If you’re like most people, trying to figure out where to start when it comes to buying a laptop or desktop computer is difficult. However, these tips may help you find a reliable, basic computer within your budget.
What’s Your Budget and Need?
If you are just looking to access the Internet a few nights a week, check your e-mail, do a little online banking or shopping, etc., you most likely will need just a basic laptop or desktop. The good news is that you probably won’t have to spend much for a new laptop or desktop, which will cost somewhere in the $400 – $700 range.
Processors for Basic Desktops and Laptops
For a basic desktop computer, try to purchase one with an Intel Core Duo or Dual Core processor. These are consistently reliable processors. Since the names of the processors change often, buy a desktop that has at least a processor with a dual (or duo) capability. The dual/duo capability terms basically mean that the manufacturer’s processor is trying to double the computer’s speed (…Kind of like going from a 4-cylinder car engine to an 8-cylinder engine.). Here’s a simple recommendation: Stick with an Intel processor that’s at least a dual core with a 2.6 to 3MB Cache and 2.7 to 3 GHz speed.
For a basic laptop computer, try to purchase a laptop with an Intel Pentium Processor T4300 or T4400. The leading manufacturers of laptops, such as Dell, HP, and Toshiba, are currently including these processors in their machines. And, as you may have already guessed, the T4400 processors are a bit quicker.
Memory for Basic Desktops and Laptops
Most basic desktop computers come standard with at least 2 GB of SDRAM. You can usually purchase a basic desktop with at least 2 to 4 GB of SDRAM. In other words, get as much memory as you can afford! Here’s why: Since technology grows leaps and bounds, software programs, Internet connections, Internet browsers, games, etc., begin to take up more and more space on your computer. Any and all of these applications have historically sucked up more memory with each new version, upgrade, etc. The last thing you want to have is a brand new version of Microsoft Word that takes half an hour to open because there’s not enough memory on your machine, right? Chances are, it’s not a huge cost to purchase a desktop computer with more SDRAM, and it will save you from aggravation later on.
A basic laptop computer with at least 2 to 4 GB or DDR (SDRAM) memory is a good buy.
Hard Drives for Basic Computers and Laptops
For a basic computer, you’ll notice that most basic laptops and desktops will come standard with at least a 320GB to 500GB hard drive. If you can afford it, try to buy a desktop or laptop with at least a 500GB hard drive. Why? For the same reasons we mentioned above, which are as technology grows, computer programs begin to take up more and more space on your computer. While you’re shopping, you’ll find that some computers look like a real deal because they’re inexpensive. However, once you look closely at the computer, and you realize it only has a 160GB hard drive, you might want to re-consider. Buying a 160GB hard drive nowadays is like buying a two-seater sports car with a trunk so small that it only holds a pack of gum!
For a basic desktop computer, see if you can buy at least a 320GB through a 500GB hard drive.
For a basic laptop computer, you can likely find deals with at least a 250GB through a 500GB hard drive.