Â laptop that has been returned to the retailer or the manufacturer due to a defect covered in the warranty or on expiry of the lease agreement can be repairedÂ and reconditioned to an almost â€˜brand new statusâ€™. Legally they are not new and are known as refurbished laptops or simply refurbs.
Most Unscrupulous traders are reselling refurbished laptops to unsuspecting customers as â€˜newâ€™ to maximize their profits.
Laptops unlike cars do not have odometers to indicate â€˜mileageâ€™, so it is upon you to carry out due diligence to identify the condition of the Laptop you intend to acquire.
Inspect the surface of the laptop for scratches and feel the keyboard texture. Frequent fingertip contact overtime will make the buttons smooth and shiny
Check laptop screws if you find traces on them you should realize it was opened before.
Inspect the screen or the display for small wear marks as this are very hard to refurbish
The next â€˜crudeâ€™ test is a bit subjective as it involves smelling the surface of the computer. New laptops have an irritating smell of industrial cleaning agent. Hand refurbished Machines use home cleaning agents which have a fragrance and leaves the notebook surface creamy
Check the Laptop serial number at the back of the machine or in the battery compartment depending on the laptop model.
Open command prompt and type c:>wmic bios get serial number, compare the BIOS serial number with the chassis serial number. If this is not the same the machine may be a refurb. You can also visit the manufacturerâ€™s website and punch in the serial number to indicate the status of the laptop. This feature works for specific laptops.
Generally factory refurbished laptops have their serial number ending with letter â€˜Râ€™ E.g. CN174UA#ABA is the product number for a new notebook and CN174UAR#ABA is the product number for a refurbished notebook.
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You can also check the back of the laptop for labels such as â€˜This is a refurbished laptop and contains used partsâ€™
Check general laptop attachment/peripherals/additions such as Driver CD, Manuals and brochures
Refurbs have a shorter warranty period of 3 months.
Refurbs are also a good bargain if you want to acquire a powerful Laptop at a reasonable price but it is morally right for the vendor to disclose the status of the laptop.