Need a New Computer? Ask These Questions First
How slow is my current computer? Even if it’s glacial, that’s not reason enough to buy a new machine. Check if the drag is coming from your anti-virus software, your task manager, or any auto-start programs, or if you should add more RAM.
How old is my machine? PCMag suggests desktop computers should last about four years and laptops two. If your machine is less than that, you can extend the life with a memory expansion or by updating the operating system.
Does it pay to fix what’s broken? If you get a solid three years out of your laptop and it cost $1688, that’s about $562 per year. Now take inventory: is it the screen that needs to be replaced? The battery? A replacement Mac battery costs $188, and a memory upgrade might help but it’s $280. If you’re in year three, is it worth it to pay $468 in upgrades? Are your ‘ repairs covered under warranties or insurance?
Do I need multiple devices? You might want a computer dedicated to gaming or work that isn’t slowed down with excess files from web browsing. In that case, split your budget and get a desktop for work, and a tablet for media on the go.
Should my devices all talk to each other? Worth considering: if you’ve got an iPhone or an iPad, look into a Mac to keep everything in the same “ecosystem’: If you use a Android phone, Chromebooks start to make a little more sense.
Driving the eco challenge
5 Things You Should Know About Electric Cars
Petrol is becoming more expensive and less available. If you’re currently in the market for a new car, chances are the options you’re considering run on petrol, not electricity. But carmakers around the globe are hard at work developing electric charge vehicles (ECV) that run solely on renewable energy. Here are five facts you might not know about electric cars.
1They don’t drain the grid Recharging an electric car uses approximately the same amount of energy per year as the average use of four plasma TVs.
2They’re more fuel-efficient ECVs convert about 60% of electrical energy from the grid to power at the wheels – conventional vehicles only convert about 20% of the energy stored in petrol to power at the wheels.
7 Refuelling them is easier on your wallet Depending on your current car’s fuel efficiency, a 160km trip will cost you upwards of US$10. The same distance in an ECV costs about US$3.