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Laptop Buy or Lease

Discussion in 'The Pub' at netrider.net.au started by 2wheelsagain, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. So the daughter is about to start yr11 and I'm trying to work out the pros and cons of buying verses renting/leasing a laptop. As far as I can see both have good points. Both have tax payoffs. I can afford to buy but wonder if I should hang onto the cash and make smaller lease payments. Some lease/rent options include lost or damaged replacement which is attractive for someone who took her iPod swimming! ](*,)

    Anyone have thoughts or suggestions? Anyone had bad experiences with renting/leasing?

    I'm not after advice on what machine to go for. That’s down to a couple of options already.
  2. Every time I've looked at renting or leasing I walk away when I look at how much more it will cost you in the end.
  3. There is that, but I reckon with a piece of gear that will date pretty quickly, you'll lose more money on the resale...

    A case of tossing up the numbers: if it cost you $2000 for the $1500 laptop, but you can only sell it for $1000 (or less!), well, I'd lease it.
  4. I haven't bought a laptop for nearly three years now, just put another on Flexirent yesterday, I don't care about the total cost at the end, just the tax situation in each June and the convenience of changing completely at the end of two years without having to sell gear at a huge loss.....

    Do you remember what laptops cost two years ago? Do you know how much you could sell a two-year-old laptop for now, as opposed to buying new, faster, bigger hard drive, more ram, newer OS, etc??
  5. We just bought a macbook pro and went thru the same thing you are... rent or buy?

    Put simply, renting meant we would have paid for the laptop twice and still not own the laptop in the end.

    Cash meant you have to fork out the money upfront

    so we went and put it on GE or HSBC finance. 24 months interest free.

    We just have to make sure we pay the amount off before the 24 months is up, otherise we will get smoked with 90000% interest.
  6. Hey 2WA,

    Your accountant is probably the best advisor on this. I am no accountant but such as it is, here's my $0.02.

    One time I would say NOT to lease is if you're in business for yourself but contracting and may go permanent in the near future. In this case I would say proceed carefully - if your sole operator business stops bringing in revenue and you end up having to pay out your lease it's an expensive way to buy a laptop. This has happened to me.

    Otherwise as Hornet says, there's alot of upside to leasing. Your daughter may want to consider backing up her work files to an online service in case the worst ever happens to the laptop, e.g. theft or catastrophic accident.

    Another piece of advice - be realistic about your daughter's computing needs. Retailers will try to lure you into picking a top-shelf laptop because leasing makes it that much more affordable. Even with the tax perks you still don't want to put yourself into a burdensome finance contract, epsecially if you're financing a piece of equipment that you don't technically own.

    Finally, I don't think resale value is a valid consideration. As the other guys have alluded, IT gear depreciates fast and it will cost you money whichever way you finance it. My personal preference would be to buy the gear out at the end of the lease for a nominal amount so at least you've got something to show for your money. Just don't get into it with a plan of trying to recoup your costs via a sale at the end - it's unlikely to be worth it.

  7. Lease. Trust me. There are good and bad stories, but laptops are inherently as unreliable as anything. If it isn't heat issues because of poor design, then it's heat issues from misuse. Also the fact that everything is usually so condensed in a laptop, it doesn't take much to disrupt connections, dry solder joints etc, in terms of knocking bumping or dropping them. Do any of these 3 while it is hot will almost guarantee a lifespan of less than 12 months. Throw it in a schoolbag and throw it on the floor of a bus, walk on it, kick it, pour water on it. Still glad you bought it outright?

    Personally, I've used 4 or 5 different brands, it is not poor manufacture from company xyz, it's been almost all of them. A laptop works great if you sit it in one well ventilated place and never move it, but it defeats the purpose of the mobility in the first place.

    Lease it, take them up on the replacement part of the deal, and be glad when it is all over.
  8. it's not true that you don't get to keep the gear at the end of the term, at least with renting; you can pay an agreed amount (usually 10% of the original price) as your last payment, or, if you take out another rental of more than $500 at the end of the term, you keep the gear without ANY payout. In fact we had two payments to go on our agreement and because we were taking out a new agreement on a $1,500 piece of gear, the company waived BOTH the payments, and we now own the three laptops it covered.

    all that aside, a laptop that has been used by a student is not a device that you would want to be keeping after two years anyway, no matter how carefully he/she had looked after it.....

    (see above comments about laptop durability per se)
  9. Yeah thanks Paul and all the others who chipped in. All valid points and thats why its a hard decision. If it was just for me I would buy outright. But being a teen and all the challenges they throw at gear I'm leaning towards renting (flexi) withe the replacement if damaged option. She can buy her own in 2 yrs or I'll help with the lease through the uni years. We've had a good run out of Toshiba in the past. Off shopping after new year! Thanks again.
  10. Lease it with the replacement/repair/loss option.

    The number of time my niece has broken and damaged her school laptop beggars belief. Most of her friends are the same. Had my sister bought outright for her she would have paid a fortune in repairs and replacements.

    If you recall at all the lack of care you had with your school bag and books as a kid, trust me, kids with their laptops treat them about the same. You won't want to be buying it outright.
  11. Trust me when i say a laptop isnt as fragile as you think, unless you mistreat it.
    Ive been using this one for 3 years, it gets carried home and to work every day on the bike, beaten around, working in a salty marine environment, and it just keeps on working.

    As long as you take reasonable care of it, probably buy a cooler pad to go under it, you will get a good run out of it. Just make sure to always get the extended warranty, just in case ;).
  12. I am glad I moved from using a 15.6" laptop to a 10" EEEPC 2 and a bit years ago. I was forced to use laptop/netbooks after my injury as I couldn't even sit at a desk and type for a good year or two after the injury + surgery due to my shoulder 'falling' off the bone/muscle due to the nerve damage in said shoulder. Anyway, enough of the background.

    I throw my EEEPC around due to still not being 100% right as I don't have total pure movement controlled by my shoulder/arm as I still have nerve damage so it really cops a beating. My original Toshiba laptop looked like it had been beaten to death in a gladiator arena, I had to take it back 2 or 3 times in the first 2 years of the warranty period, the guy wasn't too happy to fix it from seeing the obvious damage I had done to the outside (no shoulder strength meant I put ALL of my right hand/arm weight on the laptop just under the keyboard on the right side, friction + weight after 1+ years of constant use was cringeworthy hehe) but the owner knew Emma as the cafe she managed made their coffees + food so I got it fixed for free when most/all others would be turned away :D

    Anyway, I got sick of the constant 'death' of it and since I was beginning to heal, we had a delayed honeymoon in Japan and I knew the laptop would certainly have carked it over there so I looked around and for something 'tough' whilst still being very mobile without being TOO small, the EEEPC 1000H back then seemed perfect. It still is doing great, I'm actually typing on it now as I still get a lil pain from sitting at my computer desk for too long so I sit on our couch or ground with my knees up and have the laptop at a position so I can type with my right elbow resting on the ground so I don't bear all my weight on the laptop/netbook.

    Well, over 2 years of using it, it's been dropped, typed with for many many hours, literally 1000s as when Im not using it and we're both home, Emma is using it if she's in designated spare time (we are parents so we assign spare time between us so our child always has someone on hand to be on the lookout, at 14 months of age, she's been walking for 2 months and gets in EVERY THING :p)

    The EEEPC actually looks like it's almost brand new, I can't really see much obvious signs of wear and tear on it, inside or outside of the unit (as in keyboard, etc, not INSIDE the actual the netbook casing), it's keeping on strong! I was using Windows 7 "EEEPC edition" on it, basically it's an install which has stuff removed from it using nlite I think which keeps it trim and everything working, so it's quicker than the 'normal' version of Windows 7 as there is a power difference from netbooks to 'normal' laptops + desktops, plus now I am 99% Linux booting with the 1% Windows boot when it's connected to my motorbike using Tuneboy software which works great for my Triumph 675 :)
    So, if you're after a tough little unit without too much compromise on real estate (screen size/resolution), but don't need OOMPH, for stuff like 3D gaming etc, netbooks _can_ be seemingly a "gods gift" Oh yeah, besides being dropped by accident (with both the laptop open or closed.. ouch)/falling off a couch and whatnot, our daughter has lovingly picked it up, ran with it and threw it in a fit of giggles 2 or 3 times. As said, this unit seems TOUGH! Just the way I need it \\:D/\\:D/
  13. I lease all my business laptops, currently have 5. The whole lot is a tax write off where as an outright purchase means you have to depreciate.

    If I had to buy one outside of the business, it would be one of those el-cheapo $500-600 ones that are not net books. Simply not worth paying top dollar for them unless you want to be trendy or play high end games or develop software. The cheap ones will run MS office, and they will browse the web just as well as $3000 one.
  14. I think that as long as you are like Paul and don't need or want to own it at the end, the lease is a good option. I've heard all sorts of stories about Flexirent, not all of them good, but the issues seem to be related to poor sales staff badly advising what it will cost at the end. If you just look at the end of the lease as a way to have something new, then it looks a good option.
  15. There'll be Uni (some sort of learning) after high school so it will probably be time for an upgrade anyway.
    Frustratingly the high school wont specify minimum laptop standards or requirements except for Windows / PC so we're going through her subjects for the next 2 years and working out what will do the job. Regular school stuff plus digital media is what's on the cards. Lucky I have a Photoshop license and she can get a student MS Office license.
    BTW I have nothing against a Mac but we're looking at Windows machines only.
  16. Flexirent (or any kind of consumer goods renting/leasing) is a ripoff. I don't care what anyone says. You make payments that are equivalent to around 30% interest. And at the end, you need to make some sort of deal with the rental company to pay it out or to return the goods, or to get sucked into continued finance.

    2Wheels, if you have the cash, buy it outright and have it included in your home contents insurance, or have a separate policy on it. If you're cash strapped then apply for a personal loan at 12%.

    Leasing is only advantageous if you have the ability to reduce your tax bill.

    Crikey, Officeworks has some nifty laptops going for under $700 at the moment. One model has a Core i3 processor in it, reasonable storage and memory and a nice screen. It's cheap enough and more than ideal for "student" use.

    There should be no need to go down the Flexirent path, unless you're poverty stricken. And even then it's a questionable move.

    Whatever you choose (or have chosen to do), good luck with it.
  17. I just did a quick calculation on a Toshiba laptop from Harris Technology and renting it from Rentsmart.

    The laptop outright purchase price is $1310.00

    A 2 year contract @ $20.78 per week totals to $2,161.12
    A 3 year contract @ $16.28 per week totals to $2,539.68
    A 4 year contract @ $12.75 per week totals to $2,652.00

    I just can't justify it. I'd simply be better off buying a new laptop every 2 years and save yourself $800ish.

    Flexirent seems to have similar rates.
  18. +1. I'm old school and like to own things. Not be continuously forking out money for something, especially a couple of years down the track when it's getting old and tatty. Pay once and forget. Someones got to be making a buck out of all this leasing and similar, and sure as shit it won't be you or me.
  19. Spot on, Roarin. I know someone who Flexirented an SD plasma 4 years ago. They're still paying it off at around $80 a month. The thing's worth nothing now. The number of payments that they have til it's paid off amount to the price of a new HD plasma.
  20. But there ARE people who make it work for them, as Paul's case illustrates. I've heard nothing but horror stories about it, but it is an option for those that can work it out via tax etc..