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Mention the word refurbished to the average man in the street and their first thoughts may be “poor quality”, “unreliable” or “broken”. Whilst for some goods and in turn the associated retailers this would be an accurate assessment, in the computing world the reality is often markedly different. Think of fleet, ex-lease cars which were bought new by large corporates and then resold 2-3 years later. They are popular in the used car market because they provide good value for money and have been well maintained. A similar marketplace exists for quality, affordable refurbished PCs and laptops.
If you’re looking to invest in computers (whether that be PCs, laptops or tablets) for your organisation there’s a key set of criteria you’ll need to assess in order to find the best products. The good news is that refurbished computers can usually tick all the necessary boxes. Let’s take a closer look at the reasons why.
Few businesses these days have the luxury of uncapped budgets; most IT departments have to grapple with the challenge of delivering more with less. Your computing investment must deliver value for money from day 1 but also over the period of time the machines are intended to be in active service. To get the best value for money you need to avoid overpaying for devices and you also need to swerve ‘specification overkill’ i.e. paying for bells and whistles you simply do not need. Most new PCs and laptops boast specifications that far exceed what is needed to get the work done. The bulk of the price tag usually comes from having the latest and greatest generation processor installed but nowadays, many 2-3 year old models are more than capable for most business users needs. A refurbished computer typically costs roughly half the price of a new device with similar specs. So why pay double when you don’t need to?
Technology never stands still which means computers and the applications that run on them are constantly evolving. In turn, businesses and their working practices are always playing catch up. The implication is that all technology has a useful shelf life before it becomes too slow, unreliable, costly or simply obsolete. Many of the organisations we deal with typically operate a three year refresh cycle. However, a machine’s useful lifetime largely depends on the type of work the device is tasked with. Some companies will find PCs and laptops will perform way beyond this 3 year mark whereas others who perhaps run intensive applications may need to refresh much sooner.
Longevity is also dictated by wear and tear of the machine’s components. Moving parts within PCs and laptops are at the highest risk of failure, most notably conventional spinning hard drives. All drives (including solid state drives - SSDs) have a finite lifetime but SSDs are far more durable and have longer lifespans because they don’t contain moving parts. For this reason we replace all hard drives in our refurbished PC and laptop stock with brand new SSDs as standard. This greatly enhances the machine’s durability, performance and power consumption and is one of the key reasons we can confidently offer an ‘as new’ 3 year warranty on our refurbished computers.
The typical Evaris refurbished computer contains a brand new 500gb SSD, 8Gb of RAM and an Intel i5 processor making it a great specification for standard office computers. The main difference between refurbished computers and their brand new counterparts is the generation of processor. Whereas new machines contain the latest generation of processors our refurbished machines are often two or three generations behind.
As mentioned earlier, the specifications of a 2-3 year old ex-corporate desktop or laptop far exceed the needs of most routine business users. A few years ago if you wanted to use an application, you’d typically have to install it locally on your PC or laptop, usually from a CD or software download. Nowadays, most common applications live in the cloud and are accessed via a web login. As a result, the processing and (in many cases) storage demands that used to be placed on the computer have largely shifted to the cloud.
The combination of processor, memory and storage offered within Evaris’ refurbished machines will comfortably cater for most email, office and web based applications.Especially as most of these applications have massively reduced their required processing and (in some cases) storage demands by migrating to the cloud.
There’s undoubtedly a performance advantage to be had by buying the latest and greatest models available but in many cases this is unnecessary. In order to find out if you need to buy new you should ask yourself the following three questions:
You’ll undoubtedly have other important considerations to factor as well. If you do a lot of travelling, a light top laptop with decent battery life makes sense. If you’re constantly in meeting rooms presenting to colleagues or clients, a laptop with good connectivity options is a must. A computer with graphics capability will be a key requirement for anyone immersed in design, animation, modelling or rendering work; laptop users will probably also want a larger, high resolution screen.
Historically these finer nuances would have meant you’d have to buy new but the good news is there’s now a wide range of refurbished laptops and desktops that can provide the more detailed specifications you’ll require to allow you to work the way you want to.
There are some environments and/or applications where buying refurbished makes more sense both commercially and practically. Schools machines for example need to be able to withstand heavy handed treatment from pretty unforgiving children. In our experience as a supplier to many schools, colleges and universities, PCs and laptops are subjected to substantial physical abuse and warranty claims for repairs or replacements are common. It makes little sense therefore to pay a premium for cosmetically pristine computers that are likely to be bashed about from day one. Similar principles would apply for field workers or computers being deployed outside of the office such as factory floors for example.
There’s a variety of add-ons available to protect or enhance your computing investment. As well as the usual peripherals such as screens, mice and keyboards, we also supply a range of security products and services including privacy screens, cables and locks to physically secure and protect your equipment. We also provide a suite of cybersecurity applications and managed services to safeguard your organisation, people and data from threats and breaches. In fact, the full spectrum of accessories and peripherals on offer for new devices is equally available and applicable to refurbished models.
Buying refurbished ticks the eco-friendly box for a number of important reasons. By extending the life of a computer, you are helping reduce environmental waste as well as reducing the number of new machines that have to be manufactured. Many of the electronic components used are rare, expensive and environmentally toxic. They can take hundreds of years to decompose as well so ethically, we ought to do everything possible to extend their usage and recycle them to keep them out of landfill and protect our planet. Finally, buying refurbished can help you meet your Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment (WEEE) obligations which govern how businesses deal with safe disposal of electronic devices and components.
There are several prevailing myths associated with refurbished computing equipment which simply don’t stand up to scrutiny. If you have any fears or reservations about buying refurbished computers, hopefully this post has provided some reassurance but if not or if you still have unanswered questions, please get in touch and we’ll do our best to put your mind at ease.