This holiday season, computer manufactures are trying to get business back in gear by selling hyped computers with great prices.
The problem with these computers is that you sacrifice compatibility, quality and ease of use for price. Not all computers are the same, especially popular brand computers. While the top selling computer manufacturers, like Dell, Gateway and Hewlett Packard/Compaq are great, the store/home-built have come a long way too.
A store-built or home-built computer is cheaper, and is really designed for the owner. But when it comes to problems, you may have to call the manufacture for the parts in your computers. For example a computer you had built has installed a Sony CD-ROM drive, if the drive has problems ,you would have to try and contact Sony. However if you have a name brand computer like a Dell or Gateway, you only have to contact the manufacturer of that computer for technical support.
Some advice, if you are buying your first computer, get a brand name computer, not one that uncle Harry will build you. Cause not even Harry has the resources to help you on every little problem. A starter computer should not be one that has been handed down either. The best computer a person can buy is the one they buy tomorrow.
Now the cheap computers today are hyped with great numbers and features, but are believed to be second rate when it comes to compatibility and quality workmanship. These new cheap PCs sport a fast processor, but the processor isn't a high quality top-of-the-line. Instead it is a second rate, cheaper-to-make processor. The same goes for the hard drive, CD drives, and software. In order to keep the price of the computer down the manufacturer will install a hard drive that is huge in capacity but cheap in brand.
So what's good and what's bad? In this competitive economy of computers, the simple rule still applies. You get what you pay for. Purchase what you can budget. And if you're in the market for the cheapest computer on the shelf, chances are you'll get it. Simple step in determining what is good, is to look at the most expensive. See what "features" the most expensive model computer has to offer. Then work your way down. Each computer will have a unique feature to warrant the price. Processor speed isn't as important as type of processor. A computer with a 2-gigahertz processor is twice as fast as a 1-gigahertz. Logic would tell you that the 2-gigahertz processor is twice as fast. That isn't actually true. The process is only one part of the computer. A computer is only as fast as it's slowest part. And the processor is usually the fastest part of the computer.
For name brand computer buyers it's best to get a protection plan for your computer. This plan will cost your from $50 - $200 extra, but if you're computer acts funny or breaks down all parts and labor are covered for 3-5 years. Good savings if a hard drive or CD-ROM breaks because without it, you will not only pay for parts, you'll also pay for labor.
The unknown factor that many people ignore when shopping for a computer is the technical support. It's very important to someone who has no computer experience. A call to technical support isn't like calling some computer nerd that cannot speak your language. It's a real person who can tell you how to move your mouse.
Software: Almost every computer for sale has software that comes with it. In all honesty, 99.9% of that software isn't worth a dime. Even though the list on the box says, "Comes with over $1000 dollars of software!" it's a real joke. The only programs useful to the average software are, the operating system, a word processer or office suite, and an accounting program. The software that includes and encyclopedia, family lawyer, and recipe book are a real joke. Those programs are incomplete and are limited in features, "limited edition" require you to buy the full version to get all the features.