How to Buy a New Computer

There are a lot of “Computer Buying Guides” out there, but most of them simply promote the flashy new trends of the season or tout the biggest or most expensive computers.  Our Computer Buying Guide walks you through step-by-step instructions on how to pick and purchase your next new PC.

Pick a Price

There are many factors to consider when purchasing a new computer.  Often, people make  mistakes when purchasing their PC by not knowing where to start.  The best way to approach buying a new PC is to decide on how much money you would like to spend on your new computer.  Decide on a fixed amount that you want to spend when purchasing this new PC.  Next, find the PC that best meets your needs and is still under this target price range.

Notebook or Desktop

After you decide on how much you’re willing to spend on your new PC, you will need to decide whether or not you are purchasing a notebook or desktop computer.  Years ago, notebook computers were much pricier and lacked the abilities of desktop computers.  Today, however, many people use notebook computers as their primary PC without sacrificing any capability.  Additionally, the price for laptop computers has decreased dramatically allowing them to be very affordable.  There are still some major differences between having a notebook and a desktop computer.  If your primary goal for this computer is to play games you may lean more towards a desktop computer.  Gaming notebook PCs do exist, however, the prices are rather steep due to the high end components that are placed in the minimal space allowed by a small notebook.  Additionally, some people do not like the smaller sized notebook keyboards and the limited sized notebook screens.  You can however, plug a full size keyboard widescreen monitor right into your notebook thus creating the docking station and giving you all of the benefits of a desktop yet still allowing you to remain portable.  Today, more than ever, people are enjoying the mobility of wireless Internet and the ability to take their notebook PCs with them wherever they travel.  You will find numerous notebook PCs between $400 and $600 that offer modest abilities and several notebook PCs between $800 and $1200 that offer excellent capabilities.

Configure your PC

Once you have decided on the price for your new PC and whether it is a notebook or desktop, it is time to configure your new PC before purchasing it.  This is when you decide how much memory you would like your notebook to have, the size of the hard drive, how big a screen, the weight of your notebook, and all of the other options and attachments available for your PC.  We usually recommend people start with the most expensive and necessary items when configuring, that is your computer’s processor.  Generally speaking, we recommend taking the fastest available processor that you can afford at that time.  By doing so, you can ensure longevity for your PC and mitigate it becoming obsolete anytime soon.  The next thing to do is decide on how much RAM memory to purchase for your new PC.  Most new computers today are loaded with Windows Vista or Windows 7 as their operating system.  We recommend a minimum of two gigabytes of RAM memory on machines that are running the Windows Vista operating system.  Next, choose the size hard drive that you would like in your PC.  Generally speaking, the bigger the hard drive the better because most people accumulate large scores of photos and videos music and other downloadables from the Internet.  You can almost never have a hard drive that is to big.  Hard drives do come in different speeds and if your budget allows, you should choose the fastest hard drive available.  Hard drive speeds are measured in revolutions per minute or RPM.

If you’re purchasing a desktop computer you will need to decide what size monitor to purchase what size and type keyboard mouse and other peripheral devices to purchase as well.  If you are purchasing a notebook computer, the size monitor and keyboard are inherent in the model notebook that you pick.  Therefore, it is important when be getting your search for a new notebook PC to consider what size screen what type of keyboard and how have the you desire your notebook to be.  Notebooks come in very small sizes as light as three or 4 pounds, upt to the super sized 17 inch wide screens at more than 10 pounds in weight.  When deciding on which notebook model to purchase, also take a look at battery life.  Different notebook models consume batteries at different rates bracketing you differing battery lifetime.  Battery usage is dependent on what to processor, how large the computer is, graphics card support, and what else is being powered on your notebook.  Lastly, decide on which optional items you would like to purchase at this time such acts, notebook carrying cases, tractors or scanners, thumb drives, and more.

For the average computer user that is simply looking to browse the Internet set a few emails and download some music from iTunes, you can comfortably equip a notebook or desktop PC for $500 or less .  For a serious gamer, your PC will be considerably more expensive.  Gaining PCs required the fastest processors and the best graphic arts in order to run games at the best performance rates.  Some top tier getting PCs costs more than $4000.

Check out our Online PC Coupons section.  Shopping for the holidays?  Check out our holiday PC shopping guide.

There are other factors to consider when deciding which brand and model PC to purchase.  First, various brand name recognition.  Brands such as dell, HP, Sony, and school, are widely known and very popular in the marketplace.  However, there are also numerous other PC Brands that offer reliable, reasonably priced PCs, such as Acer, Fujitsu, Gateway and others.  There are numerous websites online that offer in-depth expert and customer reviews for just about every PC out there.  If you have a large consumer electronics store in your neighborhood or nearby, it would also behoove you to take a trip there to take a look at the computer in person.  Place your hands on the keyboard, take a look at the monitor, see exactly where all the USB ports and the disk drives are located.

What you finally selected your PC, and are ready to purchase it, you must decide how you will do so.  You can either go to your neighborhood electronics store and purchase it in person, or purchase your PC online.  There are many reasons why purchasing a PC online is a good thing to do.  It is easy to shop online from the convenience of your home anytime day or night.  Also, shopping online will allow you to purchase your PC direct from the manufacturer if you choose, such as directly from the Dell or HP.  Doing so, will allow you to configure your PC exactly the way you want it, instead of simply purchasing one that is already on the shelf and may not have all of the items you want — or may have items you do not want but are paying for anyway.  And lastly, there are many electronic coupons available for use online only that may save you hundreds of dollars on your new PC.  Many of these coupons are only accessible and only usable online such as many of the coupons listed on this website .  Buying a new notebook or desktop PC should be an exciting time and should not offer any headaches for you.  If you have any questions about buying your new PC feel free to e-mail us for the answers.

Want more details on how to shop for a Backup Hard Drive and how to decide on a backup plan? Check out our latest article on how to select a best Backup Hard Drive.

Print Friendly