Choosing a new computer can be very difficult, especially as the market becomes increasingly saturated with more and more technological companies, all striving to offer you the best deal. However, you need to be wary when buying a new computer because often what seems to be the best deal may in fact not be as good as you think.
There are a number of important things you need to consider before making your purchase, the most important of which are listed below.
1.) Work out the true worth of your ‘bargain’
People are always proud when they get something for a cheaper price than normal, however, with computers; it is not just the initial purchase price you need to consider. Often, the cheaper computers are blank canvasses and you have to spend the extra money, you initially saved, on essential software and hardware anyway.
Don’t be lulled into the false security that low prices can create. Always check exactly what you are getting for your money and then see how this tallies up in comparison to the more expensive models. You may even find it’s worth paying more now, rather than spending the next few weeks working out what you don’t have and buying it anyway.
2.) Don’t be duped by the sales team
Always remember the job of a salesperson is to, essentially, sell you things you don’t need in addition to those things you do need. There will probably be a higher mark up on these add-ons than the actual computer so your salesperson will be doing all they can to encourage you to make the extra purchases.
This is why we are always inundated with special offers and the one-upmanship attitude that manufacturers and suppliers constantly exhibit. Therefore try not to be easily impressed when a salesperson is throwing impressive sounding numbers and technical phrases at you.
The best thing you can do is to have the phrase ‘So what?’ at the forefront of your mind. What do all these figures and words mean to you? How do they help you? You need to make sure all the benefits of the computer are fully clarified, not just its specifications. Then you will be able to make a truly informed decision.
3.) What do YOU need?
Really think about what you need your new computer for, for instance, who will be using it, how much will it be used and will it need to be portable? The majority of computers available on the market will allow you to do pretty much anything these days; however, if you only need a new computer for word processing, browsing the internet and playing games, then you’re probably best off with a low-end machine that won’t cost the earth.
However, if you require more from your machine, you will need to ensure it has all the software, hardware and memory you require. Even though all these things can be added on at a later date, it is better to start out with as much as possible and more often than not, you will also be able to secure a better discount when buying all at once.
4.) Support & maintenance
It is really important to make sure you discuss IT support and maintenance before ever buying a computer. You will always get a warranty but the length of these varies and you should also check what is covered so you know what to expect should something go wrong. There will always be the option for an extended warranty too but many people are not keen to pay the upfront price of these.
You also need to know what the response times are like for support. For instance, if you are self-employed and need your computer for work and something goes wrong, can they have you back up and running in 24 hours, or is it going to take them 24 hours to get back to you. The best option is to buy a computer where you can buy a good service contact and have access to a 24 hour in-person support centre, stocked with people who know what they are talking about!
As with most commercial goods, it is really important to do your research into the brand and the computer itself before making your purchase. For instance, in addition to finding out more information from computer retailer sites, there are also numerous online forums where you will find a huge number of computer geeks taking great pride in slating or recommending the latest computers and brands.
Feel free to post any questions you have in the forums as you’re much more likely to get an honest response in forums than you are in the computer shop. Ultimately, always have your requirements at the forefront of your mind, as well as a top-end budget. This should keep you on track and ensure you choose the most suitable computer.
James writes for Quintech Computer Support. When not writing about pc services, he can often be found helping friends and family who beg for his technical skills.