Nov 2011 – Buying a Computer

Purchasing a computer – A road frequently travelled

Sometimes it’s best to take the approach ‘out with the old and in with the new!’.  Not always — especially if it’s less expensive to simply repair your computer.  Surprisingly it can sometimes be less expensive to purchase a new system than to repair and aged one.

There are so many reasons to purchase a new computer.  There are many reasons to repair a computer.  Many times, the situation is forced upon you due to a horrible virus or something less intrusive — like dropping your laptop off the kitchen counter.  The guys authoring viruses these days are tough.  They destroy the system to the point where it costs less to simply purchase a new system.

Whatever the reason, we talk to clients often about how to make the best decision when considering the options for a purchase.

Mac? Thin and lightweight? Dell? HP? Costco? Office Depot?  The local computer shack?

Dell computer - Support and Repair - Vail Colorado

Retiree on the left and replacement on the right

In the end, it seems a matter of finance that helps the client make the decision.  Also, some clients prefer to purchase at one place or another.  Many just hate certain vendors and love others.

Understanding the full breadth of the issue at hand though is where we find people going down the ‘road frequently travelled’.  This may not, however,be the best road mind you.

We happen to operate in a mountain community in Colorado.  In our area there are all manner of options for purchasing a computer.  Wal-Mart, Office Depot, Costco and local computer shacks are present.

The questions and areas of consideration are plentiful.  Consider these (and this list is not inclusive):

  • How much time are you going to spend shopping in a store for your system.
  • How much effort are you going to expend dealing with a local shack that may not last another year — longevity does matter you know.
  • How is the system supported after the purchase?
  • How long does the warranty last?
  • What is the track record of the company where you are purchasing your computer?
  • If you have an issue, how do you obtain repair service?  Mail the system to the vendor?
So far, our best option for purchase, repair, warranty and support has been with Dell.  Yes, many of our pupils dislike the behemoth, for whatever reason, but we must say that the overall system just works.  Why?

What are the reasons Dell is such a compelling argument?

  • Dell has computer systems that work well — as good as any other vendor.  The product lines, generally speaking, work well.
  • Dell has phenomenal warranty support and repair.  We’ve seen all manner of parts replaced without issue.
  • They have field technicians that will come to your house to repair your computer — providing you keep your warranty intact.  Keep in mind though, this is for issues with PARTS, not software.  Virus corruption and otherwise is your issue to deal with.
  • Their support systems — those that help your computer person — are simply incredible.  The online support through chat and otherwise is second to none.  Support for systems that are 10 years old (through driver availability) is simply fantastic.
Have we tried other systems?

Of course!  We actively use an iMac and a Macbook for site development, blogging and other manner of creative endeavors.  We have HP and Nobilis systems in our pile of trash computers too that are almost impossible to support.  Our Dell systems just keep purring providing we have ample ventilation and manage the systems (software updates, backups, etc).

It’s ultimately up to you!

In the end, it’s your decision.  Many computer support businesses love that it is overly difficult to support a system because they make more money in the end.  We are of the opinion that it is simply NO FUN (and fun is part of our business model) to inform a client that we are adding 2 hours of labor to a system recovery simply to locate system software and parts.  They hate that information and so do we.

We are happy to consult with you on any purchase because we simply want your computers to operate as well as ours do.