Is Buying a Cheap PC Really a Good Idea? What Should I Watch For?
That PC sale just after the holidays may look enticing, but it’s important to remember the old adage: “You get what you pay for.”

This is especially true with technology, because a shiny exterior can hide all sorts of lower quality internal parts. Buying a cheap PC at a rock bottom price can often lead to a search for Toronto area computer repair barely a year after your initial purchase.

If you’re paying $300 for a computer that has a hard drive crash just 2 years later, you could actually end up paying more than if you had bought a quality device in the first place.

Not to mention the additional time and trouble of having to go through another migration of data, software, and settings to a new device.

Why is it a bad idea to be taken in by rock-bottom computer prices? Here are several reasons and things to watch out for when purchasing a new PC.

Not All i7 Form Factor & Other Models Are the Same

An i7 form factor PC today is immensely faster than one from a few years ago. That budget PC might be an outdated model, meaning your purchase is going to send you “back in time” technologically speaking.

You may find out that you’re lacking some of the features you need, such as compatibility with newer software or hardware because you bought an older model that was priced for clearance.

Outdated technology means less productive workers. In a study of nearly 1,000 office workers by ZenBusiness, more than 50% of them said that outdated technology impacted their productivity.

A Cheap Price Can Mean “Dumping”

If a sale is too good to be true, it normally means vendors or resellers are dumping a particular model on the market. This could be for any number of reasons, such as:

  • There is some type of flaw in the model
  • It has a security issue
  • The model has been replaced by a newer one
  • It’s a counterfeit device
  • The PC wasn’t well liked by buyers so there’s excess inventory

If you’re the victim of buying a cheap, dumped PC, you could end up with a poor performing system that nobody else wanted.

Cheaper Internal Parts = Lower Lifespan

You may have heard that during times like Black Friday and Cyber Monday that some manufacturers of TVs make special stripped-down, cheap models to sell that are built with lower-quality parts.

The same can be true of desktops, laptops, and other electronic devices. Often, a seller is trying to compete, so they’ll reduce the quality of the parts in a PC to reduce the price.

But this means that the product lifespan is often much less than a computer with higher quality parts. Hard drives can wear out and crash much sooner and other internal parts like fans may also end up needing repairs or replacement in just a year or two.

Lack of Performance (Low memory, etc.)

If you don’t know what system specifications to look for in a new business computer and are only looking at price, you could end up with a severe lack of performance.

This can result in losing hours of productivity a day because a system continually freezes up and doesn’t handle multi-tasking very well.

One of the standard performance limitations in a cheap computer is having little random-access memory (RAM). If your PC only has 4GB of RAM, then you’re likely to run into problems with freeze ups consistently.

Cheaper computers may also not have the ability to upgrade memory, leaving you stuck with the problem until you purchase another device.

Another performance area that will be lacking is in processing power. Cheaper computers will tend to have slower processors.

Plastic Exterior Parts That Are Easier to Break

When purchasing a business laptop, one place you can get burned with a budget price is the exterior construction. Most of your cheap devices will have plastic cases and exterior parts that are much easier to break.

A plastic laptop case can easily break off a hinge when you’re opening and closing the device. Keyboards also tend to be cheaper, meaning keys can more easily pop off and need repair.

Lack of a 3-Year Warranty

Most quality business computers will have a 3-year warranty at minimum. This protects your business from unnecessary costs should something go wrong with a device.

But, when you’re purchasing a cheap computer, the most you’ll typically see is a 1-year warranty, which can leave you having to shell out more money for a repair sooner than you counted on.

It’s important to remember that the reason a shorter warranty is given is because the manufacturer doesn’t expect the computer to last as long as a higher-quality business model. Working with a 3rd party to review your IT infrastructure is a smart way to avoid unexpected costs.

Get Help With Your Technology Planning & Purchasing

Data First Solutions technicians are experts at helping businesses in the Greater Toronto Area plan smart, efficient, and cost-effective technology infrastructures. We’ll steer you to the best hardware for performance and value.

Contact us today to book a free assessment. Call 416-412-0576 or book your assessment online.