Buying a Computer
What To Do And Why
It isn't fair, but buying a computer
is just plain easier for some than it is for others. Those
who've purchased and used a computer in the past already have
an idea of what they need in a new computer. But those who are
new to the computer world could get lost in the myriad of
The short answer to "What should I
buy?" is "The best." Of course that answer is extremely
subjective because "the best" to one person is certainly
different to another. Our definition of "the best" is the
fastest and the biggest, but even that leaves the computer
newbie confused. Here's a quick rundown of what the computer
novice should do and why.
1. Buy a computer that includes basic peripherals. Every
computer can be broken down into four major components: CPU
unit, monitor, keyboard, and mouse. For the novice, it's best
to buy a computer that has all of these components included so
that when it's taken home, assembling the computer is a simple
matter of plugging things in where they belong. Save the
individual purchases of these components for those who have
2. Decide what you'll use the computer
for. If you want to use your computer for cruising the web,
sending email, or performing simple word-processing or
spreadsheet tasks, a computer with the basic components that we
just described should suffice. If you want to use a computer to
help with a career in multimedia however, you're going to need
to accessorize your system with a scanner, printer, digital
camera, tablet, or digicam for example. If you want a computer
to help with a career in music, you will need a quality
microphone and set of speakers.
3. Create a budget and stick to it.
How much can you afford to spend on a new computer? Although
the prices of computers are decreasing, they can still create a
hefty expense especially if you need additional peripherals
described above. In addition, you'll need to figure in costs
for maintenance, servicing, and insuring.
4. Start comparison shopping and look
for the "fastest and biggest." By "fastest and biggest," we
mean the computer with the fastest processor, the fastest
modem, the biggest memory, and the biggest hard drive capacity.
Even if you think that you'll never need the amount of speed or
space available on the market today, it's important to have in
the event that you truly do need that much in the future.
Having such a large reserve will cut down on costs when the
time comes to upgrade for more than what you may settle for in
a computer that offers less.
5. Stick with the better-known brands.
Venturing off the beaten path with lessor-known brands is
again, an adventure for those who have more experience with
computers. Although those better-known brands may be a tad bit
more expensive, the computer novice will appreciate the comfort
in purchasing a computer from a business that has a long record
of building quality products, and that has the funds available
for fulfilling returns, trades, servicing, and
6. Select a store. Having an idea of
what you want in a computer and what kind of computer that you
want, your only task left is to select the place in which you
want to buy it. There are a number of places available
including computer store outlets, online stores, auction sites,
used computer stores, or your friendly neighborhood yard sale.
For the computer novice, we recommend buying a computer from a
physical store. In a physical store, you have the opportunity
to see the computer of interest in person and ask questions.
New computer buyers also have access to store warranties,
returns, trades, and services.
These suggestions should give the
computer newbie a great start in selecting a quality computer
for the first time and they apply to either Windows computers
or Apple Macintosh computers. After making these decisions and
finally selecting one that fits your needs, you can then
venture into the fascinating world of software - a world that
is just as grand as the world of hardware!