For the last decade I have noticed one sad and confounding fact — every new computer I want over all those years always costs $5,000.00 USD — and I want to know why!
It’s true that when I buy a new computer I want the best one packed with all the best stuff.

My philosophy of buying is to buy the biggest and the best available you can afford because it might be awhile before you can buy another one.
I’ve been fortunate that I can regularly buy lots of computers every year, but I am still confounded that each one — year in and year out — costs five grand!

Sure there are cheap-o computers and ridiculously expensive computers, but the one that is the best and the most tantalizing has never risen or lowered in price.
The magic price is, and seems shall always be, — $5,000 — and I still want to know why!


  1. I have wondered the same thing. Cars, computers and houses all seem to have a median price that doesn’t change from years on. I don’t really know why. Why are your computers so expensive? An $800 laptop won’t cut it?

  2. Hi Anne!
    The work I do sort of requires the cutting edge technology. A lot of the newest software doesn’t work well on older machines. If you want to work, and get paid, you need to pay to play… as it were… and as it is… 😀

  3. That makes sense if it is a business expense. Do you recycle your old machines?

  4. Sometimes we recycle. We used to donate — but then the tax laws became much more stringent against charity donations — and so we’ve had to stop that. Now we keep as part of our network or we sell or just give away.

  5. Hey Anne —
    We have lots of Windows machines here. Toshibas and ThinkPads. Our “Windows Machine” is a T43p — still pretty good and it’s running XP and not Vista.
    We currently have two Apples. A MacBook and a MacBook Pro 17. We need to increase our Apple inventory. They are great machines on the Intel/Universal Binary platform.
    We discovered yesterday that Equifax — a credit reporting agency — DOES NOT LIKE the Apple platform.
    If you dispute anything on their service, you better have a Windows machine that supports PDF inserts in a browser (like the latest Internet Explorer) or you’re SOL for viewing online. We couldn’t get it to work on an Apple machine even using Adobe Acrobat 8.0! That is wrong and that needs to change. In many ways it is still a “Windows Only” world. Harumph!

  6. Dang what do these computers have in them?
    Most we paid was $3,000 for the one I have here. Recently got the wife a PC but nowhere near the same price. She has a cool Lightscribe drive though and large widescreen flat panel screen. I use XP she has Vista.
    But, if she unchained the wallet I probably would go all out and get a spendy machine.

  7. Hi Michael!
    Well, it depends on the brand. The upper end ThinkPads and Toshibas are traditionally higher in price than a Dell or another direct-mail brand. Adding memory to brand new machines with brand new memory processes can quickly add up.
    Laptops are generally more expensive than desktops. I prefer laptops because, in an urban environment, if you’re going to be gone from home for any length of time — it’s best to take your $5,000.00 investment with you. 😀
    That said, I did price out a Mac Pro desktop several months ago and, with a cinema display, the price was around $10,000.00 USD. I didn’t even grab all the great stuff available. It was more of a middle-to-high price out and not full top-of-the-line. I did not buy it.

  8. I think we have the same problem…which sucks for the most part, but I must admit, it’s nice to know I’m not the only one with this very expensive affliction. 🙂

  9. Welcome to Urban Semiotic, Jenny! I’m so glad I have a new friend who shares my crazy buy habits! 😀 It’s so good to get a new machine, though. They’re always so fast and clean!

  10. Moore’s Law. Although the time frame has compressed from when it was written, the basic concept is that in a given time frame, (probably now about nine months) technology will double, and/or the price will be cut in half.
    In other words, next year, the $5,000 computer you’re looking at will cost $2,500, but a computer twice as good/fast/fancy will cost $5,000.

  11. Excellent analysis, Bre! You said perfectly what I could not: Half as good after purchase equals twice as expensive for twice as good tomorrow! 😀

Comments are closed.