Christmas Shopping For A New PC? Avoid These Pitfalls.

When it comes to buying a new computer, it’s always tempting to go for the “special buys” or “great deals” offered by big retailers. These are the computers advertised for $299, $399, and even $499.

The upfront cost is appealing and sounds like a great bargain. But are you really saving money in the long run?

Most individuals begin their computer shopping by looking at the price. Unfortunately, this is the wrong place to start.

Your new computer purchase should be dictated by your needs – both now and up to five years in the future. Are you only using your computer to do light Internet browsing, checking e-mail, and typing letters in a word-processing program? Will you be doing anything with digital pictures or videos?

Many of the computers offered at appealingly low prices usually have just enough power to run the basic components of the computer. To keep the price low, manufacturers use slower processors and slower hard drives. Overall, the performance of the computer suffers.

Users often find that these machines don’t function the way they want them to, requiring them to spend hundreds of dollars to upgrade the computer to obtain satisfactory performance.

Some brands also use lower quality parts in the machines to help keep prices low. These lower quality parts fail more frequently, requiring costly repairs sooner than later.

Finally, all the computers lining the shelves at the big box stores are loaded with unnecessary programs, fondly referred to by computer professionals as “bloatware.” These programs take up space on the computer’s hard drive and can slow the computer down. In some cases, they create the potential for conflicts and other computer problems.

So what looks to be a great deal and a money-saving purchase more often than not becomes a money pit. Frequent and costly repairs erase any savings you may have had on the purchase price.

A reliable, quality computer system doesn’t have to cost a fortune. But when buying a computer, it is important to consider the total cost of ownership rather than just the cost of buying it.

A trusted computer professional that understands your needs can help you make a wise, money-saving purchase, creating a more enjoyable computing experience.

Christian Hinojosa

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