Sunday, November 27, 2005

Refurbished laptops review

What does refurbished mean?
There's a MASSIVE range in the quality of refurbished gear available for sale. Some dealers at the lower end of the scale do not really refurbish computers at all – obviously broken parts may be replaced but little more than that is done. If you receive a cheap laptops that is not even been properly cleaned, it is highly unlikely that it has been refurbished whatsoever – it is simply a used computer with software reloaded onto it’s hard drive, with little or no other inspection. Obviously the failure rate of units like these is much higher. In an industry with tightening margins, unfortunately many dealers now fill pressured to cut costs in the preparation of refurbished laprops and computers.

Common Issues with Refurbished computers / laptops

Chassis / cosmetic damage
Any crack (especially around the hinges), discoloration or other damage to any part of the cheap laptops body should have been corrected with a replacement part

Drive faults
Any component faults in a unit such as a faulty Hard Drive, mouse etc must be corrected. Hard Drive, floppy drive and CD Rom drive faults are the most common hardware problems discovered.

Screen faults
The TFT screen has a limited life span and is very expensive to replace. Faults to look for include damaged pixels (dots on screen – a few of these are not serious and should be ignored) and overall darkening of the screen or a screen that is slow to warm up. The latter is more serious and is probably lead to complete failure

Very poor battery life / battery not charging
The quality the batteries supplied with a laptop very massively. You should not expect a battery to be “as good as new” on your cheap laptops unless they are specifically described as such. A battery life of 30 minutes is good; in reality you will be using it with the PSU most of the time.

Intermittent crashing
If this is not the result of an incorrect or damaged software installation (which is usually the case), it is probably caused by motherboard damage – always requiring a professional repair.

Do I really need the latest specs and features?

A great way of wasting a good deal of money is to convince yourself to buy a computer or laprop with a load of features that you really don’t require. This is a common sales technique – akin to the attraction of £2000 worth of free software with your unit, remember there is no such thing as free! Concentrate only on the features you want – not those you think you might need or will grow into in the future, you’ll get a lot more for your money if you follow this simple advice.

1) Is there clear information on how to contact them if you have a problem with your cheap laptops?

2) How did they respond to previous enquiries?

3) Is there clear information on the site about a money back or price match offer?

4) Is there any help on the site about your rights as a consumer when you buy?

5) Are contact methods clear and easy to use?

You can Find Refurbished laptops here:
Tiger Direct popular
Amazon Store*
Apple MacMall*
Alienware Systems
Fujitsu Online Store

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