There is confusion in the marketplace when it comes to comparing refurbished laptops with used laptops. There is a need to clear up the confusion, because there are some important distinctions when it comes to refurbished laptops. This discussion also applies to refurbish versus new when it comes to refurbished Netbooks, and ultimately refurbished tablet laptops, will fall into this discussion as well. The important thing to know is that while a refurbished laptop is a “used laptop” in most cases a “used laptop” if it is called that, in the sales material or advertising is not necessarily a refurbished laptop. Let’s look at some of the differences:
Regarding the laptop condition a refurbished unit will typically meet a quality and testing standard that the company selling the product has established. There are testing criteria that are used and typically the product comes with a warranty. A used laptop if it is being sold by a private party will usually function, but it is the word of the seller that you are trusting. You will have to ask questions, and make sure you are comfortable with the seller, as much as with the hardware you are buying. A refurbished laptop usually comes with a warranty and most units are sold by companies that sell refurbished laptops as a major element of their business. In many cases the major manufacturers like Dell and Toshiba have a refurbishment organization that reconditions or makes sure the products are essentially "like new”. If you buy one of these factory refurbished units it is like buying a new product. Granted the product may have been “used" in the sense that if was operated by someone else, but most of the time you won't be able to tell a factory refurbished unit from a new product. If you are buying on eBay you can judge the credibility of the organization selling the product, by the number of and quality of feedback.
Bottom line is you should consider a refurbished laptop or Netbooks but if you are buying a used product be careful that you know and understand the product testing and reconditioning process used by the seller.. A used laptop can be problematic and generally a refurbished laptop is a very good bet and a good way to acquire relatively new technology at a low price.