We receive this question at least twice a week and by following these guidelines you’ll be an expert at computer shopping in no time! Let me walk you through how we shop for a computer. Here are some important questions we ask:
1. Desktop or Laptop?
2. How much storage space do you have already and how much may you need?
3. Any special requirements such as specific ports, more than 2 monitors, or a docking station for a laptop?
How Much Storage Space Do I Need?
Whether it’s a desktop or laptop you’ll need to know how much storage space you’ll need. Start by opening file explorer and then going to “This PC”. Examine your C: drive to notate its capacity and existing used space.
Most people won’t need more than 256GB total capacity. If you need more, there will be that option during the shopping process.
Which Desktop Should I Buy?
We always recommend starting with a Dell OptiPlex with at least 16GB of RAM. To find these, go to dell.com. Click Desktops up top. On the left, check the box next to “OptiPlex” and under Memory (RAM) choose 16GB. Dell will usually list the most popular, in-stock, and best value in the top results. You shouldn’t need to scroll past 10 computers to find what you’re looking for.
Don’t get bogged down in the details of processor speed or storage space.
What Laptop Should I Buy?
We always start with Dell Latitudes with 16GB of RAM. To find these, go to dell.com. Click Laptops up top. On the left, check the box next to “Latitude” and under Memory (RAM) choose 16GB. Dell will usually list the most popular, in-stock, and best value in the top results. I also recommend checking the box for “back-lit keyboard”. This inexpensive add-on is very helpful.
What differentiates laptops most are their size and weight. If you’re looking for a 15.6″ screen and a 10-key keyboard, then feel free to filter by that criteria further.
If you’re looking for something light and thin, then try the 13″ or 14″ search criteria.
If you need a docking station, then find a laptop with at least one “Thunderbolt” port. This new standard ensures compatibility with any Thunderbolt docking station to deliver power, ethernet, USB, and display all over one cable!
If you’re a managed customer, then anti-virus will be installed by us. If not, then I recommend Malwarebytes.com.
For Microsoft Office… Luna Tech can provide Office Pro Plus licenses (which include Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Access, Outlook, etc.) for much less than retail. Usually there is no need to purchase software during checkout.