Are Refurbished Laptops Good or Bad? Pros & Cons

Though many users see refurbished laptops as a risky investment due to the fact that they can be outdated or have a short lifespan, the models are actually extremely reliable for those that want a strong machine that doesn’t come with a premium price tag.

I’ve spent most of my life purchasing, using, and working with different types of laptops. That includes refurbished ones. My experience with the machines has given me intricate knowledge about how they operate, as well as their advantages and disadvantages.

This guide takes a deep dive into such aspects by breaking down the pros and cons of refurbished laptops. It does so by analyzing their different characteristics, reliability, and why they may be right (or wrong) for you.

Key Takeaways

  • Refurbished laptops, when done correctly and bought from a reputable seller, are almost indistinguishable from a regular model.
  • Renewed models are much more affordable than new ones, tend to have great warranties, and are much more eco-friendly.
  • For all of their benefits, refurbished laptops do tend to be a bit slower, have lower specs and weaker batteries than ones right out of the box.

The Reliability of Refurbished Laptops 

The biggest question most users have when getting a refurbished laptop is how well they will hold up over time. The laptops are never going to keep going for as long as new ones you get out of the box, but that doesn’t mean they will fall apart quickly either.

The models can be incredibly reliable. In fact, if you get one from a reputable seller or a known brand, you shouldn’t see any real differences between it and a new item. Even if there are some discrepancies, they should be quite minor.

Most notable companies return their goods to the original factory states when possible. If you do have any concerns about a specific model, there are a few extra security measures you can take as well.

How Long Refurbished Laptops Last

Another factor to keep in mind when getting any refurbished device is their lifespan. Of course, they won’t stick around as long as a brand new model right out of the box, but they do tend to have a longer expectancy than many people might think.

Typically, refurbished models last somewhere between two to four years. That can even go a bit higher if you get one from a reliable source. Always check who you’re buying from, and see reviews. Pay attention to any warranties a model might come with too.

On top of that, there are also a few things you can do to increase your laptop’s longevity. The first is to keep it clean. A soft cloth on the outside does a good job at cutting down on grime, while compressed air cleans the vents and gets rid of dust.

Another important aspect is to cut down on heat. High temperatures can cause a lot of stress on a laptop’s parts. Make sure to never leave it in a hot spot and to keep it in a cool area. Surge protectors are great towards that end as well.

Also try to avoid causing any stress through bumps or jostles. Refurbished models are a bit more susceptible to such movement than new ones. Be as careful as possible when moving it around.

Refurbished Laptops: Pros

There are many benefits that come with buying a refurbished laptop, but none are bigger than the price. Renewed models may not have the latest advancements or best specs. Even so, they are always more affordable than new models. In fact, it’s why users get them.

Going the refurbished route is a great way to get a more advanced computer without breaking the bank. In fact, you can save anywhere between 30 and 50 percent on any model, which is a gigantic discount you won’t find anywhere else.

On top of that, refurbished models come with rock solid warranties that often go above and beyond ones that you’ll see with new models. They’ve been thoroughly tested and inspected beforehand too, which increases general peace of mind.

Something else to consider is that refurbished laptops are eco-friendly. They are much better for the environment by cutting down on waste. 

Refurbished Laptops: Cons

As many benefits that come with refurbished laptops, but they do have a few downsides as well. The biggest is that, as they tend to be a little behind modern models, they don’t have the same specs or the latest technology. 

That can mean a few things, but most refurbished laptops are one step behind something you would get in a store. Don’t be surprised if you get a weaker resolution, see battery degradation, or have some slowdowns every now and then. 

Many refurbished machines are going to be more worn as well. That’s often a cosmetic issue more than anything else, but it can also lead to extra heating or eat into the life expectancy.

Another aspect to think about is that not all sellers are made equal. There’s a lack of consistency in the refurbished market, which means you need to be much more careful when making your purchase.


This section covers common questions users ask about refurbished laptops.

What Aspects Should I Look For In a Refurbished Laptop?

When getting a refurbished laptop, you want to look for the same aspects you would get with any computer. That includes the operating system, processing power, RAM, storage, and screen size. Battery life is important as well.

Are Refurbished Laptops Better Than New Ones?

Typically, no. Refurbished models do have a few pros, but if you only care about getting the best possible machine it’s good to get a brand new computer.

How Long Do Refurbished Laptop Batteries Last?

Though battery degradation may be a bit faster with a refurbished model, you should have the same battery life as a new computer.

Final Words

Refurbished laptops tend to get a bad rap, but they are like new in almost all situations. Though finding a good model takes a bit more work, the lower price point and almost similar specs make that almost always worth it.

Do you have a refurbished laptop? What made you choose it over a new machine? Let us know in the comments below!

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