Desktops & Laptops… What Not To Buy.

As a 15 year computer technician I have seen just about anything that you can imagine.  When buying a computer a lot of people look for the bargain priced computer.  This is not the solution for 90% of the world.

This may work for the seniors that are only using the computer for the internet, and email.  Majority of the time this will not work for the business professional, and the household computer users.

Let me start with Laptops…  In the past year I have noticed a influx of “NETBOOKS.”  A Netbook is a micro laptop that really does not have the power to do very much.  It is good for the person that primarily needs internet, and doesn’t mind a small screen.  Travelers are the biggest candidate for this type.  Netbook units usually do not have a cd/dvd drive.  Price may be great, but for the little that it can do I recommend staying far away from them.

Now onto Desktops… I had a customer the other day that said he would just go get a couple $300 Dell for his business.  I replied to him simply “When you do my rates double, and I will be here twice as much in the future.”  I said this because the cheaper computers do not have the power that business professionals need.  They are usually low on RAM, and they have the cheapest version of Windows operating system.

Keep in mind that there are multiple versions of Windows Vista.  Windows XP usually cannot be purchased anymore, and most other versions of Windows are obsolete.  Most people need at minimum Windows Vista Home Premium.

If you have a digital video camera, or something like that then you may need to also keep the Firewire capability in mind. I make sure Firewire is on every type of unit I use, as we have a video camera that we like to make DVD’s of the videos we take.

Watch out for what Antivirus the computer comes with. McAffee, and Norton are memory hogs, and I have yet to see either do its job correct. I personally recommend Nod32. It doesn’t take up much system memory, and it has not failed any of my customers to date.

Nod32/Eset Antivirus


ESET Smart Security - Save 25%

For those of you that MUST have a Mac, then make sure you get one that can run Parallels, or something like that, which will make it so you can run Windows software if necessary.  I am not a Mac lover in any way.  I actually term them Crapintosh.  Mac’s are good for 2 things…

  1. Doorstop
  2. Graphics editing

When purchasing a computer take these few things to mind…

  1. What will the primary use be?
  2. What software will I be using?
  3. What accessibility options will I need?
  4. What size screen do I need?
  5. What external connections do I need?
  6. What is the max weight that I will accept?

When making your purchase price out the local stores for what you want.  Then check some of the surplus type stores.  Below you will find 2 outfits that I use when needing things for customers.  Reliability, and pricing is what makes the difference for me.  I will also include a few other links for you if you are looking for specific items.

TigerDirect

TigerDirect

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MacMall

Apple,MacBook Pro,iPod,iPod Shuffle

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Dell

Great Deals On Dell Laptops and Desktops

If you have any other comments, or questions then please feel free to comment, and I will try to help you out. I am a 15 year computer technician, and I will not steer you in the wrong direction.

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4 Responses to Desktops & Laptops… What Not To Buy.

  1. JMarsden92

    Tom…That may be true if you look at it on the Glass Half Empty kind of outlook.  Mac computers need techs that are trained more than a standard pc tech.  That is why the price of the equipment goes up, and the service cost goes up.  Their Applecare warranty basically makes them enough money in the beginning to replace that unit if they need to, and they didn’t spend.  The customer did.  I don’t mind Mac computers… I just don’t use them myself, and don’t refer them to my REAL customers.  I have been known to tell ignorant people exactly what they want to hear.

  2. this is y mac sales are going up and getting a bigger share of the market and windows are going down

  3. JMarsden92

    Pat…I never said that I don’t work on them, but if any of my personal clients ever got a Mac, then they would have to understand anything that I have said in the past about Mac computers. I openly state this to clients. I do not hide my feelings. If Mac computers are the best out there, then why don’t bank tellers, phones, and 90% of the rest of the world using them? The systems costs much more than a PC, and the software is more expensive also. When it comes to the repairs most shops actually charge more for Mac diagnostics, and such. That is just a reality. Think of this… PC laptops can cost as little as $300-$400 currently. Mac laptops still cost in the upward range of $700+.

  4. I read this and found the article helpful and informative to me.
    However,
    were I an Apple owner by your terminology alone I would not call you for repairs as I would feel your bias would not help the repair and perhaps you didn’t do enough to realize there is a market for those who want them.
    Your business.