What Kind of Computer Should I Get?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer. Especially now that a computer means anything from the big desktops to the smartphone in your pocket.

To get a good answer, you need to ask yourself three questions.

1. What Will You Do with It?

For the Facebook/Google/E-mail folks, a tablet computer like an iPad or Android will do. If you like a keyboard, you can get keyboard covers for your tablet. Do yourself a favour though, and take a look at Chromebooks, too. These computers powered by Google will do what you need, with power left over. These choices are all portable, and the most affordable.

For the budding graphic designers and photographers, it is hard to beat a Mac. Yet, many Microsoft Windows computers are just as good, now.

For the person who wants to go deeper into the computer world, Microsoft Windows is it.

For the gamer or geek…what are you reading this for? You’ve already figured out what you need.

Which Computer Should I Get?

2. How Much Can You Spend?

Under $300? The tablets and Chromebook mentioned earlier are the ones to look at. Especially if you watch the flyers.

$300 to $1000? Macs and Windows computers are in this range. Think about which would serve you best. Talk to your neighbourhood nerd. We’ve all got at least one.

Over $1000? Get whatever you want. Any computer over $1000 will do just about anything you can dream of doing.

3. Who Will Fix It?

Not much of a computer person? Chromebooks are the most maintenance free computer I’ve used. Android and iPad tablets are very stable, too. Mac computers are a close third. Windows computers do require more care. If you do need a tech to do something, please avoid places whose computer techs also put together your office furniture.

Do you want to learn more about computers? How they run and what the hardware does exactly? Then a Windows laptop or desktop is best. Most of the computer help on the Web is about Windows, so you can learn to do whatever you want.

Don’t worry about what software the computer can run. Every type has good software to do what you need. But that’s a talk for another day!

First Published: The Guysborough Journal, Vol . 21, No. 14, April 8, 2015

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