I think most of you would agree that keeping up with the latest and greatest technology can be quite a challenge. Additionally, most of us find the challenge not just in the operation of the technology but in the acquisition as well.
As a home-schooling mom of four, who uses computers to get the majority of our schooling done, we have had a three-year love-hate relationship with technology.
Of course, as a thrifty person, I refuse to buy the latest and greatest technology out there. I just do not think I can find this “right-off-the-line” technology at an affordable price. Despite the Apple Store for Education discount, which I wrote about this year, finding the computer that would best suit our home-schooling needs was still more than we could afford.
In early August, once school began, we found ourselves struggling again with outdated technology. In fact, my youngest two children were using Windows XP-based operating systems. Some of the applications needed to operate online classes would not function on these older model computers.
Because I certainly do not know everything there is to know about saving money, I asked my Facebook friends for help in finding a way to afford new (or new-to-us) computers.
One friend suggested a company called Mac of All Trades. I jumped on their website and began looking through their listings. They had many used and refurbished computers. They may even have had some new ones, but again, price is prohibitive in many cases -- especially if one is looking to purchase more than one computer.
I quickly found the “clearance” section of this company’s website. Over a couple of days I perused their clearance section. I researched the problems that were listed with the computers. That is to say, these computers were greatly reduced in price because something was not right with them.
In the end, I settled on two MacBooks for my youngest two students. These MacBooks listed the following problems: no working WebCam and some minor cracks in the case. Both computers came with a money-back guarantee and full explanation of the return policy.
In my case, not having a Webcam was not a concern at all. With my younger children needing to be the primary users of these computers, not having a WebCam was actually a benefit, in my eyes. My only real concern was the mention of cracks in the casing.
However, I took the risk and purchased these two laptop computers. After paying taxes and shipping, my total was right at $400. Once the computers arrived, my husband updated them to have the latest Apple Operating System. They have been so fabulous for both my younger kids. We are planning to purchase some silicone covers to address the “cracks.”
Both of these computers have hairline cracks in the case in the exact same place. I can say with certainty that there are plenty of people walking around with computers that have dings and dents. The fact that these tiny cracks have no bearing on the functionality of the computer is something to note.
Overall, our family is really pleased with the purchase we made at Mac of All Trades. Because I know, from personal experience, that an Apple seems to function longer than a PC, I am happy to overlook the missing WebCam and the cosmetic flaws. My kids have the ability to log into the classes they need without compatibility errors and delays -- and I was able to make the purchase of two laptops for less than I could get a quality PC!
Contact writer Rachael Mercer at firstname.lastname@example.org.