Which is better for you; refurbished or new?

Mother Jones has a great article up on the author”s personal choice of whether to replace her old failing computer with a new computer, or a refurbished computer, and the possible consequences of each choice. The article goes into the environmental ramifications of purchasing a new computer versus a refurbished computer, as well as the costs involved. I’d like to offer my feedback on the subject.

I”m all in favor of refurbished computers being purchased as opposed to buying a new computer. That’s got to sound strange to some people coming from me, as I’m the kind of guy that feels weird (or used to) if my technology got too “dated”. Now I have children :).

Last year I purchased a refurbished 2009 Macbook Pro from the online Apple store. I purchased the bottom of the line model with a slower processor, the base amount of RAM and the smallest hard drive, for about $200 off the retail price. This is a great deal, but it gets better. All the computer manufacturers, especially Apple, charge a large markup on their upgrades. I used the ordered configuration for a little while until I saw a deal on a hard drive, as well as RAM. Once those were installed (and I’ll tell you a little later about the SSD I just installed), it felt like a new machine.

That”s not to say you can’t upgrade your current machine! A new computer can consist of only a new hard drive, and some additional RAM. Other World Computing has a great article on getting a new Mac for only $200. That deals with Macs, but it goes to all computers as well.

You don”t need to replace your computer every 3-5 years, as long as you can continue to use it. Please keep this in mind as you are wondering why your computer is going so slow, and what options are available to you. As always, I do these upgrades and more, so contact me if you need some help with your computer.