Buying a New Computer?
Is that your big Christmas purchase this year?? For the price, there is no better time to buy a computer than now. You'll find discounts of 20% to even up to 50% off!
Here are some tips on what to look for.
But first, don't let Microsoft talk you into upgrading just because of Windows 10! If your computer is an i5 or i7 processor, you may be fine with what you have. We can still upgrade you to Windows 10 for $100 or less in most cases (labor included!)
Just looking to save you a few dollars if you need to, that's all. But I digress.
My article here is still very relevant on what to look for in a laptop, so I will just highlight the important things below:
- Stick with at least an i5 or i7 Intel processor (what about AMD? *)
- Get 8GB of RAM minimum but much more isn't usually necessary.
- Go with a (minimum size 256GB) Solid State Hard Drive (SSHD) if possible. They run 50% faster than traditional hard drives. This is comparable to flash memory, or memory in your smartphone. Remember, though, that space will be more limited (or expensive) so plan accordingly. A 256GB SSHD is about 1/4 of the size of traditional drives today. So you can't store a lot of pictures on it.
How to shop
I usually tell folks to go to Best Buy and Office depot so you can touch and see and make sure it feels solid and you like the sound, video and keyboard. Bring my minimum specs with you. Then, price it out on Amazon just to see if they can beat it. Amazon usually offers the same manufacturers warranty and you would be shipping it to them (the manufacturer) for any repairs regardless of who you buy from (No, the Geek Squad doesn't service a manufacturer's warranty.)
Don't get the extended warranty they claim will pay for itself with a replacement battery in 3 years (which you won't need). Don't let them be pushy and act not-ready-to-buy! Take pics of the specs and prices in case you want to shop around (or act like you are going to).
They will also try to sell you an Office 365 subscription or product, so be ready for that. Compare those products here. You may save $20 by getting it with a computer. You can still purchase Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint) for a $149 one-time fee for a single license (Add Outlook to that with their Business product for $250). Most of the push is for their monthly subscription, though for $10 a month which comes with all of their products for up to 6 computers ($7 a month for 1 computer)
DEAL ALERT: Just last night Best Buy still had a Dell on sale that met my minimum recommendations for only $399.99. WOW, a steal! - An Inspiron 15.6" Touch-Screen Laptop - Intel Core i5 - 8GB Memory - 256GB Solid State Drive(No, I don't get commission nor do I work for them!) . Office Depot has the same one for $499.99
Best Buy also has some great deals on Lenovo Yoga's, Flex, and Ideapads. Here's an article comparing these light-weight, thin laptops.
Amazon also has some Macs from 2017 and refurbished ones (deeply discounted) that I would recommend as well.
Happy searching! Let me know if you have questions.
* What about AMD? Until recently, AMD processors have been the go-to for gamers but not everyday computing. The Ryzen desktop series AMDs have shown to be competitive with Intel, if not faster. But I can't find the same data (and don't have experience on their laptop models, so I can't yet recommend them. Send me info on these if you have it.
We offer in-home and remote help with computer/printer set-up. Let us know if you have any questions or need help.