The Cost of Buying a New Computer

Is it more cost effective to repair your computer or purchase a new one?

This article was submitted by Scott Kushnier, owner of H Street Business Solutions.  Scott is a member of Select Business Team.


Scott Kushnier blog photo computersFor the past 9 years, right after I give a computer repair estimate, many people tell me they can purchase a new one for only $300.00.  According to, the average price of a new computer today is $650.00.  What many people tend to over look are the hidden costs…time, labor and aggravation of setting up the new computer.  New computers, like new shoes, take time to break in. It is surely possible to go and buy a new computer; but, all else being equal, who wants the bother if their current computer does what they need? Let’s take a look at what’s involved in purchasing a new computer:

(1) Product search – Nothing changes faster than the latest electronics offerings. The choices can seem endless. Most likely, the last computer you bought is no longer available (except from Ebay, used). Will the $300.00 computer do everything your old computer did?  Don’t you want something comparable or better?  Unless you are up to speed on changes in the technology world, your research for your new computer might give you a headache! 

(2) Add-on costs – Computers “from $300” almost never include tax or shipping costs. For a $300 computer these two items can add as much as 27% to the sticker price. In addition, many software licenses are not transferable to a new computer which means you need to factor in the cost of Microsoft Office, antivirus software, etc. You will surely need the software that enables you to do what you need to do on your computer. 

(3) Physical setup & peripherals – Congratulations! Your new computer has arrived. Now it’s time to move the old computer out of the way and dispose of it properly, unpack the new computer, connect all the cables and plug it in. Cross your fingers that your new computer has all right ports to plug things into that your old one did. Otherwise you may need some adapters. Also, let’s hope that your old monitor, printer, etc. are as happy with your new computer as they were with the old one. At the least, you’ll need updated drivers. This can be painless; but, it can also be anything but painless. 

(4) First-time boot & data migration – You turn on the new computer. Chances are things will look a little different than before. What happened to the Start Button? How do I connect to my wireless network? If your new computer is a Mac or has the new version of Windows, you’ll have another learning curve.  Customizing the features, transferring the data all take time. 

Many say that computers have become a disposable item – part of our disposable culture. The fact is repairing your computer is sometimes the better option. An even better option is to avoid the breakdown in the first place. Just like you would do regular maintenance on your car, you should do the same with your computer.  It will last a lot longer and perform better when you invest in regular maintenance.


This article was submitted by Scott Kushnier, the founder of H Street Business Solutions which provides expert IT support and services to small businesses in the Greater DC area. Services include tech consulting, backup solutions, computer repair, routine maintenance, and network support.