Why waste your money?

Throughout the past few years quite a few people have asked me for advice on buying computers, whether it’s because I’m a Computer Science guy or Jewish is not necessarily clear, but I sense (hope) it’s probably both. In most cases I get the standard “I just want to surf the web, check some email, and the occasional X” where X is some software that requires a somewhat more powerful machine (e.g. photo/video editing, gaming, etc.). Interestingly enough, my answer over the past few years has been the same and it is this; “You have two choices, A) you can bargain hunt for a few weeks and find a Acer/Compaq/HP deal with decent specs that will run you $500-600 depending how hard you look or B) Get a coupon for a Dell laptop and spend $1000 and only pay ~$800.” Of course, since I also fall into that category, I practice what I preach and have ordered combo B with a large soda a few times. To be honest, as long as you do your homework you will find a good machine which can handle all of the WOW you throw at it.

With that in mind, I am baffled when I talk to people who have and buy $1500+ laptops. Before you get offended, if you require a quad-core, 13”, 2 lb. laptop (or an Apple) then by all means, close your eyes and hand over your plastic. Those crazies aside, (I knew was going to offend people) I have seen a lot of expensive laptops being purchased and they all tend to share two key things, they look sexy, and they have very mediocre spec’s. Clearly a sexy looking laptop is a very important feature, I know that when I am out about on the town that I cannot be seen without a sexy laptop to match my handbag. Now I am not going to lie to you and say that Macs/Dell XPS’s/Sony Vaio’s are ugly because they clearly not. Yet, I find it difficult to justify paying so much more for a nice looking laptop when realistically most laptops look pretty nice. Before you boil over about my mediocre spec comment I’ll explain. One would think that if you were shelling out almost twice the amount of money that you would get a beast of a machine. Not so fast, the low end models are generally WORSE then the low end of less sexy laptops. So…you pay more to get less? That is correct. But…if you want to pay MORE money then you can actually get a sexy laptop with decent specs.

Note: For those of you who are squirming out of their seats about how Macs don’t require as good specs to run decently, hold onto that thought, I’ll be there soon.


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