What Should I Buy? - Desktop, Laptop or Netbook

Choosing the type of system to purchase really comes down to how much you can afford and what you need out of a PC.

Desktop systems are less expensive so you can generally get a more powerful system for your budget.

Laptop systems have recently got to the point where they can be a desktop replacement with great power and screens in excess of 17 inches.

For the ultimate convenience there are netbooks.

The concept of a netbook (mini laptop) is a travel companion that lets you browse the web, take notes, maybe shoot video, with long battery life and the ultimate in convenience.

Note: The choices below are from the perspective of desktop systems but generally hold true for laptops as well.

What are the general choices when buying a new computer?

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The type of system

With today’s market your first decision is whether to get a Windows or Apple base system. Both are pretty easy to use, they will both get you on the internet and generally perform all the same tasks.

Windows systems are far more popular than Apple as they can be found in a wide range of stores and cost less to purchase.

Apple users generally have a specific need like professional photography, graphic design and producing movies.

If you don’t fall under those category’s you would generally get yourself a windows base system.

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Operating System

When buying a new computer, you used to be faced with which operating system to get.

The decision has become easy with Windows 8 now being the future for application developers.

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Processors (CPU)

There was a time when the processor speed of your CPU was important, perhaps the most important factor of the purchase. That is no longer the case as entry level machines are starting with at least 2.5 GHz multi-core processors.

Processors are not the most important factor, but you should consider one thing when you purchas your computer:

How long will it be before you buy your next PC?

If it is more than 3 years then you should get the best processor you can afford. If you upgrade more frequently, say every 2 years then the processor is less important.

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Windows 7 and Windows 8 use more memory if it is available and your system performance will improve significantly because of it. With memory prices as low as they are we would strongly recommend that you get the most memory you can afford as it will have the strongest impact on the systems performance.

Don't get hung up on the different types of memory available unless you are a computer hobbyist who wants the latest and greatest.

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Hard Drive

With drives available in excess of 3 terrabytes at dirt cheap prices you would think that hard drive choice is a thing of the past. Not so fast.. If you only plan to store general photos and documents then you can sit back with hard drives in the range of 750-1 Terabyte. If you’re into gaming, music or movie making then more is better.

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People work better with bigger monitors and they enjoy them more. Wide screen monitors are available up to 30 inches or more. From a price perspective they can be found up to 24 inches for a reasonable price.

This one is totally based on budget and preference.

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We didn't discuss anything about keyboard, mice, tablets, speakers, and other accessories. These are generally a personal choice of style, wireless or wired etc. It's an incidental cost to the full system, if you are not a hobbyist or specialist then get what you like.

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