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This is Part 2 in TechSoup GreenTech's series on buying green IT equipment. See Part 1 here.
We've spoken a good deal on refurbished computers over the years at TechSoup. Here's my general take on the topic:
I think it is quite important to get used equipment that's durable. The highest Consumer Reports-rated laptop manufacturer for brand reliability is Toshiba, and 16% of their new computers require repairs or have serious problems. Dell and Lenovo, by the way, rate lowest at 21% of their new computers requiring repairs or having serious problems.
On a little side note, curiously, the Consumer Reports brand reliability ratings for desktop manufacturers are entirely different, with Apple being the top and Gateway being the worst.
In any case, the best set of articles I know of on all this is by my colleague Chris Peters. Check out his Tips for Buying Refurbished Computers on TechSoup.org, and Buying Refurbished Computers and Leasing Computers and Other Equipment on TechSoup for Libraries.
In his pieces, Chris talks about several different places to get good refurbished PCs. They include:
Finally, here's an update on the Microsoft Refurbished PCs Programs that have listings of hundreds of authorized and registered refurbishers. The Microsoft Community Authorized Refurbisher Program is now called the Microsoft Registered Refurbisher Program. That program has a directory of PC refurbishers of all types, all over the world.
Stay tuned for next week's GreenTech update, when we'll be talking about green mobile phones.
Photo: Francis Mariani, CC license