By Martin Jansen, Owner of Jansen-PCINFO
For the first time since the pandemic, computer prices are a little more reasonable and good deals are available. During the pandemic prices increased as more people worked from home. I wrote about it here. Now with Prime Days approaching on July 12-13 and many competitors doing price matching, it’s a good time to buy. Before buying, however, it’s important to know about the specifications of a new computer.
Windows Specs First
Look for at least 8GB of memory or RAM in a Windows Computer. 4GB is simply not enough.
At least 128GB of storage is necessary for Windows. SSDs are better than Hard Drives and NVMe drives are speedier than SSDs.
Good Intel processors start with an i3 going to i5, i7 and i9. Atom and Celeron processors are OK, but are not good long term investments. If you want Windows 11, you will need at least an 8th generation processor and a TPM 2.0 Chip. AMD processors of the Ryzen class are good, but look for Windows 11 compatibility.
USB-C Thunderbolt ports are good for expansion on laptops using a hub:
Here’s a link to a Lenovo Laptop under $500: https://a.co/d/bf71C7s
Ten years ago, Chromebooks started out with 16GB eMMC storage and 2GB of ram. Now midrange Chromebooks should have at least 4GB RAM and 32GB Storage. High-end Chromebook hardware like the Pixelbook Go can rival the best Windows laptops. Here’s a Lenovo IdeaPad 3 Chromebook for under $125: https://a.co/d/iGmdQGp
The latest MacBook Air features the new M2 chip, making it hard to compare with Intel or AMD processors. Suffice it to say, Apple fans will still be paying the “MacTax,” paying a little more for similar hardware, but will get a long lasting, high quality computer. MacBooks do not offer touchscreen capability – Apple’s iPad tablet line gets all the fine touches.
There are a few computer manufacturers that specialize in Linux systems. System 76 and Purism have great systems, but rarely offer deals. Linux runs efficiently on older hardware (even new systems with standard hardware) and can save old computers from the landfill. I’ve heard of many people who have computers gathering dust because Windows runs so slowly. A fresh installation of Linux would make those computers usable again. Linux Mint does run well on 4GB RAM and 64GB of storage. All systems, of course, benefit from more RAM and SSD storage. Contact me if you want to breathe new life into an old computer. I’ll look up the model and see if it is worth saving.
In summary, if you have been holding off on buying a new or refurbished computer, now is a good time to go shopping. Look for the best system possible (the best specs) for the price you are willing to pay.