Computers these days can be compared to new cars — they depreciate as soon as you walk out the door with them. Even if you’ve decided to spring for the hottest new tablet PC, rest assured that within six months, it will be yesterday’s news.
So how do you decide whether to keep what you’ve got and try to improve it or just scrap it and get a brand new computer or laptop? One good rule of thumb is if the cost of improving your computer exceeds the cost of a new one, buy a new one. But here are some reasons why you might want to upgrade or replace your computer.
1. Your Needs Change – The computer you had as a college student may not work when you step into a new career. Your laptop is a reflection of you and you may need to get a sleeker model just to show that you are not behind the times in the office.
2. Change of Career – If you leave your editorial job for a position in graphic arts, you will definitely need a computer with more graphics capabilities.
3. New Software – To keep up with the latest software, you will need more speed, more advanced graphics capability. Newer software will not work on older operating systems or may work less efficiently.
4. System Crashes, Viruses – Sometimes the most effective way to get rid of frequent crashes and viruses is to get a new computer.
5. Broken Component, Damage – Repairing broken screens, disk drives, CD-RW drives or even water damage may cost more than replacing the entire system.
6. Too Slow – A slow system may require additional memory. Adding memory is a popular upgrade that can cost less than $100.
7. Need More Productivity – If your old system is slowing down your work it may be time to upgrade your computer. New software for word processing or photo editing can be expensive. If a new system comes with pre-loaded software, replacing may be your best bet.
8. Lower Cost – Computers are faster and cheaper than five years ago. If your system is older than five years, it probably will not pay to upgrade separate components like memory, hard drive and monitor.
9. Excess repair costs – When repair costs exceed the cost of a new computer, its time to get a new one.
10. The “It” Factor – If your place of employment is very image conscious, it may not pay to be the one with the old clunker when the hot shots all have sleek new tablets. It may enhance your image as efficient and with it if you have newer computer equipment.
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