Mine looked new, but it was packaged like a refurb and had a one page flyer from Asus describing it as a refurb and telling me the hard drive was wiped. I also have a sticker on the back of the unit with the model number and a 90 day warranty notice.
I got the squaretrade email right after I purchased the laptop. It was still valid today. I have never had a squaretrade warranty so maybe that is it.
Well for both you and I this is our first square trade item, so I bet thats what it is.