prudent buying a refurbished laptop?

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heartwood
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prudent buying a refurbished laptop?

Post by heartwood » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:12 am

I've gone almost exclusively to a chromebook. In large part to avoid the hassle of setting up a new windows machine.

That said I continue to run MS Money on a very old laptop (W7) that's showing lots of mechanical(?) problems: keyboard and trackpad stopped working so I added an old external trackball and also an external keyboard. Worked fine. Now I have to completely reboot if it goes to sleep.

So I checked online for a low budget windows machine that will run MS Money. Most are more than I care to spend for an infrequent use. There are several "refurbished" machines at Best Buy and others selling at $160 - $220 or so.

Any experiences here with "refurbished" laptops?

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DaftInvestor
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Re: prudent buying a refurbished laptop?

Post by DaftInvestor » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:26 am

My concern with refurbished is you just don't know how much it was used - hard drive could be about to go, etc.
I've seen new cheap windows machines at Best Buy for $200 so why go with a refurbished? I bought a new Asus at Best Buy at this price as a backup for my household (when one more expensive laptop had to be shipped back under a warranty) and it worked well - not the fastest machine - last-gen processor; non-SSD hard-drive, somewhat heavy, etc. but was find for basic documents and web surfacing.

Admiral
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Re: prudent buying a refurbished laptop?

Post by Admiral » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:31 am

heartwood wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:12 am
I've gone almost exclusively to a chromebook. In large part to avoid the hassle of setting up a new windows machine.

That said I continue to run MS Money on a very old laptop (W7) that's showing lots of mechanical(?) problems: keyboard and trackpad stopped working so I added an old external trackball and also an external keyboard. Worked fine. Now I have to completely reboot if it goes to sleep.

So I checked online for a low budget windows machine that will run MS Money. Most are more than I care to spend for an infrequent use. There are several "refurbished" machines at Best Buy and others selling at $160 - $220 or so.

Any experiences here with "refurbished" laptops?
I think a better solution is this: Export your MS Money files to another format, and then buy a new computer and the software that can import the files. I used MS Money for many years, until they dropped it. I decided to switch to Mac. I now use See Finance, which basically does all the MS Money functions, and costs like maybe $30. It imported all my data w/o an issue. Don't saddle yourself to outdated software, it's really not worth the hassle. IMO of course.

goflyers13
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Re: prudent buying a refurbished laptop?

Post by goflyers13 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:40 am

The main drawback of buying refurbished electronics is that you probably won't get any warranty coverage. Look at the return policy. Can you return the laptop for a full refund if you get a defective unit? Some sellers offer a 90 day return policy on refurbished electronics, effectively giving you a 3-month warranty. Electronic devices are most likely to fail very early in their lives (a phenomenon called burn-in in the reliability world), so you're probably in good shape if you make it through the first 90 days.

For what it's worth, I've bought 2 refurbished TVs, 3 refurbished phones, a refurbished Surface tablet, and a refurbished Xbox. Every single one of them arrived in like-new condition, and I've never had a problem with any of them. The way I look at it, the cost savings are worth the risk that the device fails after the return window has passed.

mega317
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Re: prudent buying a refurbished laptop?

Post by mega317 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:48 am

goflyers13 wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:40 am
The way I look at it, the cost savings are worth the risk that the device fails after the return window has passed.
Agree. I have bought nothing but used and refurbished laptops for the last decade or so. Test it well before the return period and then the risk is fairly low.

bob60014
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Re: prudent buying a refurbished laptop?

Post by bob60014 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:02 am

I've never had trouble with refurbished bought from reputable sources.

Don't know if you saw this. It may assist you with moving on to another format if the laptop route doesn't work.
viewtopic.php?t=211496

aristotelian
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Re: prudent buying a refurbished laptop?

Post by aristotelian » Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:10 am

I would not hesitate to go refurb as long it comes with a good warranty. However, there has got to be a way to do whatever you do with MS Money without having to get a dedicated computer for that purpose.

aristotelian
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Re: prudent buying a refurbished laptop?

Post by aristotelian » Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:12 am

goflyers13 wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:40 am
The main drawback of buying refurbished electronics is that you probably won't get any warranty coverage. Look at the return policy.
The whole point of the "refurbished" label is that it is used but comes with at least some warranty. You do want to check to see how it compares, but it should come with something.

david_that_guy
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Re: prudent buying a refurbished laptop?

Post by david_that_guy » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:02 pm

I've bought 2 refurbished Apple Macbooks from Apple and so far they have been as good as new. Both are 2015 models. I've owned one almost a year and the other about 5 months.

I've been buying only Apple hardware for 12 years. It is more expensive but I've found the durability far better than any other manufacturer. My wife's iMac lasted 10 years and still performed well for her tasks. I plan to buy refurbished Apple products from now on based on my recent experience since it offers high quality at a lower price.

Based on my experiences with Dell and HP laptops at work and ones I've owned personally, I would not buy a refurbished Windows computer.

goflyers13
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Re: prudent buying a refurbished laptop?

Post by goflyers13 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:15 pm

aristotelian wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:12 am
The whole point of the "refurbished" label is that it is used but comes with at least some warranty. You do want to check to see how it compares, but it should come with something.
I think the warranty coverage depends on where you buy the refurbished product. If you buy a refurbished iPhone straight from Apple, you'll probably get better warranty coverage than if you buy it from a 3rd party seller. You'll also probably pay more buying from Apple. I've always bought from 3rd party sellers, and I don't believe I've ever had warranty coverage beyond the return policy.

JBTX
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Re: prudent buying a refurbished laptop?

Post by JBTX » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:22 pm

I have actually bought several used laptops at cash America. Most worked fine long term, but one crapped out after a while, but that could have easily been my daughters abuse.

I’d be selective but I generally look for a model that sells at 50% off what a discounted retail price would be. Prices are negotiable.

For those recommending buying a $200 laptop at bestbuy or elsewhere, from what I have seen those are low end chips and are god awfully slow by the time you load up anything on it.

runner3081
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Re: prudent buying a refurbished laptop?

Post by runner3081 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:23 pm

I have no issues with a refurb laptop. Only potential concern is battery life.

My Dell refurb is going strong 8 years later!

fishboat
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Re: prudent buying a refurbished laptop?

Post by fishboat » Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:14 pm

runner3081 wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:23 pm
I have no issues with a refurb laptop. Only potential concern is battery life.

My Dell refurb is going strong 8 years later!
+1

I've purchased several used-refurbed-Windows laptops in the last 6-8 years, typically for 7-15% of their original selling price...most recently $150 for a near $2k Dell Latitude, just 2 years old. NICE light in weight ultraportable, high performance laptop. They've all been trouble-free and reliable. When I need another, I'll continue to buy similar machines. Target business-grade laptops.

There's been lots of discussion on this in the last year+..search BH for "Latitude" & you get plenty of reading material. Also google the Dell Latitude wiki for models/years/descriptions. Often you can get them with MS Office loaded & activated.

In the end..you'll need to do some research as you'll get fans of Windows, Apple, & Linux systems in threads like this..which means you'll be somewhat back to your starting point.

bloom2708
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Re: prudent buying a refurbished laptop?

Post by bloom2708 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:27 pm

I bought a used Lenovo X1 Carbon Gen 2 for $240. 256gb SSD, i5 from ArrowDirect.com

They offer corporate type (high end) hardware at pretty reasonable prices. They usually have a 20% or 25% off coupon.

I get X1 Carbon at work and have had great luck with them. Here is a Gen3 with 128gb SSD for under $200 with coupon.

http://arrowdirect.com/lenovo-thinkpad- ... -8-gb.html

20% off coupon "Extra20".
Last edited by bloom2708 on Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
"We are not here to please, but to provoke thoughtfulness." --Unknown Boglehead

RebusCannébus
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Re: prudent buying a refurbished laptop?

Post by RebusCannébus » Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:54 pm

I'm typing this on a refurb'd Dell Latitude E6430 I picked up a couple of years ago, and which continues to work flawlessly. And, as it happens, I have a refurb'd E7240 Ultrabook coming in this Friday. The thing cost upwards of 1500-2000 dollars 3 years ago. I got it for $389. These business computers are built like tanks. The Ultrabook's specs--even today--exceed those of new units costing hundreds more (an i7 processor, 512GB SSD, 1920x1080 touchscreen). Yes it's a risk. But the E7240 will still have 6 months under Dell's warranty after I receive it, as did the other unit. Too, if you buy off eBay, you can further mitigate risk by adding a SquareTrade warranty. Often, too, you can figure out from eBay the refurbisher/reseller's website and buy directly there. You may get a better deal there, can usually buy a warranty, and can one-stop-shop the inventory rather than drowning in eBay listings.

I'm of two minds in the Windows vs Chromebook debate. The former integrates better with Office 365 and One Drive, which I use heavily. Plus I despise most web-based e-mail clients, preferring Outlook's desktop version. Chromebooks of course can't be beat for boot time, simplicity, and reliability. So I own both. The E6430 required many hours of initial setup, since I was upgrading the OS, swapping out the HDD for an SSD, upgrading drivers, and installing a lot of software, but periodic maintenance is pretty minimal now. The E7420 will come with W10Pro and should be good to go (OS-wise, at least. Still need to install apps.) out of the box.

In the end, it may not be "prudent," but I decided to risk it (twice). We'll see how it goes.
Peter

EvelynTroy
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Re: prudent buying a refurbished laptop?

Post by EvelynTroy » Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:07 pm

Couple of weeks ago I purchased this Lenovo 2 in 1 laptop $199 -

http://www.microcenter.com/product/4860 ... ed_-_Black

Works perfectly, not a scratch on it - I didn't need anything fancy, or powerful. Its fits the bill perfectly for my needs.

Over last ten years I've only purchased refurbished PC's - two of them both around $200. Added memory, and external hard drive - no problems with either of them. Current one is Windows 7 - keeps on ticking.

Not had a Chromebook - so can't comment specifically - don't know why a Chromebook refurb. would be any different than a Windows based one.

Evelyn

Nyc10036
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Re: prudent buying a refurbished laptop?

Post by Nyc10036 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:16 pm

http://outlet.dell.com has same 1 year warranty

I bought my share of refurbished Dell Latitudes on eBay some from private sellers and some from companies that buy in bulk from corporations.
And except for a Precision M6300 with known nVidia graphics IC issue, I have not had a single problem. Knock on wood.

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Pajamas
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Re: prudent buying a refurbished laptop?

Post by Pajamas » Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:20 pm

I bought an official Apple refurb years ago and was quite happy with it. However, if you just want a Windows computer to run one program, you can get a new one so cheap that it's probably not worth the slight risk from buying a refurb, regardless of having a good warranty, because warranty repairs can be unsatisfactory and take a long time. I would be more inclined to either find another program to use or just buy an inexpensive new computer.

Nyc10036
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Re: prudent buying a refurbished laptop?

Post by Nyc10036 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:32 pm

EvelynTroy wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:07 pm

Not had a Chromebook - so can't comment specifically - don't know why a Chromebook refurb. would be any different than a Windows based one.
On Black Friday I bought a used Acer Chromebook from an eBay seller with 100% feedback.
I did a Powerwash and then try to log in with my Gmail email address.
No go. Device locked error.
Turns out that it was still tied to a corporate network.
For such a Chromebook, it needs to be de-provisioned first.
Learn something new.

Finridge
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Re: prudent buying a refurbished laptop?

Post by Finridge » Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:24 pm

The chromebook I'm writing this on is a refurb. Got a great deal. Just make sure you have at least 30 days during which you can return it if you are not completely carefully.

When you get it, do a battery check.
https://www.howtogeek.com/309971/how-to ... ry-health/

If battery health is worse than 98%, I say return it.

If the battery is good, then start using it right away and make sure there aren't any issues. If it's working great for the first 30 days, chances are it's going to continue to work well.

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Veiled
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Re: prudent buying a refurbished laptop?

Post by Veiled » Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:40 pm

Also typing on a refurbished chromebook. No complaints yet. I was careful to look at reviews of the computers I shopped for. Never buy lower than grade B.
Pardon me as I read these one hundred and fifty-seven SP vs LLC vs Scorp threads...

tibbitts
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Re: prudent buying a refurbished laptop?

Post by tibbitts » Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:58 pm

Refurb means entirely different things depending on the source of the product. In some cases refurbs are indistinguishable from new - basically very lightly used, maybe returned to the manufacturer after a few days, checked and sent back out with original docs and packaging and accessories, etc. Other times refurb mean someone partially cleaned the screen and keyboard on a laptop that had been in corporate use for three years, has dings and dents, etc.

daveydoo
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Re: prudent buying a refurbished laptop?

Post by daveydoo » Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:47 am

tibbitts wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:58 pm
Refurb means entirely different things depending on the source of the product.
+1. My Dad used to buy all his laptops this way and he was very tech-savvy. They were all new products with (undisclosed) issues that had been returned. They were maybe 20% below the best price on new...?
"I mean, it's one banana, Michael...what could it cost? Ten dollars?"

SittingOnTheFence
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Re: prudent buying a refurbished laptop?

Post by SittingOnTheFence » Wed Dec 13, 2017 2:50 pm

I've purchased refurbished computers/laptops from both Dell & Apple, they come with a warranty. Also, there is a local store that sells used Dell computers that offers a 90 day warranty, they sell off-lease items. I no longer purchase these items, choosing new instead.

My major concern with you looking to run MS Money is the security of the OS. I don't know anything about MS Money but since it's no longer updated I presume it will not run on many newer devices. If that is true, you need to run on older OS's, the ones with known security issues that are no longer patched. You will be putting yourself at risk.

Someone suggested converting your data to newer software. That is a very good suggestion. Eventually you will hit a wall if you stay with MS Money. Bite the bullet and change over now.

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sunny_socal
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Re: prudent buying a refurbished laptop?

Post by sunny_socal » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:34 am

I don't think I would buy a refurb of any kind. Anything from Apple via their refurb program is a decent deal, but OTOH even 'new' 2016/2017 models are available for about the same price via BHphoto and Adorama. Similarly PC laptops are available new with deep discounts, just look for clearance deals.

Avoid the bottom tier laptops, eg. the $200-300 machines from HP. Look for last year's models from mid-high lineup. I like Lenovo.

rec7
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Re: prudent buying a refurbished laptop?

Post by rec7 » Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:37 am

Typing on a refurbished one here. I bought three. I think it is the only way to go but I buy desktops. I am semi handy on a computers I have replaced memory, power supplies, dvd drives and hard drives.
Disclaimer: You might lose money doing anything I say. Although that was not my intent. | Favorite song: Sometimes He Whispers Jay Parrack

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