How to Buy an Intermediate Laptop or Desktop Computer
Ok, you need a new laptop or desktop. But, you don’t want one that’s too slow or too expensive, right?
What’s Your Budget and Need?
If you are looking to surf the Web, access e-mail, chat with friends, play games, and basically be on your computer at least 5-7 times a week, you are going to need what we’ll call an intermediate computer. In addition, if you have younger kids (i.e., pre-teens), and you’ll be sharing the computer with them, put yourself in this category. You’re going to need a little more muscle in your machine in terms of both storage and speed. An intermediate laptop or desktop (including a monitor) will cost somewhere between $700 – $1000.
Processors for Intermediate Desktops and Laptops
First of all, the science of processors is never easy to understand. However, processors for desktops are generally different than those for laptops.
For an intermediate desktop computer, consider buying a desktop with at least an Intel Core 2 Duo Processor, which is not to be confused with the dual core processor. Clear as mud, right? This may help: The Dual Core was born first. The Core 2 Duo was born second and is faster. Here’s the bottom line: If you’re looking at an intermediate desktop computer, in the $700 – $1000 range, look for one with an Intel Core 2 Duo Processor, with at least a 3MB Cache and at least 2.5GHz speed.
For an intermediate laptop, consider buying one with at least an Intel Pentium Dual Core T4400 Processor. If you’ve gone shopping on the Dell and HP Websites, these are the processors you’ll most likely find. However, since Toshiba tends to push the envelope with a more powerful machine, you’ll find that their laptops often come with a speedy Intel Core i3-330M Processor or an Intel Core i5-430M processor.
Memory for Intermediate Desktops and Laptops
For an intermediate desktop computer, purchasing one with at least 4 to 6 GB of SDRAM memory is a good idea. Here, too, you can usually upgrade the memory with little or no extra cost.
For intermediate laptops, see if you can purchase a machine with at least 3 to 6 GB DDR3 memory. You may see DDR2 versions of memory, but go with DDR3, since it’s the most current version!
Hard Drives for Intermediate Desktops and Laptops
For an intermediate desktop, it’s not unusual to find a good one with at least a 500GB through a 1TB (Terabyte) hard drive.
For an intermediate laptop, you can likely find one with at least a 320GB through a 500 GB hard drive.