Submitted by: Jason Feemster www.networking-tech.com
Whether its your first purchase or looking for an upgrade, thesesimple tips on what to keep in mind when you're shopping for a newcomputer will help ease your purchase.
1. Get information from the multiple sources
For instance - Editor's reviews, manufacturers’information, and user opinions. Everyone has a differentperspective. A good place to start is CNET.com foreditorial reviews. Also, Google the computer you’reconsidering and find what others are saying about the product.
2. Make more RAM (random access memory) your main prioritywith any computer
The more memory you have, the better performanceyou’re going to experience with your computer. It’stypically recommended to have a minimum of 2GB of memory with newerOperating Systems. Memory is inexpensive these days, so get the maxyour system and Operating System will support.
3. Choosing the CPU (processor) Speed
This really depends on your needs and budget. I like to lookat the CPU speeds as slow, medium, and fast relative towhat’s on the market and the price point of the computers.The newer, more expensive machines will have the faster processors,etc. Look for Intel Core 2 Duo on Laptops and Intel Core 2 Quad onDesktops and you’ll be in good hands.
4. Hard Drive
Most new computers come with plenty of storage. However,consider upgrading depending on your requirements. If you have tonsof pictures, music, videos, etc., consider upgrading so you haveroom to grow. 250GB-500GB is a good place to start. Choosing adrive with a faster RPM will increase performance, i.e. 7200 RPMinstead of 4500 RPM.
5. Shop for a laptop online and test drive instore
It’s no secret; you can usually find better deals forlaptops online than in the big box stores. Research online, thenhead to the big box and try it out. Make sure it’scomfortable, not too big and heavy, the keyboard isn’t toobig/small, the LCD is bright enough, etc. Basically take it for atest drive, make sure you’re happy, and then shop until youfind the best deal.
6. Look for weekly store specials
Computers are basically a commodity. So take advantage ofthe fact that new models are coming out every few weeks. You canwin big by purchasing “old stock models” that reallyaren’t significantly different than newer ones.
7. Buy Factory Refurbished or Outlet
You can save hundreds of dollars by buying a refurbishedcomputer. You probably won’t even notice the difference froma new computer. For instance, Dell has an outlet site where you canpurchase previously ordered new, certified refurbished, and scratchand dent inventory with the same Dell warranty given to customersbuying built-to-order Dell systems: www.dell.com/outlet HP has a similar outletsite: www.hp.com/sbso/buspurchase_refurbished.html
8. What’s the best brand?
The one that has the best support! Computers mostly have thesame components with a different case and brand. So look for abrand that will give you the best support. Ask friends and otherpeople online what kind of product support experiencesthey’ve had. Check the warranty, support section of web site,and even call their support number with a test question to see whatthe people are like on the other end.
9. Don’t say, “Am I infected?”
Make sure you get antivirus software for your new computer.Most new computers will come with a trial version that runs out ina few months. Don’t wait for the trial to run out, in fact,delete the trial version and get a full version right now. DownloadAVG, it’s free and works pretty well. free.avg.com/
10. Computer Maintenance
Computer support and maintenance is a necessity with any newcomputer. I’ve seen reports where you can expect to spend$200-$300 for support and maintenance over the life span of acomputer. If you need support, always check your warranty with themanufacturer first. If you’re out of warranty, find areputable local computer repair company to help. Last freetip…always backup your data!
Copyright The opinions, recommendations and tricks are those solely of the contributor and are not necessarily those of KRQE-TV or LIN Television.
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