How Low Will Computer Prices Go?


Computer prices have dropped considerably in the last few years. The typical rate of decline for this sector is 5% a year, but from 2008 to 2009, computer prices dropped at a rate of nearly 15% for desktop computers and 10% for laptops. What was once a luxury item for most people is now much more practical for many. But just how low can these prices go? Here are some of the going rates for products from various manufacturers:

Dell (Stock Quote: DELL) offers brand new desktop computers (without monitors) for less than $400. The Inspiron 530 desktop comes loaded with an Intel Pentium dual-core 2.5 Ghz processor and 3 GB of memory. For the price, this computer is lighting fast and half the price a similar computer would have been even two years ago. Dell is a favorite with the college and tech crowds because their basic systems can be easily expanded based on need and budget.

At, you can find buildable hard drives from less than $100. You can pair them with monitors from their inventory or use one of your own. The variety on this site allows the tech-savvy to find great deals on highly expandable units.

Even though Macs (Stock Quote: AAPL) can definitely be some of the most expensive computers out of the bunch, they are even coming down significantly in price. You can now buy a 2.0 Ghz Mac Mini with a 120GB hard drive for $599 (monitor sold separately). An iMac (their signature all-in-one desktop with stunning LCD screen) starts at $1,199.

Low-end manufacturers like Asus and Acer are offering stripped down desktops and netbooks for $300 to $600. The nine-inch Asus Eee PC 901 sells for around $360 and comes loaded with all sorts of features, including built-in wi-fi connectivity, a camera and easy uploads to online photo sites. What’s more, the competition among this price range with the larger companies like Hewitt-Packard is forcing these prices even lower still. Netbooks, if you're unfamiliar, offer enough computer for basic functions such as getting online and using word processors.

Even laptops are becoming much more affordable, with the average price dropping below $600 for a decent model from a major manufacturer like Dell or Sony. Even Apple’s MacBook starts at $999, which was truly unheard of even a few years ago.

Things to Consider

  • Always pay for the extended warranty from the manufacturer of your computer. You never know what could go wrong and you don’t want to have to foot the bill for expensive repairs.
  • If you’re thinking about getting a Mac, keep in mind that some of your software won’t be compatible, so you’ll need to get versions made for the Mac OS. This includes programs like Microsoft Office. Apple also makes their own, somewhat similar, office software.
  • You can save money by buying some used computer parts, such as keyboards, mice and monitors. If you have an old monitor or can buy one from a resale web site or friend, you can save hundreds of dollars on your purchase.


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