There is one truism about computers: it’s not a case of if it will die but when it will die and the prospect of shopping for a replacement is daunting. The technical jargon used to describe the capabilities and performance of a laptop or PC is impenetrable to most so this article will be the first in a short series to help you make a good decision.
The first thing to consider is what you will use your computer for. Ninety percent of us really only need something to read email, browse the internet, write some word documents, store photos and music and other basic tasks. If this is you then a basic, good quality machine will be fine. Remember that basic modern computers are much faster and more powerful than they were 5 years ago but also be aware that the things we watch on the internet – websites and video are far more ‘data rich’ and need better processors to deliver that stuff to your screen.
Your next choice will be a laptop or desktop. Laptops are handy for working in different rooms in your house and taking with you when you travel. If this sounds like you then a laptop is a good choice.
If you want a computer for your home office, then I’d suggest a desktop computer. Due to the wear and tear of being carried and moved, a laptop generally won’t last as long as a desktop PC.
These days a laptop is often (but not always) cheaper than a desktop. You probably don’t need to spend much more than $1000 on a laptop while a decent desktop will set you back about $1250 including a new larger monitor.