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Shopping for a new computer is not easy.

Shopping for a new computer is like shopping for a new car. What color, style, hardware under the hood, speed, warranty, maintenance, support, battery/mileage, steering/keyboard, start-up speed/0-60 and on and on. How do I choose.
December 4, 2018
David Schlatter

Shopping for a new computer is like shopping for a new car.What color, style, hardware under the hood, speed, warranty, maintenance,support, battery/mileage, steering/keyboard, start-up speed/0-60 and on and on.How do I choose.

Like when buying a car. It’s easier if you can test drive your possible choices for a new computer. So, I’ll be in Phoenix this week visiting stores that display a variety of computers and laptops in a manner,that I can test each. I will specifically ask for the sharpest and most knowledgeable rep to assist me. Then begins the process of elimination.

If I was a general business user, email, documents,accounting, research and company specific software, then a solid 4 gb of ram and 128 gb solid state drive with a mid-range processor 1.6 and up, would be enough. But, I use my laptop 9-12 hours (5) days a week and up to (12) hours over the weekend. With dozens of browser tabs open, Photoshop cc 2017 editing,documents and PDFs open, I need a little more power.

The laptop I’m looking to replace is my Surface Pro 3. Just over (3) years old, it’s time. I have 256 gb of storage and 8 gb of ram memory with a I5 processor. The question is, do I need to upgrade to an I7 and 16 gb of memory. At times with my current 8 gb I run out of memory. Is jumping to 16 gb the right choice. After all I do graphic design all day, with memory eating PDFs, word docs, accounting software and dozens of browser tabs open, I could use more power, couldn’t I?

Everyone could use more power, memory, storage and processor speed, but do we need it, really? After weeks of reviewing the latest models from a variety of laptop manufacturers and consumer reviews, here’s my conclusions. Yes, I could use more of everything on the new laptop. If, I had the option of upgrading to a laptop with 2-3 gb of additional memory than all ready have, perfect! But I don’t. Laptops that would allow that, are mostly larger, bulky and won’t fit in my shoulder bag, which I take everywhere. The cost of upgrading to an overkill of 16 gm of memory and 512 gb+ of SS storage is large. Unless there’s an incredible sale, the difference between 16gb and 8 gb laptop and or I5 vs an I7 processor may not be worth it, for most users.

I use my computer to make a living, more the reason for shopping savvy. Right laptop, solid price that fits the budget. I will opt for the 8 gb memory, 256 gb storage and I5 processor, ok maybe the I7, but the I7 typically runs warmer to hotter, has fan noise, where as some like the Surface Pro I5 s, have no fan and that can make a difference when computing all day.

The bottom-line. You can find plenty of pros and cons with any laptop you’re considering on buying. Managing my computers use, so not to run out of memory and matching that with a laptop of solid hardware and build,can save me and you, hundreds, even a thousand or two in dollars spent on a new laptop. And don’t forget to price match, wherever you shop, to get the best price anytime.