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How Do Refurbished Laptops And Desktops Compare To New?


When you’re looking to buy new desktops for your business, you have a number of different factors to weigh up.

These will likely include:

  • Your budget and preferred price range
  • The specification you need for your purposes
  • The length and type of warranty you need
  • How quickly you need the equipment

But have you also considered whether you need refurbished or new hardware?

To help you decide, we’ve compared new vs refurbished desktops and laptops on seven key criteria. This blog shows you the differences between new and refurbished computers when it comes to:

  • Cost
  • Quality
  • Customisation
  • Warranty Options
  • Warranty Service
  • Delivery Time
  • Environmental Impact

That way, you’ll be able to decide if new or refurbished computers are the best choice for your organisation.

Full disclosure: We are one of the UK’s leading providers of refurbished laptops and desktops to the public and private sectors.

Despite this, we think that new computers are better in some areas. Keep reading to see how new and refurbished computers stack up.

New vs Refurbished: Cost

If your main goal is to save money, refurbished laptops and desktops are the way to go. In fact, cost savings are generally the biggest driver for buying refurb.

An equivalent quality refurb will almost always be cheaper than new. Here at Pure IT, our refurbished desktops and laptops generally save clients 40% or more versus the new equivalent.

Verdict: Refurbished wins. But cost is only one part of the equation. Keep reading to learn more.

New vs Refurbished Cost

New vs Refurbished: Quality

New wins this, but it’s a bit more complex than that.

Overall, it comes down to the quality of the refurbished supplier and the quality of the model you can get for your money.

If you can find a good quality refurbished supplier, this massively reduces the gap in quality between new and refurbished gear. It’s good practice to read several reviews on the quality and reliability of equipment they provide. For example, you can read over 500 customer reviews of Pure IT on Trustpilot.

If you buy from a lower quality refurbished IT supplier, you risk getting a heavily used or “battered around” unit and being disappointed. A good refurb company will source units with little use. They’ll also thoroughly test and repair every unit, with more heavily used units being labelled clearly.

The cost savings from buying refurb should also let you get a higher range model for your money.

Even after a few years of use, a top of the range refurb model will always be better quality than a cheaper new desktop or laptop. This is because top-of-the-range models use more durable and higher performance components throughout the computer. This is true for everything from the keyboard keys to the durability of the laptop’s outer shell.

Verdict: Buying new has less risk in regards to quality. Buying a good quality model from a good refurbished supplier can give you better durability and performance.

New vs Refurbished: Customisation

Overall, we’d say this is even between the 2 options. And again, it largely comes down to the supplier you buy from.

Some new suppliers will only give you limited upgrade options, if any at all. Others will give you a huge array. This is the same with refurb suppliers.

More often than not, choosing tailored specifications when buying new will cause longer lead time than customising the specs on a refurbished model. This is because new machines are usually built abroad and then shipped into your country.

On the other hand, 90% of refurb companies assemble products to order in the local country, so this should add little to no delays to adjust your specifications.

New vs Refurbished: Warranty Options

We’d say this is even between new and refurbished Laptops.

You will usually get a longer warranty buying new than you will buying refurb. But a number of refurb suppliers, including Pure IT, now offer 5 year and even lifetime warranties on certain products.

Some new suppliers offer equivalent warranties, but usually at a lot higher cost. It’s crucial to know what type of warranty you will get and how it will be serviced. We will write a full article on the different types of warranty soon.

New vs Refurbished Warranty Options

New vs Refurbished: Warranty Service

New wins this, but it depends who you choose as your supplier.

A lot of customers complain about new manufacturers making customers jump through hoops to get warranty sorted or wait hours on a phone. However, poor quality refurb companies have been known to dodge warranty service and replacements altogether.

On the flipside, some new manufacturer warranty service are fantastic and many small refurb companies always want to go over and above to service a customer. For example, we offer next day replacements and will process all requests within 2 working hours.

This requires the customer to do some research on their chosen supplier before buying. If you don’t do your research on which company is best to buy from, you have a better likelihood of getting good warranty service when buying new.

New vs Refurbished: Shipping Times

This is largely even between the two. Again, it will depend on the supplier you buy from and the flexibility you need on specifications.

Buying a customised spec direct from the manufacturer will often take some time to deliver, particularly in large quantities. Many third party suppliers pre-order set specifications and have them in stock ready to ship next day. But this can come with a lack of flexibility on the specification.

This is often the case with refurb too. Your supplier may not always have stock on the model and spec you want, which may require you to accept a longer lead time or compromise on the model and specs you want.

New vs Refurbished: Environmental Impact

Refurb wins this.

It’s hard to argue the environment benefits of buying refurb over new. After all, the production and delivery of a new desktop or laptop produces around 250-350Kg of CO2 per unit.

The refurb process may vary from company to company, but it will likely be in the region of 20-40Kg of CO2 per unit. That’s a huge saving and can help your organisation meet any emissions goals you have.

New vs Refurbished Environmental Impact

New vs Refurbished: The Final Verdict

As one of the UK’s leading providers of refurbished laptops and desktops, it would be easy for us to say that refurbished computers are better in every area. But this simply isn’t true.

In most areas, there are trade-offs that depend massively on the quality of refurbished or new supplier you use. The best option will also rely on the specific needs of your organisation.

Here is a summary of the main things you need to take into account:


Cost: Refurb wins
Quality: New but depends on supplier
Customisation: Even but depends on supplier
Warranty Options: Even but depends on supplier
Warranty Service: New but depends on supplier
Delivery Time: Even but depends on supplier
Environmental Impact: Refurb wins

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About Pure IT Refurbished

If you are looking for IT hardware that looks and performs like new but at around 50% of the cost, Pure IT Refurbished can help.

Since 2007, we have been committed to sourcing the highest quality IT equipment. We always refurbish using original parts and rigorously test every product to create an experience that is as good as brand-new.

The result is guaranteed consistency and reliability across your IT hardware, whether you order 1 unit or 1000+. Our industry-leading warranties ensure that a replacement unit is guaranteed within 24 working hours, which we collect at no charge to you.