Why Buy Refurbished?:
When it comes time to upgrade your IT equipment, how do you decide what you need? It often comes down to two main factors, price and performance. You don’t want to spend more money than necessary, but you also want to ensure the product you purchase has enough resources to handle any programs and applications you may run without becoming obsolete too soon. In this month’s topic we will discuss the benefits of purchasing refurbished laptops and desktops.
Computers are very similar to cars in terms of cost, you are paying a premium to purchase one new, and they both are depreciating assets meaning they lose value over time. When you purchase a brand new car and drive it off the lot, it instantly loses a large amount of its value. The same thing can be said about a computer once you open the box. When you purchase a refurbished computer, you can often purchase one that is more powerful than a new computer while spending less money. This can be very useful for people who are getting into video editing, CAD, or gaming but don’t want to spend to spend over $1,000 to buy something with a dedicated graphics card. When buying refurbished you also open the door to purchasing business class laptops. A business class laptop is designed for longevity, where they are designed to be used for 40 hour work weeks for multiple years and are created to be more durable. While a consumer class laptop might be more flashy featuring glossy displays and brighter colors, a business class laptop often features similar designs for multiple years allowing you to easily replace broken parts such as screens and batteries, allowing you to keep that same laptop for a longer duration. It is also more common for business class laptops to be upgradeable with DIMM slots that allow you to swap out the amount of RAM in your system, while many consumer class laptops come with the RAM soldered to the motherboard not allowing you to upgrade in the future if needed.
While technology is rapidly evolving, most people don’t need the power of the latest and greatest machine. If you are unsure of the specifications you need you create a list of programs you plan to run and look up the programs system recommend specifications which will list the processor, RAM, hard drive space, and even GPU requirements to run the program. One way to know if you have any specifications that are causing a bottle neck is to open up task manager (activity monitor on MacOS) and to monitor your utilization rate. As an example lets say you notice your CPU is constantly sitting around 90-100% utilization while your other components are only at 20%. This signifies that your CPU is not able to process all the information as fast as your other components, which in terms slows the entire machine down. While you can upgrade the amount of RAM/hard drive in most systems, some of them come soldered to the motherboard and are not customizable after the initial configuration, thus forcing you to upgrade your entire machine instead of the necessary components to fix the issue. One last piece of information to keep in mind is that most new computers come with preinstalled software that actually hinders the performance of your computer, also known as bloatware. Due to bloatware coming preinstalled on a large portion of new machines, we usually recommend reinstalling your operating system before you start installing your own software.
Every year, approximately 40 million tons of electronic waste is generated. This includes laptops, cellphones, TV’s, and just about anything with a motherboard. While electronic recycling is a fast growing industry, many laptops still end up in landfills which can cause toxins (such as lead and cadmium) to damage to the environment. Not only can a new laptop be harmful to the environment at the end of its life, but it is also harmful during the production and transportation due to the air and water pollutants created during the manufacturing process. In-fact, even before a machine is in production, raw materials must be harvested to assemble each laptop. The harvesting of these raw materials has a negative impact on the environment and the local eco-system. By purchasing a refurbished laptop, you are helping reduce the need for new laptops to be created and you are reusing existing material.