More portable than a laptop but with a bigger screen than a smartphone (even foldables), a tablet is a worthwhile purchase for many people.
But unless it’s your main productivity device, you might be reluctant to spend a lot of money. The very best tablets are excellent devices, but they can be expensive.
The most obvious solution is to get a budget tablet, and there several slates that are worth considering. But what if you could get a premium tablet for a fraction of its usual price?
It sounds too good to be true, but it’s very possible if you buy refurbished. Here’s everything you need to know about refurbished tablets, including how to get a great deal.
Best refurbished tablet deals in the UK
Apple iPad Pro 11 (2020) – Fair condition
From: Back Market
Now: £480 (£389 off)
The 11-inch iPad Pro is an excellent tablet that holds up very well. This refurbished model is much cheaper and in ‘Fair’ condition, meaning there is some cosmetic damage but everything is fully functional.
Apple iPad 10.2 (2021) – Excellent condition
From: Back Market
Now: £270.70 (£98.30 off)
The 2021 model of the regular iPad is still the best budget Apple tablet. Rather than buying new, it makes much more sense over 26% off this refurbished model in excellent condition.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 – Fair condition
From: Back Market
Now: £389.99 (£609.01)
The regular Galaxy Tab S8’s main problem at launch was its high price tag, but you can now get over 60% this refurbished 128GB model in ‘Fair’ condition.
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 – Good condition
Now: £329.99 (£570 off)
The Surface Pro 7 is still a great tablet, and it’s easy to update it to Windows 11. While you’ll have to put up with heavy scratching on this refurbished model, it’s still fully functional and 63% off.
Apple iPad 10.2 (2019) – Excellent condition
Now: £174 (£175 off)
The 2019 iPad is still a great choice, especially if you just want a device for entertainment or video calls. And this refurbished version in excellent condition is less than half its price at launch.
Apple iPad Pro Air (2022) – Fair condition
From: Back Market
Now: £550 (£119 off)
The latest iPad Air is the best tablet for most people. There’s a significant discount on this model in fair condition, but the good and excellent versions are only slightly more expensive.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra – Excellent condition
Now: £899.99 (£349.01 off)
The huge Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is usually very expensive. But getting this 512GB model for under £900 makes it much more appealing, especially when this refurbished model is in excellent condition.
Where to find refurbished tablet deals in the UK
Here are the best places to browse for a refurbished tablet, along with any promotions you might be able to use:
Where to find refurbished tablet deals in the US
Here are some great places to try in the US:
What is a refurbished tablet?
A refurbished tablet is one which has been originally sold to someone new, but then returned. This can be due to a fault of some kind, but also simply because the customer used their right to change their mind after buying it.
Refurbished is also used to refer to devices which have been traded in to get a discount on a new one.
Unfortunately, the word refurbished means different things, depending upon who you buy it from.
You might assume that a refurbished tablet has had parts replaced (such as a battery) and any problems fixed. But while some companies may put devices through an actual refurbishment process and make it exactly as good as a new model (or as close to it as makes no difference), others simply grade the devices according to their own standards.
However, those standards aren’t comparable between different sellers. A Grade B tablet at one retailer might not be in the same condition as a Grade B from another. But each retailer should include a description of what each of its grades actually means in terms of condition, so it’s important to familiarise yourself with this.
Is refurbished the same as used?
All refurbished devices are technically used, but that doesn’t mean they’re the same thing. ‘Used’ simply means no longer new, which applies to any refurbished device.
But while a device can be sold as ‘used’ by a private seller online, you have to take their word for it on the condition. If you buy a tablet using this method but aren’t happy with the condition, there’s often not much you can do.
However, a ‘refurbished’ device can only be sold by a reputable seller, and has been graded to meet a specific condition. If you’re not happy with the tablet you receive, you can usually get a refund relatively easily. And most refurbished devices also come with at least a few months’ warranty.
Yes, but only if you buy from a reputable retailer – we’ve recommended some below. Several members of the Tech Advisor team have bought refurbished items over the years and haven’t had any issues.
Of course, how to define a ‘reputable’ retailer isn’t always easy. As a general rule, only buy a refurbished device from a retailer that you’d also be willing to buy from new (if they offer these products).
But several companies specialise in refurbished tech, so you might not have heard of them. Here, the big thing to look out for is the warranty offered, plus a clear description of its condition.
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