Toni from NV writes:
When is the best time of year to buy a new computer (when prices are lower?). Also, should you wait till the new Windows 8 comes pre-installed, or put it on yourself?
Well, that’s a harder set of questions than you may think, Toni. The simple answer is “holiday time”, but the longer answer is “it depends.” End of the year is usually when companies know consumers are out to make big purchases/buy gifts, so they want your buying dollars. If you keep an eye on circulars and online advertisements you’ll be most likely to find a good sale running during the holiday sale months of October, November and December.
Computers, however, can be a tricky beast. When Intel or AMD release the latest and greatest processors, most major PC retailers will want to stock them and offer big discounts on older models to clear out inventory. With Intel’s recent release of Ivy Bridge chips, the older Sandy Bridge desktop and laptops have been selling at discount.
As far as Windows 8 is concerned, you may want to hold off getting it factory pre-installed, unless you are buying a touch screen or ultra portable PC. Windows 7 is very well respected and proven, while Windows 8 – at least initially – is bound to have some bugs and kinks to work out.
If you are buying one of the aforementioned touch-screen or ultra-portables, however, then the benefits of the new user interface and power saving modes may demand you get Windows 8. If you do, make sure to get the Pro edition which allows you to downgrade to Windows 7 if you decide Windows 8 isn’t for you.