Byte Me Article 406 – The Purchase

What You Need In A Laptop

This weeks’ progression of our A-Z miniseries of computer purchase is focused on the actual purchase.  If you have been keeping up with these articles then you should already be zeroed in on what you want, however we will summarise these points below.  I’m hoping that you have had a good look around at the offerings of several shops without being led directly to the sales counter by an overzealous salesperson. 

Keep in mind that many retail shops employ their sales people on a commission basis and they have incentives for selling the models with the most margins for that month.  Often the models with the most margins are the slow-moving items that don’t sell well because they are lemons!  Do your own research on both the Internet and by talking to retailers but make your own conclusions as to which model suits you best.

In past years we have had customers bring in a brand-new device (still boxed up) that they have been ‘talked into’ so that we could get their data across to it.  Sometimes this device has been an absolute lemon, so we have googled the sellers store and found a more suitable model to recommend.  Upon taking the lemon back for exchange the customer has been told that there are no stocks of the good model even though we have just confirmed by phone that they had plenty!

Apart from these sales incentives the average purchaser should ‘mostly’ be looking for the following in a laptop or desktop.  An Intel i3 or Intel i5 CPU or the approx. AMD equivalent, 8GB of Ram, a 250GB SSD and a good on-site warranty.  You should be avoiding 3rd party warranties and being very wary of ‘special sales’. 

Before entering the shop to finalise a purchase you should already know exactly what happens in the event of a warranty claim and the cost of having an activated Microsoft Office product as I guarantee that the versions of Word & Excel that appear on the display model are simply in trial mode and require money to activate.  You will also have worked out which anti-virus product you are going with and if you need to purchase any other software.

Walking back to your car with your new device at hand, you should be confident that you got not so much a bargain, but rather a great solution.  Stock up on your favourite coffee brand on the way home as the process has just started and there is still a long road ahead before your new device can be used in earnest.  In fact – at present you have just bought yourself a bunch of trouble and at the very least, a real challenge.

The latest desktop and laptop offerings from all manufacturers are burdened with heaps of trial software and demanding activation wizards, all geared to extract extra money from your pocket and most of this is directed toward a monthly ongoing software ‘rental’ expense.

Next week we will take up at the point that you have opened the new box and poured a strong coffee!  Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

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