Despite the fact you can pick up a brand new computer for a couple hundred bucks these days, the reality is you won’t be hugely impressed with the end result. But equally, you don’t have to shell out a small fortune – almost the price of a new car – to get a powerful, flexible, and super quick machine for your home or work. The big question for today is, how can you find a great deal on your next PC? Let’s take a closer look at everything you need to know – read on to learn more.
The Used Model
People upgrade their computers all the time, and given the sheer pace of change in consumer tech these days, it’s often the case they will buy brand new and get rid of their old PC. So, depending on your needs, it’s possible to pick up used computers for a knockdown price. You’ll need to be careful, of course, and ideally, check out the equipment in person if at all possible. Although a computer that looks in excellent condition could be hiding a multitude of sins, if the previous owner has taken care of it there’s a good chance you will be OK. If you know any tech wizards, ask them to come along with you while you are checking out the goods. Your friend can take a look at the technical side of things and make sure that you aren’t buying a dud.
The Alternative Options
Before buying your new computer, ask yourself what you will be using it for. Home computers are incredibly clever and advanced these days, but do you really need all that power? If you are just planning on using it for playing and storing music, videos, and other entertainment, then you should be thinking if a full-on, top spec computer is absolutely necessary. Perhaps you would be better off getting something like a tablet – the Amazon Fire or an Android tablet will give you everything you need for a fraction of the price of an above-average PC. Similarly, if you are just using your computer for basic home admin and Internet surfing, checking email, or printing out documents, there is no reason to look at the top-of-the-range gear you might see at your local PC store. Something like a Google Chromebook could be a solid solution for your needs, and again, it’s available for less money than a half decent desktop or laptop.
The DIY Option
Ask any computer enthusiast, and they will all tell you the same thing: you get far more for your money if you buy all your PC bits and pieces separately and put them together yourself. There are plenty of guides online that will show you how it’s done, so take a look around for a good PC building website and see what you can do. Don’t have any tech skills or worrying about getting your computer build wrong? If so, don’t panic – you can still save a considerable chunk of money by hiring a local firm to do it for you. Just give a computer shop an explanation of what you need, and they will charge you a fee for putting it together for you.
The Outlet Store
All of the major PC manufacturers have an outlet store. Here, the in-house engineering teams will fix and refurbish PCs that have been returned by unhappy customers, or devices that haven’t worked out of the box. It’s worth keeping your eyes peeled on these sites, such as the Dell outlet store because you can pick up some fantastic bargains. Most of the PCs or laptops will come with excellent warranty periods, and although the occasional one might have a little external damage here and there, it will be no more than a slight bump or scratch. In terms of the internal hardware and software, they should all work perfectly.
The Upgrade Strategy
The higher spec a computer is, the more it will cost – it’s that simple. But you often find that manufacturers charge you a premium for things like extra RAM. The reality is that as long as your new PC can accept upgrades, there is nothing from stopping you from making a simple upgrade yourself. This particular tip works especially well for the major brands, although most laptops and ultrabooks won’t allow you to upgrade, unfortunately.
OK, so there you have it – some clever tips for saving money on your next computer. Have you made a huge saving on a PC recently? Let us know how you did it in the comments section below!