Computers & Electronics

Where would you buy a refurbished laptop?

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  • Jul 21st, 2020 12:34 pm
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Newbie
Sep 20, 2015
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Where would you buy a refurbished laptop?

In the market for a new laptop, hoping to save money. Refurbished I think is the way to go, I know there are a lot of retailers across the GTA. Does anyone have a favourite?
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Apr 25, 2019
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recently in the last few months there has been large improvements in computer offerings mainly due to amd's new processor.
Because of this used laptops dont carry much weight at present. keep looking for staples and bestbuy flyer and get that 599 or 499 laptops they offer on sale.
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Mar 30, 2007
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We found a pretty good deal from Staples when we started homeschooling. It has turned out to be a pretty good machine for the price we paid.
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Bauer and infotech seem to be well regarded here, no personal experience with either but I wouldn't hesitate to buy if I were in the market.

But yeah, the new 4000 series chips from AMD are impressive for performance, definitely lessens the value of buying old laptops.
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Suggest you subscribe to this thread as well: ebay-laptop-deals-thread-2315504/
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I'm not sure refurb is the way to go any more solely because of battery life.
It's literally hit or miss in terms of getting a functional battery.
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death_hawk wrote: I'm not sure refurb is the way to go any more solely because of battery life.
It's literally hit or miss in terms of getting a functional battery.
Indeed. I would only buy a refurbed if the price factored in a new battery I'd have to buy in addition to the machine.
Sure they are rugged, reliable and long lasting business models. But we all know the life span and degradation of batteries.
They are also however pretty old despite their power still being relevant, upgraded ram and ssd drives in many cases.
Except for a few well priced ones the prices are getting pretty hefty as in close to $500 or greater.
To me this is not good value for portability unless I shell another $100 plus for a new OEM battery.
Certainly there are cheaper aftermarket batteries that may or may not work, but who has the time to go through the trial and error.
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The battery situation is only going to get worse when the current gens with internal batteries hit the refurb market in a few years, it will be a huge pain to swap those in most cases.

These are OLD machines (sometimes almost a decade old!), and that has held me back from buying - would not be an issue for a beater, but I hang on to my stuff for a very long time. The performance improvements for the last few generations have been minimal, but we're at the cusp of a major leap with AMD's latest offerings, hopefully Intel is forced to get off their butt and compete.
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There is a "buyer beware" aspect to refurb laptops, for sure. You have to know what you're getting into, especially if you buy online (I have only ever bought them in-person through Kijiji sellers).

That said, I think there is a strong case to be made for refurbs at the ~ $500 or under price point. When I look through the big-box store flyers, it's hard to justify a new consumer-grade laptop with a 1368x766 screen and dubious build quality (and possibly also a Celeron processor, magnetic HDD, etc.) in that price range, when more reliable or powerful computers can be bought from refurbishers around the same price.
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Do you guys still think bauer system provides good value? I feel they are getting expensive after become favourite in rfd.

We are the victims of our own success:)
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smartie wrote: Do you guys still think bauer system provides good value? I feel they are getting expensive after become favourite in rfd.

We are the victims of our own success:)
Demand has increased for these, and supply is now split up amongst many retailers now, as there are many new players in the market scooping up supply.
Never bought from bauer but liked their initial offerings before so many got in the game.
Prices are still competitive compared to amazon for example.
Plus many who bought on here were pleased with the service and quality of what they got.
I've read on here they tack on an extra fee of around $30 or $40 too that is not included in the price you see online.
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JHW wrote:
That said, I think there is a strong case to be made for refurbs at the ~ $500 or under price point. When I look through the big-box store flyers, it's hard to justify a new consumer-grade laptop with a 1368x766 screen and dubious build quality (and possibly also a Celeron processor, magnetic HDD, etc.) in that price range, when more reliable or powerful computers can be bought from refurbishers around the same price.
Honestly with Ryzen breaking things, this isn't really true any more. Hell even an i3-1005G1 at a $550 price point destroys most i5 and i7 refurbs.

While there certainly are 1366x768 screens, there's quite a few notebooks out there for the $500 range that are 1080p, entry Ryzen, and a small SSD.
Plus some to most of these have M.2 slots whereas a refurb most likely won't.

Example:
shoppers-drug-mart-499-99-acer-aspire-3 ... d-2388614/

$500 (including $150 in groceries for free, so if you count that as "cash" it's about $100ish lower)
1080p screen, dubious build quality (I don't like Acer), Ryzen (albeit lower end but still okay), SSD, and WELL under $500.

Taking a look at Bauer Systems, a comparable notebook in price would be:
M4700 CORE I7/3520M 4GB 128SSD
especially if you factor in that this is from 2012 so a new battery is a must.
This system is only $325. A battery is only about $40.
BUT! The CPU is slower, you get half the RAM, and half the SSD.
Plus due to age, this thing is nearly 3.4kg. The Acer is damn near half the weight at 1.9kg.
Also I have no idea what the screen is.

Even if you were to go to full price of this and live with a used battery, there's a 14" HP "Ultrabook" for $525 that has
CORE I5/6300U 8GB 256SSD
CPU is still slower while the RAM and SSD are the same. Now you're $25 more.
Despite being an ultrabook, this clocks in as the same weight as a 15" from above.
The screen however according to reviews may be 1440p since this was like a $3000 notebook back in the day but you'd have to confirm this.

I bought a "spite" notebook when I was arguging with @redflagdealsguy about 1366x768 screens on the ASUS Vivobook thread.
If you missed it, it was a $300 Ryzen 3200U, 4GB, 128GB SSD. Even after swapping the screen (about $100) it clocks in better than basically any refurb I can find nowadays for cheaper.

The one key point I haven't addressed so far is build quality. Most of these refurbs are the business line so they're built better. There's no question about that, especially when compared to Acer.
I do value build quality (all I used to buy was business grade) but I can't argue with the price of the consumer line.

The only upside is that old technology means old OSes so I can still install Windows 7.
Modern notebooks are guaranteed Windows 10 at this point, even most business grade. But I'm not sure between this and build quality that this is enough to keep me in the refurb argument much longer with advancements in CPU speed and (internal) connectivity.
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death_hawk wrote: Honestly with Ryzen breaking things, this isn't really true any more. Hell even an i3-1005G1 at a $550 price point destroys most i5 and i7 refurbs.
I see your point, but agree that it is about a priority thing. I personally avoid Acer and HP consumer laptops when buying laptops for myself or relatives, as I've had build quality issues with both of those brands when I've owned them in the past. I actually have an Acer Chromebook now and, while it is still chugging along, the touchpad is near failure.

I've only once bought a 15.6" laptop so perhaps the economics are different in that size range as well.

In January I bought a refurb (looked practically new) Lenovo T460 with an i7 (can't remember which flavour), 512GB SSD, and 20 GB RAM with a 1080p screen for $550. That is my mental benchmark for these kinds of purchases, and the Lenovo T-series is (in my experience) very reliable and easily upgraded. But based on your post, I will for sure check out the Ryzen machines next time I am in the market.

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