When buying a computer

So, time to buy a new computer and you are deciding which one to get. Happens to a lot of us and you need to think about a few important things. First, decide between Apple and PC. Yes, we have all seen the ads and heard the rhetoric and awed at the Apple stores, but the truth is more personal. Which one will work for you? And, do you have a large investment in software you are wanting to take with you to your new machine? I personally prefer to use Macs, but in the end I use both. I is a personal thing.

Second, laptop or desktop. More and more people are buying laptops because the are portable and take up less room in the house. You can take them on trips or take them to the local coffee house. Here are two things to keep in mind though – they are a bit more expensive when it comes to things like upgrades and repairs, and they can foster bad posture. The last point may not sound like much, but if you are sitting in front of a machine for hours per day, it can take its toll. If you are going to get a laptop, make sure that you follow some basic ergonomic rules to protect your health.

Third, the machine capabilities. You will need to do some truthful assessment of what you will be doing with the machine. We all like to imagine that we will be creating the next blockbuster movie on our computer, but in truth most of us spend our time in email and web browsers. Are you or someone in your family going to be playing lots of games? Will you be watching movies? Editing photos? Storing years of photo albums? All of these choices will go into the makeup of the computers. If you are playing games, you will need a fast machine with a good video card. If you are watching movies, you will want a fast DVD drive and a high quality screen. If you goal is to take it everywhere with you, you will want to find the lightest tool you can. Just like when buying transportation, you don’t want to go home with a Miata when you have a F-150 pickup kind of job to do.

Finally brand and source. Well, if you decided on getting a Mac, the brand choice is done! You only choice left is whether to buy it from Apple or a reseller. If you decide to get it direct from Apple, don’t forget to check out the refurbished and clearance items on-line. Some great deals to be had there. The resellers are good too, and often through in package deals to make a better price. If you are going for the Windows PC, what you really want to shop for is warranty and service. Most of the internal machine components are made by the same few companies, so what you really want to know is what happens when something goes wrong. Do you have to sit on the phone? Will they come to your house or office? Will the machine be gone for days or for weeks? Ask these questions up front and shop for the support that fits your needs. And think about whether or not they will still be there in a year or two when you need them.

Computers are sold in the hundreds of thousands everyday. You need to get the one that is right for you and that will solve both your immediate need and the needs you are going to have a year or two from now. Shop like you would for a car, and you will not end up with a case of buyer’s remorse.

And don’t forget, if you have any questions or feedback, please give a shout!

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