I am looking for an additional monitor. I'm trying to save some money by looking at used and refurbished ones.

Used monitors are usually noticeably cheaper, but it is quite difficult to find something close to the desired model. Their condition also varies significantly.

Refurbished ones seem to eliminate these problems for some additional money.

Are there problems, like broken/dead pixels, with these refurbished monitors? Additionally, are there any substantial differences between used and refurbished monitors?

  • One thing to look for in refurbs is a "pattern" of failure. There are 2 types of actual refurbs (not open box). Ones that they can fix, and ones they can sell :-) It is good to see if the product is a lemon (never gets "fixed), or if many people are happily using it , and you can also buy it refurb.
    – Psycogeek
    Apr 10 '12 at 4:20

Refurbished means that the item has been returned for whatever reason to the manufacture. This could be simply because the wrong part was ordered and opened, returned and then resold as refurbished. It could also mean that it was shot by an angry dad in retaliation to their daughter's shenanigans and then returned under an extended warranty. However, in both cases, the item is looked over, tested and repaired to manufacture specs before sold again. Even a refurbished monitor shouldn't have dead pixels and/or noticeable blemishes.

  • 1
    shot by an angry dad oh this is awesome Apr 9 '12 at 23:21

Refurbished for any item usually means, "restored to like-new condition." A refurbished item usually has a warranty, whereas a used item might not. Often the warranty period is 30 days or 90 days (or some other term shorter than the original, new warranty), but sometimes it will have the same warranty as a new item.

Electronics can potentially have problems that were not caught during the refurbishing process, but if that's the case, it will probably be obvious either right away or after using the device for a little while. As kobaltz mentioned, you don't have to worry any more about bad pixels on a refurbished monitor vs. a new monitor, but if you do get one with bad pixels, you should be able to return it for a refund or exchange. On the other hand, if you were to buy an used monitor, you probably would be buying it as-is, without any warranty (unless the original warranty hasn't expired and you can get the manufacturer to honor it).

I've personally purchased a lot of refurbished electronics; ranging from a Sony Clie PDA, to PCs and laptops, to several motherboards, and they've always looked and worked just like new.

  • 3
    Also, often when you RMA a piece of hardware, what you get back is a refurbished unit (either your original unit that has been fixed and gone through the refurbishment process, or a refurbished unit that someone else RMAed earlier). So if you have no problem with this fairly common RMA process, then purchasing a refurbished item that is under warrantee is no different. Apr 10 '12 at 4:34
  • @Lèsemajesté: great point!
    – rob
    Apr 10 '12 at 4:37

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.