New or Used Computer? What Would be your Choice?

computerwasteAs per estimates, half of computers in Pakistan are those old/refurbished/discarded computers that are dumpmed from European and US markets. These 500,000 computers that are imported each year in the country, hurt local industry and also creates environmental and health hazards – but at same time, they are blessing for common people who are able to use the technology at affordable cost.

Either to buy such computers or not, was discussed in a round table discussion called “Cost effective or technology defective” held in Islamabad yesterday.

The speakers from both public and private sectors gathered on the occasion to deliberate on the hazards of used/old computers and its plus sides.

Panalist for this discussion included

  • Sidra Iqbal – Moderator
  • Zainab Ansari – CEO, Xenith PR
  • Ashar H. Zaidi – Country Manager, Intel Pakistan Corporation
  • Asma Aziz – Marketing Programs Manager, Intel Pakistan Corporation
  • Mudassar Hussain – Director Telecom, Ministry of IT
  • Naeem Siddiqui – Executive Member, ICCI
  • Zubair Kasuri – Editor, Flare
  • Umair Satti – Editor, Ibex
  • Khushnood Aftab – CEO, Viper Technologies
  • Irfan Ahmad – COO, Anadigi Systems

Representatives from computer manufacturers, obviously, voiced against the idea, backed by some facts such as used computers are health and environment hazardous, moreover they consume more electricity; these computers come without warranty and so on.

However, question remained unanswered on how to bring down the cost of new computers in order to make them affordable for a common person, whose budget is already tightening with time. Questions were raised on why computer manufacturers do not invest in Pakistan for assembly plants in order to make new computers less pricey. Or maybe they can get a recycling plant in Pakistan to refurbish computers that comes from abroad to make it health, environment and electricity friendly.

Representatives from computer manufacturing companies revealed that these dumped computers (also termed as e-waste) are shipped to countries like Pakistan, because it is inexpensive to export them instead of dumping them in Europe or US.

It was interesting to learn that USA and European vendors actually pay used computer importers (from Pakistan) for shipping this e-waste out of their countries.

It was discussed that Intel has introduced a low priced computer, which is actually not anywhere near to the price of used computers. It merits mentioning here that Atom based Intel computer that costs Rs. 12,950 contains 80 GB hard disk, 512 MB Ram and built in processor on motherboard with clock speed of 1.5 Ghz, that’s not the Celeron, but shopkeepers suggested that its speed equals 1.6 Intel Celeron. Moreover, monitor display is not included in Rs. 12,950.

While on the other side, you get P4, with 2.8 Ghz clock speed, 1 GB ram and other similar specs system unit (without monitor display) is priced at Rs. 6,000 to Rs. 7,000.

Evidently, used computers are half of the price, then why one would go for new computers – unless he is not incentivized with better cost.

Panelists discussed that used computers come with no warranty while new computers offer 3 years warranty, which was quickly responded by another panelist that he has been using a used computer for five years that he had purchased from Hafeez Center Lahore.

Conclusively, I would say, computer manufacturers should understand the ground reality that people of Pakistan won’t compromise over the price – moreover, they need to know that there are plenty of families living upon the business.

They need to invest something in order to bring in the money and job opportunities and furthermore to cut the cost of new computers down.

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK

  • I noticed that u guys said 1.8 Mhz and 2.8 Mhz just wanna tell u that it’s not Mhz it’s Ghz….

  • This is a very interesting issue n I am glad that ur response was so quick. the thing is that the business men shouldn’t only think about themselves.they can’t say that these imported computers are “waste”.Since there r so many computer hardware workshops,it’s not a bad idea to import PCs with little problems.Pakistani people r more experienced in this field than the other europeans n Americans,so we can handle these little problems n can use them.And as u said, it’s effordable for those whith limited budget.this will help our nation to get educated. (if they use them properly) they can learn computer languages and can be just like MS.

  • I think every new technology comes as improment of previous, solving technical, effiency and even health issues. I hope people will not opt for low priced things at expense of their helath and their enviornment(again health). Once you get cancer, everything in world is useless along with the little money that you saved by buying an inferior product.

  • My vote goes for used branded computers, I myself have Dell 650 workstation, and you know what, dell 650 (with 2 xeon processor of 1.7 ghz + 512 MB ram + 36 gb scsi drive, dvd rom and some other pc essentials) costs only Rs.5,500

    In my opinion the speed of dell 650 workstation worth, and xeon processors are best when it comes to multi tasking.

    Anyways, I am happy with my used CPU {Altough I prefer to buy brand new / boxed pack pc accessories that are hard to troubleshoot}

  • I don’t know that how someome can be affected with a virus of cencer.can someone explain it to me?

  • it’s a big propaganda that branded or re-furbished computers are affected our health or our environment hahahaha i think pakistan government should take action on Traffic, Noise pollution and bed pollution which generating from old cars, old buses, Rishaw etc.and first stupid thing here why er are going to make local computers.

    why they are not taken and open DELL, IBM, SONY, APPLE, GATEWAY, HP, COMPAQ shops officially authorized shops from company. Branded computer give performance to people and local PC did problem twice a week i had local PC first and last time i bought in my life now i have DEll branded GX280 and its running amazing Mashallah.


    This is my example i hope u guys understand.

  • You have to judge everything according to the particular circumstances of a country.In Pakistan we have people with two extremes of economic, social, and educational backgrounds.A small minority is wealthy and has access to all the modern amenities,while a large majority either belongs to middle class or to the poor class.If we can use the “trash” discarded by US or Europe to educate and make majority of our population computer literate,what is the harm in it?

    • Harm is that you will always use thrash and it will become your habit. You will be working on low grade obsolete technologies while your peers in other parts of world will be using latest and thus their minds would have learned more and stay one step ahead of you. You will stay third world. Besides you are actually helping those countries. One disadvantage of capitalism is the trast it prouduces in its quest for fast growth. They need to get away with this trash. You accept it and then it will become burden on your enviornment while at the same time, capitalists moved to better products. Moreover, every ne product is an improvemnt on previous. For example Lead was important part of electronics previously but now it is a banned substance, but we are willing to use those leaded products. Where all the products will up? We cannot even recycle them because we dont have industry. So Mr. DOCTOR, west is out smarting you.

  • Mr. Usman,Thanks for your comments.My question to you is do you want to deprive the middle or poor class of whatever technology they can afford? No doubt technology is advancing at a very rapid pace and we are already lagging behind far away ,but that does not mean that we should not use the available technology within the reach of a large chunk of community.What research and development is being carried out in Pakistan? When you are using latest processors and other hardware, they are also being imported from abroad. In any case you remain dependent on West for technology because they have already outsmarted you a long time back. One last question where is our computer trash going?It is obviously either being resold and reused or is becoming an evironmental burden.

  • My simple answer to your questions is, for a change start thinking. Thats the main difference between animals and humans. We give more importance to degrees and other pieces of paper and people who are worthless. Inguinity is not considered important.

    Anyway the question is how middle class can use the new technology? Using bad technology is an option only for losers and if you are confortable be loser, go ahead. For middle class who want to se new technology, and new products, there are many solutions. First is dont buy personal but rent, use it at public places provided by public sector, buy the technology in installments that are payable with interest for a long time (best solution). solution always come if we dont think superficial.

    They outsmarted you in past, we cannot go to past. But if we take shitty decisions now, they will keep on outsmarting you.

    In my opinion, the trash including old computers is responsibility of companies who earned profit from it, and countries who earned foreign exchange beacuse of it. Product end life cyclce management should be part of product creation processes in manufacturing companies. Public sector whould support them in this task through providing basic research and infrastructure.

  • This line of thinking put west and capitalists countries into disadvantaged position as they produce most of trash in world. We dont produce trash but we accept trash of all kind and with pride. What a shame.

    • I m not agree with u we accept trash to make it diamond and we are doing. if u talk about result so it and telecommunication revolution in pakistan is a result.

  • I would also encourage you to learn everything you can about hardware and when you go to purchase a refurbished computer remember you know ways more than anyone they’ve convinced to shill their merchandise.

  • Assalam walaikum
    Mister Usman and Mansoor will grow the economy of Pakistan, Guys the both are belong from rich family they can afford new computers, but why u guys are not thinkg beside of poor or middle class man who trying to push his child to learn and teach computer but he is not able to buy new computer so the used computer is good for those people who can afford. Dr. Usman and Mansoor if u are talking about technology and economy so first make ur education on one standard then send comments
    you are called burgers who never know the current price of tomatoes in the market So, how u people know how poor people living and surviving his life. hahahahaha LOLzzz you just know the deals of restaurants and wearing shorts and walking at streets. First go and watch poor people life then ask for technology and don’t compare urself from other countries. Sorry u guys if i say something wrong. ALLAH HAFIZ

  • Its just a propaganda of Manufacturers so as to expand their profit Pakistan cannot afford new high price equipments and public is demanding for used equipments.

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