If you’re in the market for a new computer, one of the first things you’ll need to decide is what kind of machine you’re going to buy. In today’s market, there’s now a huge range of different types of personal computers available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages depending on how you intend using your device and what you need it to do.
From desktops to laptops and highly capable tablets to hybrid notebooks, there is a vast array of options open to today’s computer buyers, so you should spend some time working out which is right for you. Below is an overview guide to help you make the right choice.
Rule 101: Look at what you use a computer for
Just as with so many of the other purchases we make in life (e.g. cars, furniture, our homes, etc), the starting point in buying a computer should be determining what you need your machine to do. The truth is, many people get sucked into a numbers game and end up buying tech that is far more capacious or powerful than they need.
For example, if you only use a computer to browse the web and send emails, you won’t need a massively powerful machine with a lot of storage. In this case, a lower-end laptop or tablet will be more than capable of performing the tasks you do on a day-to-day basis.
At the other end of the spectrum, if you’re heavily into video editing or 3D modeling, you’ll need a fast processor, powerful graphics card and as much storage as you can find (most likely you’ll also end up using additional external storage, particularly for video).
Take a second to think about how you use a computer and visit a site like Lenovo.com to see the wide range of laptops that are available these days.
Think about portability
The trend towards mobile computing has grown massively in recent years and figures suggest over 50% of all internet use is now made on portable devices. Depending on how (and where) you envisage using your computer, portability could well be top of the list in terms of priorities when buying your next machine. Laptops and tablets win hands down in this area compared to their desktop counterparts.
However, even with laptops/tablets, you should still bear in mind the weight and size of your machine. For example, if you need a laptop mainly for use at college or you often take your computer home from work, you’ll need to think about the practicalities of carrying it – perhaps on buses, trains, etc – so, think carefully before splurging on a weighty machine with a massive screen.
Consider using cloud services
Cloud computing is now one of the fastest-growing sectors in the entire computer and tech industry and can bring tremendous processing power to even the least powerful, lowest-grade laptops.
As our mobile connection speeds continue to improve with the rollout of 5G services, there’s every likelihood you could use cloud computing services to perform tasks on remote computers that are far beyond the specs of your local machine.
For example, the website Photopea is an online photo editing app that looks and performs exactly like Adobe Photoshop – but without putting the strain on the user’s machine.
Moving to cloud services could drastically reduce the load you put on your computer, thereby saving you shelling out on expensive hardware.