Should you buy a refurbished Surface Pro?

Microsoft will sell you a refurbished Surface Pro 3 or Surface Pro 4 in various configurations, and as you'd expect the starting prices are lower than if you went and bought a brand new one.

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?

The cost

Surface Pro 3

Surface-Pro-3-windows-10 (Image credit: Dan Rubino / Windows Central)

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

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Core i364GB4GB$429
Core i5128GB4GB$499
Core i7512GB8GB$989

Surface Pro 4

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Core m3128GB4GB$639
Core i5128GB4GB$729
Core i5256GB8GB$979
Core i7256GB8GB$1,279
Core i7256GB16GB$1,449
Core i7512GB16GB$1,789

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?

Surface Pro 4

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?

Surface Pro 3

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.

See at Microsoft

Richard Devine
Managing Editor - Tech, Reviews

Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at