Thinking of buying a new computer? Instead of splashing out on a brand new model, check out our guide to the best affordable refurbished laptops from Apple, HP, Microsoft and more
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Good laptops don’t come cheap, but if you’re on a tight budget, then one way to bag a decent one for an affordable price is by purchasing a factory refurbished model.
Retailers like Amazon and eBay offer a great choice of refurbished laptops that appear and perform like new, but will set you back hundreds less than a brand new computer. Refurbished laptops often come with all the accessories that you’d get when you purchase a brand new unit – one of the biggest differences is that they might arrive in generic packaging.
Whether you need a new PC for working from home or watching Netflix, see below for our guide to the best refurbished laptops and deals available now.
If you’re not sold on a secondhand laptop, we’ve also rounded up all latest and greatest deals on laptops to help you bag a new one for the best price.
When buying a refurbished laptop from any retailer, there are some things you should consider. We’ve listed our top tips below to make things easier.
Refurbished laptop vs new
If you’re considering buying a refurbished laptop, but aren’t sure what the difference is between a new laptop and a refurbished one, here’s the information you should know.
Refurbished laptops are not new, but they have been tested and verified to function properly. They may also arrive in generic packaging and have some minor imperfections, so if the appearance of your new PC is important to you, then a refurbished option might not be the best option.
Pros of buying a refurbished laptop
Warranty. Refurbished laptops from authorised sellers or manufacturers often come with a warranty of up to three years.
Bigger choice of brands. Buying a new laptop with a smaller budget might limit you to cheaper brands, but going for a refurbished model means you might be able to snap one up from a prestigious manufacturer like Apple.
No glitches. Some new devices can come with minor issues, but refurbished items tend to mean glitches have been resolved.
Cons of buying a refurbished laptop
Shorter lifespan. Refurbished tech may need to be replaced sooner, so you’ll need to be ready to upgrade your laptop in a year or two.
Old laptops can’t be customised. With a refurbished laptop, someone else has chosen the specifications and these cannot be changed.
Cosmetic imperfections. Some second-hand laptops may have minor scratches, cracks or dents. In many cases, these imperfections don’t hinder performance.
Components might fail quickly. Refurbished laptops might come with components that can fail after some time, which is why it’s important to make sure that the product you buy comes with a lengthy warranty to cover possible mishaps.
Are refurbished laptops worth buying?
If you have a smaller budget for your next laptop purchase, then a refurbished unit is definitely worth considering. There usually aren’t the latest and best options available as refurbished, but you will often be able to save hundreds of pounds and get a laptop that functions slightly better than one that’s fresh off the factory line.
As can be expected, there are some risks involved with buying a refurbished laptop. To help you decide where to buy a refurbished laptop, we’ve listed some useful info below.
Where can I buy refurbished laptops?
Most retailers that sell laptops also offer refurbished models. As their stock and discounts can change regularly, it’s best to think fast if you spot a certain laptop you’re after. Some of the popular retailers offering refurbished laptops include:
Online giant Amazon offers new, pre-owned and certified refurbished laptops – aka Amazon Renewed. Laptops marked as Amazon Renewed are not only backed up by the Amazon Renewed Guarantee, but have also been shipped back to the manufacturer to be repaired and then sent back.
Amazon’s warranties last a whole year so you can shop with confidence, plus there’s super speedy delivery available for Amazon Prime members.
Apple’s MacBooks are some of the best high-spec laptops around but will cost you pretty penny. Thankfully, the brand offers refurbished models online for much less than what you would pay for a brand new one. You can choose from a range of MacBooks, including MacBooks Air and MacBook Pro, and filter by release year, screen size and much more.
Each model comes with a one-year warranty, as well as free delivery and returns. Apple’s ‘Certified Refurbished promise’ also means that every product has had a rigorous refurbishment process that includes full testing. What’s more, your laptop will come in a brand-new box with all the extra parts that are included with the original.
Not only is eBay a great way for sellers to earn a bit of extra cash, but is also often used by big brands looking to sell their refurbished items. On eBay you can filter your laptop search by “Manufacturer Refurbished”, which will pullthrough devices repaired and sold by laptop manufacturers. Expect refurbished goods from the likes of Acer, Lenovo and HP, who all sell like-new laptops with a huge discount. Warranties range from one to two years.
At Laptops Direct, you can save up to 70% on the big name brands with its professionally refurbished laptops. You can filter your search by screen size, brand, model, ram and delivery availability.
The site also has an under £350 category of refurbished laptop deals – so there’s something for every budget.
Dell sells a wide range of refurbished laptops and its site lets you filter your search by memory, hard drive size, screen size, screen resolution and other categories.
The refurbished laptops are factory sealed and unopened returns or products that were cancelled, and scratch and dent, which are products with cosmetic blemishes that don’t affect performance in any way. Dell Refurbished offers free shipping to UK customers .
Can I get a warranty on refurbished laptops?
Many refurbished laptops come with warranties, which protect you if the item develops a fault.
Warranties on refurbished laptops vary and can be up to three years, but some retailers offer a warranty extension for those who want a bit more peace of mind.
You can always check with the seller before hitting the buy button if you want extra information about damage to the laptop you’re getting.
Best refurbished laptops
If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve highlighted some the best cheap refurbished laptop deals that are perfect for those looking on a tight budget.
Best overall laptop
If you are looking for a durable, affordable all rounder with 2-in-1 capabilities the Lenovo Miix 320 laptop is ideal.
Enjoy using the device as a tablet for convenience by folding the device up, when you’re ready to use it as a laptop there’s a fully fledged keyboard with touch-pad for access.
Best laptop for working from home
This ChromeBook from HP has a 14 inch screen along with a 720p HD camera for an entertaining and productive experience. Enjoy a seamless Chrome experience along with easy and simple access to your favorite Android apps via the Google Play Store.
There’s 16GB SSD hard drive along with 4GB of memory to keep all of your documents and downloads safe. The item comes with a genuine UK mains charger and battery. The laptop comes with one year warrantystarting from the date of delivery.
Best laptop for school
This renewed Dell is a great starter laptop for beginners or young school students who will only need to use the laptop for web browsing and checking emails.
The Windows 10 Pro operating system has everything needed to get you up and running, as well as multi tasking between different screens efficiently, and the large 14-inch screen is ideal for TV and film streaming. This one also has the added bonus of a one year Amazon Renewed Guarantee.
Best laptop for university students
The 13.3 inch Apple MacBook Air is ideal for anyone who needs to have their laptop on the go.
This 2015 version comes with fast Intel Core i5 processor and 128GB storage.
The refurb comes with a 30 day money back guarantee for peace of mind too.
Most reliable refurbished laptop
The ultra thin HP Elitebook is an efficient machine perfect for use on the go.
Thepowerful Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM offers impressive performance and makes this a great machine to invest in whether you need it for work or play.
This particular machine is fully refurbished to a high standard but may show some minor signs of wear. But it does also come with a year warranty.
Best laptop for watching movies
The MacBook Pro needs no introduction. This refurbed 2017 version comes with Apple’s dual-core Intel Core i5 and an impressive Retina display.
Boasting a large 13 inch display, you’re free to work, watch and play in crystal clear viewing.
It’s eligible for replacement or refund within one year of receipt if anything happens too.
Best touchscreen laptop
This energy efficient model from ASUS offers multiple functionalities, touch screen capabilities and a super sleek design well worth considering.
Thanks to its lightweight design and 360-degree hinge, you’re able to use the device in multiple modes to suit you, go instantly from a Chromebook to a tablet.
This one is fully refurbished to a nearly new condition and comes with six months warranty.
8. Acer Spin 3
Best battery-life laptop
The Acer Spin 3 has a sleek design with reliable features to make your everyday computing needs simpler.
Weighing less than 2kg, and boasts a 11.6 inch display, ideal for anyone who needs a trusty laptop on the go and a good enough sized screen to view comfortably. The battery lasts up to 12 hours meaning you won’t have to always lug your charger around with you and can do a days work without the need to stay plugged in.
Looking for more laptop deals? Why not check out the best Apple MacBook Air deals worth buying right now before taking the plunge.