove, but the good news is that these markings don’t affect laptop performance.

Even better, minor imperfections will drive the price even lower!

Difficult to Find a Warranty

Some laptop manufacturers will void the warranty after the product’s been refurbished. 

However, when a customer returns a laptop,  their warranties will most likely be expired anyway. You can find lots of reliable refurbish sellers that offer up to one year warranty.

Inconsistent Refurbishing Standards

Some sellers will mark their laptops as refurbished, but the reality is they might not have gone through comprehensive repairs and testing.

Especially if you’re buying a refurbished model online, review the seller’s refurbishment process closely. You can research on your own or read some customer reviews. It will even be better if they offer a warranty. 

Shorter Lifespan

Though most consumers replace their laptops every two years, some users might find it inconvenient to replace parts. It’s hard to determine the extent to which your refurbished laptop was used (or abused) by the previous owner, so don’t expect its parts to last as long as a brand new laptop.

Final Verdict: Why you should get a refurbished laptop

Take a quick look at our side by side comparison of the pros and cons of a refurbished laptop:

  • Budget-friendly
  • Eco-friendly
  • Reliable product reviews
  • As good as new
  • Upgraded with latest technology
  • Minor dents
  • May not come with a warranty
  • Inconsistent refurbishing standards
  • Shorter lifespan

If you need a capable laptop, a refurbished laptop is a great affordable alternative! As long as you buy refurbished laptops from manufacturer-certified sellers, you’ll get a laptop that’s cleaned, tested, and good as new. It’s also coupled with a manufacturer’s warranty. Most will even be upgraded with the latest OS and features.

If you want a laptop that’s guaranteed to have a longer lifespan, zero cosmetic imperfections, and complete with the latest features, a new laptop might be the right choice.

We hope this article helped you decide if a refurbished or new laptop will fit your needs!

Let us know which you’ll be getting.