The laptop is the best device for working from home and digital nomads. It wins over the PC and the smartphone for its balance of performance, portability, battery life, and usability!
At this point in time, you may not have the $999 (USD) budget for the Apple MacBook Air M1 which I recommend as the overall best laptop for working from home.
Now, You are Left With Two Options:
- Buying the other low to midrange-priced laptops on the list, like the $750 Acer Swift 3, the $500 Acer Aspire 5, the $350 Lenovo 15.6″ IdeaPad 3, or the $200 Samsung Chromebook 4.
- Grabbing one of the best-refurbished laptops deals in 2022, like this Apple MacBook Air 13″ (2019) from BackMarket that gets you a high-performance flagship laptop at a midrange pricing.
Other budget-priced refurbished flagship laptops like this Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon Gen 4 from Amazon are still powerful enough to compete with the new Apple MacBook Air M1 on performance.
The only compromise is their average battery life of about 6 hours and a service life of about 3 to 5 years which is fairly ok, given that you will be getting them for about $500 (USD).
TIP: I’m writing this article from my refurbished Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon Gen 2 that I got in the summer of 2019 for about $500 (including shipping and taxes).
Are Refurbished Laptops Good?
Yes, refurbished laptops are a steal if you get them from a trusted brand or reseller; or if you do a good background search of the laptop before getting it from third-party online stores like Amazon and eBay.
I’m sure you have doubts about refurbs, certified reconditioned or renewed gadgets, not just laptops.
I also do have doubts about refurbished gadgets. Because it’s been used by someone else before. So, how sure are you that they took it back to the store or brand while it was still in good condition?
Let’s answer that by answering what is a refurbished electronic!
So, What are “Refurbished Laptops”?
Refurbished laptops are used laptops that have been returned to the manufacturing brand for reconditioning so that they can “look” and “work” as brand-new laptops of the same model.
In simple terms, refurbished laptops have gone through the hands of a technician who has assessed and repaired them, if necessary and where necessary, to put them back in their top working condition!
Usually, top laptop brands like Apple, Lenovo, Dell, HP, and Microsoft have a program called “trade-in.” It works just like the car industry and the real estate industry. But in this case, with laptops, smartphones, and PCs. Here is a link that will take you to Apple’s Trade-In shop.
In that program, if you want the current generation Apple MacBook Air M1, you can get it by exchanging it with your previous generation, eligible Apple MacBook Air plus a few dollars. Well, because they are in business!
Once you have done your business with Apple and you’re riding home with your brand new MacBook Air M1 ready to unbox, Apple technicians (or these background guys) will take the used MacBook Air for a thorough reassessment.
They will check the hardware from processor to memory to storage. They will check the body and do some work where necessary. They will also check the software and make upgrades where necessary.
When done, and after they have analyzed it to ensure it’s now in full performance, they will put it back in stock as a certified refurbished. Well, because a technician somewhere has done the certification anyway!
That said, you can fully trust a refurbished laptop if it’s coming from the manufacturing brand. Say a MacBook from Apple, a Thinkpad from Lenovo, an XPS 13 from Dell, and Surface Pro from Microsoft!
You can also trust refurbished laptops when they come from third-party and resellers’ online stores like Amazon, where you are given some form of limited guarantee. Amazon offers a 3-month guarantee, which is super cool!
Brands with the Best Refurbished Laptops Deals in 2022?
Now that you understand what refurbished laptops are. And you are sure they are worth the investment, let’s go over the best brands for getting your next refurbished laptop.
NOTE: When buying refurbished laptops, I highly recommend you get one of the top flagship models from one of the top laptop manufacturers. They always don’t mess up with their flagships!
- Apple has Refurbished MacBook Deals
- Lenovo has Refurbished ThinkPad Deals
- Dell has Refurbished XPS & Latitude Deals
- Microsoft has Certified Refurbished Surface Deals
- B&H Photo has Used Laptops & Notebooks Deals
- Amazon has Renewed Laptops & Computers Deals
- Newegg has Refurbished Laptops & Notebooks Deals
- HP has Refurbished & Clearance Laptops Deals
- eBay has Certified Refurbished & Open Box Laptops Deals
- BackMarket has Refurbished Ultra Portable Laptops Deals
A Few Tips for Buying the Best Refurbished Laptops Deals:
- The above hyperlinks will direct you to platforms where these brands and resellers have their CERTIFIED refurbished laptop deals.
- I highly recommend you get any of the first three brands (Apple, Lenovo, or Dell). If you want peace of mind with the refurbished laptop of your choice. They put in some work while certifying and reconditioning these laptops, but it comes with a price!
- But if you have a fair understanding of computers and laptops, shopping from eBay and BlackMarket will give you the best-refurbished laptops deals at the most affordable pricing, some as low as $250. Still, it comes with the price of getting a sub-par model and the risk getting taken in circles or circus by the sellers.
- Amazon has a renewed products program with a 3 months guarantee where you can return the laptop within that period and get a full refund. I like that! So, if you can find a good deal there, please grab it as long as it’s indicated “Renewed”.
- HP is a brand that produces dozens of laptop models such that it would even be hard to pinpoint one of their flagship models. They have the Envy, Elitebook, Omen, and Spectre product lines which are all great, if you get a refurbished and you’re convinced it’s a good deal, grab it!
- B&H Photo is a serious reseller of tech gadgets, especially digital cameras, their prices are always within the range of that of the manufacturing brand, save for a $50 to $150 discount which is worth taking. With B&H Photo, you can never go wrong if you’re willing to pay the dollar!
- Newegg specializes in selling computer components. Laptops are their other business. I don’t know much about them, but while researching this article, most guys from the many sub-Reddits I interacted with vouched for the refurbished laptops deals at Newegg.
- With Microsoft, their certified refurbished 2-in-1 Surface ultrabooks come at an above-average price tag, but I would say just like Apple, Lenovo, and Dell, these deals are highly worth it. Only that you might need to get the Surface Keyboard Cover separately on some occasions.
Now that we have gone through the top brands and resellers with the best-refurbished laptops deals, it’s time I uncover the 3 refurbished laptop deals with the best price for performance in 2022.
TIP: They cover all budgets from as low as $250 to as high as $850. Any of these laptops will handle most of your work-from-home productivity workflows especially if all you do is VA work, writing, blogging, and coding.
1. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon – Overall Best Refurbished Laptops Deal
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9 Key Specs:
Operating System: Up to Windows 11 Pro
Processor: Up to 11th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-1185G7 Processor with vPro™
RAM: Up to 32GB LPDDR4x 4266MHz
Storage: Up to 1TB PCIe SSD
Display: 14.0″ WUXGA* (1920 x 1200) IPS, Anti-Glare
Weight: Starting at 2.49 lbs (1.13 kg)
Battery: Up to 16.7 Hours
Keyboard: Backlit ThinkPad Keyboard
Graphics: Integrated Intel® Iris® Xe Graphics
Camera: 720p HD with Webcam Privacy Shutter
Available Colors: Black
NOTE: The above specs are for the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9. It’s one of the best laptops for working from home that I recommend you get in 2022 if you can afford the price tag!
That said, I’m writing this article on my Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon Gen 2. It came with a touch bar. Most guys didn’t like it. But I like it! The touch bar.
Almost three years down the line with this ultrabook and its performance is still top-notch. The software works flawlessly. The body and hinges are all in great condition.
And while nothing has broken down, there is one small thing though. The battery life! For the first two years, I got about 6 hours when browsing the web via WiFi. But I now get about 3 to 4 hours which I can live with!
Which Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon Refurbished to Buy?
When looking for a Thinkpad X1 Carbon (Refurbished), I recommend buying Gen 4 to Gen 7. That range offers the best price per performance. You get a great laptop in excellent working condition at a bargain!
Amazon (Renewed) is the best place to start your hunt. In that case arm yourself with between $350 to $850. A Gen 4 should be priced at around $400 and a Gen 7 at around $750 – with a +/- $100 in either case.
The ideal soft spots are Gen 5 and Gen 6. You can get these at prices within the $500 to $750. Extra feature sets like more memory, more storage, a touchscreen, and a UHD display will mean more $$$.
But if you have a good understanding of laptops and computers, you can get really great deals on eBay (Refurbished & Open Box).
Other places that offer Thinkpad X1 Carbon (Refurbished) deals include Lenovo’s main online store, and BackMarket (Lenovo Refurbished). The latter has great deals but resellers are always on the wait to grab them!
What is the Main Drawback of Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon Refurbished?
After staying with my Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon Gen 2 (Refurbished), I would say their main and only drawback is average battery life. Everything else from performance to built quality to software work like new!
The other, although not really a drawback is a hefty price tag when you the newer generation refurbished deals. You can expect to pay as much as $1,500 in some cases, but you get 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD, and a touchscreen!
That said, if you find a great Thinkpad X1 Carbon deal from a trusted reseller like Amazon, eBay, or BackMarket, please grab it. These ultrabooks are built like little tanks with the performance of a good horse!
2. Any Lenovo ThinkPad – Best Budget Refurbished Laptop Deals
ThinkPad L14 Gen 1 (Intel) Key Specs:
Operating System: Windows 10 Professional 64 – English
Processor: Intel Core i5-10310U (4C / 8T, 1.7 / 4.4GHz, 6MB)
RAM: 8GB DDR4 3200Mhz SODIMM Memory
Storage: 256GB Solid State Drive M.2
Display: 14″ FHD (1920×1080) IPS 250nits Anti-glare
Weight: 3.56 lb. (1.61 kg)
Battery: Up to 12.3 hours
Keyboard: Backlit ThinkPad Keyboard
Graphics: Integrated Intel® Iris® Xe Graphics
Camera: 720p Camera
Available Colors: Black
NOTE: the above specs are of the ThinkPad L14 Gen 1 (Intel) refurbished. It’s available at Lenovo’s online outlet, click here, for just $392.69. With such specs and high performance, I recommend you take it if you want a solid refurbished laptop for under $500.
That said, any Lenovo ThinkPad that you see out there is built as a solid business laptop. The ThinkPads come with great built quality, comfortable keyboards with silent operation, and extra security feature sets.
The ThinkPad X1 Carbon is Lenovo’s flagship laptop. It’s also the lightest laptop from the company despite offering the best in class feature sets. That explains its high-end price tag. But if you can afford it, please get it!
I recommend any ThinkPad because I have had mine for three years, as a refurbished. A writer friend of mine has also had his Refurbished ThinkPad E14 for a year now. I was there when he was haggling its price at a local shop.
I also have spent a lot of time on online platforms like Quora and forums like Reddit talking and learning about the ThinkPad. So, I understand a lot more about this laptop than any other laptop, perhaps any other portable device out there!
Where to Buy Budget Lenovo ThinkPad Refurbished Laptops?
Now that you understand why I hail the ThinkPad, I suggest you start your hunt on Lenovo’s main online outlet, click here. They offer so many Refurbished ThinkPad deals for as low as $299 to as high as $1,999.
Yes, at the time when I’m writing this, the 17-inch Refurbished ThinkPad P17 mobile workstation goes for $1,992.59. It’s a workhorse with a 10th Gen Intel Core i9-10885H Processor with vPro, 32GB RAM, 1TB PCIe SSD, 17.3″ UHD IPS display, and weighs a whopping 7.7 lb. (3.5 kg).
The P17 is designed for really intensive workflows. It comes with the NVIDIA Quadro RTX 3000 6GB GPU. I would recommend it to you if you’re a creative designer, you edit long videos, 3D rendering, and software development, and you don’t move a lot!
Between the affordable E14 and the P17, there are so many other ThinkPad refurbished laptop deals to consider. In the $350 to $750 range, it’ll be a matter of preference and taste. All the models therein are well-built and will look and work as good as new!
That said, the other place to look for refurbished ThinkPad deals is from any of the resellers that I shared above. BackMarket and eBay will offer the most affordable deals, while B&H Photo, Amazon, and Newegg have the latest refurbished models to choose from.
What is the Main Drawback of Any Refurbished Lenovo ThinkPad?
As I commented on the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, any Refurbished Lenovo ThinkPad will have average battery life. You are expecting it to be in the range of 3 to 7 hours, depending on the model and generation that you have picked.
But the great thing with ThinkPads is their battery can be replaced. In fact, you can get a new battery from the Lenovo main online outlet for the model that you have picked. Then you can take them to a local technician who will replace them for you at a small fee.
The other drawback is soldered components, especially memory and storage. In most cases, the 13-inch and 14-inch ThinkPads will come soldered on the mainboard, and therefore, they can be replaced or upgraded.
3. Apple MacBook Air – Best Refurbished Laptops Deal for Writers & Bloggers
MacBook Air M1 Key Specs:
Operating System: macOS
Processor: Apple M1 Chip with 8-Core CPU
RAM: 8GB unified memory (Configurable to 16GB)
Storage: 256GB SSD – 512GB SSD (Configurable to 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB)
Display: 13.3-inch Retina Display with True Tone
Weight: 2.8 pounds (1.29 kg)
Battery: Up to 15 Hours of Web Browsing
Keyboard: Backlit Magic Keyboard with Touch ID
Graphics: 7-Core GPU to 8-Core GPU (Integrated)
Camera: 720p FaceTime HD camera
Available Colors: Space Gray, Gold, & Silver
NOTE: The above specs are for the latest Apple MacBook Air with the Apple M1 Chip. I reviewed it here as my overall best laptop for working from home in 2022, along with the 14” MacBook Pro M1 Pro that I recommend to professionals!
That said, the previous models of the MacBook Air are great for writers, bloggers, and virtual assistants who work from home.
Best Place to Buy Refurbished Apple MacBook Air?
Apple sells refurbished MacBook Air on its main website. Please click here to check if you can find these Mac Air refurbished deals there! Usually, they don’t last for long because most people and resellers are always on the hunt!
But the best place to get great deals for the Apple MacBook Air models is BackMarket, click here. You can expect to get a 2019 Mac Air with 8GB RAM and 128GB SSD for as low as $550.
The great thing about BackMarket is the many MacBook Air models that are listed on the platform. And with so many great (real) reviews on each model, they sell at any time!
For example, there is this MacBook Air 13″ (2017) with 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD selling for just $320, and with so many great reviews! If I wanted a 13-inch Air for under $350, I would pick this one!
That said, you can consider checking the other resellers that I have listed above for MacBook refurbished deals. If you’re shopping for about $750, start with B&H Photo and if it’s within the $500, consider Amazon and Newegg!
What is the Main Drawback of Refurbished Apple MacBook Air?
Like the ThinkPad, any refurbished MacBook Air will come with average battery life. That’s true if you buy previous models, especially from 2019 and behind!
Yet, if you consider the latest models, mid and late 2020, you should expect to get a great battery life, but at a hefty price tag of above $750. So, you have to decide, do you want to pay more for the battery or less for a bargain?
Which Do I Recommend: A Brand New Mid Range Laptop vs a Refurbished Flagship Laptop?
I did this roundup article about the best laptops for working from home, where I recommend the Apple MacBook Air M1 as the best laptop for working from home.
It’s ultralightweight for portability with impressive battery life and a high-performance Apple M1 Chip to efficiently handle all your remote work productivity workflows.
As such, if you can afford the MacBook Air M1, I strongly advise getting it over any other laptop out there!
That said, I understand that you may not be having the $999 laying around for the base model of the MacBook Air M1. And that is totally okay!
Getting one of the best refurbished laptops deals in 2022 is a great way of starting your work from home before you can invest in a new MacBook down the line.
In fact, if you want a business laptop for professional work like intensive programming, editing long videos, IT jobs, and 3D rendering a refurbished ThinkPad laptop is a better idea if your budget is below $999.
That said, I’ve been a freelance writer for the last 10 years, working from home, in my college hostel, in the waiting lobby, and on the commute. Well anywhere and everywhere.
NOTE: I’ve always worked from my laptop. My current laptop is a Refurbished Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon Gen 2. I bought it from eBak.Co.Uk for about $350.
It took 17 days to get it shipped here (Nairobi, Kenya). I paid an extra $150 for shipping and taxes. And I’ve worked from this laptop for over two years now since mid-October, 2019.
It’s my third laptop since I started freelance writing in 2013. I have also helped friends, family members, and mutual friends buy their ideal laptops both at physical shops in Nairobi and from online stores like (Amazon, B&H Photo, and eBay).
Basically, I would call myself the laptop guy among any circle I get in! And that is why I believe I’m the right person to talk and write about laptops.
In fact, I have written thousands of words in dozens of articles about laptops, desktop PC, and computer components, including for top tech sites like Tech News Today and Make a Video Hub where I have my bylines.
Now that we are clear that I at least have some knowledge on laptops and computers for that matter, and working from home, on the question of a brand new mid-range laptop vs a refurbished laptop:
I advise you get a refurbished flagship laptop if you want the best in class performance and solid build quality. Refurbished laptops like the ThinkPad and MacBooks are better than budget-priced brand-new laptops.
For example, this refurbished Apple MacBook Air (2017) on BackMarket with a Core i5 processor will offer better performance than this brand new Lenovo 15.6″ IdeaPad 3 with a Core i3 processor.
Yet they both come with 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD and are priced within the $400 range. The Lenovo is also bulky with a 15.6-inch display, while the Air is lightweight and portable.