If Lenovo’s epic adware debacle has reinforced anything for me it’s that there’s no reason whatsoever to buy a PC directly from any OEM anymore. Because even if your OEM isn’t putting dangerous adware onto your PC, there’s a good bet that it’s still larding it up with a bunch of other garbageware that will hurt its performance dramatically.
Last fall, I built a PC for the first time — or, if I’m being totally honest, I bought a bunch of components and gave a couple of engineer friends a bunch of free beer to build my PC for me. In total, the whole rig cost me $600 and it’s easily the best and smoothest experience I’ve ever had with a Windows PC. With a 8GB of RAM, an AMD A6 7400L processor and a completely clean Windows 8.1 installed, this machine blows away any laptop I could have bought from HP, Asus or Dell at a similar price.
Even if you don’t feel like going through the hassle of researching how to build a PC of your own, you still have a great alternative to buying a PC from an OEM — you can instead buy one through Microsoft’s retail outlets or online stores. Microsoft knows how much of a drag bloatware can be on performance, which is why it removes OEMs’ third-party software from any device it sells through its own outlets.
Hopefully, if enough PC buyers start either building their own machines or going directly through Microsoft, OEMs like Lenovo will get the hint that people really don’t want performance-compromising software loaded onto their machines. Of course, many OEMs have shown for years that they have no clue about what consumers really want, so this may be overly optimistic on my part.