Computers Shopping Guide

Computers Shopping Guide

While tablets are certainly growing in popularity, computers are definitely still the preferred option among the majority of consumers. With all the different desktops and laptops available on the market for sale, it can be very difficult to make the choice that's best for you.

Due to the many options available to you, it's very likely that there's a laptop or desktop out there that's perfect for you. However, due to the many things you have to consider, this can take a very, very long time, especially if you have no idea where to start. However, as long as you take this guide's advice to heart, you should experience no trouble finding your dream personal computer.

Getting Started

The very first thing you should consider is your budget. Decide on the maximum amount of money that you're willing to spend, as well as the ideal amount. This will prevent any heartbreak over a computer you've fallen in love with, yet simply don't have the funds to buy. Ensure that you're realistic when deciding this budget. Don't expect to get a brand new gaming computer for a measly $400, for example.


One of the first things you should is decide whether you want a laptop or a desktop. Neither is better than the other, as both have their respective advantages and disadvantages.

The main advantage of a laptop is that they can do just about anything a desktop can do, yet they're quite portable, take up much less space, and they're much easier to stow. If you definitely need a personal computer that's portable, don't even think about getting a desktop. You will regret the decision if the portability factor is truly important to you.

Otherwise, it's probably best to simply get a desktop. When it comes to desktops, you typically get more for your money. For the one, the monitor is almost always larger than a laptop's screen. Plus, you can always upsize as long as you're willing to cough up some cash.

If you want a laptop with good specs, expect to pay more for it than you would for a desktop with equally good specs. In some cases, a laptop with equally good specs might not even exist. Laptops are also much more costly to repair than desktops.

A big disadvantage of desktops is that they take up much more space, unless you opt for a compact or all-in-one, which tend to be considerably more expensive than regular desktops.


Now, you have to focus on the components that determine how well a computer runs. Some of these components are the processor, the operating system, the display, the memory, the hard drive, the optical drive, and more.

When it comes to the processor, generally, you're going to want to go with either Intel or AMD. Since processors are a pricy component of a computer, go with a processor that either fits your needs or slightly exceeds your needs. For example, go for something like the Intel Premium if you're planning on only using your PC for basic tasks, such as web browsing.

If you're buying a desktop, 8GB of RAM is ideal. However, for a laptop, 4GB of RAM is sufficient because few laptops have 8GB RAM, and the one's that do are rather expensive. Overall, as long as you're not planning on video editing or heavy multitasking, 4GB will be perfect for your needs.

You have the choice between Windows and the Apple OS when it comes to your computer's operating system. Macs cost far more than most Windows computers, so you may want to opt for the latter due to price alone. Many people go for Windows due to price and familiarity, as Macs are far less common at schools and workplaces.

Unless you're planning on having tons of music, videos, pictures, games, and other multimedia saved onto your computer, there's no need to choose a computer with a huge hard drive. Ideally, you should get a laptop with a 5400rmp hard drive and a desktop with a 7200rmp hard drive.


HP is most likely your best bet when it comes to PCs. In the United States, it is the number one seller of both desktops and laptops. HP is considered a quality brand, yet it is not nearly as expensive as Apple, another brand of great quality. Some other computer brands you should consider are Dell, Toshiba, Samsung, Sony, and Asus.

Shopping Tips

Buy your personal computer at an online retailer like Amazon, if possible. When it comes to both selection as well as price, online retailers are typically superior to their brick-and-mortar counterparts. The only disadvantage of buying online is that you can't try it out before you buy. In fact, you should go to a brick-and-mortar store to try the laptop or desktop out before purchasing it online.

Make sure you purchase your personal computer at the best time, such as during January, July, and October. During these months, new models come up, resulting in the older models lowering in price.

Consider Tech Support

Chances are, your personal computer is going to breakdown at some point, or you may run into some technical difficulties. At times like these, good tech support is a definite godsend. Therefore, you should definitely consider tech support when it comes to purchasing a personal computer. The general consensus is that Apple owners receive far better tech support than Windows owners.

Unless you travel with your laptop everywhere you go, you should avoid the extended service warranties offered by the sales staff of many brick-and-mortar stores.

As you can see, there are many things, from brands to tech support, to consider when it comes to choosing the best personal computer for your needs and wants. It's definitely no wonder why so many people feel intimidated by the process of computer buying. However, as long as you approach your search for a personal computer knowing exactly what you want, you shouldn't have to spend too much time finding your dream computer.