Byte Me Article 167 – Many choices when upgrading

Many Choices When Upgrading

If you have been reading these articles lately then I am sure you are well aware of the so called ‘end of life’ of Microsoft Windows XP.  I was going to make last weeks’ article the final one on the topic however I am simply amazed at the magnitude of the response that we are getting with both an inundation of questions as well as the number of new customers purchasing new computers from us.  The most popular question that is still arising is – what ‘device’ do I replace my old XP computer with?

Last weeks’ article was principally about the specifications and software setup of a modern computer however prior to considering this topic a lot of people are still unsure as to what ‘device’ would best suit them in the first place.  Given the enormous range of IT devices now on the market this is a very valid question, so lets’ explore some of the possible solutions.

2014-03-29 Byte Me Article 167 - What Device to Buy

Ten years ago there was not near as much choice – you either purchased a desktop PC or a laptop.  Mostly you either had one or the other as also not long ago it was difficult to ‘synchronise’ these devices to keep track of emails, documents and pictures.  Traditionally when someone purchased a laptop it was because they often travelled and needed the portability.  In this case they rarely had a desktop PC as well because it was too hard to keep track of their files between the two devices.

So much has changed and it is now easy to synchronise files between more than one device with services such as Drop Box, Apples iCloud and even Facebook which help us manage information across multiple devices.  This has also helped the Information Technology world to introduce to us the plethora of portable devices such as smart phones, tablets and netbooks.  Add to this the fact that some people only need access to emails and a small amount of Internet browsing and all of a sudden a range of solutions become possible.

So in trying to wade your way through these choices the first thing you need to think about is what sort of ‘computing’ will fulfil your needs.  Keep in mind that the largest separator between the available devices is simply their physical size which dictates not only portability but also ‘useability’ when it comes to typing and viewing.  If you need the ability to type documents or enter data then a traditional desktop PC or at least a full size laptop is essential.  For instance, I would soon give up writing these weekly articles if I had to type them on a small portable device!

We are seeing definite trends develop with our customers that previously had one laptop for everything.  These customers are often going to the combination of owning both a desktop and a smart phone or tablet.  If it’s rare that you want to type anything lengthy while away from your home or work then a smart phone or a tablet such as Apples’ iPad can work very effectively.  This type of device can keep you up to date with emails as well as enable you to perform simple Web tasks such as checking a bank balance, looking at a weather forecast, finding a phone number or address or even searching for the nearest fuel station, restaurant or other service.

Certainly the ‘traditional’ laptop only customer has diminished to some extent and they are now tending to narrow more to Uni students, travelling salespeople or the business owner that is never home.  Other would-be laptop owners have switched to a ‘more portable’ device such as the smart phone for when they are mobile AND a traditional desktop PC with a large screen and comfy keyboard and mouse for when they are home or at work.

I for one, have always loved to get away from technology when not at work and have rarely carried a laptop, even when on holiday.  However I now find myself with a Samsung Galaxy Note – one of the largest screen smart phones, because I find it handy to have Internet & email ability with me on a device that I need to be carrying for phone calls anyway.  However when I need to type or want to browse the Internet there is nothing better than a modern PC with a large screen – or two! 

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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