I purchased a refurbished Dell Latitude 7450 laptop a month ago, after doing extensive research. I wanted a budget machine to travel with that I could use to program, watch and stream media, and write with. I came to the conclusion that I wanted a laptop with a solid battery, a solid keyboard, and a good 1080p screen. After extensive research, examining consumer laptops and corporate/business laptops. The research led me to compile my thoughts into this post. I was shocked by the value of refurbished laptops, especially corporate machines. I was so pleased with my purchase that I decided to share my thoughts and recommendations about refurbished latitudes in particular in this refurbished Dell Latitude review. So, take a look at my thoughts and experiences ordering a refurbished Dell Latitude off of Amazon, and, if you’re in a similar buying situation to me, consider picking one up for yourself!
My Use Case and Buying Methodology
When researching what type of laptop I wanted, I knew I needed a laptop for travel, as I was flying overseas for two weeks in about a month. So, I focused on portability. I didn’t want a large screen; I figured 14 inches would by my ideal size. I wanted a screen that was high definition and capable of streaming media while I was away. I also prioritized the ability of the screen to facilitate writing and coding, which I would do abroad. So, I prioritized a 1080p screen, which is advisable in most situations.
My budget was $300-500 USD. After a bit of research, I found that my money could go much farther if I bought refurbished. I read into what exactly refurbished meant, and often came up with this:
Standard Certified Refurbished definition: A product that is tested and certified to look and work like new. The refurbishing process includes functionality testing, basic cleaning, inspection, and repackaging. The product ships with all relevant accessories, a minimum 90-day warranty, and may arrive in a generic box.
This description, or something similar, is found on all of the certified refurbished products that I came across. I decided to shop on Amazon because I was familiar with the purchasing process and had a Prime account, along with the fact that with Amazon I had reassurance that in the event that something was wrong with my refurbished laptop, I could contact a reputable customer support for help.
With this reassurance, I moved on to research specific refurbished computer models. I quickly discovered that there are two classes of laptops when it comes to refurbs:
Refurbished consumer machines:
These laptops are marketed and sold to consumers through retailers like Amazon as new machines. They are designed with a residential user in mind. Thus, they focus on flashiness and “bells and whistles”. Their main goal is to attract buyers. They include features not necessarily because they create a well-rounded overall product, but because they will attract a consumer who may not know exactly what to look for. Here is an example of a consumer machine sold new. There is nothing wrong with these machines, they are perfectly fine, but they are consumer machines. Their build quality may not be as high as a business class machine. Additionally, consumer machines are sold refurbished when residential users return them. This could be for a defect, some sort of damage, or simply because the buyer regretted their decision and decided to return the machine. The reseller then repairs the machine, ensures it is functional, and sells it refurbished.
Refurbished corporate/business machines:
These laptops are not marketed to consumers. They are marketed to businesses and schools and sold in batches. Specifically, they are often not sold, but leased. This means that they are guaranteed for a certain period, used by a company for that period, and returned back to the seller after the period ends. Often, the seller then resells the corporate machines after giving them a tune-up, wiping them, and ensuring that they are functional. When these machines are sold off-lease, they are sold as refurbished! So, often, there is literally nothing wrong with these machines in the first place. Their lease is just up, and they’re being resold. In addition, corporate machines are designed with use in mind. They’re designed for developers and writers, designed to facilitate remote correspondence and for travel. They’re also built more solidly than consumer machines. For example, the legendary Lenovo Thinkpad, which many young adults will remember in school, wheeled into classrooms on racks (or at least I do). These Thinkpads were tanks! The only downside to corporate machines is that they are fairly standardized, and many do not come with discrete graphics cards.
Thus, I concluded that the best value for my money would come from a refurbished corporate machine. I searched Amazon, and eventually ordered this model. I’ve had it for nearly two months, and I used it extensively on planes, in airports, and during my travel. I also, of course, used and tested it at home, as I outline in this guide. I am fully satisfied with my purchase. My latitude has fantastic battery life, a very strong wifi antenna, and an incredible screen. It is easy to type on, and feels incredibly solid. I truly feel like I got a great deal. Of course, the machine has a few blemishes because it was previously used in business:
Refurbished laptops are always going to have some small blemishes. My Latitude only has one minor blemish, on the right mouse button. I honestly look at this blemish with pride, as I know someone got good use out of this laptop, and now I can get good use out of it as well. Of course, nothing is functionally wrong with the computer as a result of this blemish; it is purely cosmetic.
Corporate Refurbs are Solid!
When my Dell Latitude arrived, it came in a plain box, just like the Certified Refurbished definition stated. It came with warranty information, and stated that it was an off-lease corporate refurb, just like I wanted! I was very happy to see the standard-issue refurb sticker on the back of the computer. The battery is fully detachable and modular, as you can see in this photo, which is very convenient. Of course, immediately after unboxing, I followed these steps to set up and test the computer.
My Latitude is not flashy. It is simple, feels solid and sturdy, and does not catch people’s eye when I use it in public. It is exactly what I wanted. My money went to build quality and hardware under the hood. I rest assured that I made the best choice possible and purchased a solid laptop that I will be able to use vigorously for years to come.
Due to the nature of the refurbished machines, the exact model that I ordered may not always be in stock. Therefore, for your convenience, here are a few models very similar to the one I purchased that are all fantastic (Note that as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.):
These are just a few examples, of course. I’d recommend also searching for yourself and seeing what you come up with. You can check out my guide to what to look for in laptops (particularly refurbished) to aid you in your search.
I In my research on this machine, I discovered a ton about laptop purchasing in general. Even with technical knowledge about how computers work, I still had to learn how to navigate the climate of laptops available for sale today. I can genuinely conclude that for general and work use, for a low to medium budget, refurbished corporate laptops are the way to go. I genuinely recommend my Latitude, and I would make this recommendation to friends and family in the market as well. For students, travelers, developers, and all others who want a solid, moderately powerful, reliable machine at at good price, check out refurbished corporate machines and consider getting a refurbished Latitude.
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I hope you enjoyed this refurbished Dell Latitude review. If you’d like, check out some of the products below from Amazon. Please note that as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.