In modern world, we can buy a PC for anywhere from about $150 to $5,000 or more. Actually, the price you pay for your computer will depend on your needs and on your budget. You can start with a base model, adding extras and changing elements, all of that adding huge amount of money to the base price.
How to Select and Buy a PC
How to Determine a Price Range of a PC
You should thoroughly research different models and prices before you take the decision, but here are some useful guidelines which can help you find a laptop at the right price:
First at all determine how often will you use the computer? If you want to run a home business or to write long texts ten or more hours a day, you should consider a good-quality laptop to withstand the use. On the contrary, if you turn you computer twice a day to check your email, a small machine will do the affair.
Then think about the features, from the size of the display and the weight of the computer to its functionalities: will you use it to store huge amount of data? Will it run several programs at once? Will you watch many movies online or play games online? All of these and many more features will influence the price.
Consider buying a refurbished or an used computer. This may be a good option, but technology goes out of date quickly, so the older model might not support newer software or peripheral devices.
Shop wisely, as the prices for the same models can vary in different stores. Check the shipping costs if you buy computer online, look for discounts, etc. Many companies produce non-name-brand PC at lower prices, and you can be surprised at the bargains that you can find. However, what you gain in price you will certainly loose in quality.
eBay, Amazon and other auction sites are usually a source of new or slightly used computers sold at a low price. But if you opt for these options, be sure you deal with a reputable seller. Check reviews that other buyers have posted about these sources or contact the Better Business Bureau. Always check the auction site for guidance on staying safe when buying goods.
How to Select a Monitor
A good screen will make your computing time easier on your eyes. Besides, the crisper the image, the more impressive will be the display of your vacation photos…
Here are some important factors to consider when choosing your laptop:
- Size: Monitors come in several sizes. Generally, larger screens are easier on our eyes, but obviously they are more expensive, and a computer with a larger monitor takes up more space.
- Image quality: The quality varies greatly, and you’ll see such terms as Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) terms, flat panel, flat screen resolution, brightness, pixels and so on referred to the screen. Screens should reduce glare.
- Resolution: A resolution is a number of pixels that form the image on the screen. The higher the resolution, the crisper the image. A laptop screen, for example, should provide at least a 1,024 x 768 pixel resolution.
- Touchscreen technology: Today’s OS provide support for using a touchscreen interface, which allows you to use your fingers to provide input by tapping a touchscreen device. You can this walk through Web pages or flip the pages in an electronic book much easier. But you can still use your keyboard and mouse to provide input.
Processor Speed and Memory
The speed at which a computer runs programs or completes tasks is determined in great measure by the processor speed. Processor speed is measured in gigahertz (GHz) Higher numbers give the best performance, and you must factor that into your decision.
As to Memory, computers have a certain amount of storage capacity for running programs and storing data. That’s why you’ll always see specifications for RAM and hard-drive data storage capacity when yo go computer shopping. As the specific numbers change always, follow the rule of thumb: look for a computer with higher RAM numbers.
RAM: this is the memory the computer needs to simply access and run programs. RAM chips come in different types, such as DRAM, SDRAM, DDR2, and so on. RAM chip are rated by access speed (the access speed relates to how quickly a machine can complete a request for data. RAM speed is measured in megahertz (MHz). Your computer requires some RAM to run the operating system.
Cores: Your processor has multiple cores, as most processor are multiple-cores (such as the i3, i5, i7 processor lines from Intel). Multiple core means that two or more processors read and execute software instructions. We call dual-core computers with two processors, while the computer with four processors is called quad-core. The more cores you have, the faster you computer can process instructions, because all the cores can work at once and make thus multitasking possible (multitasking means that you can run several programs at once, for example, play music, download files, run an antivirus scan, work in a word processor and perform all these tasks at the same time).
Hard drive: Each hard drive has a certain capacity for data storage. We measure this capacity in gigabytes (GB) or even in terabytes (TB). Each terabyte contains thousand of gigabytes.
If you have a laptop, the amount of time it retains a battery charge is important. Today’s models offer battery lives of many hours, and technologies to extend battery life even more are evolving at a rapid pace. The most popular types of battery for laptops are Lithuim Ion (LiOn) and Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH), older technologies have much less capacity.
You might need longer battery life if you’ll use your computer in a long airplane flight or when power just isn’t available for hours during storms and in other situations.
How to Choose an Optical Drive
Many computers are not equipped today with an Optical drive, that’s a small drawer built-in the machine which opens out, allowing the user to place a CD or DVD in a tray and play it after the user pushes the drawer back into the laptop. In the past, many software programs came on a CD or DVD, but today these apps can be downloaded from the Net or come recorded on the USB. But if you have a large collection of these discs, you may want to select a computer with an optical drive. In fact, so much can be done from the Internet in our days (download and install software or streaming video) that people do not need DVD drive. Well, if you buy a laptop with a built-in DVD drive (or if you opt for an external drive) :
You may want a DVD/CD combo drive as you still can find an old CD floating around with music or data you can’t find anywhere else (hum… you can always ask for help in a computer store, buy some people like to use vintage sources).
DVD drives used to be rated as R (read), write (W), or read-writable (RW). As their names suggest, a readable DVD drive allows you to only look at data on your discs, but doesn’t allow you to save data to them. A writable DVD drives can save data to discs and a read-writable DVD drive lets you both read and write to DVDs. In the very early days d DVDs, there were two different standards, + and -. That means that some drives could play DVDs formatted +, but not those formatted -. Later on, DVD drives used +/- denomination to tell the user that they could deal with any DVD.
Blu-ray discs: Blue-ray players are a great medium for storing and playing back feature-length movies in high quality.
How to Buy a Customized Computer
You can buy prepackaged computer or a customized computer, when the provider of the device builds the system for you after you have picked and chose various forms.
Here are the most important variables to pay attention for when you purchase a customized system. But keep in mind that these choices will add to your final price, so be sure you need an option before you select it:
- Type and speed of processor.
- Amount of RAM.
- Hard drive capacity.
- Installed software (productivity suite, such as Microsoft Office or Microsoft works, etc.).
- Graphic and sound cards.
- Peripherals, such as a printer or a wireless mouse.
- Monitor: larger or higher-end screen.
- Wireless capability.
- Technical support.
A company you purchase you computer from will provide explanations of each item to help you decide (but the sellers are eager to sell computers for top price, so you can’t expect them to talk at length about less expensive options).
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