The purchase of a computer is an investment. Whether you purchase a laptop with all the basics, or a desktop with minimal capabilities, your machine can be a real asset to your life and work.
Most people choose their computers based on a few criteria including: purchase price, reputation, prior experience, or specific ability. The criteria most important to you says a lot about your workstation priorities.
Did you purchase your PC based on the cost? As consumers, of course price is important to us. Although we may gravitate toward systems priced on the lower end, cheaper isn’t always better. This doesn’t mean that high priced PCs are the best choice. Balance is necessary to find a good quality computer for an affordable price. Remember the old adage “you get what you pay for.” It’s especially true for electronics. Although computers are still fairly complicated devices, they are also quite common. So while certain parts (i.e. the motherboard) are still somewhat expensive, a good computer is one that is well put together. Certain manufacturers are more adept at this than others. Take the time to do a little research and find out which manufacturers have the best reputation for quality. However, if you are a technically savvy user, you can risk purchasing a cheaper PC and upgrade its parts yourself. An experienced technical person can actually choose to build their own computer, buying the required parts separately.
Did you choose your computer by its reputation? In places, people, and products, reputation is everything. In fact, certain brand names may inspire confidence and respect in us while others may make us cringe. If you decide to purchase a computer based on its reputation, be wary. Some companies will unfortunately use their reputation to get you to buy, even if the purchase isn't a good idea. Even if you feel totally comfortable with the maker of the computer, utilize the same resources mentioned to find out if they stand behind all of their products.
Did you buy a computer based on prior experience? Like a reliable car that you finally have to replace, choosing a computer based on personal experience is a good way to decide. If you go this route, just keep in mind that the processor that got you through college may have the same name, but not the same quality ten years later. Check for information regarding any major changes the manufacturer may have gone through in recent years, including buy outs.
Did you purchase your computer for a specific capability? This is the only criteria that really can't be compromised. This is so because computers are programmed to do very specific things. Simpler, less expensive computers just will not have the same abilities as a gaming PC, for instance.
No matter how you choose your computer, verify the manufacturer's warranty, return policy, and level of tech support before you buy. Most importantly, protect your investment from destruction by investing in good virus and spam protection.