How Do You Decide When It’s Time To Upgrade?

How Do You Decide When It’s Time To Upgrade?

Recently I’ve been faced with a conundrum: Do I upgrade my smartphone or trade in my notebook for a younger model? I’ve tossed both options around before, but not quite as frequently as I have over the last month. Maybe it was the iPhone 5’s release that made me realise my iPhone 4 is now considered “low-end” by Apple, or the fact the my Dell M1330 sometimes struggles to contain my browser. Whatever the catalyst, it’s got me scouring forums, stores and reviews in an attempt to justify my upgrade cravings.

Upgrading for me has mostly been out of necessity in the past, rather than having the latest shiny available or working on some fixed upgrade cycle. I still use my M1330 notebook from 2007 to do my blogging activities and I don’t see myself swapping my iPhone 4 for a Galaxy SIII or iPhone 5 in the near future — it still makes calls and connects to the internet. When my laptop has encountered technical troubles, I’ve been inclined to buy spare parts and just repair it and upgrading the CPU and RAM has worked wonders keeping it afloat.

But I am now starting to max out its 4GB of memory more often than not and while the thrifty IT guy in me is yelling “Just buy some bigger sticks you fool!”, I’ve found myself eyeing off potential suitors. The UX32VD i7 has had my attention, mostly because it combines an excellent screen, light weight, upgradability and discrete graphics in a nice chassis, but looking at what’s on the horizon and seriously considering my needs, I can wait another three to six months to see if another contender appears.

There’s a thread over on Notebook Review forums (awkwardly) entitled “Thin and Light 11-14 notebooks gaming worth compendium” that looks like it was written specifically for me. In it, I’m finding myself partial to the specs of the Fujitsu Lifebooks.

Obviously, if you have the disposable income to blow a couple of thousand dollars a year on the best gadgets, that’s a different story. For the rest of us, we have to be more considered with our spending.

So, what factors are the most important when you’re trying to decided when (and what) to upgrade? Desire? Need? Frivolity? Peer pressure? Let me know.

Image: Thomas Kohler / Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons 2.0