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Cheap Computers Shopping:
What You Need To Know

The PC's and Mac's available today are a new breed from those of only a few years ago.

Even the most inexpensive model is bound to have plenty of horsepower and is well-equiped to handle the things that most people are interested in doing with their PC.

Even today's games and programs like home video editing are usually no problem for today's inexpensive computers.

A Computer Should Meets These 3 Criteria:

Criteria 1.

Be mindful of your budget. (As if we had to tell you!)

How much should you spend?
You can now get a 2.8Ghz Pentium 4 with a 256MB Processor, and 20GB of Hard Drive, for under $500! Five years ago that would have been considered a powerhouse. Today, it's average! Yet it's much than most people really need.

So, when you go shopping, does it matter if you get the latest model PC or Mac? Of course not! As a matter of fact, when you want a good computer, you should consider a computer from a store that sells last season's models. It's an excellent way to go. You get all the power you need and at the right price.

Or if you want to do it really, really cheap and don't care about a long warranty or tech support, then you may want to go with a refurbished computer.

Criteria 2.

Know your computer needs so you can be sure you buy the right computer.

What good is a "good deal" if a new computer can't run all of your programs or if you purchased much more power (at a higher cost) than your real needs? That's not a good deal, it's a mistake.

For example, if you know you are only going to write email, surf the Internet and write with Word, then you only need a computer with at least a minimum of 500MHz processor, 256MB of RAM and a 4GB hard drive. That is a typical basic computer.

With this knowledge you can immediately know if any computer you look at actually meets your needs. But also, you will know you DON'T NEED! For example, for email, surfing and Word, you wouldn't need an expensive sound card and top-grade speakers. A standard sound card with standard speakers would be just fine.

So, use common sense. If you pay more than the price of a basic computer, it must be for a specific reason.

You can see our specific Recommended Computer Systems, which reviews each part and component.

Buying Guides
Want to read more? In our Computer Buying Guide, you'll learn about the parts inside a computer and pick-up some computer terms. It's all easy to understand. If you need help selecting a laptop, then also read our Laptop Buying Guide for some additional information on laptops and buying suggestions.

When you're ready, we recommend you look at ALIENWARE Computers because they have computer systems designed to meet every task and budget. Remember, by understanding what you need you can better select a computer that is tailored to your needs.

Criteria 3.

Look for a good warranty and good service. Manufacturers and even some online stores offer technical support. One of the greatest benefits of buying computers online is that instead of carrying the computer to a store, there is access to 24-hour tech support.

Unfortunately, quality can vary widely, even within the same company. It's always a matter of luck whether or not you happen to get a knowledgeable technician, or a confused trainee.

TIP - If you seem to be getting nowhere with a tech support technician, keep in mind that tech support departments often hire many technicians. You can always call back later and someone else will answer!

Find Cheap Computers Where You May Not Expect

All major manufacturers will periodically have too many unsold computers stock piled in their warehouses.

So periodically, they will have Seasonal Special Sales and other Special Promotions that can save you a ton of money! These are always time-limited sales that are NOT widely advertised. Example: A few month back, we bought a computer from Dell using a special coupon code that save us at least $500 dollars!

The key to finding these sales is to look at their websites, often. Remember, these sales are always for a limited amount of time. Of course you can look for yourself at any time at these great sites: Dell Computers, Gateway, and HPshopping.

Since we follow this information, we can let you know about these Seasonal Special Sales and other Special Promotions in our Hot Deals!.

Build It Yourself?

Perhaps you're interested in building your own computer. If so, then you'll be interested in our guide, How to Build Your Own Computer. This step-by-step guide details each step along the way.

But if you're not at all interested in building your own computer, then check-out these pages:

Go Shopping:

Want a Better Web Host?

The idea of having a business or personal website up on the Internet is that it actually be up on the Internet. With many web hosts, "downtime" is a serious problem. Also, most web hosts have poor service. Well, this isn't acceptable. In our Web Hosting section, we have revealing reviews on the 17 most popular web hosting companies.

Last Updated: 19th July 2005
Computer Dictionary is updated separately.
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