questionsshould i buy a computer now, or wait it out for…

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For my household, would buy one or more used or open box or refurbished win 7 machine depending on how much the people need one of their own, or need to learn to share. Possibly from the Dell outlet. Reformat and reinstall OS. Win 8 might not be horrible, but offers no advantages I need.

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Depends on your budget. If you want a basic computer then wait. I bought a high end gaming refurb for $650 and glad I did.

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I would say don't wait when it comes to buying a computer. Yes, there's always going to be something slightly cheaper and slightly better a few months down the road, but that's been true for 30+ years since personal computing has existed. Just get something reasonably priced from a good vendor and don't worry about it much.

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First and foremost, I'd backup any keepsakes to a thumb drive. Depending on the manufacturer, your computer may have a re-install disk, system restore using a partition on your hard drive, or allow you to download the original configuration from their website. I'd then re-install the operating system.

This will help you gauge how dire the need is in the interim. You most likely missed the back-to-school deals. I'd wait for the Black Friday or holiday sale, unless your computer is completely inoperable or you cannot go back. Just a thought, but maybe worth a try.

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I doubt they have anything they'll need to save, definitely no important documents and I doubt they uploaded many pictures onto the machine. And it's not that they absolutely need a computer, but I'd rather have the kids able to learn how to use one sooner rather than later and look up information and whatever else they need for school.

I guess I'll play it by ear and see what pops up in the next few weeks. Thanks y'all.

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The rule in my household when any electronic item (or other $200+ purchase) is needed is: Buy it, and then DO NOT look at ANY advertising of the same or a similar item for at least six months.

There will always be a better price, usually within a week of when you've bought something that can't be returned. And frankly, Black Friday is, um, 11 weeks away. That's a really long time to go without a major toy, unless you just to make a point about taking better care of a shared computer.

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I wouldn't be able to live without my computer for that long. If I could though, I would probably wait for Black Friday. There are always good deals that weekend.

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I'd suggest waiting until more of the manufacturers are selling the Intel Haswell based models (4th Generation) before making a purchase as they are slightly faster and consume less power (and generate less heat) than the 3rd Generation processors. Windows 8 is actually a great operating system - it has more to offer than 7 in terms of features and with a $5 program called Start8 from Stardock you'll hardly notice the difference between it and Win 7. Storage pooling and faster start up times are worth the switch. If you're looking for something that can handle medium graphics tasks without the added cost of a separate graphics card the A Series APU based models from AMD offer good performance and better than Intel graphics at a lower price point. For those who want bargain basement prices, I'd wait until the holidays and keep my eye out for A series quad core desktops and laptops, as I predict their prices will tank.

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@magic cave: actually it's a good idea to keep an eye out for price drops for at least 30 days after buying a product, as many retailers will price match after the purchase, compensating you in the form of store credit in most cases. Some stores only honor this with their own price drops while others will match competitors as well.

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@candreae: That's definitely something to keep in mind for some purchases, thank you. We often (okay, make that "usually") buy refurbs, which generally would obviate that strategy, but it's not something I've thought of in the past and will certainly keep in mind for the future.