Whenever we are in the market for a new computer I think we inevitably want to get as close to the latest technology as our budget will afford. However, I think that can lead to a subconscious over-specification of our requirements as a way of justifying the purchase.
A few years ago I had selected a very nice Sony laptop that I convinced myself was exactly what I needed to support my work. Unfortunately an unforeseen breakdown of my car meant I had to spend roughly half of my budget to get it fixed and back on the road.
I still needed a new laptop but the Sony was now out of the question. I revisited my requirements and realised that many of my "must haves" were really "would like to haves". If it took a minute or two longer to rip a DVD did it really matter? If it took an extra few seconds to open a very large image-laden document was that really the end of the world?
By adopting this approach I found I was able to purchase a Dell rather than a Sony with what was left of my budget and its few relative shortcomings were almost immediately forgotten.
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