In the first two installments of this 3-part blog series, you’ve learned that Windows 8 will be an operating system that you want to avoid. The only way to do that is by purchasing a new computer that has Windows 7 installed on it. But time is running out because all new computers will come preloaded with Windows 8 starting sometime in October, according to Microsoft.
But you don’t want to just run out and buy any computer. You need to make an informed decision before spending your hard-earned money. That is what I want to share with you today.
4 Things You MUST Consider Before Buying A New Computer
The big box stores notoriously advertise inexpensive computers that look extremely appealing to the average consumer. But are these really good computers? Is it truly a wise investment of your money?
The old adage really is true: You get what you pay for. While I don’t believe that you have to buy the most expensive product on the shelf to get the best there is, I do believe that when you simply buy any product based solely on price, you’re setting yourself up for problems later.
Buying a computer requires you to look at the long-term costs of owning your computer, also known as the total cost of ownership.
Imagine shopping for a house. There are dozens of houses available in all price ranges. You decide that you want one with two bedrooms and one and a half baths. After narrowing down your search, you find two that match your criteria. Both are in great neighborhoods and offer the amenities you desire. One is priced at $69,900; the other at $99,900.
You opt to buy the cheaper house – the one for $69,900. Actually, you get an ever better deal because the seller is motivated to get rid of it. You’re able to buy it for $62,000. The inspection goes well and you’re proud of your new home – ready to show it off to friends and family.
Three months after you move in, you discover a leak in the roof creating a discolored spot on your living room ceiling. You call your trusted contractor to inspect the problem. He arrives and enters the attic. When he emerges, he has a grim look on his face as he breaks the bad news to you. The leak started as a small hole but over time has gradually gotten bigger. Not only has it now damaged your ceiling, but because it’s been leaking for quite a long time, there’s significant damage to the joists and trusses. The moisture buildup over time has been a ripe breeding ground for black mold, which has spread to nearly three-fourths of the entire attic. It’s going to require some major work to fix everything. That translates into thousands of dollars.
This cheaper home has now become a source of aggravation and maybe unnecessary expense.
Having been serving clients’ computer needs for nearly 8 years, I have seen hundreds of clients buy a cheap computer from a big box retailer only to have to spend a few hundred more in parts and labor to fix something that had failed a short time later. The computer was a “great buy” based on the purchase price, but they didn’t think about how much it would really cost them.
So why should you stay away from the big box store computers?
- They are loaded with “junk-ware” that slows them down. You’ve seen these computers that have all sorts of icons for programs that you will never use. Some are games, some are offers for Internet services, and who knows what else. If you have to ask, “What is this?” It’s probably junk-ware.
A recent study shows that these junk-ware programs can slow your computer down by as much as 40%. But these computers manufacturers load them up with all this useless software because the software companies pay a small fee to have it pre-loaded on there. This allows the big box stores to then drop the price on the computer to make it attractive to you. But the problems these programs can cause will cost you lots more than the dollars you save.
- Most big box store computers either come with no antivirus protection or a 30-, 60-, or -90-day trial antivirus protection. This means you will have to spend more money after you buy your computer to keep your computer safe from viruses and spyware. Additionally, the antivirus software the big box sales people push you to buy is generally less effective at protecting your computer.
- Beware of the warranty on store-bought computers. The warranties on most big box store computers are only a one-year manufacturer’s warranty. These warranties generally require you to send your computer to a repair depot half-way across the country. Repairs can take anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks. Do you really want to be without your computer for that long?
One of my clients experienced this first-hand. They bought a cheap laptop from a local big box store. Soon after they had a problem and had to send it in for repair. It was nearly 6 weeks before they received their laptop back – and the problem wasn’t even fixed!
They sent it in again. It took another 4 to 6 weeks for the repairs to be completed. This time when they got it back, the tech at the repair depot forgot to put the screws in the bottom of the laptop, so the entire bottom fell off after a couple days of use.
By this time, they were really upset and frustrated, so they brought it to us and we were able to resolve the problems for them.
- Finally, these computers typically are built with slower, lesser quality parts that tend to fail more frequently and don’t last as long. It’s another way that the big box store can offer you a computer for $298, $398, or $498. Cheap computers end up costing you more in repairs and replacement in the long run.
Fast forward 18 months. The same client mentioned above recently brought their laptop in to us because it was running slow. The computer is only a year and a half old. Our diagnostic tests found that the hard drive was failing, the source of their problem. Additionally, the hinges holding the screen to the base of the laptop had broken away from the plastic.
They only paid $400 for this laptop. Now have to buy another laptop because the cost to repair this “cheap” laptop is almost as much as they paid for it.
Had they purchased a laptop made with higher quality components and that had a three-year manufacturer’s warranty (with on-site service), they wouldn’t be spending over $800 in 18 months for two computers. Not to count the time they were without their computer and the headaches and frustration they’ve experienced because of all these problems.
The Bottom Line
I trust you can see why waiting to purchase a new computer system for your home or business will not be a wise decision. I also hope you understand that buying just any computer isn’t a good investment of your hard-earned money.
With a simple phone call to my office, I can help you avoid all of the problems I outlined in this special blog series. I can help you choose a new computer that perfectly meets your needs and is a wise purchase with your money.
So if you need a new computer and want to avoid getting in a “bad relationship” with Windows 8, I strongly encourage you to call me today at (812) 386-8919 and let me help you get one now.