If it’s the season to upgrade your beige box, or add another computer for the kids – make sure you go in prepared.
The price of computers has dropped considerably from the last time you bought one, so finding a powerful machine under budget, shouldn’t be a problem.
Leo Laporte is the host of The Lab with Leo on G4TechTV and I asked him for some hints on buying a new computer.
You shouldn’t choose a computer by price.
It’s easy to get seduced by low price points, but Leo says “a lot of times you buy a cheap computer and it’s just something you put in the closet, it’s just too hard to use or its unreliable.”
Most of these cheap computers are also Windows based, again something Leo says may not be best.
“For most home users who take pictures, make movies, burn DVDs, a Mac is so much easier.”
Mac for home, Windows for work.
The reason people are switching to Apple is the computers are built for the things we want to do with our computers. Organize music and photos. Make some movies, check some email and hit some websites.
The iLife software that comes with each Mac makes all of that easy.
One of those sexy iMacs you see in the commercials run around $1200, and while that may sound expensive, Leo says “even if you were going for a PC, that’s about the minimum amount I’d spend.”
The MacMini is about half the cost of an iMac and while you’d need a monitor, mouse and keyboard, Leo says you can use the ones from your old PC.
There are reasons to go PC.
The Mac may be the one you want, but it might not be the one you should get.
Leo says, “if there’s work you need to take home and you have to use Windows programs or if the local expert is a Windows person, and you need the help, you should get what they know.” And that’s Windows.
Here’s the shopping list Leo says you should take with you for a new PC:
- don’t get Windows Vista Basic, get Windows Home Premium
- at least 2 gigabytes of memory
- a decent sized screen, 17 inches at least, 19 is better – probably LCD
- hard drive should be at least 120 gigabytes
catch the buzz… pass it on.