With Christmas on the horizon I have been receiving a number of calls regarding purchasing new computers, so I thought I would take the opportunity to give you a few tips on what to buy. The selection on offer is vast and many people are overwhelmed by the number of Gigabits and Gigabytes. So here is a no-nonsense guide to buying a new PC.

  1. Decide if you want a Desktop (tower) PC or a laptop. You will normally get more for your money if you buy a desktop PC but you need to weigh this up against space and portability. It is worth noting that you can plug a mouse into a laptop so don’t fear having to manage the touchpad on a laptop.
  2. Laptop or Netbook?  Netbooks are generally less powerful than proper laptops, hence their cheaper price. They are good enough for surfing the internet, checking emails and typing the odd letter. They are very portable, but they are not good if you want to do more than one thing at once (multitasking) and they are slower. So if speed is an important factor for you then I would avoid getting a Netbook.
  3. Set a budget. There is so much choice out there with prices varying for a few hundred to thousands of pounds it is best to set a budget before you start looking.  £400-500 is a good price for a middle of the range laptop.
  4. If you are buying a PC for a child/teenager and they want to play games read the back of the latest released game they want and make sure you get better than the specification on the back of the box. This is especially important for the graphics card capability – otherwise the game may judder and the playing experience will be spoiled.

Other General tips:

  • I would advise against buying a PC with less than 2GB of RAM.
  • Don’t feel you have to buy the “special offer” antivirus or office software to go with your new PC. If you are a regular reader you know many of these programs are available on the internet for free, saving you upwards of £150.

The ‘PuterTutor now offers an impartial Personal PC Shopper service. Just call 01675 470105 and Caroline will accompany you to the shop of your choice and/or arrange delivery and installation for you.

Happy shopping

Caroline The ‘PuterTutor