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A refurbished PDA, or personal digital assistant, is a portable electronic device that was sent back to the manufacturer, repaired, and resold. Such devices are repaired in order to make them like new, and generally they work just as well as brand new devices. They are, however, used; as such, manufacturers usually discount them significantly. In addition, a refurbished PDA will often have a much more limited warranty than a device bought brand new, so if the new owner breaks the device or if something turns out to be wrong with it months after purchase, he may not be able to get his money back.
PDAs, which most commonly exist in the form of cell phones or smart phones, are highly complex devices and can have many different possible problems. In some cases, the problem may be simple and easily repairable. A defective battery or a broken light, for instance, are easily repairable problems, and a refurbished PDA that had such problems is likely to be as good as new. In some cases, however, a refurbished PDA may have sustained more widespread damage, such as from water damage, and resultant issues may not appear for months. While most refurbished devices work flawlessly, there is generally no way to know for sure what kind of damage or defect a given refurbished PDA sustained.
The main reason one might purchase a refurbished PDA is the price, as refurbished electronic devices tend to be substantially less expensive than completely new ones. Most electronics companies have high standards for their refurbished products, so there is nearly no risk of getting a refurbished device that does not work as well as the new one. The only differences tend to be the packaging and the warranty. The package in which the refurbished product is shipped tends not to be as nice as the package in which a new device is shipped. Additionally, the warranty period on a refurbished PDA tends to be much shorter than that of a new PDA, possibly as short as a month.
One can buy a refurbished PDA from a variety of different sources. Private electronics stores and online retailers sometimes sell used or refurbished electronics. While these are usually reliable, it is generally best to ensure that the devices are protected by at least a short warranty and that the seller has a reasonably good reputation. It often is less risky to purchase refurbished electronics directly from the manufacturer.