Just Make It Work: How to buy a computer – 3 Simple steps!
I had a friend ask me the other day what are some of the things she should consider when buying a computer? Here is my quick list of things to consider that never get outdated as technology gets newer!
It’s a simple as 1, 2, 3!
1. Laptop, Desktop, or Netbook/Tablet?
Before you think about brand, size, price – I would figure out if you want a desktop, laptop, netbook/tablet first. Here are some things to consider about either:
-Tend to always include “more bang for your buck” than a laptop. ie – If you only have $1000 to spend, you will always get a much more powerful machine with a desktop vs spending that money on a laptop
-Desktops are much better equipped to handle media without breaking the bank. If you want to do a lot of video and photo projects, but don’t have a lot of cash, you can often upgrade to a much nicer video card and bigger hard drive without many problems.
-Desktops are often a better place to act as your technology hub – ie – for where you want to store your main files if you have a few computers. They don’t move around and so it makes it easier to sync MP3 players and phones to a desktop as well as maintain a backup solution!
-If you’ve never owned a laptop before, the first time you have one there is a sudden sense of, “Wow, I can do this anywhere!!!” It’s quite possible that you might really want computing freedom to be when you want it to be vs locked down to a desk.
-Laptops can run most programs pretty well. Programs like video editing and simulators can make a laptop run hot and work harder, but if you have the money and can buy a very high end laptop, you should be okay.
Pro-Tip: Getting a laptop? Get the extended warranty. By nature, a laptop will move around a lot more and is more likely to encounter various physical issues, this your need for an extra warranty goes up.
-If you’re looking for a device to just browse the internet and not much else, get a netbook or tablet.
2. Make a list of the specs you will need.
Now that you know what kind of computer you want to get, the next best thing is to make a list of at least minimum requirements you need to have in your purchase. I’ve made up a few lists I would use to shop, depending on what sort of computer I was going to get:
If I wanted an overall good machine that should last technology the next few years I would get:
PC Desktop/Laptops: Windows 7 64 bit
Apple Computer: Latest version of OSX
Desktops: 500GB – Minimum
Laptops: 180GB – Minimum
Memory / RAM:
Desktops & Laptops: 4GB
Desktops/Laptops: Intel i5 chip or AMD Phenom II
Should be included
HDMI or DVI-I out
3. Factor in the extras
When shopping for a PC, the best way to figure out what deal you really want is to have your minim specs (as listed above – tweaked to your needs), and then look for the extras that stores like Best Buy might offer.
-Do you need a printer?
-How big of a monitor do you want?
-Do you want Blue-Ray in your computer?
-Do you want a scanner?
-Do you want a web camera?
These are the sorts of factors, that while extra, will really help you narrow down what is the right machine for you to take home.