If you are buying your first computer then most likely you have been using a family computer, or one that your parents have bought for you, or an older hand me down. So, it’s unlikely that you don’t know anything about what you are looking for, but what you may not know is exactly what you need in a computer of your own. Should you buy a new computer, or can you get by with a used or refurbished one? This first time guide will help you to pick out the computer that is right for you. (Updated regularly.)
Update: Check out the Kindle Fire. This can be a great inexpensive option depending on your needs.
The first thing you need to decide is whether you want a desktop or a laptop computer. Desktop computers generally have more computing power and are better at graphics intensive applications, such as video games. Laptops may be a better choice as you can take them wherever you want. Laptops can also connect to the internet anywhere there is a wi-fi hot spot, or wireless internet. If you are buying the computer for college remember that you may not have internet access in every dorm room. Check on this before making any decisions about what type of computer to buy.
Since you are a first-time buyer, you may want to get a well known brand name. You might be able to save a little money buying a little known brand, but well known companies such as Apple, Dell, Hp, and Compaq are more likely to follow through on their warranties and provide extensive support if something goes wrong. This also means that it would be better to buy a new computer as used ones rarely come with a warranty.
Without question, whether you are buying new or used, get a computer with a large hard drive. Videos, music, and the occasional Word document all add up to take up hard drive space, and if you are into computer games, plan on getting as big of a hard drive as you can afford. Deciding what all you want to do with your computer will help you figure out the best computer for your needs. Think about whether you are going to be listening to a lot of music or playing videos on your computer. If you are, then take a look into adding a video card, sound card, and speakers.
Before purchasing a computer take a look at the software package that comes bundled with it. A software package that includes Microsoft Office will enable you to do most everything that you for work or school. Make certain that an anti-virus is included in your software to ensure that your computer stays virus-free. If you do have any problems with your new computer, all of the major brands have a toll-free number that you can call and speak with someone that can help.
While some of the best computer deals can be found online, it might be a good idea to look around some brick and mortar stores for what you want. People who work in these stores can often answer any of your questions and make your buying decision much easier. Although these stores can be of some help in figuring out what you want to get, always check online to see what is the least expensive way to get any computer model you have chosen.
These are some of the basics of what you need to know when buying your first computer. Your new computer should last you for years if you take care of it.