Choosing a new computer can be exciting – all those choices, all that processing power! – but it can be quite daunting, at the same time – all those choices, all that processing power… Going to buy a new computer without some idea of the options out there offers the potential for disaster. Here are some pointers to think about before you start to shop.

PC vs Laptop

A few short years ago, laptops were uncomfortably heavy, had horribly short battery lives and did not offer anything like the processing power of a ‘proper’ desktop computer, or personal computer (PC). Therefore, people tended to have PCs at the office and at home, with only people who worked out of the office for most of the working day needing or wanting a laptop. Today, laptops are lightweight, speedy and have batteries that last several hours and recharge quickly, enabling most people to meet all their computing needs and be mobile at the same time. If you are a serious gamer, work with 3D or HD graphics or have other very specialised computing needs, you are most likely to still need a PC with a spacious tower in order to fit in all the interfaces and ports that you will need. Other than this, laptops can meet all the computing requirements that most people have. Without specialised needs, you are looking at a wide range of both PC and laptop, most of which come with some kind of word-processing and spreadsheet software, allow you to download, store and edit your photographs, access social media and access the Internet.

Memory Banks

The storage capability of your new computer is no longer as important as it used to be. With access to Cloud-type storage becoming more and more prevalent people are keeping their photographs, documents and even purchased movies and music in vast digital vaults outside of their personal computer’s memory. For those who do not trust these off-line storage options, there are flash drives, writable CDs and DVDs and large external hard drives, all of which can augment your computer’s internal memory.

Double Speed

What is of concern to many is the processing speed of their computer, especially if, as many people do, they watch television shows and films through their device. There is little more frustrating than waiting minutes for a video clip or television show to download, unless it is then frequent interruptions as the footage buffers, causing the video to play unevenly with frequent pauses and jumps. Another feature to take into account here is your internet connection. The old dial-up connections were not online all the time, and the connection speed was slow, sometimes intermittent and surfing the web could be a times-consuming and unsatisfactory experience. Broadband changed all that, allowing full-time instant connection to the internet, and using just a portion of a landline telephone connection instead of the whole cable’s bandwidth. Fibre optic broadband is the latest innovation and offers even faster connections, smooth video and music streaming and faster than ever responses when loading webpages.

Taking these features into account, jot down a list of your computer requirements so that you will be able to say no to unnecessary and expensive additions to the PC or laptop of your choice. Happy shopping!