Till recently, the Dells and Compacs cost up to 30 per cent more than assembled ones. But not any more, with assembled computer prices going up
Who would have thought that you could save money by buying a branded computer instead of an assembled one?
Prices of computer parts have gone up, and continue to fluctuate, making assembled computer prices unsteady, and branded computers a more attractive buy today.
Raju, who attends to customers at A R Computers on S P Road, said, "Stocks are low and production is sluggish. So whatever is in stock is priced high."
GOOD BUY: Printers are a hot selling item on S P Road
S P Road, near Town Hall, is Bangalore's main bazaar for computers and electronics goods.
Raghu, a BCom student, had bought assembled a new desktop two months ago for Rs 21,000. The same configuration now costs Rs 24,000.
"The prices of branded computers have remained steady. In fact, if you bargain on S P Road, you may be able to get a 2.5 per cent discount on some branded PCs," said Harish, who works at another computer store.
On laptops, he said, discounts could go up to 10 per cent.
A trade body thinks branded computer dealers may be offering discounts to offset business sluggishness.
"Business has been affected by recession and competition. Some shops have monthly commitments to keep, and need to meet their targets, so they may sell their computers cheap," said A P Raju, president of Bangalore Electronic Dealers Association.
Computer assemblers are also affected by the slowdown. Scorpion Computers in Jayanagar, which used to sell about 15 computers a month, sells just one or two now.
"People aren't spending. When some component went wrong, they would throw away the computer and buy a new one. But not anymore," said sales executive manning the counter.
That means the repair sector is thriving, while the sales section is not.
The private sector, especially small and medium companies, used to make bulk purchases from those selling assembled computers, but they aren't buying now.
Incredibly, San Computers, near Majestic, is bundling sites in Mysore with assembled computers. If you buy a computer for Rs 89,999, they are offering a 30 by 40 ft site in Mysore.
That may be a sign that computer assemblers are desperate for business, but it also shows how real estate prices have crashed.
Branded computers offer a warranty of up to three years, but not all may offer onsite service.
As for assembled computers, some offer a warranty and onsite service during the warranty period. Others insist that you take the system to their shop if something goes wrong during the warranty period.
It makes sense for you to look at the warranty policy before you decide on a system.
Why branded makes sense
Dell Rs 24,000
Acer Rs 22,500
Compac Rs 23,200
Rs 23,999 (San Technologies, Ananda Rao Circle)
Rs 24,125 (Scorpion Computers, Jayanagar)
Rs 23,200 (Oxford Computers, S P Road)
Rs 23,450 (Premier Computers, S P Road)
(Taxes extra on all prices, branded and assembled)
Intel Dual Core processor
250 GB Sata hard disk
2 GB DDR2 Ram
22 X DVD Writer
18.5 TFT monitor
2.1 speakers, keyboard, mouse
(The comparisons in this article are indicative. It is possible that competing systems may offer minor variations in specifications)