Submitted by: Jason Feemster www.networking-tech.com
Whether its your first purchase or looking for an upgrade, these simple tips on what to keep in mind when you're shopping for a new computer 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 different perspective. A good place to start is CNET.com for editorial reviews. Also, Google the computer you’re considering and find what others are saying about the product.
2. Make more RAM (random access memory) your main priority
with any computer
The more memory you have, the better performance you’re going to experience with your computer. It’s typically recommended to have a minimum of 2GB of memory with newer Operating Systems. Memory is inexpensive these days, so get the max your system and Operating System will support.
3. Choosing the CPU (processor) Speed
This really depends on your needs and budget. I like to look at the CPU speeds as slow, medium, and fast relative to what’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 on Desktops 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 tons of pictures, music, videos, etc., consider upgrading so you have room to grow. 250GB-500GB is a good place to start. Choosing a drive with a faster RPM will increase performance, i.e. 7200 RPM instead of 4500 RPM.
5. Shop for a laptop online and test drive in
It’s no secret; you can usually find better deals for laptops online than in the big box stores. Research online, then head to the big box and try it out. Make sure it’s comfortable, not too big and heavy, the keyboard isn’t too big/small, the LCD is bright enough, etc. Basically take it for a test drive, make sure you’re happy, and then shop until you find the best deal.
6. Look for weekly store specials
Computers are basically a commodity. So take advantage of the fact that new models are coming out every few weeks. You can win big by purchasing “old stock models” that really aren’t significantly different than newer ones.
7. Buy Factory Refurbished or Outlet
You can save hundreds of dollars by buying a refurbished computer. You probably won’t even notice the difference from a new computer. For instance, Dell has an outlet site where you can purchase previously ordered new, certified refurbished, and scratch and dent inventory with the same Dell warranty given to customers buying built-to-order Dell systems: www.dell.com/outlet HP has a similar outlet site: www.hp.com/sbso/buspurchase_refurbished.html
8. What’s the best brand?
The one that has the best support! Computers mostly have the same components with a different case and brand. So look for a brand that will give you the best support. Ask friends and other people online what kind of product support experiences they’ve had. Check the warranty, support section of web site, and even call their support number with a test question to see what the 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 in a few months. Don’t wait for the trial to run out, in fact, delete the trial version and get a full version right now. Download AVG, it’s free and works pretty well. free.avg.com/
10. Computer Maintenance
Computer support and maintenance is a necessity with any new computer. I’ve seen reports where you can expect to spend $200-$300 for support and maintenance over the life span of a computer. If you need support, always check your warranty with the manufacturer first. If you’re out of warranty, find a reputable local computer repair company to help. Last free tip…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.