Shopping for Computers this Christmas

Warning: There are some things in this guide that you may not understand if you aren’t knowledgeable with computers, if so don’t worry about it too much. I’ve tried to put here a good amount of understandable advice for everyone.

When shopping for a new computer or laptop there are a number of things to keep in mind. One of the most important being; what is the person I’m shopping going to use this computer for? If it’s just for personal use like browsing the internet and listening to music you’re probably not going to need as powerful of a computer as a graphic designer or video editor.

No matter whom you’re shopping for, you’ll want to try to find something that is moderately “future-proof”. Now, when I say future-proof it doesn’t mean that it’s going to last forever; no computer does. But it’d be nice to find a computer that won’t be out-dated by next Christmas. You’re probably going to want a decent amount of hard drive space (so you don’t run out right away), about 500 to 1000 Gigabytes (1 Terabyte) should be plenty for most people. I would get at least a dual-core processor (AMD has an 8-core processor available now), and enough RAM (memory) to keep your computer running quickly for your needs (I think 8 GB of RAM is a pretty good number right now). Also keep in mind that a laptop with the same features as a PC will generally cost more than the equivalent PC.

One of the best ways, in my opinion, to find a future-proof computer is to buy a machine that just got done being the top of the line. This way you wont break the bank or have to take out a second mortgage to afford it, and you’re also going to wind up with a pretty nice machine. One of the downsides to buying the very top of the line, other than the cost, can be that they haven’t quite worked out all the kinks yet and you may find yourself having to replace some things shortly.

Which brings me to my next topic; make sure whatever you buy is upgradable! I’m talking, of course, about the hardware inside your computer, not the software. That, in my opinion is one of the downsides to buying a Mac. They do have their strong points, like media design, but they are not on the whole, as easy to upgrade as a PC and you’ll end up paying more for less. If you’re a Mac lover I’m sorry if I offend, this is purely opinion, but if what you really like about a Mac is the operating system then I would just partition your hard drive in your PC and install a Mac OS on part of it.

Do’s and Don’ts of Computer-Related Shopping

Do:

  • Buy “future-proof” products. Described above, put simply, any product that is future-proof won’t be out of date soon and is also upgradable.
  • Your Own Research. Find out what they need, shop around, and read reviews!
  • Buy last month’s model. Better deal, not as buggy and will last you a while.
  • Save Yourself Money! Check warranty information and find out if there are any rebates going on.

Don’t:

  • Buy from sites no one has heard of. More often than not if you’re buying from a well-known site you’ll have better warranties, less DoA’s (Dead on Arrival), better customer service and longer lasting products.
  • Settle for less. I know how expensive computers can be but settling for the cheapest thing you can find will only end up costing you more in the end. Especially if it’s going to be used for work.
  • Buy computer hardwarethat isn’t compatible. Not all computer hardware is interchangeable. Some things like the processor, the motherboard, and the RAM have to be compatible with each other to work properly.

Shopping for Computer Games for Your Children?

You may like to know how the rating system works so you can find something appropriate for your child’s age group.

  • EC—Stands for Early Childhoodand is suggested for kids 3 and over.
  • E—Is for Everyoneand is suggested for kids 6 and over.
  • E10+—Is for Everyone 10 and over.
  • T—Is for Teenand is for teens 13 and over.
  • M—Is for Matureand is for people 17 and over.
  • AO—Is for Adults Only, meaning 18 and up.
  • Other rating include “RP” meaning Rating Pending, and “K-A” meaning it’s meant for Kids to Adults6 and over.

 
Would you like some more ideas for Christmas gifts this year? Click here!

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