Today, I would like to talk about buying a computer. Staying connected with friends and family online has become more important every day. And it all starts with buying a good computer that you can use to reach your online goals. Having a good computer can not only help you stay connected to friends and family, but you can also use it to view medical records online, do online shopping, or to pay bills or do online banking. But where does one start when looking to buy a new computer? And there’s so many different options out there. I wanna start by going over some of those options to help you make the best decision for you because it isn’t a universal fit. So let’s begin.

The right computer for your needs and budget

There are some important factors to consider when you’re looking at buying a new computer. One of the most important is probably budget. Computers can range from price from anywhere from a few hundred dollars to upwards of several thousand dollars. So, have an idea what kind of budget you’re wanting to stay with, within before you get started. Also the size of your computer and the size of the space where you want to put your computer. Some computers are quite tall or quite large and they can actually take up a large amount of space on your desk. So if you have a smaller apartment or just want to work from your kitchen table, a laptop might be best versus a desktop. Also consider the goals that you have for using your computer. Do you simply want to use your computer to check the internet, check on Facebook and do the occasional video call, or are you looking at getting into some graphic design or video editing or you’d like to edit some photos. Those are some goals, that would actually require a little bit more power in your computer. So, think about what it is that you wanna do with your computer, in order to find the one that fits your needs.

Laptop or Desktop?

There are some common things in modern computers that a lot of times come with the computer but it’s something that you kind of wanna watch for. Many laptops come standard with a microphone and a webcam now, as well as built in speakers. However, not all of them do. So if that’s something that’s important to you and you’re looking at a laptop, make sure that that is included in the one that you’re looking at. CD and DVD drives are actually not included in most computers now, both either desktop or laptops. They’re just not as commonly used. However, you can buy external drives that connect to your computer, so that if you needed to read a CD, you could do so. It’s also important to consider your internet connection. If you have a wireless internet connection, you’ll want to check to make sure that the computer comes ready for WiFi. WiFi stands for Wireless Fidelity but there won’t be a test on that later. WiFi will enable your computer to connect to the internet wirelessly. And if you don’t have a wireless connection, you’ll wanna make sure your computer has a port to be able to connect with a hard wire. Now, I am a little bit biased and I have a tendency to like to use desktop computers. And so I’m gonna tell you a little bit about why I choose to use desktop computers here. Desktop computers enable you to oftentimes have larger screens or more screens. Some desktop computers will let you have four or more screens if you want. Generally speaking, desktop computers are cheaper or at least cheaper for the amount of power and speed that you get. Desktop computers also have more universal parts that are more easily replaced. So for example, if the power unit in your computer went out, it’s likely that a technician in town or a store would have a power unit available for a desktop but they might have to special order one for a laptop. And again, you normally get more power and speed for the price for a desktop, than you do for a laptop. Now some disadvantages for desktops are simply that they are larger and they take up more space either underneath your desk or on top of your desk and they’re simply not portable. Laptops on the other hand are an all in one solution and they are very portable. They are smaller and you can easily pick them up and work from any part of your house, especially if you have a wireless internet connection. Some of the disadvantages of laptops are they can be more expensive and repairs can take more time or be more costly. Again, because the technician may need to order special parts just for that type of laptop. And the other thing about repairing a laptop, you’ll have to take the entire laptop into your service technician to have them work on it whereas with the desktop, if your monitor broke for example, you could simply get another monitor and just plug it in and use it. Whereas a laptop you’ll have to have take the whole unit in and so you’d be out for a period of time without your laptop. Laptops usually have smaller screens and keyboards. However, I should note that you can in most cases, connect a bigger monitor or a bigger keyboard and a bigger monitor and another mouse to your laptop. So if you like to use that, you can connect those to a laptop. Now all-in-one desktops are a rather unique solution. They generally have a larger screen like a desktop would but they have separate accessories like a keyboard and a mouse. However, all-in-one desktops have specialized parts and so it makes repair work a little bit more difficult and can be a little bit more costly. And again, you’ll have to turn in the whole computer to the repair shop rather than just a simple component. So that is kind of one solution that people might be looking for and those all-in-one desktop computers are available in both Macs and PCs.

Mac, PC or Other

And let’s talk a bit about operating systems now on our next slide. You’ve probably heard this argument before. People arguing over which, which is better, a PC or a Windows machine or an Apple machine. And really, it comes down to your personal preference. Apple is not as often used, however, it is a very reliable machine. They can be a little bit more expensive and there’s only one brand to choose from, Apple or Mac. And they can last a little bit longer because the way that they are built. But as you noticed here, I actually visited the Apple store just before I started this presentation and it looked to me like the least expensive model was 900 plus. Windows machines on the other hand, are by and large the most popular type of operating system out there with 74% of the market share. There’s many different brands to choose from. You’ve probably heard of ones like HP, Dell , Acer, ASUS. There’s many different brands of computers out there for Windows. And generally speaking, they’re less expensive than Apples. In fact, I went to look and see what the entry-level laptop costs on Costco and it was $600. These are a couple of operating systems that not a lot of people know about. Chrome is an operating system by Google and it’s mainly used if all you need to do is access the internet and do some simple tasks with the internet. However, it can’t run programs like Word, Excel or PowerPoint. It only has 6% of the market share, so it isn’t as commonly used. However, it is used a lot in education settings such as in high school or junior high and Chromebooks can be very affordable starting at only $250 and they work great if you want to do video calls. So it might be a really affordable option to just simply have something to do online things like banking and viewing online documents, checking Facebook and so that’s a nice option for people. Linux is an operating system that many people don’t know about and it is actually not commonly used among consumers. It’s more of a business thing. And so I really won’t go into the details there but that’s something you may hear of. And Linux has a few different symbols, you may see a penguin or a red hat, but that is more commonly used among businesses and programmers.

Good Security and Backup Software

No matter what computer you choose to use, there are two really important factors that I always tell people to do. And one is to get a good anti-virus or security software. Generally speaking, I’d like to tell people, buy a software that’s reliable, not something that’s free. So my two favorite are Norton and McAfee. There are several out there and if you have a cable internet provider sometimes they provide a software for you, such as Spectrum. They have a software you can download from their website. The other important factor is to have a good backup software so that you don’t lose all those precious photos and documents from your computer should something happen to them. Now, some of these anti-virus and security software, they actually do come with backup. I personally use Norton and it comes with I think it’s one terabyte of backup space and you can set it up to automatically backup your computer every so often. So that’s a really important factor for me. The other major thing, make sure that your computer has a good warranty no matter what brand it is, no matter how expensive it is, everything breaks. So in your budget, make sure and budget room for that extended warranty and also think about tech support. If tech support and assistance over the phone is included with that warranty. So make sure to have a good warranty because every computer no matter how expensive it is, breaks. So in conclusion, be sure to pick a device that fits your needs not necessarily the brand name. Get a good warranty that will replace the parts of your computer but may be able to help you with tech support. And if you’re using a retailer such as Costco or Walmart or Best Buy, see if they have a tech support option that can help you with common problems. And, install a good security software such as Norton or McAfee so that you’re, you won’t be subject to viruses, malware and you’ll have a good backup system in place. Thank you so much. Enjoy computer shopping.