How Do You Guys Feel about Refurbished Laptops?

Currently in the middle of researching for a new laptop, and it seems one can get some pretty good deals on specs if you go for refurbished. I understand to look for the one year warranty thing, but are there any other caveats I'm overlooking?

You can find my list of desires here:, but the short of it is:

  • Budget of $1000 (Ebay only, used the cashback on gift cards), but can go up to $1200
  • University student life; having something that can withstand the beatings of life is essential
  • Not doing anything too powerful with it, but having a I7 CPU or equivalent would be nice. Otherwise, I5 should work
  • Don't really care for GPU. Running Retroarch and some JRPGs is probably the biggest I'll use it for.
  • SSD storage. no less than 256gb, 512 would be very nice.
  • 8gb ram, 16gb would be nice, but overkill.
  • A battery that lasts me the whole day for classes

Finally, what do you guys think of the various brand models for this kind of stuff? I see Thinkpads and Inspirons mentioned a lot for recommendations, but what about ASUS? Do you think they'd last me 5 years or so after purchase?


  • -3

    Yeah it is fine but always a huge gamble just be mentally prepared for it to break down at any time rather than the usual warranty period.

    Try find the reason of the refurbishment from the seller if possible (hoping they keep records of it) and if they can't tell you you can decide if you still want to gamble or not.

    I don't know all the brand atm but try for an Acer Predator Helios 300 used or refurbished on gumtree or eBay or even Facebook marketplace.

    The older or first model should be negotiable around your budget now that is nearly 2 years old now.

    Quick Specs

    Latest (lol) 7th Generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ Processor (Up to 3.8GHz)
    Latest (lol) NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 with 6 GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM
    15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen IPS display
    16GB DDR4 Memory & 256GB SSD
    Up to 7-hours of battery life
    Red Backlit Keyboard (old expired deal posted on 24/11/2017 - 20:34 or nearly 2 years ago)

    Acer Predator Helios 300 15.6" FHD i7-7700HQ 16GB RAM 256GB SSD GeForce GTX 1060-6GB US$1090.07 (~AU$1432.24) Delivered @ Amazon

    Yeah someone who has had it for that amount of time might be moving on fRom gaming or just want to sell it for whatever reason so just shop around and you could get a good deal definitely minimum 30% lower for whatever they paid for it initially or the original price and you can go lower depending on your bargaining and personal sociable skills.

    I know you are not looking for anything really for gaming but the other specs make this laptop an ok buy (because of its price) it just needs a 2.5" SATA mechanical hard drive which can be put in later by you everything else is there although the webcam is not great many people have said.

    It is 2.7kg so on the heavy side.

    I guess for your useus case you could go for something with better battery life and lighter weight as the beefy gpu and heavier frame are the drawbacks of this laptop.

    Interested to know how you go but yeah I was eyeing this laptop many moons ago but ended up going just a desktop as my life stabilized and the need for a laptop wasn't needed anymore and can't justify carrying around something so heavy unless I became like a full time developer or something with the need to be on the move constantly which I am not (did not pan out).

    All the best.

    • OP is not looking for a random used machine from Gumtree, looking for a refurbished with warranty.

      • My bad have bought both and mixed feelings on either.

        Have had bad experience with refurbished vs used oddly enough in my use case scenario.

        Sorry OP.

  • wait for ice lake

  • Msi ps42 from current ebay sale with computer alliance for like 800-900. Friend bought it recently it happy. Build quality is not like a surface laptop 3 but it is less than half the price. I would say have a look at the options on the current computer alliance notebook sale, they are priced well. Do some research and pick something that matches your needs. I did get my new laptop from a good sale with them and saw the same thing in JBHIFI for 1600 more than what I paid.

    The problem with reburished/second hand is you don't know how the person treated the battery. Also most people who buy computers have no idea of the value and over pay which results in them expecting too much for the second hand device.

  • 16GB isn't overkill when you need to open multiple tabs to refer to your multiple sources … I've had 16GB since 2012 in my laptop (it still runs fine). Think of it as future-proofing

    • Yeah having extra memory is never a bad thing like having extra storage it won't hurt the computer at worst it will slightly drain the battery more and you might lose like precious seconds powering up that extra module or hard drive.

  • +2

    Check out Dell outlet for the Inspirons.

    I've bought a few refurbs from here, no worries.

    • My preferred choice is Latitude 7000 series, but they've become more expensive since the inclusion of 3 year warranty..

  • +1

    Always refurbs from now on. As I recently discovered, businesses buy up loads to tech (usually Dell) to make use of tax discounts, which means a few months after june 30, loads of the old gear hit the market at the same time, driving the prices right down to the bottom.
    It's a buyers dream. In addition, the peripherals are all cheap too.

    Main thing is once you get it is to perform a full test of the system. Tests for hard drives, screen, graphics, cpu, ports.. because many times a second hand machine will have faults in tricky areas, and you only discover it months later once its hard to do anything about it. That forms part of the 'hidden cost' of second hand goods, the hours spent testing stuff. Fortunately, dell machines come with a bootable test function, that is pretty comprehensive, so thats another reason to get them.

    Probably the biggest reason not to buy a second hand machine, is the battery. After a few years, especially from a machine used in an office environment, the battery is cactus. Runs for maybe a few hours at best. But there are solutions to that too.

    • How do I do a full system diagnostic like that? If I want a Lenovo?

      • Hit F12 as it boots to bring up the boot menu, and select diagnostics.

    • Thankfully with batteries, they're almost all replaceable for cheap

      • +1

        The cheap ebay replacements always have very poor quality cells in them. Get what you pay for with the aftermarket batteries.

    • I expect Dell to perform that kind of system test before saying the machine is refurbished and sold on their outlet. Am I wrong?

      • +1

        No, you're right, I'd expect that too.
        I'm more referring to dodgy-ass private sellers, who seem to become dodgier the cheaper down the list you go.

    • Besides replacing the old worn out battery is there any other avenue you can take to restore it or bring it back as close to brand new.

      I am not aware of any battery restoring or repairing techniques but would love to know some if you have come across any.

      I keep the old batteries in the hopes there is some way to restore them maybe in the future at a reasonable cost.

      • +1

        I keep the old batteries in the hopes there is some way to restore them maybe in the future at a reasonable cost.

        The only thing you can do with an old laptop battery is repack it with new cells - either DIY or through a battery company. Neither is likely to be cheap.

        • +1

          It is quite cost effective to buy the right 18650 cells to replace. Soldering and working with these batteries requires some caution though. It can be quite dangerous.

          • @aoeueoa: I mean if some other human can do it then do can I just need patience and practice.

            If it is only doable by a machine then fair enough.

            • @AlienC: Nothing inherently difficult about the battery swap process. Ideally you would use a spot welder. Some people on youtube use a soldering iron which is not as ideal but is possible. Both scenarios would require you to purchase the equipment so wouldn't be cost effective for you.

  • I've had bad luck with electronic refurbs, always seem to be some problem. Now I buy used condition electronics. If they worked fine for the previous owner chances are they will keep going forever

  • Dell refurbs are great, have had no issues with them.
    My current laptop is a refurb Asus ROG and also have had no issues with it (owned for over a year now).
    Lenovo laptops is a different story. 2 out of 3 had issues. All 3 were purchased from Gray's Online (apparently an official refurb by Lenovo). One had issues with the keyboard, sent it to Gray's and it came back with even worse issues, wouldn't boot. Was refunded. The other had issues with one section of the keyboard not lighting up.
    At least Gray's Online was pretty good with returns but I'll never buy a refurbished Lenovo ever again.

    Note: All the laptops I bought were gaming machines

  • I bought one from Grays. The battery was crap.

    I bought one directly from HP and it was excellent. Good specs for a low price.

  • 2nd hand could have some interesting content stored on it, ie. Police interviews and home made bedtime movies.

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