Hands-on with Microsoft Authorized Refurbished PCs

Microsoft Authorized Refurbished PCs

“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? For that matter, what is MAR?

Why I would buy a refurb

Off the bat, when someone decides to look at a refurbished PC, they have a specific purpose in mind. Generally, the purpose at Newegg is maximum gaming performance with the latest bells and whistles, but a query like this starts out on a different mission. Let’s face it; given the opportunity most people would probably choose to have the latest and greatest tech, but without an expendable budget it is unlikely that can happen all the time. I was looking for something that was relatively inexpensive, reliable, and had the power to get things done day in, day out—like any good workhorse.

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 Lenovo ThinkCentre M82 and the HP desktop 8200 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 Lenovo unit comes with an i5 3200MHz, 250GB HDD, for $174. The HP desktop sports an i5, 250GB HDD, 4GB RAM and comes with a mouse and keyboard all for $160.

What MAR means

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?

Microsoft Authorized Refurbished PCs from US Micro

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 well, 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. Realistically, this is of minor importance when it comes to a workstation like these as long as they don’t have major issues. 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, and it’s ready for max web-browsing, YouTube binging, or Excel action. The best part is the peace of mind knowing in the rare occasion your machine does take a nosedive, you have the assurance it has been backed by a Microsoft-trusted company. That to me is more valuable than the idea of a brand new machine.


Featured in this article:

Lenovo ThinkCentre M82, 4GB RAM, 250GB HDD w/mouse and keyboard- $174

HP 8200 Elite 4GB RAM, 250GB HDD w/mouse and keyboard- $160

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4 Responses to Hands-on with Microsoft Authorized Refurbished PCs

  1. steelman1 March 27, 2016 at 9:28 am #

    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.

  2. william armstrong March 27, 2016 at 12:20 pm #

    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

  3. Gerard R. March 29, 2016 at 3:35 am #

    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

  4. Jen Wainwright August 16, 2017 at 3:38 pm #

    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.

What do you think?