laptopChoosing a new computer or laptop can be a very challenging experience.  With so make different options with a wide range of different functions and features available, deciding on just one model can seem almost impossible.  Do we want a PC or a Mac?  Do we want a desktop or a laptop? Is a tablet a better choice?  How large do we want the screen to be?  How much RAM do we really need?  And which processor is the best?  Technology seems to be advancing at such a rapid rate that it can be very difficult to determine which computers will last the longest and which ones are already nearly obsolete.

Step One:  What are your needs? 

A computer that will be used to simply surf the web and read emails may not require as much of the extra features as one that would be used for streaming online movies or playing video games.   If the new computer is going to be used for work purposes, perhaps a model that is compatible with your office’s equipment is best.  Do you need a video cam for Skyping with family and friends?  How much can you afford to spend?  Do you need a massive amount of storage space on the hard drive?  Or will you primarily be using the cloud?

Step Two:  Desktop, Laptop or tablet? 

If you need a truly powerful computer for gaming or video streaming, a desktop model is usually the better choice.  Desktop PC’s or Mac’s will cost a bit more than the more portable and less powerful laptops and tablets, too.  When choosing a laptop or tablet, pay attention to the battery life of the unit.

Step Three:  PC or Mac?

Deciding between a Mac and a PC usually comes down to a matter of personal preference.  However, with so many of our employers now using Mac’s in the workplace, it might be a good idea to make this transition in your personal life as well.  Make sure that you have an expert provider of Mac repair services in mind, in case something goes wrong with the computer in the future.  Your current PC repair service may lack the technical expertise to perform routine maintenance tasks on a Mac.

Whether you go with a PC or a Mac, there will be a wide range of choices.  Some computers come already manufactured and preloaded with all of the needed software while others can be customized and built to your specific requirements.  Asking the right questions and taking the time to conduct a bit of research on your own may help to save you from that dreadful feeling of “buyer’s remorse”.