What exactly is a reconditioned or refurbished notebook computer? Depending on where you are buying, it normally should be a used - or possibly a returned notebook - that has been factory rebuilt. A refurbished notebook computer is basically a cheap, used (maybe) and renovated computer that satisfies all your performance and portability needs and provides all the advantages you would get on buying a new notebook - such as warranty and technical support. This is critical - do not buy a so-called reconditioned or refurbished notebook computer if it does not have the same warranty or guarantee as a new machine.
I'm writing this article right now on a factory reconditioned notebook that I purchased well over two years ago at a very substantial savings over the same machine “new". It came with a full factory warranty and it has performed like a champ. Granted, I was nervous when I first bought it, but I'm now convinced that if you can find a reconditioned or refurbished notebook that has the features you're looking for, you'd be foolish to pay full price - the discounts are incredible, and the products are functionally identical.
If you just need a computer that is portable, one that you can use to perform simple computing tasks, why spend a fortune in buying a new notebook from some well-known brand? Look for a refurbished notebook computer instead. You will get a notebook that will give you the required performance at a much lower price - and it will still be covered by a warranty.
There is normally a difference between “refurbished" and “reconditioned" (or factory reconditioned). Refurbished usually means that this is an older notebook that has been used and then reconditioned - often by a third party. Depending on the warranty being offered by the refurbisher, this could be an excellent deal. As always, it depends on whether the refurbished notebook meets your specifications. If so, and the price - and guarantee - are good, then you have nothing to lose.
Reconditioned machines, when you find them in a retail outlet, usually are returns that had some problem, went back to the manufacturer, were fixed and now are available at a very substantial discount but have the full ‘new’ machine factory/manufacturer guarantee. This can be a huge savings and an incredible deal. Often these reconditioned notebooks sell at a discount of 50% or more - and they may even be current models.
Maybe I've just been lucky, but my experience with factory reconditioned notebooks has convinced me that it's foolish to dump a bunch of dollars into a new machine if an equally capable refurbished notebook is available. After all, every reconditioned notebook was once a new notebook that had some kind of problem causing its return. If the factory did its job, then the reconditioned notebook is less likely to have a problem than a new model. And if it does have a problem, you will still have the warranty that new notebooks have.
Students, and of course their parents, who are on the look out for a low-priced notebook to meet school needs, should definitely consider buying a refurbished notebook computer. Education is expensive enough without throwing away money by paying top dollar for a notebook when an equivalent refurbished or reconditioned notebook would serve as well. Check out the computer shops in the local area - or even check online sites like Amazon.com that may showcase a good refurbished notebook computer on sale.
So before you spend - possibly waste - a lot of money buying a brand new notebook that might have features you will never need and accessories you never asked for, look into the possibilities of a suitable and low-priced reconditioned or refurbished notebook computer.
Copyright 2005 Richard Keir
Richard, a computer professional and writer, has a strong interest in software and computer hardware. Visit Completely Notebooks at http://Completely-Notebooks.net to learn more about all kinds of notebook computers and accessories.