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From the Tech Desk: Selecting a new computer. Our thoughts.

Thinking about getting a new PC or Mac or Chromebook? Here are a few quick things that might make your shopping experience a bit easier:

It is December 2022. Things change fast in the world of technology. This advice may not apply in 2023!

Avoid tiny hard drives and back up your files!

Your hard drive is where you store your files and programs. It is basically your computer's closet.

The industry has moved to a new type of storage called solid state hard drives. Solid state drives are very fast, but they can make data recovery (in the case of physical failure of the drive) very difficult, sometimes impossible. Please make sure you are backing up your files (to the cloud and locally - check out our article on The Cloud here to see why doing both is important.

The industry is also producing very tiny hard drives (think of a house with one closet, located in the front hall...). This isn't just so manufacturers can save a buck. It is also to "encourage" you to store everything in their particular cloud. We really recommend you read this article to understand the pros and cons of this for you as a user. The bigger the better for hard drives in our opinion - 512GB is the absolute minimum for us. The next size up after 512 GB is 1TB, then 2TB, 3TB etc.

Please feel free to call us at 888-716-7546 for specific advice on backups, we are in every day.

Get enough RAM (memory)

RAM (memory) is how many things your computer can think about at one time. Your computer has to think about running Windows, Linux, or the MacOS and then all the other things you ask it to do - Microsoft Office, Google Chrome, and more. There are many opinions in technology and computing, but we never recommend less than 8GB of RAM.

Processor - how smart is your PC

The smarter the better as far as we are concerned. i5 or equivalent is the minimum we like to see. i3 and equivalent is too slow. i7, i9 and equivalent are even better.

All in One, Desktop, Tablet or Laptop - A Matter of Preference

These are the main options. They fall into two basic categories: Not portable (all in one and desktop) and portable (tablets and laptops)

The Not portables

All in one computers are just that - the display (screen) IS the computer. There are no wires connecting a separate display. These are great if you like a neat desk with fewer wires all over the place. If you select a wireless keyboard and mouse and use a wireless network you just have one wire - the power cord!

Desktop PCs have two main parts - the CPU unit (a box) and the display (or screen) sold separately. Get one of these if you want to run very high-end graphics or other custom hardware (gamers, architects) or if you have a very nice display that you already own.

The portables

There are many options in the portable sphere - traditional laptops (like this), laptop-tablet hybrid folding laptops (like this), tablets with or without optional keyboards (like this), Ipads and other pure tablets that are designed to use a touch screen only (like this).

To Touch or Not to Touch

Most computers of any type (laptop, desktop, all in one) have the option to use a touch screen. In fact they are mandatory on most tablets such as IPads. A touch screen will allow you to move the cursor around the screen without the mouse. In an office setting most of our clients do not find them helpful or worth the additional cost. Also, all those fingerprints!

Very low-cost computers are basically disposable after a year or two.

A $129 Chromebook (or similar very low cost computer) is probably not repairable or upgradeable. We do not like the trend towards disposability in the world of technology, but it is here.

It probably does not meet our recommendations (above) as regards hard drive, processor, or RAM but it may be just what you need right now. Just keep in mind that when it stops working well it probably should be replaced rather than repaired.

As always, if you have questions just click the button get in touch with us


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