Refurbished computers are older used computer components that have undergone a thorough evaluation and restoration process that makes the computer fully functional. In general, a refurbished computer will sell at a price somewhat below a new computer of similar make and model, and carry a limited warranty. A number of major computer manufacturers offer refurbished computers for sale at discounted prices.
Refurbished products are not a new concept. In times past, typewriters were often offered as refurbished models at a significant discount. Because the typewriters were restored under carefully crafted quality standards, the devices were expected to have a usage life similar to that of a new and previously unused typewriter. The same is true today with refurbished computers.
In order to prepare computers for refurbishing, the process often begins with a total assessment of the system. This includes inspecting all the internal and external components of the computer to ensure the unit is in a condition that merits the time and expense associated with refurbishing. As part of this inspection, any and all issues with hardware and software components are noted and scheduled for repair.
Once the computers are restored to full operating efficiency, they are tested thoroughly. This is to ensure that the refurbished computers are in compliance with the standards put in place by the manufacturer. As part of the refurbished technology process, some of the original features may be enhanced, such as the addition of RAM or the inclusion of a new component that will take the place of an obsolete component. An example of this type of upgrade would be replacing a floppy disk drive with a CD burner and reader.
Refurbished computers provide several benefits to consumers. Because the reworked systems may sell for significantly less than a new computer, buyers who are on a tight budget may find they can afford a machine with more power and with an operating system they trust. This eliminates the need to settle for a weaker computer that is configured to use an operating system or support software that is considered inferior or unfamiliar. Since many refurbished computers do come with some type of warranty as well as a limited service contract, the consumer still has protection similar to that offered with a new system, but without the higher price tag.
For manufacturers, it is also possible to make an equitable amount of profit from the sale of refurbished computers in comparison to newly constructed computer systems. The process of refurbishing an essentially solid computer is much less than building a new one from scratch. This makes it possible to offer the refurbished units at a lower rate, but have much less in the way of component costs and labor involved in preparing the unit for sale.
While many companies claim to offer refurbished computers, it is important for the consumer to determine what the vendor means by refurbished. In some cases, the system has not undergone a rigorous inspection and does not meet industry standards. When considering the purchase of one or more refurbished computers, always obtain information on exactly what was done as part of the refurbishing process and how the final product compares to a new unit. Companies who truly refurbish computers are usually happy to provide specifics about the process, while businesses that do no more than slight enhancements to a used system tend to be very vague about what has been done to refurbish the system.