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Day trip to the Folkstone Computer Fair

Is it worth buying a second-hand computer or laptop at a computer fair?

So my goal is to buy an iMac, however the one I want is a little out of my budget at the moment.

To iMac or not to iMac

I would love an iMac Pro, but even I am realistic enough to know that is not going to happen, so I would gladly settle on a 2019 iMac 27 inch 3.7GHz Core Processor with 2TB storage and 16gb memory, just under £2500 on the apple website…… I thought before I even contemplate spending a large amount of money upfront or even a hefty payment each month over 4 years and wondering will it even last that long? I thought I would investigate the local computer fair in Folkestone, so I dragged the not so willing other half with me and off we went.

I had seen them advertising last month on their Facebook page ‘Hastings Computer Fair’ and now they were having the same fair in Folkestone, which is even closer to me, so I thought I would pop along with a view to purchasing a 2nd hand iMac.

So we had to pay an entrance fee to get in and received a hand stamp (I suddenly felt like I was back in the day attending a secret ‘rave’ – ok I am showing my age here!).

Inside was well laid out with lots of different suppliers offering iMacs iPads, Gaming PCs, laptops, computers, memory, peripherals, keyboards, in fact anything you can imagine both new and 2nd hand, so I really was in my geeky element.

So I found a couple of really good options for a 2nd hand iMac, but still a little hesitant – these were 2nd hand, but they do come with 6 months warranty, however I still was not convinced, I really want a shiny new iMac that no one has used or touched. The deals that I was looking at were:

· iMac 27 inch i5 2.6GHz, 8Gb with 1TB HDD - £449

· iMac 27 inch i5 3.2GHz, 8Gb with 1TB HDD - £775

· iMac 27 inch i5 3.2GHz, 16Gb with 256Gb SSD HDD - £699

For me a large HDD is not an issue as I store all my documents in the cloud and use both online and PC based software for my day to day work, so I am not worried about disk space like I used to in the days of filling a large HDD with lots of programs installed and a backup to an external drive. Oh how things have moved on from floppy drives in my day and its bliss!

After lots of looking back and forth I lost the other half, and eventually found him looking at a laptop (his HDD on his current laptop is a little temperamental. Just along I spotted a Dell Optiplex SFF Intel Core i7, 16gb Ram, 1TB HDD for £259.99. I know Dell PC’s from old having installed hundreds of them for rollout projects I worked on in the 90’s. They are robust and generally good quality. They are a little on the pricey side, I guess the VW or the PC world, but you always get what you pay for. The original PC would have come with 8Gb Ram, so it had been upgraded, so a bonus.

I asked the stall holder to fire up the PC so I can test it and make sure all working and what it says on the label is the spec of the PC. All Good. The laptop was the same price, a HP, which I have always found good as have owned 3 in recent years. After a little bartering I got the two for £450, which I was happy with as it served a purpose for me.

Ok, it was not the iMac that I wanted, but I also felt mean making my other half suffer with a dodgy laptop for work (he uses on his building site for work, so does really have to work and not buying new means if it gets dropped or damaged I won't be freaking out after spending a huge amount of money).

So I went in for an iMac and came out with two computers, and I still don’t have my iMac, but I am no longer sharing a PC with an up and coming teenage boy who wants to use it for gaming at the weekends and homework in the evenings, so no more arguments of possession of the PC!

I am in a way glad that I didn’t get my iMac, as although the pricing was good, there are also some really good deals at the moment on ebay for refurbished or ex demonstration iMacs that are newer. I am not saying that the iMacs that I saw were not ‘good deals’ but they were older than I wanted, and I would prefer a 2017 upwards model, with my ultimate goal being a latest new shiny never used iMac. But I can't quite justify that cost when you compare the cost to new or even 2nd hand computers and laptops, but it's on the wish list.

So not quite there with the iMac, but a new PC to use, no more sharing issues! and a lovely new Dell 27” monitor, wireless keyboard and mouse ordered and on its way, so happy for now! Once a geek forever a geek 😊


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