Convenience is one of the many reasons people want to own a laptop. There are many options available out there, but not having enough budget can get in the way. While laptops are common nowadays, they are still expensive, especially for struggling students.

You want to get value for your money, so you want a brand-new one, but you can try looking into refurbished laptops. Contrary to popular belief, refurbished doesn’t mean substandard and faulty. While they are, technically, secondhand, a certified manufacturer repairs or replaces damaged parts and tests the product to the manufacturer’s standards. They are then sold cheaper, which is great news for those who don’t mind it.

If you want to give refurbished tech like laptops a try, here are some tips to help you out.

Know Your Current and Future Computer Needs

It is smart to want to get the most out of your investment, and that is why you should plan ahead. Determine your current and future computer needs so that you won’t overspend on laptop features you’ll barely use. If you only use the machine for simple tasks like spreadsheets, word processors, and browsing the internet, then you probably don’t need laptops with high-end components.

If you’re doing graphically demanding tasks like photo and video editing and playing games, then you need a machine with a decent RAM, good graphics card, and big storage. Always check if a refurbished laptop has been furnished with a new battery if that’s the case. It may give you issues when you use it heavily with the old battery.

A laptop is portable, and that is why its components are not easily replaceable. While a laptop is great for people who are on the go, you can’t really customize it to your taste and preference. Consider getting a refurbished computer instead if you have space available. The prices are comparable to those of a refurbished laptop, but you can customize and upgrade the components anytime, especially if your needs will change in the future.

Check the Warranty and Return Policy

Refurbished gadgets are items that were used at one time or were sent back because of factory defects. Certified refurbishers take care to repair cosmetic damages, replace parts, and thoroughly quality-test these items to make sure these are in perfect working order. A downside to buying refurbished is that the items may not come in their original packaging and accessories.

To make up for it, they come with some warranty. It can be as short as 30 days, a few months, and up to a few years, depending on the gadget. This is to give buyers peace of mind. If something gets broken, they can have it fixed for free under warranty.

If buyers change their minds, these items also have a good returns policy. Make sure to check those out before making a purchase.

Check the Operating System

Some refurbished laptops may have some software left behind or have operating systems for “free.” While this is considered a perk, be sure that the operating system the machine comes with is compatible with the software you plan to install. If you have installable programs that are for Windows only, don’t get laptops with Linux. Apple software is exclusive to Mac.

Additionally, some operating systems are considered so old that it would be a liability to have them. Older operating systems are defunct and are no longer being supported by the manufacturer, so you could be stuck with a barely working machine.

Is Buying Refurb Worth It?

It depends where you are in life, and if you want to get the best value for your limited funds, going for refurbished is the most practical route. Always get your gadgets from certified sources to get high-quality products that work well at a massive discount. You may not have the latest technology, but you’re not too far off, and you’re not paying as much as others who bought their units at full price.

What do you think about refurb technology? Share your thoughts in the comments below.