In my case, my laptop isn't bad but also not very good. It takes half an hour to boot due to the many demanding software I have on it. I run it like a server. I shut down maybe once or twice a month. I increased the RAM to 16GB from the 8GB that came with it. I bought it in February 2014 when I was preparing for my March 2014 resignation. I bought it for N147,000 at The Palms, Lekki. So most likely the actual market price then would have been N110,000. Nothing except Coke in select shops is normal price in The Palms. That comes to about $700 in US price.
Most of the argument on the forum is that you shouldn't buy a laptop of less than $1500 for serious work as a programmer. All cheap laptops have terrible trackpad (mouse pad), poor screen resolution, unimpressive battery life and not durable. That is how the manufacturers can afford to sell it at less than 1/3rd the price of a MacBook of same configuration and still make a gain. In the end, you get what you pay for.
If you are lucky, it is like having the engine of a Mercedes or BMW in a Kia Rio. That is what having 2.9 GHz, 8 GB RAM and all those other specs that catch our attention in those cheap laptops are. What endears you to a car is not (just) the engine, but a boat load of other things -- the smell, the interior decor, the quality design, the durability, the general way everything syncs together to give you a luxury feel. And that can be very valuable if you spend over 8 hours a working day in that car. No one will want to drive a danfo-like car for 8 hours a day and for many years, daily. And that is what it is like working with a crappy laptop, even if the spec is higher than your boss' N500,000 laptop.
Now you can see how emotion crept into my want of a new laptop. I began to feel that I need something worthy of my many hours a day dedicated to work on PC. Some feel of luxury.
Technically, the only thing wrong with my laptop is that it takes too long to boot and when I work on too many tasks, the speed slows down to a crawl. I thought it was due to RAM. So I doubled the RAM from 8GB to 16GB. There was a big jump in performance. But still takes eternity to boot and sometimes it freezes. So why? I digged around and traced the problem to having a hard disk drive (HDD), the usual one with a mechanical head that spins which all cheap laptops have. But instead of thinking of changing the HDD to Solid State Drive (SSD), I am obsessed with buying a new laptop.
All the laptops that have the specs I want, which essentially is what my current laptop has but with an SSD and a Graphics Memory, are in the range of N500,000 down to N320,000. I decided to go for the N320,000. A Toshiba Satellite S55T C5327 laptop. It's got a good work friendly spec.
Core i7 2.6 GHz. Windows 10 in-built. 16 GB RAM, 4GB Graphics Memory, 512 GB SSD, Ultra HD Display (the popular 4K screen resolution), TouchScreen and many other impressive specs.
But for my work, it's just the SSD that is the only significant advantage it has over my current laptop. Same CPU speed, RAM and OS.
And that is the foundation of my logic vs emotion, heart over mind battle.
And I notice similar issues happen in my many other decisions. From what restaurant to eat in to what expensive gadget to buy. The logic part has the strongest argument but the emotion part never lets go.
I don't yet know which will win, but at this stage of the battle emotion is leading.
Do you experience such mismatch between what you know is more logical to do and what you eventually do?