Author Topic: Talk me out of buying a new laptop  (Read 1588 times)

MrDelane

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 594
Talk me out of buying a new laptop
« on: May 07, 2019, 06:52:33 PM »
I'm about to get a decent raise (close to 30%). We have a decent stache, mortgage is our only debt, and we're on track to FIRE in about 10 years, give or take. Our savings rate is good (and about to get even better once I funnel all the 'new' income into savings).

I am currently posting this from a 9 year old laptop which about twice a week reboots spontaneously for no good reason.  It is old and heavy. The fan is incredibly loud and it gets very hot.  But it works fine otherwise.  Everything else in my life is ridiculously extravagant by MMM standards.

All I do on this laptop is write, read email, use excel and browse MMM.
I don't use it for work.

I'm very tempted to take my first new paycheck and buy a new laptop (which would be nearly $2k).  I know I don't need it. I just want it.

I needed to put this out there to hopefully get it out of my system.
Someone remind me of why this would be a stupid purchase - I just need a thread to come back to when the temptation hits.

Hopefully this will keep me accountable.

lost_in_the_endless_aisle

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1026
Re: Talk me out of buying a new laptop
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2019, 07:03:13 PM »
A $2000 laptop?! This might be relevant given the absurd price point you're quoting.

OtherJen

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1803
  • Location: Metro Detroit
Re: Talk me out of buying a new laptop
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2019, 07:45:57 PM »
Iím not going to talk you out of a new laptop, but why on godís green earth do you need to spend $2000 mostly to read news and write emails? A $400 iPad would do everything that you listed (am currently typing this response from an iPad). My MacBook Air was $1000 and is still my daily work computer 7 years later.

You can get a very, very good laptop for well under $1000. And then you can invest the rest. Both present and future you will benefit.

GreenEggs

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 778
  • Location: Here & There
Re: Talk me out of buying a new laptop
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2019, 08:56:00 PM »
I have a jammin' little Chromebook that I really like which was only $200.  It doesn't get viruses or malware.  It's very lightweight and the battery life is great.


I'm using it for the same things you mention.


You can test one for 90 days (I think) and see if you still want to spend $2000.


Btw, Congrats on the raise.  Save 30% more & free yourself earlier.  It's really nice having the rest of your life off.  ;)








ApacheStache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 79
  • Location: West By West West
Re: Talk me out of buying a new laptop
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2019, 09:20:11 PM »
DO NOT spend $2,000 on a new laptop. IMO, there are significant diminishing returns once you spend on $1200 for a new laptop.

Unless you intend to mine bitcoin, stream live videos to youtube, edit 4K videos, play Triple A computer games, or train GPU intensive machine learning models, you can get a way with spending MUCH less. Computers, laptops especially, have come a long way in 9 years so you can get a fair bit of computing power and quality for under $500. I highly suggest checking out ebay, pawn shops, woot.com, or going the used/refurbished route. I've been able to find awesome laptops for ~$250 that I was able to upgrade to a SSD and 16GB of RAM.

Not to mention, I would be really upset if I spent 2K on a laptop that ended up having issues after 2-3 years.

ice_beard

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 83
  • Location: East Bay, CA
Re: Talk me out of buying a new laptop
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2019, 12:10:15 AM »
My new chromebook was like $230.  It doubles as a tablet, does not need anti-virus protection and fires right up when I open it up.  It's wonderful.

Linea_Norway

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6037
  • Location: Norway
Re: Talk me out of buying a new laptop
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2019, 01:26:47 AM »
Iím not going to talk you out of a new laptop, but why on godís green earth do you need to spend $2000 mostly to read news and write emails? A $400 iPad would do everything that you listed (am currently typing this response from an iPad). My MacBook Air was $1000 and is still my daily work computer 7 years later.

You can get a very, very good laptop for well under $1000. And then you can invest the rest. Both present and future you will benefit.

+1 for buying an iPad. But buy a last year's model and keep it cheap. Our last 2 iPads have been bought as last year's model and they still work very well.

Sibley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3747
  • Location: Chicago, IL
Re: Talk me out of buying a new laptop
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2019, 07:19:01 AM »
First, you do need a new one at some point. If nothing else, 9 years old you've probably lost support on the OS. I will be buying a new laptop this year for that reason, and grumbling the whole way.

However, the laptops you're looking at are massively overpriced for your needs. Facepunch. Your new maximum budget is $500. If an ipad or chromebook will cover your needs (not wants), excellent and you'll spend even less.

MrDelane

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 594
Re: Talk me out of buying a new laptop
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2019, 07:23:59 AM »
This is exactly what I needed.  The reactions help me see it from an outsiders point of view.
You are all right, of course, spending that much on a laptop is ridiculous in my situation.

I think my perspective has been skewed because for years I relied on my computer for work.  I work in a creative field which is dominated by Apple (so all my hardware has been Apple based for a while).  And my work required a certain level of speed/power from the laptop.

The whole reason I've been able to use my current laptop for 9 years is because it was, at one time, a fairly fast and powerful machine.  But I stopped using it for work nearly 4 years ago and it slowly transitioned into a casual-use laptop.

When I look at what I actually use it for on a daily basis, my needs are far below the abilities of a $2K machine.  I think I just have that knee jerk reaction because I've spent the majority of my life buying high end machines (because they aided me in making a living).

I don't know much about chromebooks, I'll definitely look into that.  Also, I'd never considered just using an iPad in the same way I use a laptop, that may be an option.

For now... I'm going to do nothing.  I've bookmarked this thread and when I find myself browsing Apple's site again and feeling the hedonistic urge for a shiny new Macbook I'll jump back here to reset my brain.

Thank you.
And by all means - continue the face punches.


OtherJen

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1803
  • Location: Metro Detroit
Re: Talk me out of buying a new laptop
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2019, 07:44:10 AM »
I understand the love for Apple products (although Iím not completely devoted as Iíve used a cheaper Android phone for years). According to Appleís website, if you really want a full laptop, you can get a brand new base-model MacBook Air that will more than accommodate your needs for $999 (pre-tax). You may even find better deals in the ďrefurbished deviceĒ category.

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5691

radram

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 956
Re: Talk me out of buying a new laptop
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2019, 08:07:13 AM »
Nothing wrong with getling a new laptop. LOTS wrong with spending $2000 on one.

When I decided to upgrade, I searched and found pretty good deals all the time. Newegg and TigerDirect were particularly good sites. Here is one that is good, but not great:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2341885&cm_re=Homepage-_-Spot%2002-_-campaign_41301204

But every once in a while, there are some GREAT deals. I bought a Lenovo Flex 3 touchscreen with an i5 processor for $379(in fact I bought 2) 3 years ago from newegg.

I think it is best for you to first consider what you want, then check out deal sites. With a price point about 75% off of retail, I think refurbished units are just fine for me.

Keep us posted.

UncleX

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 118
  • Location: Europe
Re: Talk me out of buying a new laptop
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2019, 08:12:08 AM »
I'm planning on installing Ubuntu on my about 8 year old PC now that Windows 7 support is coming to an end early next year. I have tested it on an even older laptop and it works great. I use my PC for the same stuff you use your laptop and I can do all that with Ubuntu, for free. You could give it a try to see if this solves your reboot and other problems.

ketchup

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4055
  • Age: 28
Re: Talk me out of buying a new laptop
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2019, 08:24:47 AM »
https://slickdeals.net/f/13018261-dell-xps-15-9570-laptop-intel-i5-8300h-256gb-ssd-8gb-ram-860-ac-fs-other-models-available?v=1&src=SiteSearch

Keep an eye out for XPS 15 deals. They are spectacular laptops.
+1.  My GF has a three-year-old XPS 15 that we snagged nearly fully loaded (i7 6700hq, 16gb, gtx 960m, 4k display, SSD) from the Dell Outlet for $1100 (refurbished with same-as-new warranty).  She had a debilitating trackpad issue a couple months in (mouse would occasionally just start flying around the screen) but Dell's support is fantastic.  They literally had a dude come out to our house next-day to replace the trackpad, which took about 10 minutes (covered under warranty).  She's a photographer and only uses it in a pinch while traveling, but it's been great for her.

I also have an XPS 13 from work, which isn't as powerful and only has a 1920x1080 display but is also fantastic with absurd battery life and weighs something like 2.5lbs.

Laptops have gotten really really good in the last ~5 years.

Samuel

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 356
  • Location: the slippery slope
Re: Talk me out of buying a new laptop
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2019, 08:57:01 AM »
I'm amazed at how good my new $200 (on a big sale) Acer Chromebook is.

If you can work with the OS and storage limitations they can be perfect for such light work.

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5691
Re: Talk me out of buying a new laptop
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2019, 09:09:56 AM »
https://slickdeals.net/f/13018261-dell-xps-15-9570-laptop-intel-i5-8300h-256gb-ssd-8gb-ram-860-ac-fs-other-models-available?v=1&src=SiteSearch

Keep an eye out for XPS 15 deals. They are spectacular laptops.
+1.  My GF has a three-year-old XPS 15 that we snagged nearly fully loaded (i7 6700hq, 16gb, gtx 960m, 4k display, SSD) from the Dell Outlet for $1100 (refurbished with same-as-new warranty).  She had a debilitating trackpad issue a couple months in (mouse would occasionally just start flying around the screen) but Dell's support is fantastic.  They literally had a dude come out to our house next-day to replace the trackpad, which took about 10 minutes (covered under warranty).  She's a photographer and only uses it in a pinch while traveling, but it's been great for her.

I also have an XPS 13 from work, which isn't as powerful and only has a 1920x1080 display but is also fantastic with absurd battery life and weighs something like 2.5lbs.

Laptops have gotten really really good in the last ~5 years.

Yeah, mine's one generation newer than yours but similarly spec'd (7700hq, 16gb, GTX 1050, 4k, SSD) and it was around $1300 from the Dell eBay store in December 2017.  I really see no reason to pay more than that for a laptop, and you can spend a LOT less if you don't need that much power.  I ran a $400-500 Acer for about five years. I installed more RAM and an SSD and it was largely fine.

GoHokies

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 31
Re: Talk me out of buying a new laptop
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2019, 09:27:00 AM »
As others have said, nothing wrong with getting a new laptop, but spending $2k on a laptop is absurd unless you want to do some really heavy/high frame rate gaming or some CPU/GPU intensive video editing/rendering (even then you should probably just opt for a cheaper and more powerful desktop). Something in the $500-$700 range will get you an excellent machine that will last you a very long time.  I was in the market recently for a laptop and was able to get a Lenovo Ideapad 330s with 8th gen i5, 256 GB SSD, 1080p IPS display, and 8 GB of RAM (will upgrade myself to 16) for $500.  A machine similar to those specs will be more than enough for your needs and will be a fraction of the cost.

Personally I'm not a big fan of the chromebooks, but if you are looking to do very basic activities (web browsing, check email, etc.), they are decent options.  I just don't like the fact that they would be frustrating to use should your computer needs change for whatever reason and the premium you pay for a windows based OS machine with better specs is really not that high.

I am curious though - what kind of laptop were you looking at that cost $2k? It has to be either a heavy duty gaming laptop or a super-spec'd out thin and light ultrabook, both of which I think are overkill based on your needs. 

MrDelane

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 594
Re: Talk me out of buying a new laptop
« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2019, 10:12:49 AM »
spending $2k on a laptop is absurd unless you want to do some ...

... some CPU/GPU intensive video editing/rendering (even then you should probably just opt for a cheaper and more powerful desktop).

That's a lot of what I do for a living, and what I used to use it for. I have a desktop system but also travel quite a bit and used to have to edit on the road - hence the expensive laptop.  My situation has changed a bit though and editing on the road hasn't been a thing for a while now (I used to work for myself and took a job-job a few years ago because the opportunity was too good to pass up).

None of that is super relevant - I guess i just felt the need to justify my PAST expenditures so everyone didn't think I just enjoyed setting money on fire.

Quote
I am curious though - what kind of laptop were you looking at that cost $2k? It has to be either a heavy duty gaming laptop or a super-spec'd out thin and light ultrabook, both of which I think are overkill based on your needs.

I was looking at a new Macbook.  If I opt for anything aside from the base and add Applecare to it (plus tax, etc) it comes out to somewhere between $1500 and $2000.

But like I said earlier - I'm realizing my perspective on what is needed from a laptop has been very skewed given my past purchases and needs.  You've all helped me see a bit more clearly, which I'm super thankful for.

GoHokies

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 31
Re: Talk me out of buying a new laptop
« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2019, 10:35:24 AM »
spending $2k on a laptop is absurd unless you want to do some ...

... some CPU/GPU intensive video editing/rendering (even then you should probably just opt for a cheaper and more powerful desktop).

That's a lot of what I do for a living, and what I used to use it for. I have a desktop system but also travel quite a bit and used to have to edit on the road - hence the expensive laptop.  My situation has changed a bit though and editing on the road hasn't been a thing for a while now (I used to work for myself and took a job-job a few years ago because the opportunity was too good to pass up).

None of that is super relevant - I guess i just felt the need to justify my PAST expenditures so everyone didn't think I just enjoyed setting money on fire.

Quote
I am curious though - what kind of laptop were you looking at that cost $2k? It has to be either a heavy duty gaming laptop or a super-spec'd out thin and light ultrabook, both of which I think are overkill based on your needs.

I was looking at a new Macbook.  If I opt for anything aside from the base and add Applecare to it (plus tax, etc) it comes out to somewhere between $1500 and $2000.

But like I said earlier - I'm realizing my perspective on what is needed from a laptop has been very skewed given my past purchases and needs.  You've all helped me see a bit more clearly, which I'm super thankful for.

Good to hear and happy to help! If you ever needed to do that work again and you needed the portability of a laptop, I could see why you would need a high end laptop. Although I would personally avoid Mac - the premium you have to pay for Mac doesn't really make sense with all the really good windows laptops out there (Huawei Matebook, Dell XPS, Razer Blade, HP Spectre are all really good options for high end windows laptops).

But yea if you don't need all that power and are tired of a 9 year old laptop (I certainly would be given all the advancements in technology since then), get yourself a decently spec'd out windows laptop for $500-$700.  Will last you a long time if you treat it right.

ApacheStache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 79
  • Location: West By West West
Re: Talk me out of buying a new laptop
« Reply #19 on: May 08, 2019, 06:52:23 PM »
Check out Mac of All Trades if you want refurbed macbooks. https://www.macofalltrades.com/shop/apple-laptops/refurbished-macbook-air/macbook-air-13-inch/. Their inventory changes daily, but they have pretty good prices. I would suggest Newegg.com but they just had a massive credit card breach last year, so there's that.

ketchup

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4055
  • Age: 28
Re: Talk me out of buying a new laptop
« Reply #20 on: May 09, 2019, 09:21:28 AM »
I would suggest Newegg.com but they just had a massive credit card breach last year, so there's that.
Newegg has in general gone downhill in the past few years.  All kinds of stupid problems.  They used to be great.

zygote

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 267
Re: Talk me out of buying a new laptop
« Reply #21 on: May 10, 2019, 09:40:50 AM »
Heads up, Dell is being featured on ebates for 15% cash back, stackable with a coupon for 10% off. Lenovo is also 15% cash back on top of 10-30% coupons. If you've figured out what kind of specs you want and are willing to go for a Windows machine, now would be a good time. I'm not sure if the cash back is only for today, but the coupon codes are good for the next few days.

If you've never used ebates before, you get an extra $10 for signing up and making a purchase. If you use my referral link I also get $25, but you don't have to do that to get your $10 so definitely don't feel obligated. You should get $10 no matter what as a new customer.

I'm mostly telling you this to talk myself out of buying a new laptop and redirect the information to someone who actually needs one right now...Mine's 2.5 years old, and I always get the itch for a new one around this time. I should really put my energy into cleaning up the current one to keep it from slowing down instead.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2019, 09:43:50 AM by zygote »

MonkeyJenga

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8571
  • Location: the woods
  • resting up for 2020
Re: Talk me out of buying a new laptop
« Reply #22 on: May 10, 2019, 10:24:38 AM »
Heads up, Dell is being featured on ebates for 15% cash back, stackable with a coupon for 10% off. Lenovo is also 15% cash back on top of 10-30% coupons. If you've figured out what kind of specs you want and are willing to go for a Windows machine, now would be a good time. I'm not sure if the cash back is only for today, but the coupon codes are good for the next few days.

If you've never used ebates before, you get an extra $10 for signing up and making a purchase. If you use my referral link I also get $25, but you don't have to do that to get your $10 so definitely don't feel obligated. You should get $10 no matter what as a new customer.

I'm mostly telling you this to talk myself out of buying a new laptop and redirect the information to someone who actually needs one right now...Mine's 2.5 years old, and I always get the itch for a new one around this time. I should really put my energy into cleaning up the current one to keep it from slowing down instead.
Grrrr. I don't need a new computer right now. I don't have a ton of cash for a new computer either. I just replaced the battery in my 7 year old laptop. But this is tempting me.

OK. I will keep this site in mind when I do replace it, and wait for another good sale.

ketchup

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4055
  • Age: 28
Re: Talk me out of buying a new laptop
« Reply #23 on: May 10, 2019, 10:33:21 AM »
Heads up, Dell is being featured on ebates for 15% cash back, stackable with a coupon for 10% off.
:D Guess who spends thousands of dollars at Dell at work quite often?

daverobev

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3399
  • Location: France
Re: Talk me out of buying a new laptop
« Reply #24 on: May 10, 2019, 04:28:20 PM »
Get a refurbished, off lease Dell Latitude. They are generally good quality.

No need to buy new.

MrDelane

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 594
Re: Talk me out of buying a new laptop
« Reply #25 on: May 10, 2019, 07:49:59 PM »
I'm mostly telling you this to talk myself out of buying a new laptop and redirect the information to someone who actually needs one right now...

Grrrr. I don't need a new computer right now. I don't have a ton of cash for a new computer either. I just replaced the battery in my 7 year old laptop. But this is tempting me.

I started this thread so I would have a place to come back to to remind me NOT to blow money on a new laptop... please don't wind up getting tempted to buy a new one because of it.

:)

(though the irony is hilarous)

alsoknownasDean

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2021
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Melbourne, Australia
Re: Talk me out of buying a new laptop
« Reply #26 on: May 10, 2019, 09:17:00 PM »
I've got a 10 year old MacBook Pro that's now no longer receives OS updates, and I've been keeping an eye out as well.

Although I've found that a lot of sub $1000 laptops are flimsy garbage, and too many new machines a) skimp on RAM and b) don't have upgradable RAM. I'm making do until I move, when I'll probably build a desktop. :)

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5691
Re: Talk me out of buying a new laptop
« Reply #27 on: May 11, 2019, 08:52:01 AM »
I've got a 10 year old MacBook Pro that's now no longer receives OS updates, and I've been keeping an eye out as well.

Although I've found that a lot of sub $1000 laptops are flimsy garbage, and too many new machines a) skimp on RAM and b) don't have upgradable RAM. I'm making do until I move, when I'll probably build a desktop. :)

That's the beauty of the XPS 15. Upgradable RAM and SSD, aluminum and carbon fiber chassis, Gorilla Glass screen option..it's lovely.

AlotToLearn

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 113
Re: Talk me out of buying a new laptop
« Reply #28 on: May 11, 2019, 09:56:05 AM »
Unless you use your current laptop for a business that generates mid six figures, you cant justify a 2,000 laptop.

ketchup

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4055
  • Age: 28
Re: Talk me out of buying a new laptop
« Reply #29 on: May 13, 2019, 09:32:16 AM »
Unless you use your current laptop for a business that generates mid six figures, you cant justify a 2,000 laptop.
So if your $2000 laptop was a mission-critical tool in a business that makes "only" 70k a year, that fails your metric?  I think that's super arbitrary.

A $2000 laptop is a super dumb choice for most users, but such a blanket statement only cheapens such advice.  It's like saying nobody needs a truck.  Sure, 99% of people don't (and 90% of truck-owners don't).  But if you have a business of any size doing truck stuff, you need a fucking truck.

letsdoit

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 410
Re: Talk me out of buying a new laptop
« Reply #30 on: May 13, 2019, 02:27:02 PM »
it wont make you happier