As with everything else, buying a computer is straightforward if you know what you are doing. For those who do not know though, it can be a complete nightmare. People who have had a computer before have a good idea about what they require and what they would like, but for those who have never had a computer before, all the components that make up a computer can appear bewildering.
The obvious answer is to purchase the best that you can manage, but this still might puzzle some people, because the best is not always the most costly. In the computer world, ‘the best’ usually means the biggest and the fastest.
Just to make it more perplexing, ‘the biggest’ here does not always mean in size, but in capacity. The only large size that is important is the monitor. This is a quick rundown of how to buy a computer and its components:
Before you buy a computer, think about why you want one. If it is for educational purposes: that is surfing the web and looking up content, you do not need more than a basic desktop computer. If you are constantly on the move, then you might need a laptop, or maybe cyber cafes will suffice.
This kind of machine is also sufficient for writing letters and emails and almost any kind office work. Top flight computers are only required by games players and show-offs.
Buy a complete computer. That means acquiring a kit of: CPU (the ‘computer’), monitor (screen), keyboard, mouse, speakers and printer. This way you will just have to plug everything in and off you go – you can be sure that they are all well-matched.
When you purchase your next computer, you can get all the components independently to get even better value for money or a system more accurately tailored to your requirements.
Go for the largest screen, the fastest memory and fastest hard drive and the biggest memory (RAM) and biggest hard drive (gigabytes) that you can afford. You do not need a great deal of ‘space’ for normal office work or normal surfing, but if you get into downloading music or films, then memory soon gets eaten up, although you could always add a new external (plug-in) hard drive later, in necessary.
Make sure that you buy a computer that is not too old, if you go second-hand. This is because you can up-grade computers for two or three years, but after that manufacturers change the casings and new components will no longer fit – planned obsolescence, it is called.
Get your computer from a well-known, reliable local store and ensure that it has a good guarantee. Computers do not often go amiss, but you do not want to have to send it half-way across the country and wait three weeks for it to come back. If you are in business, get two. Perhaps a laptop and a desktop and synchronize the contents of both so that you always have your data.
Following these guidelines will guarantee that the computer novice gets ‘enough’ of a deal and an acceptable machine that is fit for purpose without paying through the nose.