Finding the Best Cheap Refurbished Desktops

Last Edited: October 14, 2017 by

The best cheap refurbished PCs

Welcome to our monthly updated guide to the best refurbished desktop computers on the web based on consumer feedback, expert reviews and hardware power.

With the cost of living skyrocketing to astronomical levels a new computer might seem more out of reach than most of us would like to admit. Luckily Amazon has a whole range of refurbished computers that will serve you just as well as a new one while still including a factory warranty to give you peace of mind. What is a refurbished computer? New computers that are still under warranty often need to be swapped out by the manufacturers due to either out of box failure or repairs taking longer than expected. The client will simply be given a new computer from the manufacturer but the faulty unit will still need to be sold. The manufacturers then completely overhaul the machine replacing faulty hardware when necessary to make sure it is in perfect working order, add a new warranty then sell them as refurbished or pre-owned. If you really need a new computer but buying new is simply out of your budget then a refurbished computer might be the perfect match for you and just what you need.

line-break

Refurbished Desktop Buying Guides

For more information on refurbished computers check out PC Mag’s article on why you should buy Refurbished computers.

HP Compaq Elite 8300 Certified RefurbishedHP Compaq Elite 8300 Certified Refurbished

New computers for your business can easily cost you over $500 and if you are on a tighter budget then this might be a large chunk of change that you might not be able to invest. Luckily there is a great selection of refurbished units on the market that will cost a fraction of a new PC. The HP Compaq Elite 8300 joins our refurbished guide alongside of the Elite 8100 and the Elite 8200. And while these models are fairly similar, the HP Compaq Elite 8300 offers a more powerful Intel i5-3470 processor, which outperforms both of its predecessors. Though the Elite 8300 does feature a smaller storage drive when compared to the 8100 and the 8200, the 500GB of storage space still offers a good amount of storage for your business or for your everyday tasks at home. If the 500GB of storage are not enough for your needs, then you can add more drives or even replace the hard drive for a larger one, though this would only be necessary if you intend on using this small form factor PC as a server at work or at home. You also get 8GB of memory (RAM), which will easily allow you to run more intensive applications while not leaving the HP Compaq Elite 8300 feeling sluggish when you need it most. One of the biggest criticisms has been that some of the units might be damaged and while minor scratches are common among refurbished units, heavier damage might be due to improper shipping and handling.

  • Display not included, pixels
  • Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
  • 17.1 lbs

Pros

  • Powerful i5 processor
  • Windows 10 Pro
  • Great price
  • Small size

Cons

  • No HDMI port
  • Older hardware
  • Not for gaming
  • Might show signs of wear

Summary

The HP Compaq Elite 8300 is a great refurbished PC that can be used for home or business purposes. However some users have mentioned damaged cases.

HP Compaq Elite 8300 Certified Refurbished
$187.96
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 21-10-2017 22:16 UTC) Details

Acer Aspire XC AXC-704G-UW61Acer Aspire XC AXC-704G-UW61

If you have a very tight budget and you are after a general purpose PC for home or office use, then you might want to consider a good refurbished unit. The Acer Aspire XC AXC-704G-UW61 has been refurbished by Acer for a new lease on life. While it is in no way a gaming PC, it will allow you to run basic tasks such as sending emails, browsing the web and typing up word based documents. The Intel Celeron N3050 processor won’t win any awards and will struggle with photo editing software due to the slower single core performance of this processor. However, if all you intend on running is Microsoft Office and a good web browser then this processor will be more than adequate. The 4GB of RAM will cope with most basic applications, however Google Chrome will feel sluggish with multiple tabs open and is famous for hogging PC memory. You can upgrade the RAM to a maximum of 16GB, however we recommend 8GB due to the limitations of the processor itself. The Acer Aspire XC AXC-704G-UW61 uses SO-DIMM RAM which is used by laptops, but make sure that you check the voltage as higher voltage RAM might not work with this Acer PC. The biggest limiting factor of the Acer Aspire XC AXC-704G-UW61 is the number of ports that it offers. You only get four USB ports to connect your keyboard and mouse and we recommend a good wireless combo set to reduce the usage to a single port. You also only get two HDMI ports on this model, this will mean using a monitor with an HDMI input or an HDTV. Alternatively you can purchase an HDMI to VGA adapter which will allow you to use standard monitors with VGA inputs. It also lacks a WiFi card or dongle, however these are fairly cheap and easy to install and use.

  • Display not included, pixels
  • Windows 10 Home 64-Bit
  • 11.24 lbs

Pros

  • Price
  • Small size
  • Good amount of storage
  • Two HDMI ports
  • Free RAM slot

Cons

  • No WiFi card or dongle
  • Limited USB ports
  • Below average CPU
  • Only HDMI ports

Summary

The Acer Aspire XC AXC-704G-UW61 is an ultra-affordable refurbished PC for basic home and office tasks. However this PC offers limited USB ports and only HDMI ports to connect your monitors.

Acer Aspire XC AXC-704G-UW61
See Price at Retailer
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 24-09-2017 08:57 UTC) Details

Lenovo ThinkCentre M58Lenovo ThinkCentre M58

When Lenovo purchased IBM’s consumer and business computer divisions, they continued with a legacy that IBM has held since the earliest days of personal computing. The Lenovo ThinkCentre M58 has been refurbished to give it a new lease on life and as a Certified Refurbished product it comes with a 90-day warranty. The small form factor case allows you to easily store the Lenovo ThinkCentre M58 on your desk if space is an issue. The Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 processor and 8GB of RAM will easily cope will all of your basic day-to-day tasks and will even be able to handle its fair share of multitasking. With 2TB of storage space, you will have ample space to store all of your work or college documents, family holiday snaps or for larger music collections. While it does come with a gigabit Ethernet port for fast transfer speeds and to connect the Lenovo ThinkCentre M58 to the Internet. But it does not come with a wireless card or a wireless adaptor. If you need to connect to a wireless network, you will need to purchase a card or an adapter separately. You get a total of 8 USB ports, which will allow you to connect all the peripherals that you might need. But all of these ports are USB 2.0 ports which offer far slower transfer speeds than the newer USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 ports.

  • Display not included, pixels
  • Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
  • 16.53 lbs

Pros

  • Small form factor
  • Ample storage space
  • Good selection of ports
  • Windows 10 Professional
  • Price

Cons

  • Older processor
  • No USB 3.0 ports
  • No wireless card or adapter

Summary

The Lenovo ThinkCentre M58 is a business desktop that has been refurbished to give it a new lease of life. But you will have to purchase a wireless adapter if you want to connect to a wireless network.

Lenovo ThinkCentre M58
$149.60
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 22-10-2017 04:41 UTC) Details

HP Compaq Elite 8100 RefurbishedHP Compaq Elite 8100 Refurbished

While some users might easily spend over $1000 on a new desktop PC, others will see this as overkill as a high-end PC is not necessary for their basic needs. The same can be said about purchasing a new PC over a good refurbished unit like the HP Compaq Elite 8100. This small form factor PC has been refurbished to give it a new lease of life in your home or in your office. While you might not be getting the latest or the greatest hardware on the market, the HP Compaq Elite 8100 will still allow you to run most commercial software on the market today. As a bonus, the HP Compaq Elite 8100 even ships with a copy of Windows 10 Professional preinstalled. This gives you more control and access to additional features that are locked in the Home version. The Intel Core i5-650 might not be the newest processor on the market, it will still offer great performance when you need it, and the CPU is backed up by 8GB of DDR3 RAM and a 1TB 7200rpm storage drive. You will be able to upgrade the RAM to a total of 16GB and add a faster SSD, though this is not necessary as those upgrades will likely cost almost as much as the whole unit itself. The HP Compaq Elite 8100 has been refurbished by a Certified Refurbished Amazon partner and comes with a 90-day warranty for safe measure.

  • Intel [View Benchmarks]
  • Intel Shared
  • 8GB SDRAM DDR3 RAM
  • 1000GB 7200 RPM HDD
  • NA, NA pixels
  • Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
  • 16 lbs

Pros

  • Attractive price
  • Windows 10 Pro
  • Compact size
  • Intel i5 CPU
  • Ample storage

Cons

  • No USB 3.0 ports
  • No HDMI
  • Older hardware
  • Not for gaming

Summary

The HP Compaq Elite 8100 is a small form factor PC that has been refurbished to offer you a low cost option for your home or office. Though, its ability to play games is limited by its older and underpowered integrated graphics.

HP Compaq Elite 8100 Refurbished
$180.99
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 21-10-2017 22:39 UTC) Details

Dell Optiplex 780 SFFDell Optiplex 780 SFF

Dell have been creating great home and business PCs for a number of years now, so it comes as no surprise that one of their models has been given a new lease of life as a refurbished unit. While it might be a slightly older model, the Intel Core 2 Duo Processor E8500 will still cope with all of your day-to-day tasks. However, this processor might struggle with more intensive applications. Backing up the processor, the Dell Optiplex 780 SFF sports 8GB of DDR3 RAM, which will even allow you to use RAM hungry applications such as Google Chrome. To store all of your documents and multimedia files, the Dell Optiplex 780 SFF features a large 2TB hard drive. This will allow you to store an estimated 1,048,576 pictures and around 400,000 if you are using a DSLR camera. The one drawback of this older model is that it does not feature a wireless card or built-in wireless on the motherboard. However, this is not a train smash as you can cheaply and easily plug in a Wireless USB dongle. If you want to save your external USB ports for other devices, the Dell Optiplex 780 SFF does feature a single internal USB 2.0 port that can be used. You also only get a DVD-ROM drive, however most of us use USB storage drives as burning DVDs is slowly becoming a thing of the past. Being a trusted Certified Refurbished unit, you will get a 90 day limited warranty on this desktop PC, which should add some piece of mind when purchasing this PC.

  • Display not included, pixels
  • Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
  • 15 lbs

Pros

  • Price
  • Windows Professional
  • Internal USB port
  • Ample storage space
  • 8GB of RAM

Cons

  • No WiFi
  • Older hardware
  • Not for gaming
  • No DVD burner

Summary

The Dell Optiplex 780 SFF has been refurbished for a new lease of life as an affordable desktop PC for your home or small business. However you will need to purchase a WiFi dongle to connect this PC to your wireless network.

Dell Optiplex 780 SFF
$154.00
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 22-10-2017 05:00 UTC) Details

Apple Mac Mini MD387LL/A Desktop

Apple Mac Mini MD387LL/A Desktop

With its small size, sleek polished aluminium design and low level of noise the Mac Mini would make an amazing HTPC. With its impressive Intel i5 2.5GHz processor, 4GB of DDR3 RAM and 500GB hard drive it will make office work, home computing or home theatre tasks a pleasure. Even casual gaming will be fun and immersive especially when the Mac Mini is connected to a large HD Television. We recommend pairing the Mac Mini with Apple’s wireless Bluetooth keyboard and mouse for the best experience as they boast great battery life,ergonomics and design while remaining very lightweight. As with all Apple products, the Mac Mini leans towards the higher side of the price spectrum but does offer exceptional value for your money and performs incredibly while looking great on our desk or television stand.

  • OSX Mountain Lion (Upgradable to OSX Mavericks)
  • 4.8 lbs

Pros

  • Small form factor
  • Premium metallic design
  • Great performance
  • Thunderbolt connectivity

Cons

  • Mediocre onboard graphics
  • No optical drive

Summary

An affordable entry level Mac that performs well but not suitable for gaming.

Apple Mac Mini MD387LL/A
See Price at Retailer
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 02-09-2017 12:08 UTC) Details

HP Pavilion 550-a114HP Pavilion 550-a114

If you are after a budget friendly desktop computer for basic tasks at home or at work, then the HP Pavilion 550-a114 might be worth looking at. The chassis is slightly oversized for the hardware that it contains and HP could have offered a smaller case to reduce the space that it requires. Powered by an AMD A8-6410 Quad-Core processor and 8GB of RAM, the HP Pavilion 550-a114 will easily handle basic tasks such as Skype, web browsing and word processing. The RAM can be upgraded to a maximum of 16GB, but the processor cannot be upgraded. The 1TB 7200rpm mechanical hard drive offers ample storage space for your multimedia and work needs. The faster drive speed offers noticeable improvements when booting and launching apps, but you can add a SSD for lightning fast speeds. The AMD Radeon R5 graphics chip will allow for some light and casual gaming, but is underpowered for current top selling games. Like the processor, the graphics cannot be upgraded as it lacks a PCIe 16x slot. The DVI and VGA port will allow you to connect two monitors, but the lack of an HDMI port will mean that some modern TV’s will require an adaptor. Over all the HP Pavilion 550-a114 offers decent laptop performance from a desktop computer.

  • Display not included, pixels
  • Windows 10 Home 64-Bit
  • 15.77 lbs

Pros

  • Quad-Core processor
  • Price
  • B&O Play audio
  • 7200rpm hard drive
  • WiFi and Bluetooth

Cons

  • None upgradable CPU
  • No PCIe 16x slot
  • 65 Watt power brick
  • No HDMI
  • Vertical optical drive

Summary

The HP Pavilion 550-a114 offers decent performance for home and office use, but the lack of upgradability means it is limited to basic tasks and casual gaming.

HP Pavilion 550-a114
See Price at Retailer
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 24-09-2017 07:32 UTC) Details

HP Elite 8200

“HP Elite 8200
HP are a big name in business computing and have several small form factor business machines. The Elite 8200 is a small form factor desktop computer that harnesses the power of the Inter Quad-Core i5-2400 3.1GHz CPU making multitasking and business intensive applications run smoothly supported by 8GB of DDR3 1600MHz RAM. The small chassis takes up minimal real estate on your desk however is very basic only having USB 2.0 ports however as a business machine USB ports aren’t often used so not a necessity. The HP Elite has a VGA port as well as a Display port for connecting up to 2 displays simultaneously. Due to the Intel integrated graphics processor gaming or graphical intensive tasks are not an option and due to the small chassis and space constraints users will have a difficult time finding a suitable gaming graphics card. At this price the HP Elite 8200 is a great machine for a student or office worker delivering great performance in all but gaming.

  • Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
  • 20.5 lbs

Pros

  • Fast Intel Core i5 processor
  • Generous storage
  • Ample RAM
  • Low price
  • 1 year warranty

Cons

  • Limited upgradability
  • No USB 3.0

Summary

A small form factor machine with decent specs and a good price although not a good match for gaming.

HP Elite 8200 refurbished
See Price at Retailer
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 10-09-2017 06:57 UTC) Details

HP Slimline Desktop

The HP Slimline is compact desktop with a slim form factor of 12.69″ x 4.38″ x 15.49″ dimensions. The system comes with all the necessary hardware for everyday use, and users will only need to get a monitor because the keyboard and mouse are include in the package. With its charcoal black chassis with a dark glossy front panel furnishing a DVD drive and quick access USB 3.0 ports, the Slimline has the look of a typical office desktop. There are no glowing LEDs or curved edges, but the thin dimension makes it look modern and a lot portable than most desktops. Like most desktops, the majority of ports such as additional USB 2.0 ports, VGA, DVI and RJ45 are stacked at the rear. However, there is no HDMI port so you cannot attach your HDTV to this machine. Under the hood, there is a 1 GHz AMD A-5000 processor, which is the same processor used in many ultraportable laptops. This CPU is built for basic computing and it serves that purpose well by delivering stable performance in tasks like web browsing, video playback and document editing. The system has 4 GB of RAM, which should be enough for the average user, although installing additional memory will result in noticeable boost in performance. The AMD APU also includes an integrated AMD Radeon HD 8330 graphics chip which is equivalent to an Intel HD Graphics 4000. This GPU is too slow for any demanding game but some older games should run fluently. All in all, if you need a great basic system for daily work, the HP Slimline won’t disappoint as long you reserve it for non-gaming purposes or other high-end stuff.

  • Windows 8 professional 64-bit
  • 17.9 lbs

Pros

  • Good performance
  • Slim form factor
  • Ample storage

Cons

  • No HDMI
  • poor integrated graphics

Summary

A good value for your money machine that is better suited to basic computer tasks.

HP Pavilion Slimline 400
$199.00
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 22-10-2017 01:28 UTC) Details

About the author