What does “refurbished” mean?
Refurbishment, specifically in computers, is the process by which a refurbished computer is made nearly new again in preparation for a second lifecycle. Typically a former enterprise office desktop or laptop, these systems destined for a second life are taken through a rigorous set of checks and steps that may include cleaning, repair, upgrading, data destruction, diagnostics, and cosmetic improvements. All of these steps ensure the end customer gets a machine that’s as close to new as possible for a fraction of the cost.
Many of these business-grade desktop and laptop computers have MSRP’s well above $1,000 new. They are built to a higher standard than a typical consumer-grade unit and thus have a longer lifespan. A typical consumer-grade laptop or desktop that you might find on a shelf at retailers like Best Buy or Walmart has a lifespan of around 3-5 years, and business-grade units have typical lifespans of 8-10 years or more. Most large corporations and schools are on 3-5 year upgrade cycles, meaning every 3-5 years, they get rid of their computers and upgrade to the newest models available from Dell, HP, or Lenovo regardless of if it’s actually required. This is important from a business standpoint when computers are being used every day and reliability means money earned or lost. That cycle also means many of these machines still have plenty of life left in them when they arrive at companies like Blair Tech for refurbishment.
Refurbishment typically starts with a diagnostic of the machine. The diagnostic tests the core components of the machine such as its power supply, motherboard, processor, memory, hard drive, and networking capabilities to ensure full functionality. In the event something needs to be repaired or replaced, technicians are brought into the process to ensure those steps are taken. If there is data detected on the hard drive, that data is securely and permanently erased according to NAID standards. It’s worth noting that not all companies that refurbish computers are NAID certified, but Blair Tech is one of those companies. After diagnostics and data destruction, the systems are configured to the customer’s desired specifications. Memory, Storage, and Processors are all replaceable and upgradeable and, at Blair Tech, these steps are performed by trained configuration technicians. After the configuration stage, machines are checked for cosmetic imperfections. These cosmetic imperfections may range from small scratches or scuffs to more severe things like broken faceplates. In either case, machines are meticulously restored to near factory-new condition. Once this final stage is complete, the machines have genuine copies of Microsoft Windows 10 installed on them, and they are sent out all over the world for their second chance at life.
Ultimately, many of these computers still have plenty of life left in them, and that’s where the refurbishment process comes in. It’s meant to keep technology out of landfills and help reduce global carbon footprint while still providing top-notch computers to people and small businesses. And the best part -- these systems come at a price that’s just a fraction of their original MSRP. It really is a win-win situation.
What does “Microsoft Authorized Refurbished” mean?
The Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher (MAR) title is a designation given by Microsoft to the top refurbishing organizations globally. The MAR title serves to distinguish companies that adhere to strict quality and Windows licensure guidelines set forth by Microsoft and stands as an assurance of quality, reliability, and support. There are only a handful of these in the world, and in 2020, Blair Tech was Microsoft’s Global Partner of the Year.
There are many third-party sellers on the internet and maybe even in your hometown that are selling computers with illegitimate installations of Microsoft Windows. They do this because it’s an easy way to cut costs, but it comes with consequences. Legally, they are distributing pirated software which is punishable by hefty fines and potential criminal charges. From a customer experience standpoint, Windows will constantly notify you of your unlicensed copy through pop-ups and watermarks. The MAR program gives refurbishers a direct relationship with Microsoft who supplies certified legitimate copies of Windows to companies that meet their quality and volume standards. A recent development of this program also gives MAR’s the ability to provide Windows licenses to other smaller companies who may not meet those volume requirements, fostering new business-to-business relationships and reducing the amount of illegal Windows installations for end consumers worldwide.
Microsoft sets forth strict quality and reporting standards for their MAR partners, and Blair Tech has consistently upheld these standards for nearly a decade with all of their refurbished PCs. Ultimately, the MAR title stands to provide a stamp of legitimacy and separates those who are distributing refurbished computers the right way from those who may not be so transparent or forthcoming in their practices.
Ultimately, buying refurbished is a surefire way to save money and keep computers out of landfills for as long as possible. Buying from a Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher is the best way to ensure you’re getting the best quality product that will last just as long or longer than some new computers and provides peace of mind that your copy of Windows 10 is genuine. Blair Tech is the biggest and best refurbisher in the industry, and we believe anyone deserves a quality product at an affordable price, and now you know what ‘refurbished’ really means when it comes to buying computers.
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