These are academic center (schools, teaching centers, on the job training, etc) returns. They are generally in good physical shape and come in two varieties: Tested and Untested.
If you are purchasing a "Tested" unit, that means we have powered it up, tested all the keys, formatted a floppy, and run it through the Atari Service Center bench testing. They are still sold AS IS, but they worked when we put them in the box.
If you are purchasing an "UNtested" unit, that means we have pulled one off of the stack and put it in the box. Most work with not problem, but you are paying for cheap, not testing. We do offer ones that have been tested, but they are slightly more expensive. Get one cheap for parts OR it may even work without a flaw, you be the judge!
"An ST only a parent could love!" These are units that have some physical problem (broken case, missing keys, broken buttons, etc). They may work fine except for these problems. They may not. Think of it as a LOOT BOX for Atari.
NEW CATEGORY: "Tested-Motherboard only" These are tested motherboards with full working RAM/ROM/Floppy controller/etc. They passed all of the Atari Service bench tests AND had a successful burn-in. However, they do not include **anything** but the motherboard and all chips. No power supply, no keyboard, no floppy drive, no keyboard, no mouse, no cables. They might include dust.*
These are generally TOS 1.2 units, although I am finding some TOS 1.0. NOTE: BOTH types do not come with ANYTHING but the base unit (1MB RAM, internal floppy). Does not even come with a power cord (industry standard). NOTE2: Some units may come with a 360k floppy.
*Dust not guaranteed.