PCs are one of the best deals out there, according to CPI

A day does not pass by without hearing someone bang on about the constantly increasing costs of living, and usually we'd agree that we're all being done over in one form or another.

According to the Grandma Index (GI), all price tags have indiscriminately been adding more and more digits, and as we'll show, this doesn't always apply to all goods however, as the relatively unknown Consumer Price Index (CPI) shows.

The Consumer Price Index is a measure by which individuals and governments estimate the average change over time in the prices of consumer goods and services purchased by households. A simple CPI calculation could give a fairly accurate estimate of the relative cost of a currently traded consumer good and/or technology in a specific year in history. In other words, if a high end business laptop costs $1500 ($1573 USD) today, CPI figures allow interested parties to calculate how much a consumer would pay for the same technology package back in 1982. According to the statistics showcased in this resourceful infographic, such a computer would cost $18000 ($18,879 USD) in 1982.   

The Grandma Index (GI) has taken into account how computer prices have changed over the years all over the world. According to data, the relative cost of computers has decreased significantly over the years, whereas most consumer goods and services have seen significant increases in their relative costs. The above infographic presents this interesting fact in the starkest and clearest terms possible. It uses a currently traded Dell Inspiron computer package priced at $849 ($890 USD) as an example for a currently traded good and provides an estimate for how much the same technology package would cost in March 1982.

Utilizing official CPI figures, it is estimated that the same Dell Inspiron package would cost a whopping $10,358 ($10,863 USD) in 1982. The helpful illustration goes further by listing a few examples of non-electronic goods and their relative costs over the last two decades. Clearly, computer technology and electronics became cheaper and cheaper over the years whereas a packet of cigarettes has seen skyrocketing cost that have been reflected onto the consumers.

The infographic concludes with a handy map that informs interested Aussies of the current price tags for the aforementioned Dell Inspiron package in different locations in Australia. Computer costs have been in a downward trend for a long time. Given the above context, one can be confident that almost all computer deals are good deals.

Data Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics

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all this is fine if you live in high population countries try buying new PC's in New Zealand and it almost harks back to prices of 486 days the dell inspiron 15r Starting Price $1,499
core i7 win7 8GB ram 1TB hdd

Cars aren't getting any cheaper either. I wonder why there isn't like a car maker that makes budget new cars with 2-3 year old tech in it, but still fresh with reliable parts? Sure would be nice if cars were priced more like computers.

It still amazes me how relatively cheap computing has got, just in the last 10 years or so - let alone the last 30. High end stuff does remain pricey, especially graphics card but the fact you can pick up a pretty good PC with lots of RAM and a capacious hard disk for like £300 still amazes me.

Chicane-UK said,
It still amazes me how relatively cheap computing has got, just in the last 10 years or so - let alone the last 30. High end stuff does remain pricey, especially graphics card but the fact you can pick up a pretty good PC with lots of RAM and a capacious hard disk for like £300 still amazes me.

I agree with you, but wish laptops would come a little bit more, although those are much cheaper than when they first started appearing also.

Windows 7 laptop, with a 15.6" screen. $309 at Best Buy. With an I3 processor. All anybody needs really, and you can actually create stuff with it. Family of 4? That's $1350 for PC's, $4,000 or more for Macs. Uh.... yeah... reality police.

I might be wrong, but I thought the 802.11 standard came out in 1997. However, the 802.11a/b standards didn't come out until 1999, and that is when the marketing term "Wi-Fi" was first used.