2 weeks ago, I decided to sell my beloved partner in work at home, “Mac-mac”, my 4-year old MacBook Pro. It was still in good condition but some of the software I needed are not compatible anymore with the version of my OS. Wait, what’s OS? If you don’t have idea on what is it, don’t worry. Just read on. Upgrading my OS is a choice but I just decided to buy a new one. I wanted to renew my system as I level up my work at home career. So I was torn in buying which model is the right one for me. Then I learned basic ideas to consider.
Having ideas on how to select the right computer for you is important because computers are the best tool for work, anytime and everywhere. Brands are one of the things to consider but it is also important to look on the computer specifications. Like most of the people, I honestly get confused and overwhelmed with computer specifications and technical stuff. So let’s try to make it easy for everyone to learn.
With the help of internet research and knowledgeable friends, here are some of the tips and thoughts that I had considered and learned in choosing my new computer:
1. Size: What’s the right size for you?
The key in finding the right computer for you is to know exactly what you want and how you plan to use it. Do you want a machine that you can travel with or you want the one that is home based? Do you want a Laptop, Notebook or a Desktop? How big or small computer will work the best for you?
The sizes being mentioned in computer specs pertains to how wide the screen size is. Usually, you can see the dimensions in inches (11”, 13”, 15” etc.). Of course, choose the size that best works for you and your need.
2. Processor: How high and fast should be your processing power and speed?
Processor or CPU is the most important feature when you are deciding which computer to buy. It is also called as “The Brain” of the computer. One of the known processor is Intel (nearly every laptop has a CPU either from Intel or AMD). In considering this, remember that the higher the processing power you have, the faster your computer will run. So if you are a video editor it is recommendable to have a higher processor. It will help you render your project files faster. If you will only be working for documents, email or research, it is okay to use a processor with a lower power.
Another thing to consider in processing is Graphics Card or Video Card. This helps in processing heavy graphics display faster. This is important to consider for those works are related to photo, video or even for those who want to use their laptops for gaming.
3. Operating System: What system you’d like to handle your applications?
If the Processor is the “brain”, the Operating System (OS) is the conscience of the computer. To name a few, here is where Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac OS X and Linux comes in. Which is the most compatible with you?
OS is responsible for managing both of computer hardwares and other softwares. Whatever OS it is, it’s recommendable to choose its updated version for better performance and application compatibilities. Choosing the right OS depends on which works well with you and your work. Like for example, I like Mac OS X because it works well with me for graphics or video editing and I find it easy to manage my files though the most common operating system is Windows.
4. Hard Drive and RAM: How big should be your storage?
Hard drive is the storage of your computer. Everything you have chosen to keep on your computer saves on it – your apps even your operating system. Unlike the Hard Drive, RAM or Random-Access Memory is just a short-term storage. It will just temporarily save running programs on your computer.
To easily understand this, imagine a study table or a work table. Where does the files that you are currently working at? It is usually placed at the top of your table, right? Where are the files that you do not need anymore or already finished with? Most usually keep it at the table’s drawer, isn’t? Understanding the difference between Hard Drive and RAM are just like this. RAM is like the top of the table and Hard drive is like the drawer.
In considering the memory for your computer, remember that the smaller the storage or memory, the bigger the chances for your system to slow down. Hard Disk Drive (HDD) and Solid State Drive (SSD) are types of hard drive. HDD is the traditional and SSD is the new and faster technology. This both works well with computers but of course, having the SSD is most recommendable. It is just pricey but will give you the best performance.
5. Price and Lifespan: How much will you spend and how long does it will work?
If you already found the computer that meets your specific needs, you should also think about the years you can use and enjoy it. Remember that computer is a good investment especially if you will use it for your business or work in a long run. Usually, computers works in good performance in the span of 3 to 5 years. After that, you will need to upgrade or change to a new one.
Buy a computer that fits to your need, to the computer lifespan and budget. If you really think you need the one that is pricey, It’s okay. Save and take your time. It will be worth it.
6. Extras: Can it perform the special applications you need?
Consider the other things that you need for your computer. On the hardware part, check if the ports/slots/connectors that you need are available. Do you need to connect to a printer or maybe a projector? Do you need an SD slot? How about a CD drive? It is good to note that if your machine lacks support for these peripherals, you can consider buying external devices or maybe some converters/adaptors. On the software side, can you easily install your graphics editing, data entry or software creator application on it? Check if your OS supports the softwares that you will be using.
Having considered these tips, I got myself with a new MacBook Pro! The size is just 13 inches and is lighter than my old MacBook. I got an updated version of MAC OS X for my Operating System. Its processor and memory is big enough with what I needed. As I weigh the cost, my work and its lifespan, buying it will be worth it for me. For considering the extras, I bought the model that is with Retina display and installed the applications that I needed. It is just perfect for my article writing, graphic designing and video editing work at home.
In conclusion, everything just falls down in knowing what you want and how you plan to use your computer. Believe me, It will surely save you, your work and your time when you think about what you really need.
Whether you are a work at home professional looking for the right computer or a not-so-techie person who just want to explore, you are free to choose. Don’t give yourself a headache or miss your deadlines just because of a computer who runs so slow. Free yourself and decide well. May you get the right computer for you and may you live a life and work in freedom! 🙂
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