Computer Purchase Advice
General Tips when Buying a New Computer
The life expectancy of most laptops is between 5 to 7 years and desktops between 6 to 8 years. Usually the failure is related to mechanical wear and tear of the hard disk drives, but there also can be heat related electronics failure. Sometimes, the machine is just not able to perform well enough due to the demands of the latest Windows updates. Keeping this in mind, it's important to see computer use in terms of purchasing computer time. As a rough rule of thumb, you should expect to pay about $100 for each year of computing time for normal use. This could be higher if you are a power user or have advanced gaming needs. Although there are models offered under the $500 baseline, they tend to have shorter life expectancy or performance frustration because they are under resourced in order to save costs.
Most stores have a variety of add-on fees that include extended warranties (various fees depending on the length of term), system setup and security at a fixed price or on a subscription basis (often with vague or no expiry). Since purchase price margins are slim, they promote these services in order to make a substantial profit on the sale. We recommend avoiding the store add-ons. Most equipment automatically comes with a two week in store replacement policy and a 1 year manufacturer's warranty.
Modern computers running Windows 10 have a fairly complex and technical Out of Box Experience. This means that when you open the box, the computer will require you to go through a setup routine that can involve setting up accounts, making various adjustments and navigating promotional antivirus software. On top of that, various companies pay the computer manufacturer to pre-load promotional programs that clutter your brand new system, adding to the confusion and using unnecessary resources. We can help get you running quickly by configuring, securing and removing these nuisances from the get go. You get a clean and confident start on your new system!