Today’s technology has been advancing and changing so quickly that the average person is often left behind. It now feels like buying a new computer is harder than buying a new car. We are overwhelmed with details like storage capacity, gigabytes of memory, and processor speed. What brand should you buy? Will you need to buy other things to do what you want to do? How will you know which one is the right one for you? I will answer many questions like these when I break it down into 5 easy categories that will help you make the right choice.
The first thing I like to decide is what size I am wanting. That will help narrow down the choices a lot. I prefer a 17″ laptop because of the work that I do. Some people prefer a sleek 14″ laptop for easy travel capabilities. Once you know your preferred size, you will want to identify any software needs you may have. Do you have programs you need to use that have special requirements? Some older software is not yet compatible with Windows 10 while some software might have memory requirements. Now that you have a list of mandatory features and minimum requirements, you can rule out anything that doesn’t meet those requirements. This means you spend more time looking at valid choices. Not to mention it helps make sure you get the right one the first time.
One of the big questions is which brand is the best? Well the truth is, each brand has different categories of computers. Car manufacturers have economy, sporty, and luxury cars and computer manufacturers have the same kind of thing. There is also the fact that when a company makes millions of an item, some of them are going to be perfect while others are going to be defective. I have found stories of horror and stories of praise about every major brand. Sometimes a good or bad experience in your past can help you answer that question. I personally have always had Toshiba laptops and have never had any major issues. I have one that has Windows Vista on it and still turns on if I had a reason to. My wife and I have matching ones now and two of my kids have them too. The newest ones are over 2 years old and work great. I’m sure there are some anti-Toshiba people grumbling at the screen now.
Memory and Processor Speed are the true measure of comparison between models of computers. Storage is only talking about the Hard Drive and is not really a make or break feature since there are many external storage options. And it is a good idea to have your stuff backed up anyway. 500GB is usually the smallest you will find while 1TB (1000GB) is the most common. 500GB is enough room to store tens of thousands of pictures and install dozens of programs so the other features are more important.
What is Recovery Media? Back in the days before Windows 7 most computers came with a disk that you could put in the cd drive and reinstall windows onto your computer. This is how you could start over if anything ever happened to Windows. Now you do not get a disk with your computer. Luckily, your computer can make one for you. One can google ‘how to create recovery media’ for their computer and find instructions. Most HP, and some others, automatically create one on the hard drive of the computer. This is convenient, if you don’t mind losing that much storage space on your hard drive. But what happens if your hard drive crashes and needs to be replaced? Well, your recovery media is gone too. So the best bet is to get a 32GB flash drive and make one yourself as soon as you get the computer set up. If you ever need a recovery disk for a computer, you can contact the manufacturer of the computer and pay around 80 to 100 dollars to get one created for you. Much cheaper to make it yourself.
Everybody needs to know that Anti-Virus is not magical armor that makes you impervious to attacks. There is always an Achilles heel that leaves you open to infection. If you choose Apple or Linux computers than you have much less to worry about. Practically all malware targeting the average user is written for Windows. If you run Windows, then you need something to help keep you protected from the majority of known threats. Then you need a plan of action for when the unknown threat makes it into your computer. There are many virus removal tools available to choose from. Running a well known anti-virus for live protection, and then using other tools for removal is a good way to cover more ground. The best defense for keeping your data safe is to have a back-up routine. You can use cloud storage, an external drive, or a flash drive to keep a second copy of your precious data.
So now that we have covered the basics, I hope you feel more confident about choosing the right computer. If you still have unanswered questions or feel like you want more help, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss how I can assist you.