“I think it’s fair to say that personal computers have become the most empowering tool we’ve ever created. They’re tools of communication, they’re tools of creativity, and they can be shaped by their user.” – Bill Gates
Since the invention of the microprocessor, personal electronics have become increasingly popular.
When we talk about computers, we can talk about hardware and software. Hardware is the tangible parts of the computer that you touch. Software is the programs that are often saved to the hard disk drive and operate using computer’s hardware.
So what should you keep in mind when choosing computer hardware?
Should you get a laptop or a desktop?
Which are the best brands? Which are in your budget?
You’ll know by the end of this article!
The Apple brand was founded in 1978 and is one of the market leaders in computers, especially when it comes to laptops. Their laptops are powerful, portable, and ergonomic. Either a MacBook Air or a MacBook Pro will do the trick.
Apple products are very popular. (Source: Pexels)
When choosing a Mac, you’ll need to compare products based on your needs. Pay particular attention to:
Apple Mac’s are popular for a number of reasons, and not just because they look good but because they’re also powerful. Macbook Pros are a good option for editing video.
That’s not all, though. Here are a number of reasons for opting for Apple products:
In short, Apple Macs are a blend of technical performance and unparalleled design.
Microsoft launched Windows in the 1980s as one of the first operating systems with a Graphical User Interface (GUI). Today, it’s the most common operating system around and is regularly updated. There have been a number of versions over the years.
A lot of professionals prefer Windows. (Source: Kleineganz)
Some of the more recent versions of Windows are:
Did you know that while Microsft sells its own computers, you can get Windows on plenty of other brands including Acer, Asus, and Lenovo?
Before you get a laptop computer, you should be aware of a few things about Windows computers.
So here are our 10 most important reasons for choosing Windows:
As you’ve probably noticed, Windows is not only accessible to all budgets, it’s also very useful for personal and professional projects.
Whether you’re buying just the computer or a whole range of accessories, you should keep your budget in mind. In fact, 85% of consumers have a budget in mind when buying computer equipment.
If only it was that easy! (Source: stevepb)
It’s great that there are so many different brands and ranges on offer.
It depends what you’re looking for:
Your budget could be anywhere between £250 and £2500!
Before we start talking about price, you should think about what your personal or professional needs are:
You can compare different models and prices online. Some brands and stores also offer promotions when buying PCs, such as including Microsoft Office for free.
According to a URSSAF study, 54% of self-employed workers have a computer and 54% of them have both a desktop computer and a laptop.
Here’s a quick summary of PC (personal computer) components to give you an idea.
What budget have you set for your IT equipment?
You need to think about what type of computer system you want to get. In fact, the war between desktops and laptops is still ongoing. However, in recent years, sales of laptops have increased while the sales of desktops have decreased.
Of course, you can always put a laptop on a desk! (Source: Free-Photos)
However, there are advantages and disadvantages to each. Desktops can be upgraded, are flexible, and can be adapted to a number of different uses. They’re also better for gaming. Additionally, there are several types of desktop computer:
When it comes to laptops, you can save a lot of money. You can take laptops anywhere (especially the MacBook Air which only weighs 940g). When it comes to laptops, here are some of the best:
Before choosing between a desktop and a laptop, you should ask which of the following you need:
To make the right choice, you should compare what’s available, keep an eye out for reconditioned computers, and look for the best value for money!
Consider each component and whether you need it or not. For example, while a modem was essential back in the days of dial-up internet, you probably won’t need one nowadays but rather a wifi adapter or an ethernet port (to connect directly to your router, which is often faster than a wireless connection). Networking has changed a lot in recent years!
If you save large files like videos and photos, you’ll probably need a large hard drive. You’ll also need to think about different graphic cards or video cards.
For those doing a lot of intensive tasks at the same time, you’ll need a decent amount of RAM (random access memory) that can be quickly accessed.
You might also consider getting a solid state drive (SSD) as a storage device. These work similarly to a flash drive as they have no moving parts. This means it performs better and has better reliability than hard disks with moving parts.
If you want to upgrade a desktop, choosing your motherboard (the computer’s main circuit board) is one of your most important decisions you’ll make. Your mainboard will define the maximum amount of RAM you can have, the processors you can use, and how many expansion slots you’ll have for future-proofing your computer.
Do you struggle with computers?
If you need to brush up or learn from scratch, you should have a look at IT tutorials on Superprof – or take your computer skills one step further with coding courses.