How To Identify Refurbished Laptops

Refurbished gadgets, especially laptops, are a great option for buyers in need of a product but unable to pay for a brand new one. Refurbished laptops can come from other users or be recalled from the store and renovated by the manufacturer.

While there are many advantages to buying a refurbished device, some dishonest sellers often try to sell a refurbished laptop for the price of a new one without mentioning it’s been already used. Find out how to tell if a laptop is new or used and make the right choice!


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1. How to identify refurbished laptops

There are two primary ways to tell if your laptop is used or brand new: a visual inspection and turning it on. The most telling visual signs of a refurbished device are:

  • Scratches, dents, and bumps on the surface of the laptop. The laptop keyboard may also have certain keys that are more worn out than the rest. Cracks and dents in the body of the keyboard also allow you to tell that the laptop has been in use.
  • Stickers. You should mainly look for two types of stickers: stickers from the laptop repair service and corporate stickers that indicate that the laptop has been in use at the office.
  • Box. If your laptop comes in a generic box rather than a printed one with the laptop brand, it means the laptop is pre-owned.
  • Accessories. In case you’ve opened up the laptop box and there are some accessories missing or the brand of the accessories doesn’t match the brand of the laptop, you can rest assured the laptop is a refurbished one.

Once you turn the laptop on, there are some more checks you can do in order to find out the truth. Take a good look at the laptop’s operating system. If the username, desktop layout, and background differ from the standard settings, or there are additional programs or files located on the desktop, it means that someone has already used and refurbished the device.

2. How to check if Dell laptop is refurbished

If you’re planning to buy a Dell laptop or have already bought one and now want to know if it’s brand new or refurbished, you can start with the steps described above. However, there is also a specific tool for Dell laptops that you can find on their website.

Type in your service tag number into the search bar and learn when the laptop was shipped, when the warranty started and ended, etc. This is a great way on how to check when a laptop was first used.

3. How to know if HP laptop is refurbished

HP laptops can be checked according to the same algorithm – by doing a visual and software check. If you haven’t reached a definitive conclusion, look for the product number of your laptop. It can be found in the BIOS of your computer, in the system settings, and on the product identification label.

If there is an additional R letter in the product number, it means that the laptop is not new and has been refurbished. For example, MC125AU#MAB is a product number for a brand new laptop, and MC125AUR#MAB is a product number identifying a refurbished device.

4. How to check if Acer laptop is refurbished

When it comes to Acer laptops, there are no specific ways of telling whether the laptop has been refurbished or is absolutely new. You can run a basic check as described above, or you can contact Acer customer support and ask them for information on your laptop. You’re going to need your product number, so make sure to write it down before making a call or writing a message to the support team!


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My name is Inna. I am a content writer with an English and literature background. As a mother of a 2-year old son, I love learning about children’s health and development, as well as finding new interesting toys and activities for my little one. I am also in love with all things tech and always keep my finger on the pulse of new smartphone and gadget releases. Another big passion of mine is beauty and makeup – every day I read about new trends in skin care and makeup and always look forward to trying them. Plus, I love pop culture, travelling, crafts, and anything that can make our daily life more thrilling!