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