If you want a Surface Pro, is a certified refurbished option the way to go?
But refurbished isn't new, by definition. It's a used product made good again. So what do you actually get, and is it worth the investment?
Based on current Microsoft Store pricing, here's what you're looking at for a certified refurbished Surface Pro 3 and Surface Pro 4
Surface Pro 3
Surface Pro 4
The Surface Pro 3 is a last-gen product so there's no current pricing to compare to, but $499 for the 128GB Core i5 model is the best value you can currently get.
The Surface Pro 4 has recently had some price cuts and starts right now at $699 for the 128GB Core m3 model, so refurbed versions offer less savings. You have to go up to the Core i7 256GB with 8GB of RAM to see a savings of $220, which might make a bit more sense. At the lower end, you save less than $100, and frankly, you'd be better off stumping for the brand new ones.
What does certified refurbished mean?
Each refurbished product is a pre-owned device that Microsoft puts through a rigorous course of love and care, with new parts and repairs when necessary.
As part of the refurb process, each Microsoft-Certified Refurbished Product:
- is screened and tested to be fully functional.
- is reloaded with the Windows OS and software updates.
- is put through a thorough cleaning process and cosmetic inspection.
- is repackaged with appropriate manuals, cables and power cord in a new box.
When you receive your product it should be indistinguishable from a brand new one. You also get a 12-month limited warranty from Microsoft with all refurbished products should anything go wrong.
Should you buy one?
There's no reason not to buy a refurbed device from Microsoft, because you're getting a professionally-refurbished Surface Pro at a discount price directly from the source. If you want an older, cheaper Surface Pro 3 this is probably a better idea than buying a used model from a third-party.
However, if you're looking at the Surface Pro 4 it only really makes sense at the higher-end, so you get substantial savings. Sure, savings are savings, but at the lower end you won't save enough with recent price drops to justify taking the plunge.