Computer Repair or Replacement – Cheap Computers are Not a Bargain

In the PC Repair business these days, we are hearing more people say they can buy a computer for almost the same price as repairing their existing PC.  So why bother doing the repair?  An good repair shop will tell you if your computer is worth fixing or not.  If they value your continued business, they will be honest with you.

Some people like replacing their computer every year or two, so they they keep buying cheap, low end machines.  Problem is, their user experience will be awful.  Slow performance, crashing, lockups, bad battery life and lousy WiFi reception are some of the hallmarks of cheap PC’s.  Then they have to transfer over all their data, install all their programs, and redo all their personal settings.  Hey if you like this, knock yourself out.

Yes, computers have dropped a lot in price these days.  You can buy one for $300.  However, as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for.

Here’s what you get with a cheap computer:

  • Cheap construction/assembly that cracks or breaks easily.
  • Cheap electronics that perform erratically and break.
  • Processors (CPU’s) two generations old, are slow and don’t support newer technologies.
  • “Bottom-of-the-Barrel” hard drives that fail manufacturers’ normal specifications and tests.
  • Motherboards made with cheap, flimsy materials, thin wires and weak solder points.
  • Circuit boards and chips that have several technical features disabled.

What does this equate to?

  • Slow, erratic performance with excessive system lockups and crashes.
  • Incompatibility with many types of software, Windows features and external devices.
  • Weak WiFi reception, resulting in slow, spotty signal with recurring drop-offs.
  • Poor battery life and/or batteries that die in a year.

So the decision is yours.  Do you want to enjoy fast, smooth and reliable performance?  Do you want your PC or laptop to last several years, so you don’t have to transfer your data, reinstall your programs and spend hours setting up a new machine every year or two?  Do you want it to be compatible with any software, add-ons or peripheral you want to buy?  Do you want it to run all the latest features that Windows and the internet have to offer?

If the answer is yes, don’t buy a cheap PC or Laptop.  Fix your existing PC and save up for a better model.  Again, if your computer guy is honest, he’ll tell you if your old beast is worth fixing.

Finally, the answer to the burning question…… How much does a good computer cost? 

At this time, Spring 2012, decent Laptops start at around $500 – Solid, performance models with great battery life start around $650.

Decent Traditional Desktops (towers) start at around $400.  Quality models start around $600.

What about those new All-in-One Desktops?  These are the ones with the tower and screen all together in a single unit.  Well, as I said in a previous blog post, they all stink, so stay away from them.  Read my post on All-in-One Computer Repair Issues for more on this.

About Steve Frantzis

Steve Frantzis is the Owner of Saguaro PC Tech, LLC, a computer repair shop in Tucson. If you have any questions or need help with your laptop, desktop, Mac, or mobile device, please call Us at (520) 250-5948.

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