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XP Practical PC, 3e Chapter 18 1 Buying a PC
XP Practical PC, 3e Chapter 18 2 Buying a PC In this Chapter, you will learn: –Where to begin looking for a PC –Where to find prices and specifications –How much power you need –Where to find the best deal –Whether to “mail order” a PC –How to buy online –About accessories and add-ons
XP Practical PC, 3e Chapter 18 3 Beginning the process of buying a PC To make sure you get a good deal on your new computer, you might try a shopping strategy: –Choose a platform (PC or MAC) –Decide on desktop or notebook –Browse magazines, Web sites and catalogs to compare features and prices –Make final selection by price, features, technical support and warranty –Buy it!
XP Practical PC, 3e Chapter 18 4 Finding prices and specifications Start by looking for specifications by sorting the computers into three price ranges. Look at processor maker and model, speed, RAM, hard disk, monitor size and price. Prices and features constantly change, so your results will change every few months. Generally the results are the same in each price range, no matter what vendor is selling it.
XP Practical PC, 3e Chapter 18 5 Finding prices and specifications Once you have determined the usual specifications in each price range, beware any that fall dramatically outside. They may be reconditioned or used. To find information, use magazines like Computer Shopper or catalogs like MicroWarehouse or PC connection. Web stores and sites are also an excellent source of information.
XP Practical PC, 3e Chapter 18 6 Finding prices and specifications Average specifications
XP Practical PC, 3e Chapter 18 7 How much computing power do you need? PCs over $2000 are the luxury end with state-of- the-art components. They have a longer useful life than other models. They will likely work very well with all of the modern software and peripherals. They probably have bigger and faster storage equipment and RAM.
XP Practical PC, 3e Chapter 18 8 How much computing power do you need? Computers between $1,000 and $2,000 are the “mid-range” models that most people buy. They lack the flashy new components. They contain good, tested features. They do a good job of running current versions of operating systems and application software.
XP Practical PC, 3e Chapter 18 9 How much computing power do you need? Computers below $1,000 are the “compact car” end of the range. They usually contain functionality that is a few years old, is slower and smaller. They should run current software adequately, although some of it may be slow. You probably will need to replace the PC sooner. Used PCs are a good cost saving option if you make sure they work.
XP Practical PC, 3e Chapter 18 10 How much computing power do you need? Comparison checklist
XP Practical PC, 3e Chapter 18 11 How to find the best deal Computer superstores like CompUSA offer a large array of options. Office supply stores or mass-market stores have a smaller variety but offer good choices. Independent computer resellers sell brand-names and often build generic PCs. Several computer manufacturers sell directly to the customer at stores or over the internet or telephone.
XP Practical PC, 3e Chapter 18 12 Is it ok to “mail order” a PC? Telephone and Internet ordering of PCs and components is becoming one of the more popular options. It is handy and safe as long as you shop through a reputable dealer. Be sure you order carefully and keep all of the information about your order number, etc.
XP Practical PC, 3e Chapter 18 13 Is it ok to “mail order” a PC? Make arrangements to be home when the PC arrives or to have someone accept it for you. Keep your purchase receipt. Read your warranty information carefully and be aware of what repair services are available. Install the PC and all of the accessories and try them out right away to be sure they work properly.
XP Practical PC, 3e Chapter 18 14 Hardware – Accessories and add-ons You have many options of customizing your PC just like you can customize a new car. For instance, when you buy a notebook, you will want to look at extra batteries, A/C adaptors and docking stations. You can look at extra RAM, a larger hard disk, or a CDR or DVD drive. If you buy add-ins at purchase time, they come already installed and tested.
XP Practical PC, 3e Chapter 18 15 Hardware – Accessories and add-ons Notebook add-ons
XP Practical PC, 3e Chapter 18 16 Hardware – Accessories and add-ons Many new computers offer options to build your own computer which can greatly change the price. These options might include a faster processor, a zip drive, a network card, better sound or video card. The price of add-ons at purchase time includes installation and ensures that all of the selections are compatible.
XP Practical PC, 3e Chapter 18 17 Hardware – Accessories and add-ons Desktop computer ad with various features
XP Practical PC, 3e Chapter 18 18 Hardware – Accessories and add-ons Installing everything you need at purchase time is an advantage to both the buyer and the seller. Options are also now available to accomplish various tasks – such as a game package that might include software, a joystick and a special graphics card. You will also want to look at the bundled software that comes with the PC. This can be a large cost savings if you need new software.
XP Practical PC, 3e Chapter 18 19 Hardware – Accessories and add-ons Sometimes accessories are not included
XP Practical PC, 3e Chapter 18 20 Buying a computer online Shopping for a PC online
XP Practical PC, 3e Chapter 18 21 What do you think? The ethics of e-shopping 1.Has e-commerce changed your shopping habits? 2.Can you think of any types of merchandise that you would not order from an e-commerce site? 3.Would you consider it unethical to examine a product in a retail store, if you know that you intend to order it from the Web?
XP Practical PC, 3e Chapter 18 22 Chapter Summary You should now be able to: –Know how to prepare for buying a PC –Find current prices and specifications –Determine how much computing power you need –Find the best deal for you –Place a safe “mail order” for a computer –Buy a computer online –About the basic types of available accessories and add- ons
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