Re:Telecommuters: laptop or desktop?

Subject: Re:Telecommuters: laptop or desktop?
From: CHRISTINE ANAMEIER <CANAMEIE -at- email -dot- usps -dot- gov>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2002 11:31:30 -0400



Jefro asked:
> Extra question: for those who buy or build their own
> equipment, would you recommend I go out and spend for a
> pre-built (Dell or similar and bask in the warranty), or
> save at least 50% by building my own? This obviously
> applies to desktops only.

I'll leave the other questions to those who telecommute regularly, but this one
I can offer some advice on, since I've built 3 desktops. (One of them I've
upgraded so much that none of the original parts remain.)

It's very unlikely that you can save 50% by building your own, unless you're
buying obsolete and/or used parts. Dell and other OEMs buy parts in bulk at
great discounts, which helps them keep their prices relatively low. Get the
specs for a Dell system you're interested in, and then price out a comparable
set of parts from a reputable vendor (I've been happy with www.newegg.com). Or
hit Pricewatch (but keep shipping costs in mind). You're likely to find it's
cheaper to get the Dell.

Building your own has its advantages. It can be fun. You get exactly the parts
you want (although that requires a good deal of research). With a pre-built box,
a lot of people wind up tolerating an inadequate component or two because it's a
hassle to get it fixed and expensive to replace the whole box. If you build your
own, you can upgrade it piece by piece and always have a system you're satisfied
with. BUT... if you build, you are your own tech support, you have to obtain and
install your own operating system, and you don't save much (if any) money -- you
just put periodic, moderate infusions of money into your machine instead of
spending a grand or two every couple of years on a new one.

If you want a hobby, build. If you just want a tool to use for work, buy.

HTH,
Christine

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