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Go Retro!

Budget tight? What about a late-model PC that's only been driven around the block a few times?

This story appears in the April 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

There's nothing like your first thousand miles in a new automobile--the smooth ride, the luminescent dashboard, that new-car smell. But a new PC? Where's the thrill? The joy? The rich Corinthian leather? A new PC is essentially just a faster machine than the system it replaces. So why buy new and take that first-year depreciation hit?

Most workers can get along fine with what a Mercedes-Benz dealer might call "a gently used PC." PCs have relatively few weak points--mostly drives and other moving parts like on/off switches. Occasionally, a power supply will get zapped. But analysts who track PC life cycles say they're getting longer, and if a PC runs well for the first 30 days, it will probably outlive you.

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