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Refurbished Gaming Laptops: Tips and Top Choices

Updated on March 26, 2015

High-performance gaming doesn’t come cheap, especially when a portable machine is your weapon of choice. To cope with heftier hardware prices, a segment of gamers are opting for refurbished laptops. It’s a great way to get more performance at a lower price, since a refurbished gaming laptop is in theory, as good as new.

Dell is an extremely popular choice because they have a mini-store dedicated to refurbished laptops called the Dell Outlet. Since Dell products sell very well, there are bound to be an ample amount of returns to keep the inventory well-stocked with options.

Dell Outlet Store

Dell offers four main benefits to gamers looking for a refurbished laptop. The first is a better value, followed by free shipping, the same warranty as support offered on new items and finally, an eco-friendly philosophy that reuses or recycles 90 percent of all parts.

Dell’s refurbished laptops are divided into three categories:

Certified Refurbished – These are returns that are tested, and possibly repaired to meet Dell specifications. There may be some minor cosmetic blemishes.

Previously Ordered New – This is similar to an “open box special”. The original buyer may not have even opened the box when it was shipped. The point is it has very minimal signs of use, and looks “like new”.

Scratch and Dent – Obviously these laptops show obvious signs of wear, yet function perfectly. If you aren’t overly concerned with appearance, this option can potentially save you a bundle.

Alienware Area 51 laptop
Alienware Area 51 laptop

Refurbished Alienware Laptops

Alienware laptops are specifically designed for gamers, making this line the best choice for refurbished machines. The premium features are matched by premium price tag, with awesome styling that rewards you for splurging a little every time you use it. In addition, since these are no-compromise machines they tend to not be particularly light.

Dell Studio XPS

Dell’s XPS line is fantastic for the die-hard gamer that also plans to use the laptop for business or school. As sleek as an Alienware laptop computer is, the glow in the dark, race-car styled details look pretty out of place in a business meeting.

More Brands on or eBay

Since some laptop manufacturers don’t make their refurb products easy to track down on their online store or at big box stores like Best Buy, or eBay can be an excellent alternative. Here you can find laptops made by Toshiba, Asus, Acer, HP and others.

Alienware has an official refurbished store on eBay featuring deals and configurations you may not be able to find elsewhere.


With a little patience and research, an affordable gaming laptop is well within reach. Be sure to not hit the bottom of the line laptops to ensure you have a processor and video card capable of handling the latest FPS and MMORPG titles.


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