Everyone knows the global economy has been shaken this year, and especially the past month. That gives us all a reason to pause and think about our computing choices before we spend money more than ever before.
In terms of computers, most people still consider a PC a necessity for our modern digital lifestyle. With that in mind, it seems to me that the best “bang-for-the-buck” decision at the moment is a quality desktop computer. The advantages are: considerably more performance per dollar, a much longer service life, easier upgradability, lower total cost of ownership, and less opportunity for damage or failure. These reasons make it a no-brainer to me to choose a solid desktop over a notebook for the same amount of money. If you have a working notebook, use it as your travel unit that doesn’t need to do your heavy computing.
In fact, the rise of the new “ultra-mobile” (UMPC) netbooks is already taking advantage of this idea for a growing number of people. Inexpensive UMPC products are lower powered and ideal just for travel by design. They can’t do significant video or photo work, no gaming, and have very little storage. But as a second computer, they are perfect as a low powered travel tool. If you already have an older notebook that you are thinking of replacing, consider keeping it as your travel tool that you can bring back to your main desktop computer to link to for the real work and enjoyment. Your older notebook can now become your new UMPC.
While this economy shakes out as it certainly will, and I think the election will settle our economic uncertainty, many people will still need a powerful computer to manage their lives better. The PC, even a solid Velocity Micro desktop, is not just a luxury item if you care about the digital world we live in. It affords a vital personal connection with the world and a much needed escape from the stress we are all feeling.
Our economy will survive, as will our need for computing performance. For now, the desktop PC is the best use of your money.