Does your computer show its age? Are you struggling while uploading a website, skipping videos or spending half an hour just to start the morning? It’s probably time to buy a new one!

Or maybe you don’t have a computer, but you’ve finally decided to join the digital age.

In both cases, a trip to the computer store, on the main road or online is required. But this can be a rather daunting prospect: how do you decide between such a dizzying variety of options? This guide will help you overcome the confusion.

Follow these step-by-step instructions on how to choose a computer

Step 1:

Determine if you want a desktop computer or a laptop. If you use it in one place, a desk will be cheaper and easier to modify, but laptops have the obvious benefits of mobility and smaller size. If you opt for the latter, see our article Which laptop?

Step 2:

Decide if you want a PC or a Mac. There are some obvious and subtle differences between them: take a look at our more detailed articles on What is a PC? and what is a Mac?). But in general, PCs are more difficult to use but they are cheaper and have more software and Macs are easier to use but are more expensive and less software has been created for them.

Step 3:

probably the most important step of all: calculate how much money you are willing to spend. Computers vary greatly in price and it’s easy to spend a lot more than you think. You want to get a computer as powerful as possible for your money, but you probably don’t want to overdo it.

Basic PCs can cost less than £ 200, but they are usually specialized models. Most mid-range PCs will cost you between £ 200 and £ 500, with much higher-end machines than that.

Step 4:

Do you need to buy a screen? Also known as “monitors”, they can cost almost as much as a PC, so if you already have a reasonable one, you may want to save money if you stay with it. However, be careful: older monitors may not have the modern connectors used by newer computers.

If you decide to get a screen, buy a bigger one than you can: the difference in your productivity and the pure fun you will get with your computer will be worth it.

Step 5:

Decide how much a computer is needed. If you’re going to use it only for word processing and web browsing, you can probably do it with a relatively less powerful machine. But if you are doing an elegant manipulation of images or videos or want to play better with the latest games, you will need a computer with much more weight. More power costs more money, but remember: the more powerful a computer is, the longer it will last before it needs to be replaced.

Step 6:

You will need to decide how big the hard drive you need. Hard drives are where the information on your computer is stored and the more information you have, the bigger you want your hard drive to be.

Text files take up a small amount of space, so if this is all you are saving, you will hardly need space. However, if you keep a large library of music, photos or videos, you will see that the space fills up quickly and if you are editing video, you will need a very large hard disk.

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