computer

One of the best things about shopping for a computer or laptop is the opportunity to experience new features and functionalities of a brand new hardware. Here are some tips to help you pick the best one for you.

Things To Consider

Shopping Online

Opting to shop online can generate the best selection, in addition to the best prices.

When to Shop

New models tend to show up around January, July, and October. This means these months can also be good times to scoop up older models at a discount.

Green Computers

Computers with high Energy Star ratings offer great, green-friendly options.

Buying a-la-Carte

Ordering from the manufacturer’s website is a good way to get something built to your exact specifications.

Ergonomics

Particularly with laptops, you want to make sure you are comfortable with the keyboard, with carrying it around, and with everything else you need from your laptop.

Tech Support

It’s worth keeping in mind that Apple tends to have the best rated tech support.

Picking The Right Desktop Model

All-in-ones

These models are expensive, but they will give you absolutely everything you could ever need in a desktop computer.

Full-sized

Yes, they take up a lot of space, but in terms of power, features, and upgrades/repairs, these models bring a lot to the table.

Compacts

These compact models are certainly more affordable, but upgrading/repairing them can be difficult.

Gaming

Lightning-fast processors, top-of-the-line graphic cards, and several large HDs are just a few of the features you can count on with these gaming-centric models.

Picking The Right Laptop Model

11-13 inch Screen Size

While these models sacrifice a little speed, they are generally ideal for people who travel often.

17-18 inch Screen Size

If you want to replace your desktop as an entertainment hub, these laptops may be perfect.

Chromebook

Utilizing Google Chrome, the Chromebook isn’t the fastest or most feature-heavy show in town, but it’s one of the most affordable.

14-16 inch Screen Size

Clocking in at four to six pounds, these models tend to offer the best balance of everything you need from a laptop.

Convertibles/Detachables

These laptops are ideal for those who want to strike an intriguing balance between laptop and tablet.

Tablet

As tablets become more dynamic, in terms of features/speed/space, while adding features like keyboards, some people have replaced laptops altogether with tablets.

Features To Look For

Processor

Think of the processor as the brain, so look for a computer whose processor is going to match up to your needs.

Logging On

Face-recognition and fingerprint scanners are two possibilities, but fingerprint scanners tend to be more reliable.

Graphics Card

This element is responsible for drawing everything you will see on your screen, so make sure you study the varied differences between integrated graphics and discreet graphics.

Video Output

Make sure any desktop you purchase includes all necessary video outputs, including VGA, DVI, and HDMI.

Batteries

Keep in mind how you plan to use your laptop, and how that can impact battery life. You should also note that non-removable batteries can often be expensive to replace.

Mouse

A wireless model is easier to use, but you will have to use batteries.

Memory

Also known as RAM, this feature is measured in gigabytes, and it functions as a temporary means of data storage.

Operating System

Windows remains the dominant OS, offering tons of features, apps, and an ease-of-use that puts it ahead of alternatives like Macs

Hard Drive

This is the feature in which all of your documents, videos, photos, programs, and more will be stored. Cloud computing and solid state drives offer viable alternatives.

Optical Drive

An optical drive allows you to read/write CDs, DVDs, and even Blu-ray. As well connect to optical audio.

Sound

With the exception of all-in-ones, speakers tend to be optional with desktops. Laptop speakers are built-in, but they can vary in quality and Apple has some of the best.

Touchpads

Rather than a mouse, most laptop models utilize a touchpad.

Best Brands

Apple

Although Apple devices tend to be a little pricey, the benefits of the Mac OS X, amongst other perks, continue to give Apple a sizable chunk of the market.

Asus

You can find a number of options that can definitely appeal to those who want gaming machines.

HP

The top seller of laptops and desktops in the U.S. offers a variety of models for a range of demands.

Dell

Tons of mass-market options are available through Dell.

Acer

A variety of desktops and laptops are available through Acer at a variety of prices.