back to article Lenovo to offer certified refurbished PCs and servers

Lenovo's chief operating officer has told The Reg it is formalizing a scheme to sell certified refurbished hardware as more customers seek ways to cut their carbon footprint and save money. Just 7.2 percent of the world economy is "circular," according to Deloitte, and the tech industry can play a better role in making …

  1. 43300 Silver badge

    Dell already does this in a couple of ways - their 'Dell outlet' (scratched / returns / end of line - a subsection of the main website) is often quite good value. Their 'Dell refurbished' which is the second-hand stuff and has a separate site really isn't - prices are pretty high for what they are, and anyone in the market for a lot of these models would be better off using one of the many reputable refurbishers of ex-corporate equipment (quite a few of which sell on ebay) as the prices tend to be considerably lower.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      My wife and I both bough laptops (Lenovo & Dell) from one of those refurbishers, and are very happy with them. They even offer a build-to-order service, choose your keyboard/memory/storage etc. and they'll assemble it for you.

      1. Lon24

        Us too - Thinkpad fans. We use a trusted UK refurbisher who get their stocks from business end of lease or similar. If Lenovo are entering the market with higher overheads they may squeeze supply to traditional refurbishers and then resell at higher prices.

        i don't think it good news for thrifty UK buyers.

    2. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Exactly my philosophy for years:

      1) Somewhere, someone has to have a new shiny shiny

      2) Two-year old shinys get evicted

      3) See ebay

      4) I get a new shiny, usually ridiculously overspecced for the original owner

    3. Snake Silver badge

      I've been buying exclusively refurbs / ex-corporate from eBay for laptops for myself, friends, family and customers, for decades. No reason to pay full price on a business-level laptop, a Dell Lattitude or Precision, or a (real) Lenovo ThinkPad, as they are years-reliable with repair parts easily available. Heck, I've bought ex-corporate off eBay that still had a valid extended warranty!

      Great deals abound, I rarely allow anyone to go pay full price for a consumer-level product from a big box store.

    4. Smirnov

      Re: Dell already does this in a couple of ways

      HP has done this for more than two decades under the label "HP RENEW" for pretty much all it's business/enterprise gear, and HPE has continued the tradition. All HP RENEW kit is refurbished to almost like new (aside from occasional minor scratches) and comes with the same warranty as a brand new product.

      The only thing not renewed are keyboard/mice for hygienic reasons.

      We got a ton of great deals out of HP RENEW.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Dell already does this in a couple of ways

        I worked in a HP resell/service shop for a long time and recall those refurbished business class laptops being more problematic than brand new ones, requiring way more motherboard replacements. This was about 10 years ago in the Elitebook G1/G2 era and selling refurbished stuff really did no favours to HP. Perhaps it's better quality now.

        There's a certain balance between reliability and price.

        1. 43300 Silver badge

          Re: Dell already does this in a couple of ways

          What did they do to them? Assuming laptops about three years old, they should be at the bottom of the bathtub curve for at least another two to three years.

    5. PRR Silver badge

      > Dell ....Their 'Dell refurbished' which is the second-hand stuff and has a separate site really isn't - prices are pretty high

      Sample of one: I got Dad an older small-form Dell from the company used-goods site, and was pleased with it. I maybe could have got $50 cheaper from a 3rd-party, but I have had hassles that way too.

      DO read the description carefully and know your market. In that class 99% of machines had SSDs, but the specific machine I clicked was a rotating drive, and not even a good one. Having spoiled myself with a SSD, the HDD machine felt pokey. But Dad had never had an SSD.

      1. Scoured Frisbee

        Dellrefurbished runs a lot of coupons in the 40-50% range especially around US holidays - not sure about internationally - and their clearance (sans OS, mostly) goes about half off once the inventory has sat too long. Even with these discounts prices can be a mixed bag so you've got to know the market you're shopping, but I've bought a number of laptops and workstations for 60-80% of current refurbisher prices.

        A big advantage is that you get actual Dell enterprise support, so I was able to get brand new hinges and a fingerprint scanner (as parts) sent with two emails, no fuss, relatively easy to crack the system and install. Mostly I haven't had trouble, though.

        I do usually replace drives and RAM for performance reasons, but then I'd do that anyway.

        Anyway glad to see Lenovo getting into the game, hopefully they are able to tap new supplies rather than just squeezing existing suppliers.

        1. 43300 Silver badge

          Sounds like they are better in the US, then.

          I'm in the UK, and whenever I've looked at the Dell Refurbished site I've always found the pricing very steep given the age of the machines.

  2. abend0c4 Silver badge

    I'd imagine they have an inventory of spare parts, some of which may already have been written off. Sounds like a way to make use of them.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My problem with schemes like this ...

    is at the end of the journey, the saving isn't really that much.

  4. simonlb Silver badge

    Excuse me if I'm a bit suspicious

    "Lenovo said it won't compromise on security safeguards or PC performance"

    Anyone fancy a bit of Superfish?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Excuse me if I'm a bit suspicious

      Indeed a bit rich coming from the Chinese PC vendor with a track history of malicious attacks on their users' security.

      In addition, Lenovo is also the vendor who doesn't offer BIOS upgrades for new CPU generations like Dell and HP/HPE do, forcing customers to buy a new system instead even if technically an upgrade was possible.

      1. matjaggard

        Re: Excuse me if I'm a bit suspicious

        But if you trust them for a new computer where they can embed whatever they want in the bios or whatever (and many do), why wouldn't you trust them for the refurbished option?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Toshiba used to do this

    However they do not honour the warranty.

  6. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    Great idea until some os vendor locks down their system to only run on newer hardware ...

  7. Phiphi in SoCal

    Fresh new SPYOS...err... BIOS, as well.

    Best way to track anything is it insert yourself between them and the world.

    Throwing a sniffer on it won't help, as it could be remotely activated, and by then, it'll be too late.

    1. matjaggard

      Re: Fresh new SPYOS...err... BIOS, as well.

      Why? Because they forgot to make the BIOS spyey enough first time they sold it??

  8. YetAnotherXyzzy

    Lenovo's talking head: blah blah circular economy sustainability carbon footprint.

    Reg commentards: Sharing practical ideas on saving money on hardware. Have an upvote, everyone.

  9. Del Varner

    Of course there wont be backdoors into your system

    LENOVO is a Chinese company (most of you probably know that), and so are in thrall to the Chinese Communist Party. I wouldn't trust a refurb from them.

  10. hoofie2002

    Dell ahead of the pack

    Dell are already ahead of the pack. The sell brand-new laptops with shite battery life to give you that "refurbished" feeling.

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