From getting the most of your budget to helping the environment, refurbished laptops are an excellent choice when thinking about purchasing a “new” laptop. As they require slightly more research, it can be difficult to understand all the information you need to know.

To help you find the perfect reconditioned laptop, we’ve put together everything you need to consider making buying your refurbished laptop a breeze.

What is a Refurbished Laptop?

A refurbished laptop is a pre-owned product which is restored back to “new” through rigorous reconditioning processes and then wiped back to their factory settings, ready to be used by a new owner. The laptops we receive at tier1, are not broken as such and instead restored to their full potential. 

Are Refurbished Laptops a Good Option?

As many refurbished laptops have not reached the end of their life cycle; they are still perfectly functioning devices, which just require a new home and use case. Each of the laptops that we also receive are entered through an extensive repairing process, therefore can be relied on, and trusted for continuous use, for work or personal pleasure.

Buying a Refurbished Laptop: Things You Need to Know

When purchasing a new laptop, there are a few factors to consider before finalising your decision on a refurbished laptop. Whilst they’re great in reducing e-waste, depending on the use, they might not be for everyone due to their reconditioned status.

For small or start-up companies, a refurb laptop is the perfect way to support your growing business without the hefty price of a new laptop. Which also makes them a great purchase for students or personal home use, as our laptops at tier1, come from corporate office-based backgrounds, where it’s common for large businesses to refresh their IT systems every 2-3 years. Making them reliable and up to date with the latest technology.

What to Check When Buying a Used Laptop

Whilst our refurbished laptops are repaired to high standards, it’s important to understand the grading labels before purchasing. No two laptops are the same and therefore will be refurbished depending on their current condition.

Once refurbished they’re then labelled as grade A, B or C. The gradings are a great guide to follow to understand any visible damage such as cracks, scratches, or other marks, with grade A being the highest reconditioned laptop to grade C being the lowest. Whilst grade C products carry more cosmetic damage they’re still restored to their highest usability. Learn more about our refurbished technology grading.

Purchasing from a reputable seller is another key factor to consider. Refurbishing a laptop takes expertise, precision, and high-quality replacements. At tier1, we pride ourselves on being the UK’s number one IT Lifecycle services organisation, with over 25 years of experience in IT – discover more about us and our impact in the refurbished market.

Are Refurbished Laptops Safe to Buy?

Absolutely! When purchasing your “new” laptop from a trusted, recognised seller such as tier1, they’re extremely safe to buy. As many of the laptops, we sell are business models designed to be long lasting and withstand heavy day-to-day use. We are confident in the quality of our products which is why we include a 1 Year Warranty with all laptop purchases. This can be upgraded to 3 Years Warranty to give you even more peace of mind.

The Key Benefits of Buying a Second-Hand Laptop

With the technology market continuing to grow, it can often feel overwhelming to keep up to date with the best laptops, but with a refurbished laptop there are endless benefits to enjoy.

The Most Cost-Effective Way to Purchase a Laptop

Most people looking at refurbished devices are in the market because they would like to save money or are on a budget. Buying a refurbished laptop means you can get better specifications for your money - ‘more bang for your buck’ compared to buying new. Having more leverage with your laptop budget also allows you to consider big named brands such as Apple and Dell.

In 2020, an estimated 3.47 million people spent over £1,000 on a new laptop, an uplift of 300 thousand people since 2019, but with a refurbished laptop you’re removing the hefty price tag and experiencing some of the latest software on the market.

The Opportunity to Buy a Laptop with High Specs

Having more leeway in your budget also allows you to consider a laptop with higher specs. With our laptops from office-based backgrounds, they’re mainly equipped with Intel Core i5 Processors which are perfect for day-to-day office use (emails, Microsoft Office etc), and this carries over to home/personal use (web browsing, emails, streaming etc.)

When it comes to specialist software such as Adobe Premiere Pro & AutoCAD, it’s always recommended to look at the minimum & recommended system requirements for the program you wish to use. These programs usually require better specifications than a typical laptop such as a more powerful Processor, larger RAM (Memory) size and a Dedicated Graphics Card. If you’re searching for more ways to stretch your budget, we also have many other high spec laptop features, from laptops with touchscreens to premium audio laptops.

Actively Reducing Technology Waste

The benefits of buying a refurbished laptop, are not just for the user. A study by Uswitch found the UK was the 2nd highest producer of e-waste in the world, which is set to grow further, with trends showing the UK will produce 55,000 tonnes of e-waste by 2030. By purchasing a refurbished laptop you’ll be:

  • Closing the gap on e-waste – discover more about E-Waste and how it impacts the environment.
  • Prevent good working laptops ending up in landfill.
  • Allows technology to be used to its full capability.
  • Helps sustain the environment for future generations.

Top Misconceptions About Refurbished Laptops

1) Refurbished Laptops are 'old' & outdated, resulting in poor performance.

If the previous owner of the laptop has upgraded to a newer device, then why would I want this ‘old’ device? Many refurbished laptops are not handed me downs and are disposed of from reputable corporate industries who no longer have a need for them – leaving them still in good use. At tier1, each laptop is:

  • Fully tested and cleaned to its refurbished grade.
  • Has brand new components to replace the ‘old’ components.
  • Offer options to upgrade the storage & RAM.

2) Refurbished Laptops won't last as long as new device. 

Purchasing a refurbished laptop does not only cost less and help save the planet; they also last a long time. Replacing or repairing core features of the laptop allows it to work and have a life span like a “new” device.

You can relate purchasing a refurbished IT device to purchasing a second-hand car from a well-known dealership. The car will be thoroughly checked & serviced by expert mechanics to ensure everything is functioning optimally - this is the same with refurbished laptops; the laptops go through multiple testing stages and are looked at by expert engineers. However, as with all hardware (brand new or refurbished), failure can occur at unexpected times, so it’s important to understand the warranty of where you’re purchasing from.

3) Battery Life is usually poor.

Whilst brand new laptops will have the best battery life; this does not mean the battery life on refurbished laptops is poor. Batteries degrade overtime with use, and don’t hold as much charge as they once did.

At tier1, we ensure our laptops have at least 60% of their original battery capacity. This means you can assure that when you receive your refurbished laptop, you do not have to worry about a dead or poor performing battery. You can simply use your laptop unplugged straight away!

Newer refurbished laptops which are only 2-3 years old will feature better battery life (80%+ of their original capacity) as naturally they have been used less.

What to Do After Buying a Refurbished Laptop

When receiving your refurbished laptop for the first time, you will need to run through the setup process. This includes entering your user details and adjusting settings to your personal preference. Our set up assistance guide should you require any assistance during this stage.

Whilst we are transparent with the damage our laptops display with our grading labels, it’s important to open your parcel & unbox the laptop as soon as possible. If you see any damage to the packaging or laptop, please take some pictures and contact us straight away.

Know the Warranty for Your "New" Refurbished Laptop

As with any laptops it’s vital to understand the warranty you have available. At tier1, we provide a 1-year warranty free of charge with all purchases. We also offer the option to upgrade your warranty to 2 or 3 years at the point of purchase to provide our customers with peace of mind with their purchase.

We pride ourselves on the after sales service provided by our Customer Service team, who are customer-first focused and always strive for the best resolution on a case-by-case basis. If we are unable to repair a product which has been returned to us under warranty, we will issue like for like to match the:

  • Model
  • Specification
  • Grading

If in the case we are out of stock of the product purchased, we will offer a free of charge upgrade. This could either be a better grade (condition), newer model or upgrade in specifications.

Our Expert Tips When Purchasing a Refurbished Laptop

Our friendly experts are always on hand via our customer service line to help you get the most out of your reconditioned laptop, but a few key points to consider are:

  • Budget – to help get more for your budget, opting for a Grade A or B devices will tend to be more expensive than a Grade C cosmetically flawed device.
  • Laptop Condition – Does the condition of the laptop play an important role in your decision? Thoroughly check the grading information to know the state it’s in before purchasing.
  • Age of the device – Newer refurbished laptops will be able to run the latest operating systems (Windows 11 or latest macOS).
  • Battery life will often be better on laptops which are only 2-3 years old compared to 5+ years.
  • Screen size – Smaller laptops (10 – 12”) are more portable due to them being lightweight, whereas larger laptops (15-17”) can increase productivity but are heaver.
  • Use case – What will you be using the laptop for? This will play an important factor into what specifications you require, from heavy use to personal light weight use – consider the RAM and SS drive size.

Whether you’re buying your first refurbished laptop or searching for more information before you secure your purchase, we’ve collated everything you need to know, including the key benefits you can experience. All that’s left is to find your most suited refurbished laptop with tier1.