If you have ever had the privilege of testing a huge desktop computer, a top-of-the-line octacore laptop, or a very affordable netbook, making a choice about what to buy is easier. However. Not all people can afford this luxury of an easy pick.

Making a wise choice however is essential, as a computer will not only entertain you, it will also help you accomplish most, if not a good percentage of your work.

Below are 5 things you must consider before plunking in the big bucks.

Laptop Or Desktop?

When shopping for a computer, you need to decide whether you want a laptop or a desktop. If you need to work from anywhere except the computer desk in your home, a laptop is clearly the way to go — many portables are as or more powerful than their bulky, stationery desktop cousins.

That said, desktops usually offer more bang for the buck — $1,000 can buy you a pretty powerful desktop with most of the fixin’s you need to live a productive and fun computing life (in other words, it can handle everything from basic office tasks to video editing and music management with aplomb), but the same money will only get you a so-so laptop.

But you must remember that although a desktop is less expensive, a laptop has an emergency rechargeable battery which could mean the emergency saving of your current file in caseelectricity goes out in the middle of working. This is a huge consideration.

Operating system

Operating system is an important thing when buying a computer, it’s not the most important but for many people it’s decisive. If you want to play, run Microsoft applications, Office, then go for Microsoft Windows operating system. If you like rock solid computers, using your computer for those internet things, a cool and cheap operating system and you like to do things on your own (as you don’t need technical support) go and get a Linux. If you need commercial technical support and assistance but still need a rock solid OS go and check Mac OS.


Processor is the heart of your computer. Your processor needs are based on what you are planning to do on your new computer. If your main purpose is using it for internet, e-mail, word processors and office applications, any modern processor in the market will fit your needs. One important thing to look in a processor is clock frequency (which determines your processor speed), now this is measured in Ghz. But don’t be fooled by checking only processor’s clock frequency, one thing more to check in modern processors is the number of cores. Today processors have more than one core, this is important for multireading (doing more than one task at the same time), usually processors with more than one core have less clock frequency but they still are more powerful. A processor can have one, two, four cores and every core can act as a standalone processor.


RAM stands for Random Access Memory and it’s a very important thing to check in your new computer as low memory can produce bottlenecks also in your home computing. This is the amount of information that can be quickly accessed by the processor. Anything less than 2GB (Gigabytes) could noticeably slow you down. 2GB is fine, 4GB is over-kill unless you’re running Windows 64-bit software (which is unlikely).Modern operating systems and games are resource-hungry in terms of memory. However for most people 4 Gb will be enough nowadays.


While it’s not critical, try to get wide-screen format because many new programs are being designed for this format. If you’re buying a desktop, don’t buy anything smaller than 19 inches. Some people can make do with mobile-friendly 10-11 inch screen, while most laptops that are used for basic office work are approximately 14-17 inches. It all depends on your need, and of course, your eyesight too.