Hands-on with Microsoft Authorized Refurbished PCs

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“Refurbished” is one of those words in PC­-land that’s filled with mystery for the average consumer. Sure, we know what the word means, in theory, but how much care and work goes into the refurbishing process? Is it a light dusting or a full­-on rebuild?

When US Micro Corp’s latest batch of goodies landed at Newegg, I wanted to take a look and find out if their refurbed PCs were something worth buying. So US Micro sent us their Dell Latitude E6230 and the HP desktop Compaq 8100 Elite.

Unlike most PCs that come through Newegg’s doors, these PCs are decidedly boring, created for hours of stable work, not the latest FPS gaming. The Dell Latitude comes with an i5, 720p HD 12” screen and 8GB RAM for $360. The HP desktop sports a surprisingly large 16GB RAM, 750GB HDD and comes with a mouse and keyboard all for $347.

The big attraction of US Micro (owned by Arrow Electronics, a Fortune 500 company is that they’re one of the few giant Microsoft Authorized Refurbishers (MAR). The MAR process is pretty strict, and to get in the game, you need to have a serious technical background and stand behind your units. For US Micro, that means shipping thousands of units a month, supporting authentication software, online services and much more. Also, data on the PCs is wiped from previous owners, conforming to the Department of Defense standards for purging PCs of sensitive info. If there’s one thing the government knows how to do, it’s how to wipe data.

Just like new?

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So, my personal impressions of the machines? The PCs booted up just fine, installed with a fresh retro copy of Windows 7. Like all office battleaxes, these PCs seemed stable, functional, and ready for hours of maximum productivity. They are noteworthy in how un-noteworthy they are ­. They just work, which is what you want, right?

As for the cosmetic qualities, there were some scuffs and smudges, but otherwise the PCs seemed entirely clean and ready to rock. In fact, they looked better than any of my laptops after a week of typical gaming with my greasy Dorito fingers.

If you’re in the market for refurbished PCs, check out the Microsoft Authorized Refurbished gear available on Newegg. It’s solid, it’s cheap, it’s ready for max web-browsing or Excel action.

Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • steelman1 says:

    I purchased one of the refurbished HP desktops about a month ago to replace on old XP system a relative was using (HP Elite 8000 Desktop – Intel Core 2 Duo 3.0GHz, 4GB RAM, 250GB HDD, DVDROM, Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit) Booted fine, no bloatware to remove, and the refurbished product key allowed a painless upgrade to Windows 10. And, since it was upgraded from Win 7 Professional, it still played DVD movies without any additional software. These refurbished business machines are a great value.

  • william armstrong says:

    microsoft has dropped support for windows xp and windows vista and windows 7 and i wonder about windows 8 and windows 8.1 so windows 7 computers.need an upgrade-to windows 10

  • Gerard R. says:

    For additional clarification on the prior posters statements, here are Microsoft’s current timetables for OS support (as of 29MAR16).

    OS Latest Update/SP End of Mainstream Support – End Of Extended Support
    Windows Vista Service Pack 2 April 10, 2012 April 11, 2017
    Windows 7 * Service Pack 1 January 13, 2015 January 14, 2020
    Windows 8 ** Windows 8.1 January 9, 2018 January 10, 2023
    Windows 10 N/A October 13, 2020 October 14, 2025

  • Jen Wainwright says:

    I have set up several Dell Optiplex refurb’d systems, and they’ve been excellent. Microsoft continues to supply updates, no problem (the systems are running Windows 7 Pro, 64-bit). No bloatware, they hum along at an average of only 34 to 40 background tasks running, depending on what extras get installed. These systems have all been extremely stable…. over 2 years in the field, many 24/7 except for reboots after updates, and not a single blue-screen or crash of any type reported yet. Various sellers make these systems available with 4GB RAM 500GB HDD 3.0GHz Intel “core 2” CPU, for prices varying between $105 and $120, shipping included.

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