-cheap HP laptop vs higher priced new HP or other brand laptop computer
-Factory Refurbished HP laptop
-refurbished HP Pavilion laptop came with Operating System (Window XP)
-1 year warranty included
-great starter laptop


-it only lasted 2 years, but not because it was refurbished
-HP customer service phone line is not in the US (language barriers)

Full Review

Refurbished HP Pavilion Laptop

When I was in the store to buy my first laptop I wasn't sure what type of features I needed. The main thing that I knew was that I needed to get a computer and I had wanted a laptop for a long time. As I kept browsing the rows of shiny new computers, I noticed that some of them were also refurbished. Since the laptops were refurbished they were also cheaper than the brand spanking new laptops.

Once I started really comparing prices I was looking at buying a refurbished HP laptop. Shopping at Fry's Electronics, I know that the sales guys make commission. I hate shopping at stores where the workers make commissions because I feel like they mark me as a sucker the minute I step foot into their department. The guy who had stalked me throughout was clearly not going to leave me alone until I asked him a bunch of questions, got rude, or left the store. But, I wasn't leaving, so I started asking him about the refurbished HP laptop.

New vs Refurbished HP Laptops

To an untrained eye the refurbished HP laptop looks exactly like a new HP laptop. The reason for that is that they are essentially new laptops. Refurbished laptops are those that have gone through a process that restores it to like new condition. Sometimes HP laptops or those from other brands, like refurbished Macbooks, have been sent out to a customer and returned, unopened. For some reason the HP laptop was returned to Hewlett Packard (HP). These returned laptops and desktops are then turned into refurbished HP computers.

I left Fry's Electronics with a new, discount, refurbished HP laptop. I was super excited to have a laptop and didn't really care that it had been refurbished. There was not one spot on it and all of the boxes, wrapping, instructions, warranty, and everything was new. If it didn't say that it was refurbished there is no way that I'd have known. It was an HP Pavilion with the Windows XP Operating System. It came with a fair amount of installed programs and was easy to figure out. The cost of that refurbished HP laptop was around $500. The closest new laptop was a Compaq, but it was about $100 more, had less memory, and wasn't as fast.

According to HP their refurbished computers and laptops are "sold with the same HP warranty and undergo the same rigorous building and testing processes as new products." When someone buys a discount, refurbished HP laptop they are actually buying a laptop that has been checked out and scrutinized more than any of their other laptops. Some customers worry about buying something that is not brand new, even when it is certified. This is especially true when it comes to electronics like laptops and desktops mainly because they are so expensive. If something goes wrong with your computer then it can mean a destructive loss of information.

My refurbished HP laptop lasted for about two years, but it wasn't because I bought it refurbished. One night I left and returned to it only to find the very sad blue screen of death. Having never heard that term before I didn't know that my computer had just fatally failed. After talking on the phone with HP customer service, which is located in a non-native English speaking country, I was really angry and almost out an extra $129 that they tried to charge me for telling me the steps to take to fix my broken laptop. Since the language barrier barred us from understanding each other I got a prompt refund. If you ever have to call HP customer service it can be a real struggle. My laptop has been sitting cold ever since. Had I not installed Norton 360 I would have lost almost all of my past two years of writing. Some of it was backed up on CDs and flash drives, but a lot of new writing and pictures were wiped out. Since I write poetry and am in the middle of a novel the idea of losing my writing was really horrible. I recouped a lot of it thanks to Norton. However, none of this has anything to do with the fact that my HP laptop was refurbished. The bigger lesson is back up your computer!

The fear of buying refurbished laptops and PCs is largely unfounded. Refurbished computers, especially refurbished HP laptops, are rigorously tested before they are labeled "factory refurbished laptops" and put up for sale. If you really want to save money then you must consider getting a refurbished computer. They are excellent options for those on fixed incomes as well as first laptops or affordable student laptops. Getting a refurbished HP laptop is a good option all around for anyone who wants to save money. I would absolutely buy another refurbished laptop, including a refurbished HP laptop.

In Closing

*Buying a refurbished computer is a smart move. The HP laptop that I have now is not a good as my old refurbished HP laptop. My refurbished HP Pavilion was a bit clunkier, but if I had to do it again, I would make the exact same choice.

*All sorts of companies have refurbished products. This included Apple, so if you like discount Mac computers check them out, too. You can even get a new iPad refurbished.