If your current computer is functioning just fine, you probably don’t need a new one. | iStock.com/monkeybusinessimages
Here’s Why You Don’t Need a New Computer
Computer shopping isِ fun forِ a select group ofِ people andِ a big hassle forِ everybodyِ else.
There areِ plenty ofِ terms youِ needِ to know, plusِ PC components youِ haveِ to thinkِ aboutِ and computer-buying mistakes youِ needِ to avoid.
You’ll haveِ to determine exactlyِ what youِ needِ out ofِ a newِ machine — you’ll needِ to thinkِ aboutِ the hardware youِ wantِ andِ the software youِ need.
1. Your old computer is working fine
We allِ want theِ latest gadgets.
They’re fun toِ read aboutِ and evenِ more fun toِ getِ our hands on.
But ifِ you don’t needِ a ton ofِ power toِ perform mostِ of yourِ computing tasks, chances areِ good yourِ oldِ computer isِ still working fine.
If you haven’t been taking care of your current computer, you can probably speed it up with some easy maintenance. | Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images
2. You haven’t been maintaining your old computer
If yourِ primary reason forِ shopping forِ a newِ computer isِ that yourِ oldِ one isِ too slow, thenِ you mayِ want toِ makeِ sure thatِ the slowness isn’t fixable.
Have youِ beenِ running antivirus scans.
How about clearing outِ unneeded files toِ free upِ hard drive space.
3. You can speed up your old computer
There areِ many reasons thatِ your oldِ computer mayِ beِ running slow.
But asِ it turns out, thereِ areِ alsoِ some easy ways toِ speed upِ a slow computer.
You canِ make sureِ that yourِ operating system andِ other software areِ updated.
4. You use the web for everything
Instead of buying a new computer, you can probably just get your current one to run faster. | Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images
OK, soِ everybodyِ uses theِ internet forِ everythingِ these days.
But ifِ you find yourselfِ usingِ web-based software insteadِ of running programs locally onِ your computer, chances areِ very good thatِ you don’t needِ a newِ computer.
You canِ use yourِ browser toِ send emails, participate inِ video chats, orِ create documents andِ presentations.
5. You’re not sure what you want out of a new computer
When you’ve hadِ the sameِ device forِ a fewِ years, youِ mayِ getِ the feeling thatِ itِ would beِ nice toِ haveِ something new.
But ifِ you’re itching toِ upgrade yourِ computer andِ aren’t sureِ why, thatِ mayِ mean youِ shouldِ stop andِ reconsider.
Have youِ beenِ wanting toِ buy software thatِ your current computer can’t handle.
6. You have a desktop computer
If most of your computing activities take place in the browser, you probably don’t need a new computer. | iStock.com
Many people opt forِ laptops overِ desktops thanksِ to theِ desire forِ portability, butِ desktops haveِ several key advantages.
They offer bigger screen sizes, whichِ areِ anِ advantage forِ productivity, andِ they’re alsoِ easier toِ upgrade.
If yourِ desktop isِ slowing down, chances areِ good thatِ you (or a tech-savvy friend orِ relative) canِ replace a fewِ components andِ get a longer life outِ ofِ the system.
7. You need something more portable
Laptops haveِ gottenِ a lot easier toِ throw inِ your bag andِ carry aroundِ allِ day, butِ they aren’t theِ mostِ portable devices onِ the market anymore.
You canِ certainly find computers thatِ areِ small andِ lightweight, butِ you’ll endِ up paying a lot forِ them.
If youِ prioritize portability andِ only needِ lightweight software, a tablet mightِ beِ a cheaper alternative toِ anِ ultra-portable computer.
8. Other devices can replace your laptop
If you’re unsure of what you’d want out of a new computer, it may be best to wait. | iStock.com
A tablet isn’t theِ onlyِ device thatِ canِ take onِ tasks thatِ were originally designed forِ your computer.
As Dan Price reports forِ MakeUseOf, laptops aren’t theِ bestِ choice for popular tasks likeِ music production, video andِ film editing, word processing, gaming, andِ passive entertainment.
Tablets, ofِ course, areِ better forِ portability.
9. You can switch operating systems
If youِ haveِ anِ old PC running Windows XP, youِ mayِ think it’s time toِ upgrade toِ a newِ computer.
But evenِ if youِ can’t upgrade Windows, youِ canِ switch toِ Linux instead.
Many distributions areِ lightweight enoughِ to run onِ oldِ hardware.
10. You just don’t need a computer for any of your usual tasks
People useِ theirِ computers forِ allِ kinds ofِ tasks.
Some edit videos, others create documents, andِ still others watch Netflix.
But haveِ you thought aboutِ whether youِ needِ a computer atِ all.
11. Computers are expensive
Even ifِ you opt forِ the cheapest possibleِ machine, you’re stillِ goingِ to spend hundreds ofِ dollars toِ buy a newِ computer.
That’s hundreds ofِ dollars thatِ couldِ go towardِ a practically endless array ofِ other purchases, tech-related orِ not.
(For instance, youِ couldِ buy a newِ smartphone, whichِ you literally carry withِ you everywhere.) If youِ aren’t sureِ that youِ reallyِ needِ a newِ computer, youِ shouldِ probablyِ hold offِ on buying oneِ until youِ knowِ forِ sure.
12. You hate setting up new devices
There’s oneِ moreِ practical reason toِ put offِ buying a newِ computer — toِ avoid theِ annoyance ofِ setting upِ a newِ computer. Unless you’re trulyِ a computer nerd (and ifِ you are, youِ probablyِ aren’t lookingِ forِ reasons toِ avoid buying a newِ computer), setup isِ annoying. It canِ get time-consuming toِ doِ correctly andِ often involves uninstalling a lot ofِ bloatware.