To make the most of your buying experience, and an idea of the variety of choices facing you, you should do your homework before you buy your computer given that it’s a major purchase decision. Listed below are some tips to consider before buying a computer:
Don’t be apprehensive to speak to vendors
If buying on credit, shop around because the vendor may not offer the best deal.
Vendors will sometimes sell computers in bundles that may include a computer, printer and scanner, perhaps a digital camera or various software packages.
When ordering make sure that you get and keep copies of all receipts, details of the order, confirmation, e-mail and order numbers of your computer purchase.
When buying online check that the company has a contact address and telephone number in case you need to get in contact with them.
You should think about support options when, or even before, you buy given that computers are not always problem free. Find out exactly what is covered, how long it lasts and how much it costs.
Support services tend to be composed of:
Installation services possibly offered by the vendor.
The type of repair service offered varies between vendors and manufacturers, so ask before you buy. Pick a vendor that provides the best service for you. If your computer breaks down always check whether it is still covered by a warranty as explained below:
This will automatically come with the computer. They typically cover repair and/or replacement and may include protection against accidental damage or theft. Read the small print before purchasing your computer or warranty and find out what it covers and how long it lasts. Software is not always covered.
Printers are an important piece of equipment to go with your computer. However, buying a printer may not be as straightforward as it seems - check out the information below:
How can you protect you investment from power surges. A surge protector will blow a fuse if it gets hit by a rush of electricity, as a result protecting your computer. If you're using a modem, be sure to get a surge protector with a telephone jack included. A surge protector cannot safeguard your computer against a direct lightning strike, the only sure safeguard against lightning strikes is to unplug your computer and modem during a thunderstorm.
The only sure fire way to safeguard the data on your computer is to back it up onto a cd/dvd/flash drive/external drive . . .
How will the computer be used? Do you plan to write papers for a class using word processing software, keep track of your finances or business on a spreadsheet, sending email, surfing the Web, or just playing games? Knowing how you'll use your computer will help you determine what type of minimum requirements the computer needs to have.
The IT Help Desk staff provides computing needs analysis and pre-sales support to
and staff at CCRI. They will assist in answering your questions and configuring your computer system to meet you requirements. For purchasing advice or more information, please contact us at x1112.
Prior to purchasing your computer, go over the list of the items (hardware and software) that you might consider purchasing. Ask the salesperson questions about the computer you are interested in and jot your notes in the space below.
Laptop or Desktop (Laptop models are portable, and if you travel a lot and need to bring your computer along, this is the logical choice. Desktops have larger screens and are easily expandable).
Hard Drive Capacity
Backup Devices (USB/CD/CD_RW/DVD/DVD_RW external drive)
Monitor: Is it included in the price?
Speakers: (internal/external) Is it included in the price?
Printer: Is it included in the price?
Type of Printer (dot matrix, inkjet, bubble jet, laser)
Modem (internal, external, speed)
Can you set up a fax or voice mail on the modem?
Is there a toll-free technical support phone number?
What cables or items are needed to set up the system? (Surge Protector, printer cable, a power strip or cable to connect the Internet)?
Operating System: (version)
Software Included: (Office/Works/Other)
Antivirus Software Included: (MacAfee/Symantec/Other)
See if the warranty covers manufacturing defects and other problems. Make certain you recognize in particular what is covered under the warranty.
Many vendors offer an extended service agreement which, in reality, increases the length of the warranty. This is entirely up to you to purchase this plan. You need to investigate what is covered and evaluate the price of the warranty opposed to the price of possible repairs.
Does the vendor offer support if you have a question or need technical assistance? What form is the support available in (email/phone/live chat/documentation)?
How long is the Warranty?