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TO REPLACE? OR UPGRADE? That is the question?!?

A common question I get all the time is “should I replace my computer or just upgrade it?” In order to answer, I’ll break things down into three concepts: Needs, Value and Wants.

Needs: Have your needs changed in the last number of years? For example, do you need a certain type of computer for a new university program you are going to take? Or perhaps you have gotten into digital photography and need a computer that can process images. Maybe you have a desktop computer and now plan on traveling for several months so you need a portable solution. In any of these cases, replacing your current computer is most likely the correct choice.

Value: If you’re not in need of a new computer, then you should look at the value of an upgrade to your system vs. a replacement. This means that if your computer is just feeling slow or sluggish, perhaps replacing the hard drive and/or RAM will be enough to breathe new life into your old machine. If upgrading the machine is more than half the value of a new machine, then you should really step back and reconsider if upgrading is the right choice. Alternatively, if your current computer’s value is less than half the value of the upgrades, you might be putting money into obsolete technology. Granted, if you are on a limited budget, then it might be your only choice. Just remember it is probably a ‘Band-Aid’ solution at best and it’s time to start saving for a replacement computer.

Wants: If you just want a new computer but don’t really need one, then you are more than welcome to make the computer manufacturers happy by purchasing a new one. Perhaps before you do so, ask the following questions of yourself. Why do I want a new computer? What am I going to do with my current computer? What other needs do I have that should be addressed first (medical, family, food)? It is not my job to convince you not to get a new computer but I do encourage you to think carefully before buying implausibly.

Lastly, when you go out to get a replacement for your current computer, check out the Apple and Microsoft tablets. These days tablets have a lot of horsepower, can easily print wirelessly and can be attached to a keyboard so you don’t have to type on the screen.

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