Wednesday, September 2, 2009

8 Important Tips On Buying A New Computer

Now that you have decided to buy a new computer, where do you start? There are so many brands and models of computers available; it can be overwhelming when you enter a computer store. Here are 8 sure-fire tips to help make your decision easier, and help you buy the right computer for your needs.
  • Buy what you need. It helps to make a list of the things you will be using the computer for. If this is your first computer, it can be a little tougher. Until you have used a computer, it is hard to know exactly what you might want to do with it beyond the obvious.

  • Beyond connecting your computer to the Internet, other possibilities are: play games, digital photography, digital video, type documents, accounting, design websites, programming and so on. Some of these functions need more power and memory. For example, digital video and computer games need a faster computer and enough memory to run. Knowing what you are going to use the computer for will help you avoid buying more or less speed and memory than what you need.

  • Computer warranties are the most confusing and obscure parts of your purchase. The three most common options are: onsite, carry-in and manufacturer’s depot service. Carry-in service is the best option in terms of time and money, but find out whether the service center is factory authorized for warranty repairs.

  • Weigh your purchase of a warranty against the argument that most of the factory defects will occur in the first year, which is usually covered by the factory warranty. If the defects occur in later years, you will be better off buying the latest model with more features at a comparatively lower price than wasting money on extended warranty.

  • A computer is a relatively large investment, anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. What you can do to get the best price is to do some comparison-shopping. Most computer stores offer price-matching guarantees, so if you find your computer for less at another store, most dealers will match or beat that price, and save you some money.

  • The profit margin on computers range from a high of 45% to a low of 5%, so computer store make their money not on computers, but on add-on items, like connecting cables and consumable products such as printer ink and paper.

  • If you are buying a new computer, you will likely need some cables, a printer, ink cartridges and paper, which are sold separately. This is where you should be able to negotiate a better price. After all, the salesperson knows that if you are happy with his service, you will probably continue to buy ink, paper and other supplies from the store in the future.

  • Find out what software is included in the new computer, as the price of some software can be quite high. Watch out for trial versions, or limited editions of software. Often new computers are sold with trial versions of anti-virus, firewall, MS office and accounting software, which expire after a period of time, and must be purchased to continue using them.

  • Additionally, the computer manufacturers generally do not make it easy to tell whether the software on their computers are trial versions or limited editions. You need to specifically ask if you cannot find the answer in their promotional information.

These pointers on buying a new computer will help you in two important ways. First, you can be sure that you are buying the right computer for your needs. Second, if the salesperson volunteers these tips, you will know that you are dealing with someone who is honest.

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