A refurbished computer is a machine that has been barely used, then returned to the seller, inspected, and resold. For example, let’s say that you buy a laptop, you use it for two days but realize it’s not the perfect device for you, and return it to the seller. The returned product will land on the shelves again, with the “refurbished” tag on it and a slightly lower price.
That’s why refurbished devices are generally more affordable than brand-new products. Here are a few quick tips and tricks to check if a device is new or refurbished.
How Do I Know If I Have a Refurbished Computer?
- Take a look at the packing box and check if you can find the “Refurbished” label (red or green letters on a white background). Sellers and manufacturers are required by law to identify refurbished products as such.
- Look for signs of stickers that have been recently removed from the machine.
- Take a closer look at the keyboard and check if some keys have shiny spots on them.
- Check the product number to see if there’s an additional R at the end. For example, DF1234X#YZ stands for a new device, while DF1234XR#YZ indicates you’re looking at a refurbished device.
- Refurbished computers are covered by a shorter warranty period compared to brand-new machines. Sometimes, there’s no warranty at all. For example, refurbs may come with a six-month warranty instead of the standard one-year warranty.
- Check the battery. A brand-new battery should last for a few hours without any problems. If your battery dies sooner than expected, install a battery program that allows you to check the cycle count.
- Check if anything is missing from the packing.
Computer stores and manufacturers are required to label refurbished machines as such. Refurbs also have a shorter warranty period than new devices. If you’ve got additional tips and tricks on how to spot a refurbished laptop or desktop computer, do share them in the comments below.