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A good time to buy a new computer?

6 July 2015

Every now and then, like it or not, you have to buy a new computing device.

There was once a time when buying a new computer was simple... you walked in to the computer store, plonked down your cash and struggled out with a mountain of boxes.

When you got home, one of two things would happen...

If your new computer was incompatible with your old one (we're talking the old-days here), you'd simply start browsing the manuals of the *new* software (apps and OS) and embark on a long learning-curve.

If your new computer was compatible with your old one then you'd just fire it up and re-install your favourite applications from the floppy disks on which they had been purchased. (I said we're talking "the old days").

These days however, moving to a new computer is both simpler and harder.

If you're already a cloud-based computer user then the transition from old to new is a breeze. No need to re-install countless applications and transfer data files from old to new. Just log in to your online apps and tell your browser to remember the passwords and you're pretty much done.

With all your valuable data conveniently living on the cloud, your computer is simply an access-point which is pretty-much data and software agnostic. Job done!

However, if you're still a bit old-school and have applications with data files stored on your hard drive then you've got a bit more work to do.

You can create an ad-hoc LAN setup, fart around with permissions and the copy files from old to new... or you can buy a decent-sized USB drive (flash or HDD) and use that as the intermediary.

If you're also reinstalling software then there may be a need to have some programs re-authenticate their license codes with the vendor's server (hopefully that vendor is still in business) but generally these upgrades go without too much pain or suffering on the part of the user.

However, there is time and effort involved which means that, with the imminent arrival of Windows 10, now is a good time to buy a new computer -- if you want to save a bit of dosh.


Well when Win10 is released, all those laptops, netbooks, notebooks and other computing devices sitting on the shelves of computer stores will become much harder to sell.

Nobody will want their clunky-old Windows 8 OS when a shiny new Win10 has started shipping.

Few people have the same opinion of Win8 as they do of Win7 and seasoned Windows users know that the history of windows is littered with alternating bad and good versions.

WindowsXP was good, Windows Vista was crap, Windows 7 was good, Windows 8 - not so good, and therefore it stands to reason that Windows 10 will be one of the "good" versions.

So retailers will face a bit of a problem, come July 29 when Win10 is officially released...

How do they shift all the existing stock (preconfigured with clunky Win8) before the new gear with a much nicer and more powerful OS (Win10) arrives in the warehouse?

The simple answer is that they'll be prepared to let that crappy old stock go for a song -- or risk being unable to sell it at almost any price.

I've already noticed some killer-deals from the likes of Noel Leeming on low-end laptops and netbooks -- probably driven by the need to clear existing stocks of Win8-based computing gear before Win10 makes them far less desirable or sellable.

So, if you're a computer-savvy guy who is willing to do the upgrade yourself, chances are that now's a good time to buy one of these computing devices at a super-low price.

If you wait you'll have two problems:

Firstly, once all the Win8-based gear is gone, the prices will go up again to recover lost margins.

Secondly, much of the stock currently on the shelves was purchased when the NZ dollar was buying well over US$0.70 and now the Kiwi is falling to well under $0.70 so new stock will definitely cost more due to this alone.

How many Aardvark readers are considering upgrading their hardware right now and if so, will you be happy to buy a Win8-based machine and upgrade the OS yourself -- or will you wait and pay more for a turnkey Win10 system?

Me... well if it weren't for the fact that I have a few essential bits of code that I need to run on my laptop, I'd be running Linux Mint anyway. However, the old IBM ThinkPad I use really is past its best-by date, with a faulty ethernet port and a 5-minute boot-time. Maybe I'll have to go rob a bank and buy a new laptop while I can.

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