How to Choose the Computer That is Right for You
If you are a first-time computer buyer, or a veteran looking for a new machine, choosing the right computer to fit your needs does not have to be difficult. Whether you shop in-store or online, keeping in mind what the computer will be used for will help keep you focused as you make a selection. Hard-drive space, speed, and high-speed graphics and sound for gaming, audio and video are all aspects to consider.
What to look for in a new computer
When selecting a new computer, get the best model that you can afford. Well-known brands have a lot to offer and feature good quality parts, extra cables, installation CDs, manufacturer warranties and support phone numbers. Many of the ‘no-name’ brands come with a much cheaper price tag, but their backup services and support are frequently sketchy at best.
If you can afford it, get the best processor, the most RAM memory, and the biggest hard drive available. For Windows-based PCs, Sandbridge (i7, i5, etc.) are the best, then comes the AMD Phenom, followed by Pentium Dual. If you want a quick set-up with minimum fuss, look for the Apple Mac, if your a willing to pay a slight bit more. Many PC operating systems use a lot of RAM to run, so having more RAM on the computer makes the workload easier for your hard-drive. At least 1 GB, or gigabyte, should be installed on the computer when you purchase it, and 2 GB is even better. Minimum hard-drive space should be at least around 320 GB, preferably more than 400 GB. If you plan on doing a lot of multimedia work, storing movies, video and audio on the computer, get more than 500 GB hard-drive space.
However, depending on your needs, buying custom parts and building a PC yourself is the best choice. Although this is often cheaper, it comes at a greater risk and more difficult. This is a popular choice when building gaming PCs.
Top computer models
Whether you are buying a computer for home, school, or work, reliability and good value for money are all very important. Top home computer models, mostly desktop systems, include the Apple iMac, the Dell Studio XPS 7100, the Gateway DX4840-15, the Gateway SX2801-01e, the HP TouchSmart 600, the Maingear F131, and the Velocity Micro Edge Z30. Many laptop and notebook computers are well-suited to business and school use, such as the Dell Vostro 3350, the HP Elitebook 8560p, the Dell Latitude E6420, the MacBook Pro 15-inch (Thunderbolt) and the Lenovo ThinkPad X220.
Where to find the best deals
When you are looking for a great deal on a new computer, you will find some of the best right online. There are two kinds of web outlet store: direct store sites run by PC manufacturers, such as Gateway or Dell, and third party discount sites. Many online computer magazines and consumer review sites offer suggestions and tips on shopping for your new computer. Getting a good deal also means watching for
sales and using discount codes and rebates to your advantage.
What is new in 2012?
At CES 2012, a major tech conference held in Las Vegas, Nevada, a diverse array of new products debuted, giving us a look at what is new on the market in 2012. Most noteworthy is Thunderbolt, the newest connectivity standard from Intel, which made several appearances, including in the Acer Aspire S5 Ultrabook, the first Windows computer to have this versatile external hard drive port.