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FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A PC Shopping for a personal computer (PC) can be enjoyable, or it can be frustrating. Unfortunately, some shoppers believe all personal computers are alike so their main objective is to find the cheapest one. Doing so can be a mistake. The old saying "You get what you pay for" is true. Many buyers have later discovered the computer they purchased lacked important components and features. Avoid making this mistake. The following sections provide some useful guidelines to help you in your search for the right PC. PLAN BEFORE YOU BUY Before spending your money, prepare a written list of your computing needs and how and where you will be using your new system. Following is a list of questions that will help you identify your needs. 1. How much can I afford to pay for a computer? Prices of personal computers range from a few hundred to thousands of dollars. Faster and more feature-rich PCs are usually more expensive. Also, personal computers soon become obsolete. Within a few years you may want or need one that is faster and more versatile. 2. Where will my new PC be used? If you will be using it only in your home or office, a desktop computer will be suitable. However, if you will need to take it with you, you should consider purchasing a laptop (notebook) computer weighing 4 pounds or less. 3. Which applications will I run on my computer? Make a list of applications for which you plan to use your PC. For example, will you use your PC to prepare letters and reports? Analyze numeric and financial data? Prepare visual presentations? Access the Internet? Listen to music? Create and work with graphics? 4. How long will I keep this computer? Try to estimate the length of time (years) you will use your computer before buying the next one. If you expect to use your PC for several years or if you think you may later want to add new applications, consider one that is expandable, so you can add new components, such as a modem, printer, or add-on boards. Make sure the PC has expansion slots so you can connect these devices to your PC. 5. Check out the manufacturer’s and seller’s reputations and warranties and become familiar with various brands and models. Talk with friends, co-workers, classmates, teachers, and others about their PCs. Ask about the performance of their PCs and get recommendations from people you trust. Eventually you may need to have your PC serviced. Ideally, the vendor has a service department that can repair your PC. If not, you may need to
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This note was uploaded on 10/17/2011 for the course CIS 106 taught by Professor Alice during the Spring '11 term at Community College of Philadelphia.

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