3 Ways To Save Money On Your Next Computer Purchase

Buying a computer, software and upgrades can be an important investment for work or school. However, when you are short on money, any investment can be substantial. There are several ways to keep your costs manageable, while finding the right technology to meet your needs.

Know When A Desktop Is Essential

Unless portability is a necessity, there are times when purchasing a desktop is the most budget-friendly choice. If your primary field of study or work involves heavy usage from graphic design, video editing or mathematical processing, you will get the most use from a desktop. It is often easier to find computer components for a desktop, than a laptop, which makes upgrading more affordable.

Furthermore, the large tower space allows electronic components to cool effectively, and reduces the risk of fried processors and graphics cards. If you know that most of your basic technology needs outside of your home can be accomplished with an inexpensive tablet, stick with the desktop. You can purchase a keyboard for your tablet to handle simple on-the-go tasks.

Don't Overvalue Laptop Features

Unless you are petrified at the thought of upgrading your own laptop, you can save a considerable amount of money by doing your own upgrades. The price of installing your own memory, or purchasing memory and having the memory installed by a professional, can be more affordable. When you choose your new system, be sure to find a system that has multiple slots for memory sticks, so you can upgrade a little at a time.

Many laptop manufacturers are moving away from including internal drives or web cameras, out of the box. Ideally, you should perform extensive research before committing to any computer system. This gives you the opportunity to determine which features are worth the purchase price, and which would be less expensive to upgrade on your own. For example, an entry-level laptop may not include a DVD drive, but you can find an external DVD drive for less than it would cost you to choose a different model, with the drive included. Even a used external DVD drive can be an affordable option that you can purchase later.

Laptops that come with an integrated web camera can seem like a good way to buy more features for your money. If having a web camera is an essential feature, look for affordable options that you can buy separately. Buying a separate web camera allows you to afford a higher-resolution camera, at a similar price. Furthermore, you are not cluttering your system with unnecessary processing and reduced space.

Investigate Open-Source Software

Open-source software is a gold mine when you are tight on cash. Instead of delaying your software or computer purchase due to specific needs, see which open-source options are available. There are numerous types of open-source software that are free for both personal and commercial use, that rival the expensive and popular manufacturers. If you use proprietary software at school or in the office, many of open-source software programs allow you to save files in a version that is readable by comparable programs.

You can spend more of your money buying a better system, or upgrading features, and delay some of your software purchases until you can afford the commitment. Similarly, the software you use regularly may not require a proprietary operating system (OS). If not, consider purchasing a new system without an OS in the beginning, and install an open-source OS. You can start using your new computer, and begin saving to purchase a different OS later.

There are many budget-friendly solutions if you need to quickly purchase a new computer system. Knowing what to look for at a computer store can save you money, while having a good foundation for future upgrades.