What computer’s best for you? In an age where we’re swamped with gadgets and gizmos designed to cater for an increasingly large number of people, it’s more and more difficult to figure out what sort of computer will suit your needs. However, once you know what you’re looking for and you have a decent idea of computer terminology (RAM isn’t just a male sheep, for example), things should become a lot clearer. The most important thing is figuring out your needs, so here are a few suggestions to help you along the way.
Entrepreneurs: Whether you’re self-employed or not, you’ll need a decent computing rig to stay productive and competitive in today’s workforce. Business laptops are probably the best option for the on-the-go executive, and although they’re usually a little pricey you can cover the costs with computer finance or employee purchase plans. If you’re looking for something a little more portable (business laptops can sometimes be pretty heavy), consider getting a netbook or even a smartphone which you can then sync to your desktop at home. Both choices allow you to stay online and keep working wherever there’s reception - which means you’re in a good position to respond to the split-second decisions and opportunities of the business world. It’s all in a (hard) day’s work, after all.
Gamers and Game-makers: Play is important stuff, and it requires a lot of processing power - both electronic and mental - to design and play them well (though maybe less for the latter). Game designers, video developers and other processor-intensive users will probably have a decent idea of what they need, but it’s worth reiterating tips like getting enough RAM and disc-space (because you can never really have too much) as well as making sure that your fans, power supply and other peripherals can support your hardware at full steam. The same largely applies to gamers: making sure your graphics and sound cards are up to scratch is a must, as well. It also means you’ll be able to handle any work-related tasks to come your way - whether you actually do, though, is up to you.
Students: If you’re at high school or uni, you’re probably going to be using your computer primarily for taking notes, writing up essays, and late-night gaming (they do say these years are the best, after all). For the first two, you’re probably looking for something lightweight and portable like a netbook (a compact form of laptop) or small tablet computer like the iPad. You can rely on laptop rental or education rebates to help you fund your purchase, but most netbooks are pretty cheap to begin with - so you won’t be incurring the equivalent of a second HECS debt in any case. Other things to consider include battery life (so you’re not carting a charger everywhere), durability, and hard-disk space.
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