Things to consider When buying computer

When people ask which computer (desktops or laptops) is best for their needs, first thing to tell them is that there is no clear answer to that question. There are too many different types of computer (desktops or laptops) over there, and different price, categories to suit them. However, you should start asking them some questions or do give them a checklist that they should consider before buying a computer or any device.

buying computer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the computer world today, it can be very easy to get someone confused and lose sight of your goals and sometimes your budget. Here’s the top basic things to consider when buying a computer system. The First Thing to Know when Buying a computer system is by asking yourself some of this questions:

  • What are my budgeting income?
  • What are the requirement of the system, is it a laptop or desktop computer?
  • What is the best brand of computers (Manufacturers)?
  • What are the names of the best computers manufacturers?
  • Which of this computers company are popular?
  • How can I make the right choice when buying a computer?
  • What should be the size am look for?
  • How is the screen quality?
  • Does the battery last for long at least up to 8 hours?
  • What is the storage and RAM size?
  • What is the processor speed?
  • Is it a 64 or 32 bit operating system?
  • Which windows is been installed on the computer?

The answer is don’t worry this article is going to help you make the right choice when purchasing/buying a new or fairly used computer system. So to answer the above questions, when buying a computer system the first thing to put in mind/consideration is the budget follow by the product type. The budget in the income while the product type is the company that manufactured the computer you intend to buy. The following are top basic things to consider when buying a computer (desktop or laptops):

Most importantly, is for you to know what you want to use it for and set aside a realistic budget for that.

Your budget

The first thing that most of us are constrained to is budgeting, so this is the first thing you should consider before planning to buy a computer system. We always want the best but we need to be grounded on what we can afford (i.e the income at hand). So Get a budget and stick to it.

Laptop or Desktop?

The next thing you should be looking at considering buying a computer is your requirements. Do you need a laptop computer or desktop computer ? What is the machine going to be used for? Once you have done this go back to number one and see if these are compatible often they are not first time round. You either need to adjust your budget or adjust your goals to make them more compatible with each other.

Manufacturers

  1. HP
  2. Dell
  3. Apple
  4. Compaq
  5. Toshiba
  6. Samsong
  7. Lenovo
  8. Sony
  9. Acer

Size

If portability is your main concern, then you need to consider a notebook, palm top, laptop that has a small-ish screen and a light weight. Any laptop marketed as an Ultrabook should fit your bill here, as they are designed to be slim and light. More to the point, though, look for a laptop with a screen that’s 12.5-13.3 inches in size, and a weight that is from 1-1.5kg.

Screen quality

You’ll be staring at your computer for many hours every day, so you want to make sure you get a screen that is comfortable to look at all time when using your computer. Many computers these days also have touch-screens, which means they are glossy. Glossy screens lead to reflections, so consider a computer that doesn’t have a touch-screen.

Next, look at the resolution. A 1920×1080-pixel resolution (i.e  Full HD) should be considered if you want plenty of space to line up windows and keep things in view. Finally, the viewing angles are extremely important. A laptop screen that touts IPS (in-plane switching) technology offers the widest viewing angles and the best user comfort when using.

Try not to buy a blind computer. If possible, go into a store and see the screen for yourself. Otherwise, rely on multiple reviews to get a good overview of the computer you are to buy.

Keyboard quality

For long typing sessions, you must get a computer that has a comfortable keyboard. You don’t want to get a keyboard that packs in every key under the sun (think keyboards that have squished in number pads) because that can translate to a poor overall user experience when hunting for keys like the arrows.

You want a keyboard that has a comfortable layout with full-sized keys and some space around the arrow keys. The keys should have adequate travel on the down-stroke and snappy responsiveness when you let them go. Make sure the keyboard is also backlit, so that you can type with an easier view on the keys in dimly lit environments. Is good to try before you buy, especially if your main task will be typing.

Battery life

Manufacturer-quoted battery life is often not indicative of what a computer can do, and this is based on the many variables that affect battery life. These are the screen brightness, the screen resolution, and the tasks that you run. If you run programs that need lots of processing, or if you stream lots of online video, or if you transfer lots of files over your wireless network, then your battery will drain a lot sooner than what the vendor has quoted. So this is really depend on the way the user uses the computer system.

Look at the rating of the battery in Watt-hours (Wh) or milliamp-hours (mAh). The larger these figures are, the longer the battery can last. For a 13.3in Ultrabook, for example, a battery with a rating from 44Wh to 50Wh will give you the best results.

USB Ports

You shouldn’t get a computer/laptop without a USB 3.0 port, and you should look for a computer/laptop that has at least a couple of these ports. This is for obvious reasons such as plugging in an external hard drive to back up your computer/laptop’s data, or for when you want to plug in a conventional mouse or a fancy keyboard.

Fingerprint reader and TPM

Fingerprint readers are great for logging into mobile devices and the latest Windows 10 Operating System makes further use of them with its Windows hello system. Ultimately, people can guess your password, but few can fake a fingerprint. These are very good for security reasons.

Build quality

No matter how careful we are, computer or laptops as the case may be can get bashed and dropped. Some are built to withstand rain and dust and some are built especially for the brutal educational environments – some can even come with military-grade protection. Others can weather liquid spills and can be rinsed clean. Either way, it’s worth checking out how much testing a computer/laptop has undergone (the manufacturer usually crows about it) or whether there’s any certification.

Over view form Learncomputer

Of course, you need to balance these features with your budget and your needs, and you might have to make some compromises. Rarely does a computer/laptop come along that ticks all the boxes, especially when it comes to price. Let us know in the comments below if you consider other aspects of a computer/laptop to be more important (maybe you want better gaming performance or a rugged build, maybe you want a computer/laptop that can turn into a tablet), and especially let us know if you’ve already found the perfect laptop for your needs.

Now its time to look at the computer, checking the computer system information
There are many things to be consider when actually planning buying a computer, here I will list the most important once so as for you to choose wisely.

After the above choice have been made, the next thing to consider when buying a computer system are hard/local disk which is the storage of the computer system where all applications and files are stored, processor (cpu), and RAM.

Storage

This is the next piece you should tackle. Computers today usually come with 250GB and 750GB of space in the hard drive. As more people are storing their information online on cloud storage, you may want to rethink of buying a huge hard drive space.

Place to get free cloud storage;

  • Google provides the 1st 15GB of free & monthly fee of $1.99 for 100GB and $9.99 for 1 terabyte.
  • Mega provides free 50GB
  • pCloud provides free 10GB
  • MediaFire provides 10GB
  • Dropbox provides 2GB

Hard drives used to be all the rage, but these days they are mostly out of favour, especially for thin and light computers. This is because they can be slow, somewhat bulky, and produce noticeable heat and noise. A solid state drive (SSD), on the other hand, offers a lot more speed than a hard drive, runs silently, and can be installed in a form factor that doesn’t add too much to the weight and bulk of a computer.

The only problem is that SSDs don’t offer as much capacity. You’ll be stuck with a drive that’s either 128GB or 256GB in size, and even then, computers with 256GB SSDs are pretty expensive. Stick to a 128GB SSD for your new computer and you’ll love the speed with which it can load programs, access your data, and also how quickly it can boot up your system.

The newest, fastest computers also have NVMe solid-state drives which are much faster than traditional SSDs but also more expensive.

Steps to Check the system information

  1. Click on the start button/menu
  2. Click on computer or my computer
  3. Point and click hard or local disk to select it
  4. After pointing and clicking, Right click on it and select properties

Hard Disk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the Image Above, number 1 shows the Used Space, number 2 shows the Free space and number 3 shows the total space.

Processor (CPU)

This is the most important factor when choosing a computer nowadays and there are many factors in the processor choice, the main thing is that in my opinion Intel and AMD are at the moment making the best chips and their core 2 duo range is the best so go for one in this families and you will be ok.

It’s hard to go past any of Intel’s Core-based CPUs when buying a new laptop. Think Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7. These CPUs offer the best performance when it comes to multitasking and multimedia tasks. Core i3-based notebooks are generally found in entry-level systems, while Core i5 makes up the majority of mainstream computers.

Core i7-based systems are for those of you who want the best performance from your computer. However, note that with a Core i7-based system, heat coming through the base of the computer can be cause for concern, especially for those using laptops which are normally placed on their lap a lot of the time can generate concern in the users body. Example of the two basic processors types are as follows:

  • Intel Processor (types of intel processor are: Intel Atom, Intel Itanium, Intel Xeon, Intel core, Intel core 2, Intel Core i3, i5 and i7, Intel Pentium R, Intel Pentium M, Intel Pentium 4, Intel Pentium D,  Intel Pentium pro, Intel Pentium II, Intel Pentium III, Intel Celeron etc)
  • AMD Processor (types of AMD processor are: AMD Sempron, AMD  athlon 64, AMD  athlon 64X2, Opteron, Phenom)

Processor Speed

The speed of the processor is measured in GHz meaning Gigahertz which means the higher the processor speed the higher the performance and the lower the processor speed the lower the performance and the use of clock speed is the rate at which a processor executes a task in a computer system. Examples of some processor speed numbers are:

  1. 2.00GHz
  2. 2.5GHz
  3. 3.46 GHz
  4. 3.06 GHz
  5. 3.2GHz
  6. 3.6GHz
  7. 5GHz etc

Steps to check the processor speed

  1. Click on the start button/menu
  2. Click on computer or my computer
  3. Right click on an empty space in my computer environment
  4. Click on Properties
processor, RAM and system type
This Image show the display of Processor, RAM and System type

RAM

RAM stands for Random Access Memory, is the physical hardware inside a computer system that temporarily stores data, serving as the computer’s working memory.

Essentially, the more rams you have , the more faster your browsers and applications you can open on you computer. 4Gb is the most basic nowadays. 8GB is the sweet spot for most people. If you are a gamer, photo editor or video editor, or planning to do CAD/CAM work, you need at least 16GB of Ram. Make sure you get windows vista 64bit as your operating system.

You need 2 GB, 4GB, 8GB etc of RAM or more to get the best out of your computer system. More RAM are also allowed for more applications to be run at the same time and for more data to be quickly accessible by the system at any one time, which comes in handy for tasks such as editing photos.

Step to check the RAM

  1. Click on the start button/menu
  2. Click on computer or my computer
  3. Right click on an empty space in my computer environment
  4. Click on Properties

Other factors to consider when buying a computer

Graphics

Now all computers come with some form of graphics built in. But my recommendation is to go with something a little better possibly from NVIDIA or AMD. They make your computer resolution better. AMD cards are good for mining while NVIDIA is good for Adobe programs.

Computer Software

Most computers comes with Microsoft software, the popular operating system in today’s computer is the windows operating system which are as follows and the latest version is Windows 10 with a 64 bit Operating system, is very important to note that the Operating system can be based on 64 bit operating system or 32 bit operating system.

List of Microsoft Operating system (OS)

  1. Windows 8 and 10
  2. Windows 7
  3. Windows vista
  4. Windows XP etc

Anti-Virus Software

The last thing to do with the actual computer is a good virus and spy ware package. Don’t be under any illusion this is possibly the most important part of protecting your computer malicious harm online. It will get attacked at some point be prepared when it does.

Valentine Ernest

Valentine Ernest is the founder and editor of learncomputer.com.ng. He loves to share knowledge on Computing, knowing full that ICT is fast growing in today's world, so he keeps updating his readers/viewers about news from various sources to keep readers/viewers informed on the latest skills in computing.