While most people will automatically tell you that you need to invest in a new computer every two years, the reality is that unless you are doing video editing or music production, you don’t always need the best computer. Sometimes it’s a better option to buy a slightly used computer over a brand new one. So here are the pros and cons of the debate.
Pros – A new computer will undoubtedly remain relevant longer than a used one because it contains the latest and greatest in technology. Being the first owner of the machine you will have access to a warranty, which typically governs the first year and sometimes longer, protecting you from repair costs. As the computer contains all of the newest technology, you will be able to run all the new software programs and can expect the best in performance and speed.
Cons – New computers are expensive and most of the time they depreciate in value the second you purchase them. In most cases, reselling your machine may net you half of the original value you paid for the machine. If you are upgrading every two years then that can put a pretty big hole in your wallet. Buying a new machine also leads other costs like extended warranties, insurance and if it is a notebook computer, expensive protective accessories.
Pros – The computer market is saturated with used computers from individuals who upgrade their equipment regularly. It’s not too hard to find decent computers well below the original pricing. If you know the right channels to visit, you can often find a steal on a used system. If you are using the computer for basic tasks like Internet browsing and email then you don’t need the most expensive and powerful computer out there. A used one will suit you just fine.
Cons – As with all previously owned electronics, you have no idea how well their previous owner maintained them. While many used computers will function without issue after purchasing, there are a number of parts, such as the hard drive that have a higher failure rate. Be prepared to have to replace parts. Also remember that your used computer is already slightly dated and may not be able to run some of the newest software releases.