Melbourne Business Owners: 7 Things You Must Know When Buying a Computer
Tripadvisor. Google Reviews. Facebook. OpenTable. Compare the Meerkats.
From booking a restaurant to a holiday and buying a new TV, you have more content to sift through at your fingertips to make a buying decision.
It’s easy to make informed decisions on your next meal, trip or flick. But with so many reviews, opinions and guides, how do you know what to trust? For example, choosing between a restaurant in Flinders Lane versus riverside dining at Southbank – what do you need to know? Or do you risk it and turn up?
95% of people say they read online reviews before booking or making a purchase. That’s staggering but hardly surprising, given how much information you can read about anything.
And without a doubt, you are disappointed when you have eaten an ordinary meal, even after a glowing review. Perhaps the review was biased or dated, but regardless, you feel pretty lacklustre after the meal.
So how do you avoid the same feeling of regret and buyer’s remorse when investing in new tech? What things should you know about your next computer purchase?
Unlike your last disaster meal or terrible stay in an Airbnb, what can you do to ensure you don’t make crucial mistakes that will stay with you for the next several years when buying a computer?
Here are seven things you must consider before swiping your credit card (or tap…or getting out your smartphone….you get the idea…)
How much RAM do you need?
Hands down, the most overlooked aspect of purchasing a new computer is RAM (random access memory).
Have you ever wondered why your computer is running slow? Why does Google Chrome freeze when you have half a dozen tabs open? How come YouTube pauses and stops playing videos? All these things relate to your internal system having low memory and inability to process multiple applications and functions simultaneously.
It makes for a miserable experience, drives many users nuts and results in a loss of productivity.
So what is RAM exactly, and how much do you need? You see, memory is the “thought process” of the PC. When there isn’t adequate RAM, the computer can only take on another task once the current job has been processed.
Many people often buy low-priced computers when shopping for a new device. Unfortunately, if you look, most of these computers and laptops will only include 4GB of RAM.
In other words, 4GB of RAM will only allow you to run a single application or open a few browser tabs. But, if you invest in higher RAM, your computer will be more responsive. Therefore, you should look at a computer with at least 16GB of RAM for general use. But you will need a higher RAM if you do high processing-intensive tasks such as graphics or video.
Read the reviews
One of the challenges of buying a new computer is balancing value for money and reliability. For example, no one wants to spend over $2,000 on MacBook Pro for it to have problems in the second year.
Like with all large purchases, take the time to read user reviews on the models you’re considering. And from multiple sources. Sometimes you must balance others’ feedback with understanding the post-purchase support. You want to avoid finding yourself in a situation where if things do go wrong, you can’t get help to fix them in Australia. For many people, purchasing from a well-known brand with a solid reputation can prevent problems down the track and extend the usable life of the device.
Are you using it for business or personal?
When you run your own business or are a freelancer, you might consider saving money by buying a consumer PC. But this comes with its challenges. First, consumer PCs are not designed to be “always on” and are used for a typical business day. Some models may lack firmware security that is usually included in business-built models.
In most cases, upgrading to a business focus model can provide a more stable and secure environment in the years ahead.
What processor will it use?
I know it can be baffling to read through the processor specifications of a computer. For example, how do you know if the Intel Core i9 or i5 is best suited? And what’s the performance difference between AMD and Intel processors? In this case, it’s best to ask an expert. Understanding how you intend to use the computer will help guide your decision on which processor you need to get things done.
Caution: Laptops need a durable case
How often have you shut your laptop? You’ve probably never given a thought. But laptops need a sturdy and durable cover to protect the screen and keyboard. In fact, it’s likely you open and close your computer multiple times per day. So, you must pay careful attention to the laptop lid or cover, as these parts are challenging to replace or fix. Take the time to ensure the small investment upfront to purchase a durable laptop to avoid costly repairs in the future.
How much storage does it have?
It’s easy to think you don’t need to consider how much hard drive space your computer needs. Especially seeing you can purchase cloud storage. But one thing people need to remember is the operating system (OS) can take up a mammoth amount of space on your hard drive. So by not planning, you can quickly regret not purchasing enough hard drive space initially.
During the research of your new computer, consider how much data you will be transferring from your old computer, how much space the OS takes up, and what you can store in the cloud. This way, you will get the right balance between your local hard drive and the cloud, potentially saving you money.
But what’s the difference between SSD and HDD?
You should purchase a computer with a solid-state drive (SSD) over an outdated hard disk drive (HDD). This is due to SSDs being quicker and having fewer read/write issues. And this as they have no moving parts…and they are quieter.
In some computers, you will find both a hard drive and an SSD, depending on the manufacturer. In recent years, SSD has reduced prices, making them more affordable. We no longer recommend HDD. Only purchase computers that have an SSD.
If you’re looking for a fleet of computers for your business, let us help.
You most likely would only buy a new car with some guidance. So let us help you when purchasing your next computer fleet. Contact us today to learn about how we can support you.
About the author
Yener is the founder and Managing Director of Intuitive IT. Prior to running his own business Yener worked for a number of corporate organisations where he gained invaluable experience and skills, as well as an understanding of how IT can complement and improve business outcomes.