We wrote this freelance technology article about the benefits of refurbished computers, and how to choose a quality refurbished computer.

Why Choose Refurbished Computers?

In our struggling economy, virtually every business and organization is looking for ways to cut costs and reduce overhead to preserve their bottom line. One of the easiest and most effective ways to pinch pennies is reducing hardware expenses. While it may have been possible to equip an entire office with brand-new, state-of- the-art computer systems a few years ago, many business owners are now turning to refurbished models as a way to save substantially without sacrificing the software and technologies they need.

What is a Refurbished Computer?

Also commonly referred to as “reconditioned,” “restored,” or “remanufactured,” most refurbished machines have been previously owned, returned to the manufacturer, and then repaired and tested before resale.

Although some returns may have been due to malfunctions, there are cases in which consumers simply received the wrong model. In other scenarios, there may be a minor scratch or dent that has caused the computer to be labeled as refurbished before it’s even been sold. Or, if a store has excess inventory that has been rendered out-of-date by newer models, the older versions might be sold as discounted refurbs.

Who Can Benefit from Refurbished Computers?

• Businesses: Whether you’re outfitting a small office with only a handful of employees or a large corporation with hundreds of users, refurbished computers can provide a huge savings over the price of brand-new equipment. You’ll get much more benefit from purchasing pre-owned computers loaded with the latest features and technologies than opting for new machines that offer limited functionality.

• Schools: In today’s educational facilities, computers have become just as essential to the learning process as desks and blackboards were a decade ago. With K-12 schools often operating on limited technology budgets, refurbished computers are ideal for outfitting classrooms and computer labs. Students will receive the same quality of training—if not better—as they would with new equipment. When choosing refurbished over new, administrators will be able to purchase two or three times the number of machines.

• Libraries: Like schools, libraries often have very limited budgets. Refurbished machines are a great way to get more technology bang for the buck when purchasing public workstations to be used for Internet access and book searches.

• Non-Profits: Charitable organizations and other non-profits face a unique challenge. Efficiency and reliable communications are of paramount importance, but these groups often lack the resources to procure the technology they need. Refurbished computers help to solve this conundrum by providing non-profits with like-new systems at a fraction of the cost of new machines.

Benefits of Purchasing a Refurbished Computer

• Value: The most obvious advantage of choosing a pre-owned machine is the cost savings. You can expect to spend anywhere from 30%-50% less than the retail price of a new computer, which can translate into thousands of dollars saved when purchasing multiple systems.

• Quality: When you purchase a refurbished machine from an authorized vendor like Systime, you can rest assured it’s been thoroughly inspected, restored, and tested by the manufacturer prior to being returned to the sales floor. And you’ll still enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that all working parts are covered: our refurbished machines offer the same warranties they carried when they were sold as new.

• Eco-friendly: Today’s businesses are looking for ways to achieve more environmentally friendly operations. By purchasing refurbished machines, you’ll be doing your small part to help the cause. With every pre-owned computer that is purchased, the resources required to build a brand-new machine are conserved, and there will be one less machine added to the landfills.

• Technology: Purchasing a pre-owned computer doesn’t mean you have to settle for outdated software or sluggish processors. Today’s refurbished computers are usually only a few months old, often having many of the same features as brand-new machines. Plus, most refurbs can be easily upgraded if you need more memory or a quicker connection speed down the road.

What to Consider When Buying a Refurbished Computer

• Purchase only from reputable, authorized vendors with good track records. Over the past two decades, Systime has earned a solid reputation as one of the premier providers of high-quality pre-owned technology—and the stellar service to match.

• For businesses and corporations, you’ll need business-class machines (such as the Dell Optiplex series) with identical parts, software, and operating systems. This will allow your IT staff to use imaging software to roll out upgrades and installations to all workstations at once. At Systime, we offer large batches of computers with the same motherboards, drives, and operating systems, so each user will have the same features and functionality.

• If possible, choose machines that have the latest operating systems and software to eliminate the need for upgrade costs. To ensure a sound long- term investment, make sure the computers are capable of running the applications you plan on using. As a Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher (MAR), Systime offers systems that are pre-loaded with legal copies of Microsoft XP Professional OS.

• Check with the vendor to determine the machine’s history. If it was returned to the manufacturer, try to find out the reason, as well as what modifications, fixes, or replacements were made.

• Find out what peripherals are included with the refurbished computers, such as monitors, wireless cards, DVD drives, and other parts and accessories.

• Make sure the refurbished model offers the same warranty it did when it was brand-new. Also ask about the return policy and support plan, which will be important if something goes wrong with the machine within the warranty period. At Systime, we back up each of our systems with a full warranty and service plan.

Why Systime?

We know you have a choice in refurbished computer dealers, which is why we strive to exceed your expectations of quality, service, and value. Since 1985, we’ve been providing businesses, schools, non-profits, and government agencies with carefully refurbished desktop computers and laptops. Our goal is to help these organizations benefit from today’s latest technologies without exceeding their budgets.

With a staff of dedicated full-time technicians certified in Novell, Microsoft, Cisco, Citrix, and other technologies, we back up each of our refurbished machines with comprehensive service and support. When you contact Systime, you’ll be greeted by a courteous, knowledgeable representative, not a recorded message. With our extensive technology expertise, we can help you with every aspect of your IT needs, from installation to networking to troubleshooting.

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