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With the holidays just around the corner, many people will be shopping for new desktop and laptop computers. However, computer shopping can be an overwhelming task. It's difficult to know where to start, how to make your decisions, or what to avoid. Below are some tips for buying a computer that might make things a little more manageable for you.
1. Do your research
Before you go shopping for a computer, you should be willing to spend some time online getting information about brands and models that might work for you. There are several different places you can get information, and you should utilize all of them. The first source is user reviews. Although it will be very apparent to you when you begin reading user reviews that some are useless, don't let that discourage you from looking for the valuable ones. Often a legitimate problem or positive experience with a machine can be more informative than hours spent shopping in the store.
Another useful source of information is editor's reviews. Editor's reviews allow you to get an opinion from someone who should be a non-biased expert in technology. Their insight can be valuable, but they haven't spent as much time with the machine as a user. So, their perspective is limited at the same time.
Finally, read the manufacturer's description of their machine. Although your won't find out about flaws, you'll get accurate specifications for the computer; this can help you decide if it matches what you're looking for.
2. Get more RAM
When someone complains of their computer being slow, the problem often is that they are short on memory. When the computer runs low on memory, it starts using extra memory called virtual memory. This really is just part of the hard drive and, although it keeps the computer operating, it slows things down considerably. While the hard drive space on most new machines is usually sufficient, RAM may be low because many people aren't focused enough on it when they buy to make manufacturer's beef it up. Most users find RAM between 2 and 4 GB to run the smoothest.
3. Use specials to your advantage
New computer models hit store shelves on a regular basis, which leaves stores with little option but to get rid of their old models as fast as possible. If a new model appears while their inventory is still high, they risk a significant loss when the old model's price takes a nosedive. Thus, specials on computers are a regular occurrence, especially around the holidays. After you've done your research and have a brand and model in mind, look for a discount on it. If you plan your shopping ahead enough and are patient, you're bound to find one.
4. Look for good customer service
A broken computer is a frustrating occurrence, but even more so if you don't have good customer support to rely on. Get some feedback from others who have the same brand computer and find out how their customer service experience was. It can make the difference between a happy and disgruntled computer owner.