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Repaired, Refurbished and Remanufactured IT Hardware: What’s the Difference?

Computer repair equipment

Unfortunately, even the best IT hardware money can buy won’t last forever. 

So, what can you do when the inevitable happens and your equipment breaks down? Don’t stress, there’s more than one option to get you back up and running quickly. We’ll break down those options for you (and drop in a few Star Wars metaphors to help explain). 

Option 1: Repair Your Equipment

Repairing your broken equipment may seem like a no-brainer, but there are several factors to consider if you’re thinking of going that route.

  • What specifically is broken?  Is it merely a malfunctioning port or something more critical to the equipment’s effectiveness? When deciding whether to repair or replace, you need to consider the difficulty and expense of repairing a component.
  • What’s the average lifespan of the broken equipment?  Depending on the type of device, you can expect to replace equipment roughly every 3 years for things like computers and smartphones and anywhere from 5 to 10 years for network hardware. Knowing the typical lifespan of equipment will determine if it’s worth repairing or more cost-effective to replace.
  • What’s in your budget? In some cases, the most important factor to consider is what your company can afford. If the cost of replacing an item isn’t in the budget, repairing may be your only option. 

Let’s call this the “How far gone is that droid?” test. 

Remember that sad little red and white droid in the original Star Wars the Jawas sold to Luke Skywalker and Uncle Owen? That poor droid was beyond repair, though you couldn’t tell at first. In contrast, let’s consider C-3PO in The Empire Strikes Back. He gets blown apart, but is still worth hauling around on Chewbacca’s back and putting back together. 

Bottom line: Take the time to get to know your gear and figure out if a repair will keep you in business saving the galaxy—or whatever it is you do.

Option 2: Purchase Remanufactured Hardware

Remanufactured hardware has been rebuilt to the specifications of the original manufactured product, using a combination of new, reused, and/or repaired parts. This is a great, often overlooked, option. It gets your gear back to the same level of performance as new equipment, while providing a few extra perks along the way:

  • Buying remanufactured tech from a reputable vendor ensures the highest quality and reduces risk of future problems. This has to be done right, full stop. Remanufactured equipment has to meet or exceed current Original Equipment Manufacturing (OEM) specification, which is why it’s important to work with a vendor you can trust.
  • It’s more cost-effective than buying new. While likely more expensive than repairing, buying remanufactured is still more affordable than buying brand new.
  • It’s better for the environment. At Inteleca, we’re big advocates for more sustainable tech practices and battling e-waste. Buying remanufactured equipment instead of new is a great way to help reduce your company’s environmental impact.

We’re going to call this the “Green Lightsaber Scenario.” 

Anyone who’s watched Star Wars knows that lightsabers are a significant part of Star Wars lore. But if you’re a true fan, you know that building a lightsaber is a key rite of passage for a Jedi. There’s a deleted scene from Return of the Jedi where Luke Skywalker builds his new, green saber from spare parts he found. And let’s be real—if a Jedi hands you a lightsaber and says, “I remanufactured it,” you’re not going to turn it down. And you’re definitely not thinking about whether it’s going to work. When was the last time you saw one of those things fail in a Star Wars movie? 

Remanufactured IT gear is the same idea. Think of the people—like Inteleca—who do the rebuilding and repair work as tech Jedi who care deeply that you have the right tools for the right job and can achieve the same level of performance as with brand new products.

Option 3: Buy Refurbished Equipment

Similar to remanufactured hardware, refurbished equipment is also a cost-effective method of replacing broken items. Unlike remanufactured tech, refurbished items have been repaired but not entirely rebuilt. 

Using refurbished equipment offers the same sustainable, environmentally-friendly solution as the other options above. And with legitimate vendors, you can be confident in the quality of your tech. It will be tested and certified in exhaustive detail prior to the sale. 

However, refurbished equipment has a significant strategic advantage

  • Refurbished equipment is one of the fastest solutions available. – Refurbished equipment is ready to ship and install right away. There’s no downtime spent repairing or remanufacturing your own gear. It’s just a clean swap which saves money and time.  

And this option we hereby dub, “The Millennium Falcon Strategy.” 

The Millennium Falcon, one of the fastest starships in Star Wars, is famous for being more than meets the eye. It was built to last and just won’t give up. It survives a whole slew of battles across multiple Star Wars movies, carrying various Rebel Alliance and New Republic heroes to victory. All it needs is a new lightspeed something-or-other or an updated radar dish from time to time, and it’s ready to spring into action right away! 

Similar to the Millennium Falcon, top-quality IT gear is built to last and fight hard for your cause. The refurbishing process simply makes sure it’s ready to win the day in the next great story. Refurbishing is an incredible solution for sourcing hard-to-find gear, beating supply chain issues, and filling in unique gaps in a project. 

Just like a good Star Wars movie isn’t complete without the Falcon, a reliable partner, like Inteleca, for refurbished tech is essential to long-term IT success.

You Don’t Have to Use the Force to Consider Your Options.

At Inteleca, we not only certify the quality of our refurbished products, they’re also backed by a lifetime warranty for end users. Inteleca is an industry leader in all aspects of the secondary IT hardware market, including Inteleca-certified, pre-owned networking hardware. 

And for those moments where new gear is the right answer, we also carry the best in brand new IT equipment

Contact us here, and one of our engineers will reach out to schedule a call to discuss your options and help you find the right path forward. 

After all, as the little green guy with the pointy ears said, “Do or do not. There is no try.” At Inteleca we won’t just try—one way or another, we’ll make sure you reach your goals.