Solutions Through IT

February 2, 2011

Buying a new PC or laptop? Not sure if you need a brand name like Dell, HP or Lenovo? Part 1.

Filed under: Uncategorized — solutionsthroughit @ 19:19

Determine your needs FIRST.
Without figuring out what you need – even before you work out how much you can spend, will help you identify the RIGHT computer for you.  I will typically ask customers if they want to play new / current games on the computer (and immediately suggest purchasing an XBox or other dedicated gaming device, otherwise you can easily add $1000-$2000 to the price of your computer). Do you need to:
+ Edit Video?
+ Do complex graphics manipulation (CAD or 3D design)?
+ Store large amounts of data (online or on removable storage)?
+ Use the computer in a ‘power user’ fashion – lots of big applications running, all at the same time?
+ Need ultra fast performance or have other special needs, such as long battery life or compact size for use on a plane seat etc?

Determine your budget SECOND.
Once you’ve worked out your needs, you can then look at pricing.  You may find that your requirements are outside your budget, or you can comfortably purchase all your requirements.  If you find yourself with the former issue, you need to go back and review your requirements, and see what areas you can sacrifice or lower the requirements.  Note: you may have to review several times, especially when considering options for your laptop in the next blog post.

One option that you may want to consider is a ‘disposable’ computer – specifically a disposable laptop.  For less than $700, you can get a laptop, with reasonable amounts of RAM and hard disk capacity, and capable CPU’s.  This certainly isn’t the most environmentally friendly method, however it can be quite friendly on the wallet.  Doing this means that you can upgrade your PC to a “capable” system regularly, and cycle down computers to other family members or staff.  If you’re buying for a student, having them destroy a $700 laptop is a little easier to swallow than them destroying a $2,000+ laptop!

Options for your computer will be followed up on in the next blog post, but don’t forget – the most important option will be backups!

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