How to choose a new computer on Black Friday

Choose a new computer on black fridayWhether you are in the market for a new computer because of Windows 7 end of life or your computer has recently died, November is a great time to buy a computer.

Remember Windows 7 end of life is Jan 14, 2020. You have some time to get your new computer before then. Black Friday is coming up and that will be a great time to get a new computer and have a fantastic 2019 tax write off for your business.

Kat has been recommending computers for several years and has some basic guidelines she uses when making suggestions to customers looking for a new computer. Below are her basic specifications and suggestions and if you want more information or have any questions, contact us and we can help navigate your future purchase. She sends most of our customers to Staples and always recommends computers that are on sale…. 🙂

Before you buy!

  1. Have a budget for the computer purchases. Desktop computers are less expensive because you don’t have to buy a new screen and you probably already have speakers.  Most new desktops come with a new keyboard and mouse, and are usually wireless in 2019.  Laptops are usually more expensive, and the better, faster laptops ones are definitely more expensive than the cheaper models. Most desktop computers Kat recommends are in the $500 – $600 range.
  2. Have your software budget in place. You might need to upgrade Office, QuickBooks, etc. Figure out all the software you will need for a new computer and prices. Keep in mind that there are alternatives to Microsoft office that are free.  You can use Google Docs & Google Sheets or free office suites like Libre Office or Open Office.  Save a little money if you don’t NEED to buy office and invest in the best machine you can afford.  Long term this is a better investment.
  3. Have an installation and configuration budget. You might need a few hours for this if you need help. We charge $189 to setup and optimize your new computer, install all software you have as well as transfer all of your data and settings from your old computer.  If you have a large and intricate outlook setup, plan to spend at least an additional hour of set-up time as outlook can be a pain to transfer, especially if you are upgrading to a new version of office.

Desktop purchase recommendations

  • 1tb Sata drive
  • 128gb Solid State Drive
  • Ideally the new computer will have a 1tb sata hard drive for storage AND a 128gb solid state drive which will run your operating system and programs.  This is the best of both worlds.
  • 8 gigs RAM minimum
  • i5 processor minimum
  • Make sure your new computer has the correct video card plugs to match your current monitor

Laptop purchase recommendations

  • 1tb Sata drive
  • 128gb Solid State Drive
  • Ideally the new computer will have a 1tb sata hard drive for storage AND a 128gb solid state drive which will run your operating system and programs.  This is the best of both worlds.
  • 8 gigs RAM minimum
  • i5 processor minimum
  • Does the laptop have an HDMI out?  Do you need to connect the laptop to a secondary screen?
  • Really consider your screen size before you buy.  Our eye sight doesn’t improve with age.  Many folks want a really small, lightweight laptop.  Kat strongly encourages you to consider your eyes and be realistic.  If you notice your eyes have really started to go downhill, get the bigger screen.  17″ screens are a little heavier but if you weren’t super blessed in the vision department, do yourself a favor and just get the bigger screen.
  • Check the keyboard.  Do you do a lot with numbers?  Look at the keyboard and make sure it has a 10 key if that is important to you.

Shopping tips

  • Kat pretty much recommends Dell, HP and Lenovo computers although she uses a Toshiba laptop 75% of the time and her iPad pro 20% of the time.  Dell has been her favorite manufacturer since starting The Good Geeks because warranty work seems to go the smoothest for our Dell customers.
  • Black Friday has some great deals but they can be misleading as far as quantity.  We’ve had lots of customers show up for a killer, door-buster deal only to find out that the store had 2 in stock for sale on Black Friday.
  • If your are using the computer for business, get the warranty.  Staples, Best Buy, Office Depot all sell warranties.  Consider buying your warranty from SquareTrade, they’re much more affordable!
  • Windows 10 Home is enough operating system for 99/100 customers.  If you think you might need Windows 10 Professional because of specialized software that you use for your profession, reach out to the software company.

Upgrade to 10?

If you have a decent computer and want to find out if upgrading to Windows 10 is a possibility for you, get in touch with us and we can help determine if your machine is eligible.  Microsoft upgraded lots of computers that really should not have been upgraded and we’d rather you have the best experience possible, than the cheapest one.  If your computer is going to run like a sick dog with a Windows 10 upgrade, we’ll definitely point you in the direction of a new computer.  Remember, January 14, 2020 is Windows 7 End of Life.

Questions?

Ask away.  We are more than happy to answer your question or find the answer to your question. 🙂

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