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Consumer Reports: When To Repair, When To Replace

report

By Evan Ackerman

Being the frustratingly indecisive and demanding consumer that I am, I find Consumer Reports to be an invaluable resource for major purchases. Their winter 2010 electronics buying guide has hit the shelves, chock full of handy and ad free advice on what to buy and where. One of the more helpful tidbits is this chart, which tells you when to repair stuff and when to replace stuff based on the advice of market analysts and engineering experts and taking into account improvements in new models.

Of course, much of this information depends on what kind of user you are… If you’re a hardcore gamer, you might not be able to survive for more than a year or two without upgrading your system. It’s also worth mentioning that for computers (both desktops and laptops), upgrading while repairing (or just upgrading) is often a viable option. It’s a slightly easier process with desktops than with laptops, of course, but even with laptops, it’s often possible to upgrade hard drives (to improve the speed or capacity) and RAM. And you can do it yourself, for pretty cheap… Usually, all it takes is a screwdriver and a little perseverance.

If nothing else, this chart is a handy way to justify upgrading some of your gear. Hey, if Consumer Reports says I should replace my plasma TV with something new after I accidentally smash my crappy old one with a hammer, who am I to argue? Not that I actually own a plasma TV, of course. Or, for that matter, a hammer.

[ Consumer Reports Blog ] VIA [ Consumerist ]







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  • obi1kenobi1

    Well, I've just lost all hope for humanity. The maximum age of any new HDTV is 5 years? I'm still using a CRT TV from 1988 and the picture is great. I understand upgrading computers all the time, but having to upgrade digital cameras is bad enough. If expensive new TVs are now disposable, I'll have to pass on that HD fad…

  • mcman

    Only one problem, you have to pay to get on the consumer reports site.

  • mcman

    I have one LCD and one plasma TV. Both are 5 yrs old and not even slightly worn. In fact, I run my plasma 24/7 and it's still as bright as the day I bought it.

    The trick is to buy the best when it's necessary to do so. Panasonic is plasma.

  • Jessicat

    I agree I have two old tvs (around 10 years old) and they don't make them like they used to. I'm sad to see the color run on one of them and the sound is starting to go on the other. So I have to update soon. I wont be getting an HDTV, but a new one soon.

  • Anonymous

    Lets not be hasty children.. Keep in mind that the advice is to replace IF DAMAGED. It Needs to be damaged enough to need repair/replacing before they advise something like that. If you are breaking your HDTV every five years enough that it needs to be replaced…

  • Phlow

    I wish I had one of these charts for my dishwasher. It's broken like 4 times in the last year, and I wish I could have known to get a new one after the first time!

  • http://zotel.livejournal.com/ Zotel

    I find the replace on the $6k with .5k repair way off. You could repair 12 times (avg cost) and still be break even…

  • Phlow

    I wish I had one of these charts for my dishwasher. It's broken like 4 times in the last year, and I wish I could have known to get a new one after the first time!

  • http://zotel.livejournal.com/ Zotel

    I find the replace on the $6k with .5k repair way off. You could repair 12 times (avg cost) and still be break even…