Buy cheap….Buy Twice

Is Cheap Best?

It is very tempting when buying a new phone, tablet, laptop or pc to look for the cheapest option. Retailers both online and on the high street will advertise wild savings on tech. What they are actually doing is trying to offload their old stock. In the IT world, old stock means slow equipment.

A cheap but slower device will cost you more in the long term than a slightly more expensive investment at the outset. An example of this would be a laptop.

The difference in price could be as little as £100 between a cheap and slow unit, and a more expensive but faster unit. If you need an engineer to visit you and setup your new laptop, the time it takes to setup, including data transfer, software removal/install, updates etc can be increased by over 1 hour. That is an hour extra you are paying the engineer. If the laptop fails at any point during its life and a data backup, wipe and reinstall are needed (known as a format), again the cost can rise as the labour time is increased just to perform basic tasks.

A similar argument can be levied against cheap broadband. We are often asked what the cheapest broadband provider is. Our response is always to ask, do you want cheap or do you want good? All modern tech needs broadband. From your tablet to laptop, tv set-top box to an e-reader. All of these devices need to frequently update software and firmware. Devices will transfer data to each other, such as Dropbox or OneDrive.

Finally, look at the support you get with your product. Support is critical, no matter if you buy a computer, a phone or software. If you buy a laptop off a website, do you know what support you will receive the in the event your product has a fault. Is the support UK based? Can you actually telephone the company? Are your consumer rights at risk?

I.T support labour costs are rising whilst the cost of I.T hardware is falling. Just because tech is cheaper now, does not mean it is better. If you buy a laptop or tablet, the life expectancy is more lower than  if you bought it 5 years ago. Products are cheaply built, designed not to have longevity. However, if you spend a little more at the time of purchase, your device may last longer, the support will be better, and maintenance will cost less.