Dale's Guide to Buying Your Next PC or Laptop
I hate when people ask me what PC/laptop to buy. That’s like asking what promotional product someone should buy without understanding budget, goals or other information. Yet, people don’t know the right questions to ask and sometimes just want an answer. So here is my opinion with caveats.
- Windows 7.
- 4 Gigabytes (GB) of Ram.
- 100 GB hard drive (more is great if you need it but 100 GB is fine).
- Video card with ½ GB of RAM on the video card, preferably HDMI compatible.
- Support for dual monitors.
- 8 GB of RAM, a great investment for a small price.
- 100 GB SSD (Solid State Drive) will pay for itself 10 times over but adds $150.
- 1 GB internal non SSD for storing large files (pictures, videos).
- Dual monitors – It will change your life!
- 1 GB of memory on your video card – well worth it even for casual use. (Best to buy as part of a new machine configuration rather than upgrading an existing machine.)
- Office 2010 home – Yes, I know Google Docs is great but Office 2010 is still worth it.
- Crashplan.com – Unlimited online backup (best value). You MUST backup online.
- Microsoft Security Essentials – Free antivirus that works very well.
- Dropbox – It just works and 5 GB free.
- Evernote – Free and awesome but too difficult to explain in one sentence.
- Firefox – Fast and compatible browser.
- Lastpass – Remembers all your passwords. Free (good for most) or $12 for premium.
Logitech is my favorite for most accessories.
- Making sure you have 4 GB of RAM (If you have 64-bit Windows, 8GB and if you don’t know what that means, you should not be upgrading…)
- Installing an SSD drive will make your old computer essentially as fast as any new computer. $100 for a 100 GB SSD drive is a great investment. But moving/copying and installing requires a geek.