Buying a New computer.
This is the time of year everyone asks about buying a new PC/Laptop.
"What should I get?" they ask.
"What do I need?"
“Should I get a tablet instead of a laptop?"
A tablet can take the place of a laptop if all you do is browse the Web and read e-mail. If you need to get any serious work done, whether for school or business or just everyday life, a laptop is still the better choice. It gives you a keyboard, a bigger screen, copious amounts of storage (Tablets have very little storage), and is compatibility with all your favorite software.
So, what kind of laptop or desktop should you get, and with what specs and features?
I can make this very simple, the following advice is the same for a laptop or a desktop computer:
1. Get at least 4GB of RAM.
That's "four gigabytes of memory" for those who don't speak PC. Anything less and your system will run slowly.
2. If you can afford it, get a system with an SSD.
That's short for "solid-state drive," which has no moving parts and therefore runs considerably faster, generates less heat, and consumes less power than a traditional hard drive. You'll pay a premium for an SSD and end up with less storage space, but it’s worth it.
How much storage do you really need? Most people rarely fill up more than 100GB so a 256GB SSD may seem like a downgrade compared with, say, a 500GB hard drive, but the speed benefits alone are worth the extra money.
3. Get a Good Processor.
The processor is the hart and the brain of the computer there are 2 choices of manufacture but in recent years Intel have developed a huge lead over AMD both in speed and battery life. Look for an Intel Core i3 for a basic computer, a Core i5 for something a bit more powerful and a Core i7 of gaming or very heavy processing requirements.
4. Windows 7 or 8
Check carefully which operating system it has installed, Windows 8 has just been released and its very different from all previous version of Windows. If you are feeling brave and want the very latest new software then go for Windows 8 (it is very very fast and very safe), if you want Windows to be similar to what you are using now then go for Windows 7.
One more thing.
It’s more difficult here if you want to buy a computer in English with an English QWERTY keyboard, you are stuck with having to order online. There are a few sites that have good service and a wide choice, Amazon.co.uk (look carefully when ordering that Amazon are the seller, there are many other merchants on Amazon that will not ship to France).
Dell France, look at the Dell.fr and make your choice of what to buy, then telephone Dell and ask to speak English, you will be transferred to the international department who will take your order and allow you to specify the language and keyboard options.
There are other sites but care needs to be taken that they will honor the warranty and take responsibility for the courier while the computer is being transported from the UK, some do not offer shipping insurance so check carefully.
If possible pay with a Credit card as you have extra protection if something should go wrong.
As for brands, they're all pretty good nowadays. Look for Apple, Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony. Compare prices between web sites, paying more does not necessarily guaranty you a better computer.
That said, one or two manufactures are not as good as they should be Toshiba have proven to be very unreliable with many failures straight out of the box. Cheaper brands like Medion look like a good deal but do not last very long 18 months and it’s all over.
If you need help or have any questions about your computer please give me a call or send me an email for FREE advice.
Bruce@mirax.org or Telephone 05 61 60 84 23.