People frequently ask us for advice when purchasing a new computer. Without getting into all the technical details of technical issues, such as is Intel better than AMD, the best place to start is price. When shopping for a computer many people start by trying to find out how little they can spend.
What you should look for when purchasing a computer is value. You want to get the most bang for your buck. The cheapest computer, however, is not the best value.
Finding value in a computer is analogous to finding value in any other product. The best value is usually not the cheapest product, nor is it the most expensive. We want to shoot for the mid-rangle. For example, if you look at cars, between a Kia, a Honda, and a BMW, the best value is the Honda. It costs about 15% more than the Kia, but it requires less maintenance, lasts longer, and runs better than the Kia. The BMW costs twice as much as the Honda, but could it possibly be twice the car? This generally holds true for everything from chocolate to jewlery.
Prices for a normal use computer generally range between $425 and $1500, before purchasing software such as Microsoft Office. At the low end of this scale you are going to get a computer with unimpressive performance and as new software places increasing demands on your computer, you’ll find this computer quickly degrading in performance and with it your satisfaction will go too. Within just a couple years you’ll be thinking of replacing it. If you move up the scale towards a more mid-range computer, such as one for $650 to $700, you’ll be purchasing a machine that will be zippier, crisper, last twice as long, and keep you happier and more productive the whole way through.
The longevity of a computer is very important. There are more costs involved in getting a new computer than just the price of the computer. New computers require setup, your documents, photos and music all have to be moved from your old computer, and all adjusting the computer to get it to the point that it works efficiently and easily for you takes time. Whether at home or in the office, a new computer is a distraction. This is one of the major reasons that when buying a new computer you want to plan for value over the long term.
A computer that lasts longer saves you time and energy, and keeps you happier and more productive along the way.