Refurbished notebooks: a good idea?
January 19, 2005 (updated April 18, 2005)
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Do you recommend buying refurbished notebooks? If so, under what circumstances?
Many new computers come with a satisfaction policy that says a buyer can return it for almost any reason after a short trial period. HP, Dell, and others have been known to sell these returned systems, often called refurbished computers, for 20 percent off their original sticker price. The downside is that these computers often come with only a 90-or-so-day warranty--about 9 months shy of the one-year industry-standard warranty on new laptops. On the whole, I've heard from more people who have had good experiences with refurbished PCs than bad. That said, I'd be wary of a used notebook selling on Craigslist.org or from an anonymous online merchant. Laptops are expensive, and I think that peace-of-mind is worth the extra money you'll spend buying from a trusted business.
lays his hands on lots of laptops, from the really cool to the really rotten. His mission is to cut through all the high-tech jive to help you figure out exactly what you need in a laptop and which ones are actually worth your money. His reviews and recommendations have appeared in publications such as Business Week
and the San Francisco Chronicle