How to pick a new office computer or laptop

by • January 1, 2008 • UncategorizedComments Off on How to pick a new office computer or laptop1225

These tips are intended for those buying a business computer. You may wish to do further research if you have special needs such as video editing or gaming.

• Mac or PC? With the advent of the dual boot Mac, the point is moot. Get the one you are most comfortable with.
• Laptop or desktop? Laptop prices are coming down and the size of the screen is getting larger. Some large companies are now getting laptops with a stand for employees. New laptops also support dual monitors.
• Select a desktop if:
• Budget is critical. A good desktop can be less expensive.
• You need special hardware that requires expansion slots.
• You are sure you will never need to travel and will never need to access your computer.
• Select a laptop if:
• You ever need to travel to a conference, to a client office, go to the library or to any other place where you may need to access e-mail, your files or work on a case.
• What brand should I choose? Stay with the major brands and you should be safe. Some people suggest going to your local computer store and visiting the repair department. Ask what brands are in most often for repairs and observe what is on the shelves behind the counter. Avoid those. Do not get a computer built by Aunt Lucy’s hairdresser’s genius nephew who is the smartest student in the high school computer class!
• How should the computer be configured?
• Get the fastest available Dual Core at the time you purchase.
• Buy at least 512 megabytes (MB) of RAM, preferably 1 to 2 gigabytes (GB).
• Get an 80 (or more) GB hard drive.
• Own a A DVD/CD burner. This is essential for backing up data.
• Monitor. Get the biggest monitor you can afford — at least 17-inch and larger if the budget permits.
• What operating system should I choose? Windows XP Professional (SP2) is still a good choice. Vista is being chosen by more people now and appears to be a solid OS. Select Vista Business or Ultimate. These have the fax and backup features you need. Be prepared for some frustration while you learn where everything is, and you may need to deal with some of the new security settings. You will find it much easier to connect to wireless networks with Vista. A Mac will have the latest OS X (10).
• Take a look at factory refurbished computers. These should come with standard warranties and many professionals consider them to be superior products because they undergo more extensive testing.
• Laptops and portables are very popular among thieves these days. Keep a tight rein on yours when in public places, and secure it when in the office. Schedule the laptop with your homeowner’s or business policy.
• Thumb drives are cheap — so make frequent backups of your most recent work!

— Paul Martino; paulmartino@adelphia.net

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