Unlikely Reasons Why You Should Be Replacing Your Laptop Today
Ever heard of planned obsolescence? That is when manufacturers find ways and means to make their older products seem outdated so you’ll be willing to upgrade to their latest product.
Unfortunately for them, this strategy is getting harder to execute especially when it comes to laptops. Performance hasn’t been an issue for most for quite some time now, and battery life has become much better since Intel released its 4th generation Core processors two years ago.
So, that being said, why would now be a good time to buy a laptop, you ask?
New processors from Intel that aren’t that much faster
Intel released its 5th generation of Core processors earlier this year. First, they targeted the really portable Ultrabook segment with the Core M processors. Then, they released the ultra-low-voltage Core i5 processors for the rest of us.
What this means for the rest of us is that you can get laptops running 4th generation Core processors for a much cheaper price, since retailers are keen to clear their existing inventories. But, isn’t newer better? Well, as mentioned above, planned obsolescence doesn’t seem to be working that well in the laptop industry.
All be told, the 5th generation processors don’t really offer much more in terms of performance. Instead, they’re more focused on providing more performance-per-watt, which basically means that you get the same specifications in a smaller package.
In fact, the new Core M processors have lower absolute performance than a similar 4th generation Core i5 processor. So, unless you really need a really light notebook, perhaps not settling for the latest and greatest can net you more value.
Keep a lookout at stores such as Lazada and eBay where these laptops can be sold for really cheap. If that’s not enough discount for you, simply click through ShopBack’s portal before purchasing from the mentioned online stores and you’ll actually earn some cashback!
Apple just refreshed their MacBook line
To add on to the above point, Apple refreshed their MacBook line a while back.
A new MacBook refresh means price cuts on existing inventory. As you may know, price cuts on Apple products are few and far between as it’s heavily price-controlled by Apple themselves. The only time where prices are slashed are times such as now—where older models have to make way for newer ones. Lazada for example, is offering up to a ₱ 10,000 price reduction on their available models as compared to the original price.
Besides adding 5th generation Intel Core processors, the only addition to the new MacBook line is a pressure-sensitive ‘Force TrackPad’. I don’t see it as a really necessary feature as yet, so you may want to save some money and opt for a previous-generation MacBook instead.
USB Type-C isn’t ubiquitous yet
The new MacBook comes with a fancy new USB Type-C connector, heralded as the ‘next big thing’. In fact, USB Type-C may be an important driving force behind planned obsolescence within the next few years.
Fortunately, for us, USB Type-C isn’t ubiquitous yet. While the new MacBook does use a USB Type-C connector and nothing else, the recently-refreshed MacBook Air and Pro lines still stick with conventional USB 3.0 ports. New laptops from Dell, ASUS and many others this year also do not feature Type-C ports.
The implication of this is that the laptops featuring 4th generation Intel Core processors that are going on clearance right now won’t be obsolete any time soon. They are almost the latest and greatest. As such, there’s little point going for a laptop with a newer 5th generation Intel Core processor that’s likely to be more expensive.
Oh, and it’s likely that USB 3.0 to Type-C dongles will become mainstream soon enough, so you won’t really need to worry about obsolescence for a long, long time anyway.
How to tell a 4th generation Intel Core processor from a 5th generation one?
A 4th generation Core processor has a model number starting with ‘4’. For example, the i3-4010U or the i5-4210U. In contrast, 5th generation processors have a model number starting with ‘5’, such as the i5-5200U. Note that all Core M processors at present use 5th generation processors, but for the avoidance of doubt, the ‘5’ in a Core M model number (5Y70 for example) refers to the generation number.
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