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Buying a new computer

So, you want or need to buy a new computer or laptop. Computer buying is an investment of cost and time. There are numbers of considerations in buying a new computer or laptop.  You want to make sure you spend and shop wisely. You are not sure how to go about doing this.  This article is not about product comparison or favoritism, but to help you make a good choice. The initial questions thought by many are:

  1. Should I get a Windows or Apple Mac computer or laptop?
  2. Do I want a tower, laptop, or all in one?
  3. Where should I buy my computer?
  4. What brand should I buy? 
  5. What are the warranties? Should I get additional warranties?
  6. How much should I spend?
  7. Should I simply upgrade my current computer?

Lets talk about each numbered question above.

1. Should I get a Windows or Apple Mac computer?

Both computer worlds have much to offer. Each have their pros and cons. When switching from one type to another, you may experience some learning curves and incompatibilities with your software. Most hardware devices such as printers, USB devices, network devices  are generally have no problems. Some buyers heard that Apple Mac computers are more secured than Windows computers. That is NOT TRUE. There are more windows computers and laptops in the world than Mac computers so the hackers will spend more time on Windows computer owners. However, the Mac computers are growing. It is highly recommended to have good security installed.

 2. Do I want a tower, laptop, or all in one?

That is up to you. Laptop has a great advantage, it is portable and mobile. Tower is fixed to a desk or table. With a tower, you have a mouse and keyboard, and any size monitor. With a tower, generally, there are more USB ports and generally comes with a DVD-RW drive. You can add a another hard drive when you buy or later and even a second network interface to serve your computer as gateway. It is also easier to repair. With a laptop, DVD/RW are not common. You can have multiple monitors and docking station for a laptop. With a docking station, you can add other devices and peripherals, still be able to undock your laptop to be mobile anywhere. There all in one computers where it is a cross between a laptop and a tower in one physical format. It is not designed to be mobile but great if you live in small places.  

3. Where should I buy my computer?

You can buy a computer online, at store fronts, and warehouses. The main criteria is to make sure there is a good fair return policy and warranty. In most cases, the return policy is mainly a replacement and not a refund. Stores like Costco has a different policy worthy to investigate. There are stores that do not work with returns or replacements. They generally direct you to the manufacturers. So query the sales people on how this works.

4. What brand should I buy?

The common names are Dell, HP, Apple, Toshiba, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, Acer, and Asus. There are more if you search online.  This article does not suggest any manufacturers but only to share some of many names. It is suggested to select one that you can get easily purchase and get good support.

5. What are the warranties? Should I get additional warranties?

It has been known to have two kinds of warranties: Manufacturer and store warranties. Computers and laptops purchased direct from manufacturer online typically have standard 1 year warranties. When buying from the stores, you should get the same 1 year warranty. You can purchase 3 years warranty for parts and labor. Dell is known to have business computer and laptop warranties starting at 3 years for hardware and labor as part of the computer purchase. So, when you purchase a computer or laptop, inquire the total costs and what they cover.  

6. How much should I spend?

That will be up to you. It is suggest to forecast what you may be doing with the computer in say in 5 years. There are cheap computers and laptops to buy but you GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. $200 - $400 computers is a good deal but they use lower quality parts and have minimum hardware features. Warranties will help if the system fails in that time. Higher cost computers and laptops can also prematurely fail but not often. 

The hardware features such as the type of processor type and memory size is also a major factor. Celeron processor is fine for simple functions such as emails, browsing on the internet, and some onboard computer games. Computers and laptops with 1 TB hard drives is big but if you not storing a lot data such as pictures and documents, then try 500 GB drives will be fine for a little lest cost. Investigate your options first before you buy.

7. Should I simply upgrade my current computer?

You have a computer or laptop whether you purchase it or someone gave it to you. It may not that old or old at all but it is running slow. You can have your computer or laptop checked out to learned that you do not have hardware issues, viruses, hard drive storage space issue, and many residence programs running in background. You can check out the computer to see if you can upgrade your system. Most common upgrade would be adding more memory, old drivers, outdated firmware, and outdated software. Newer software, firmware, and drivers have improvements and fixes to help with system performances. Processors can be upgrade but really depends on the mother board.  A good investigation would be worthy.


These questions we get users to answer themselves before they buy a computer or laptop. If money is not the problem then you are home free on how you decide to buy a computer or laptop. Please recycle or donate unwanted computers and laptops.