The price of a computer can vary between $300 and $6000 because each computer can have a particular function. While this might seem like quite the investment, how much should you spend on a computer?

Did you know that, on average, a business spends 16% of its budget on its IT systems?

Whether you're buying a new computer for an individual or for business purposes, your budget for IT equipment can vary a lot.

So, what devices are we talking about? What is a reasonable price? What extra costs do we need to consider?

In this article, you'll find the answers to all these questions.

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Essential IT Equipment

Choosing between a desktop computer and a laptop is often the first question you'll ask yourself. It can be challenging to choose between portability and comfort when working. But, of course, there are several other factors one must consider when looking forward to buying a computer. Let's have a quick look at the different essential aspects for you to examine.

Which are the best computers for students?
You can get so much work done with the right computer. (Source: StartupStockPhotos)

Screens And Peripherals

When you buy a computer, you have to buy several things alongside for it to work. For example, a screen, a keyboard, and a tower, at least. However, if you're buying a notebook, all of these are built into one already.

A screen will impact the quality of imagery being displayed to your employees. Moreover, inadequate quality could potentially damage employees' eyesight in the long term..

In general, it's a good idea also to get your hard disks at the same time since you'll need them to quickly and effectively save your data.

You'll also need to consider:

  • A sound card, to listen to music, use Skype, and even watch films
  • A specific monitor, with/without a built-in webcam
  • A card reader
  • A CD/DVD writer

Accessories: Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers

There are other accessories you should consider buying to elevate your computer usage experience significantly.

  • Bluetooth keyboard, if you're willing to do away with cables and wires.
  • Wireless, wired, or gaming mice, depending on your needs.
  • A power cable.
Some basic equipment for your desktop
When we make the laptop vs. PC argument, the most significant point favoring the latter is that it requires no additional equipment to be used. It is all on its own, while a PC requires too many things to become functional (Source: Unsplash)

If you're making videos or if you like watching series and films on your computer, a good set of speakers is a must. Having good speakers will allow you to percieve dialogues better with lesser strain. They will also make your experience more enjoyable by enhancing the background sound and music.

For more info about computers, check out our complete computer guide, and if you're undecided between a Mac or a Windows computer, have a look at our guide.

Other IT Equipment

Sometimes there's equipment that you wouldn't typically think of, yet it stands significant:

  • A photocopier:
  • A printer
  • A scanner

These items can be useful. They allow you to take physically available content online and wise versa. But, of course, these are an ongoing investment as you have to buy ink cartridges and paper. A household could spend around $140 a year on them.

Of course, you can also pay for an extended warranty in many places that can set you back about $50 to $60.

Choosing IT Equipment

The IT equipment you choose depends on many factors, including your needs, what's available, and your budget. Here's some useful advice for those choosing what to buy.

Find the best computer classes online here.

Where can you get computers for businesses?
A computer for work doesn't need to be the same as a computer for personal use. (Source: StartupStockPhotos)

Define Your Needs

You could require a computer system for several purposes:

  • Research and study
  • Work or managing a business
  • Using social media
  • For fun and gaming
  • Typical IT functionality like word-processing
  • To improve staff productivity

There are many different PC brands, and some have a better reputation than others. For example, a lot of people know that computers running Microsoft Windows are usually better for playing online, but Apple is famous for graphic design. If you travel a lot, you might want to take a lightweight MacBook over an Asus laptop, for example. The most common laptop brands include:

  • Asus
  • Dell
  • HP
  • Lenovo
  • Acer
  • Mac

The two main OS you can buy are Apple or Microsoft; check our comparative guide. You can also see if you need a PC or a laptop.

Work Out The Pros Of Each Device

The goal when choosing computer components is to find the best value for money. For example, if you use your computer every day, you might want to favor quality components. On the other hand, if you rarely use your computer, it's not worthwhile spending a fortune on it.

For example, computers for professional use won't be of the same quality (or price) as those for personal use. This is normal because professionals demand more!

For example, if you want to play games online, you'll want to focus on the processor (dual-core or quad-core?) and graphics cards: you'll want something like a 1.7GHz Intel Core i7 (or an Intel Core i5, at least). In terms of graphics, you probably will want at least four GB of RAM. Finally, of course, you'll want at least a Full HD screen, too.

Making Your Choice

There are three main criteria when choosing IT equipment:

  • Performance needs
  • Device storage capacities
  • Budget

You can compare different models and prices online. Various social media communities could also provide fr reviews on the devices you're considering. Some brands and stores also offer promotions when buying PCs, such as including Microsoft Office for free. So there's always a way to save a few quid.

Given that I work from home, I have to make my decisions based on performance and my needs. It's important that to be able to replace any component as my needs change. I also need a resistant, portable, and reliable computer that won't constantly crash. While I use a PC, there are a number of Apple products that have caught my eye as a replacement.

Some people find the MacBook Pro quite heavy and can sometimes take its time when opening programs. I would personally opt for a second-hand MacBook Air. You can get older models for half the average price. They're also very light and easy to transport.

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Professional Budgets V. Personal Budgets

For professionals, IT systems are a work tool. According to a URSSAF study, 97% of self-employed workers have a computer, and 54% have both a desktop PC and a laptop. That means that the two are used in complementary ways.

Which are the best laptops for freelancers?
If you work from home, you may need one or several computers. (Source: Free-Photos)

Of course, you may need cloud storage (with some services offering up to 1Tb of storage). Computers for professionals range between $700 and $2,800 on average.

Buying a computer for yourself is different from buying one for a business. If you only need a computer to do PowerPoint presentations, you can get very affordable entry-level laptops. However, if you require specific programs like iMovie on the MacBook Pro, you'll probably need to spend a bit more for a quality experience.

You also need to choose components based on your needs. For example, it's probably not worthwhile investing in a photocopier if you have one at work. An individual will usually spend between $300 and $2000 on their computer.

On average, an individual can expect to spend a few hundred dollars on computers.

How much are you willing to spend?

If you are new to computers, you might want to consider taking computer courses, so you have a better idea of how you will use your computer - that way you will know what you need when buying your computer.

The Average Costs Of IT Components

It's challenging to put together an exhaustive list of IT components and their price, given how many brands and formats there are. However, we've got a few average prices for you. First, we need to consider the primary purchases:

Laptops

PCs with a screen, keyboard, tower, and mouse

Accessories like speakers

Basic printers. You should check out the official websites and get reconditioned and refurbished models from the manufacturer without buying from private sellers.

Many quarters, pennies, and other coins scattered around
If you are pondering over getting a PC or a laptop, don't fret; there are man options on the market, and you are sure to find something within budget (Source: Pixabay)

You also need to consider repair costs. On average, someone changes their computer four times throughout their life. However, in some cases, you have to get them repaired. You might need to:

  • Repair a hard drive
  • Restore lost data
  • Replace a broken monitor
  • Replace a PC case
  • Update antivirus software or firewall

PC repairs can cost anywhere between $40 and $200 per hour. That should be enough to make you take care of your hardware.

Did you know that Macs are less susceptible to viruses?

You should be safer with Apple, then. However, it can cost you much more for repairs and replacing components.

There are also all-in-one desktop computers available if you're short on space but don't need to take your computing outside the house. These can still connect to peripheral devices but come as a single unit.

If you're putting together your computer from scratch, your motherboard (the main circuit board) will be one of your most important decisions, as this will define the maximum RAM and CPU speed you can have in your personal computer. It will also define how many ports you have for expansions and other devices. Unfortunately, a laptop computer can't install anywhere near as many upgrades as a desktop. In fact, this is why it's more common to have a gaming desktop rather than a laptop, as you can futureproof it more easily.

It might be worthwhile investing in tablets for those not particularly familiar with computers as they're far more intuitive and better than a home computer for casually browsing the Internet.

You should now have a better idea about buying computer equipment for you or your business. Make sure you take your time when deciding what to buy. Ensure to check out our other articles on different computer brands, which operating systems you should choose, and which type of computer you should choose.

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Laptop Vs. PC: What Should You Buy And For How Much?

If you've finally decided to invest in a personal computer, you've probably fallen into the dilemma; is a desktop is better than a laptop.

The argument may seem never-ending, but you can make the correct decision by considering a few variables.

PCs are generally more customizable, as compared to laptops. As a result, you can assemble the most efficient components to build yourself a dependable computer system in one part of your home.

On the other hand, with laptops, customizability is limited. However, it is portable! You can carry it around anywhere and meet deadlines on the move.

Moreover, the batteries in the modern models are enough to provide approximately 12 hours of usage. Conversely, desktops are plugged in and don't really need batteries.

A laptop being used on the bed
Portability makes life easy. So in case you are wondering, "should I get a PC or a Laptop," you must remember a laptop can be as comfy as bed tea to you. However, your requirements will change drastically if you are a video editor, graphic designer, or programmer (Source: Unsplash)

The problem comes with the sizes. If you've bought a big desktop, carrying it around could be a hassle. So if you're a student, a laptop is probably a better alternative for you.

However, as an employer, your dynamics differ. You must value the high storage capacity with RAM and better visual graphics with graphics cards. Both specs are upgradable on a desktop.

Moreover, they don't run on a battery, reducing the work disruption. And if you're looking for a more effortless option, check out all-in-one PCs. They are expensive options, though.

Both laptops and desktops come with their own set of pros and cons. To decide whether a desktop is better for you than a laptop, consider your requirements and purposes.

Offsets Of Going Cheap

Despite all the bells and whistles, how much should you spend on on a computer? The answer lies in what you need it for.

It isn't just about missing out on tangible benefits when you opt for a cheaper desktop computer or a laptop; it's also about the performance and longevity they provide.

Unfortunately, inexpensive gadgets are usually poor-performing. Nevertheless, here is why low costs shouldn't impress you:

Non-Durability

Your cheap alternatives will always fail to provide utility and usability for long periods.

However, if you choose to pay more, not only will your computer work longer, but it will also work faster, enhancing your productivity.

It will make typing faster, reduce loading times, and entertainment significantly more pleasant. Hence compromising the quality just for saving on a few dollars is a pretty lousy deal.

An office space with desktops arranged side by side
You must have wondered, "should I get a laptop or a PC for my employees." Well, this depends on the kind of work being done. If the work is data intensive and requires a lot of storage and memory, a PC is potentially a better option for you (Source: Unsplash)

Low-Value Entertainment

A computer screen serves as a window to all the content available on the Internet, hence opting for a cheap laptop may result in terrible viewing.

The screen resolution, glass, angle, contrast, and brightness collaboratively formulate a viewing experience. And now, you can watch content on your tablets and phones too.

However, out of the two options we're discussing, the ability to choose from the best monitors on the market makes desktops better than laptops.

Although this may make your computer purchase more expensive, it's a no-brainer if you plan to consume a lot of content.

But keep in mind, you cant trolley your desktop onto a bus, train, or plane – in that regard, it may be better to get a good laptop instead.

Low Battery Life

Battery health is an essential determinant of how worthwhile the performance of your computer is.

Hence if you're getting yourself a laptop for its portability, ensure you make the most of it by selecting a model with higher battery life.

A device that can go last roughly 10 hours on a full charge will be a good option. It will certainly cost you higher but will provide for endurance alongside.

Cheaping out on a laptop may cause regrets when you're trying to send an email from the middle of nowhere.

No Solid State Drive

An SSD will contribute to your overall computer experience. They work as secondary storage in a computer system and provide instant memory.

A cheap laptop does not allow for SSD capabilities; hence, it can't compute queries in milliseconds at your commands.

Spend a little more and get a laptop that comes with an SSD, or buy SSD storage for your desktop. Spending a little extra will go a long way!

Perks Of Buying Expensive Computers

With the expanding influence of technology and advancement, things have become increasingly mobile. Similar is the case with laptops; rather than lying in one place occupying a vast space, you can fold it down and place it in a corner.

However, it isn't really a laptop vs. PC thing. Therefore, here are some of the benefits of investing in your computer:

Graphics Coprocessor

Not only can you see but also feel the ultimate graphics with real-time effects. In addition, the high-end graphics capabilities of cards like the RTX3060 TI will make your PC a better gaming machine than the PS5!

Furthermore, if you're into rendering animations, designing graphics, or creating demanding illustrations, a high-end graphic card is necessary.

However, they don't come cheap. And you may also have to upgrade the rest of your system to make it compatible with your new GPU.

In some cases, especially if you have a desktop, a monitor upgrade may also be in order. Hence, for an extraordinarily cohesive and uninterrupted performance, you must set aside a significant budget.

Appearance

Something that looks good naturally becomes appealing to the human eye. But what if your laptop has modifications such as an LED-backlit display?

Novelty cosmetic additions can only make your system look better, adding to the aesthetic of the room. Look for:

  • Attractive colors
  • Slim build
  • RGB lighting
  • Transparent panels
  • Cordless peripherals

Connectivity

A good computer will have significant connectors and efficient expansions. The slots must provide for all your needs.

Wi-Fi connectivity alongside Ethernet capability is a must nowadays. But, of course, you would require a good Internet connection as well.

The combination of both these components will give you a worthwhile experience.

Processor

The latest processors are dynamic and efficient, helping you work faster and better. In addition, they allow for quicker multi-tasking options between apps.

So, if you're looking for a dynamic experience with gaming, cataloging, or processing, go for the expensive options in the market. They will promise you efficiency and speed.

Maximizing The Life Of Your Computer

Taking good care of your system is also crucial in getting the most out of your computers.

Rather than putting it through rough usage and discarding it for its deteriorating performance, treat it well to get the most value for your investment.

Whether it is your desktop or a laptop, cleaning it, covering it up, and running internal diagnostics will only make your life easier.

Here is what you can do:

Closing Down Apps

Running multiple apps at a time will diminish your battery life gradually. In addition, the power-intensive apps will keep consuming the battery, significantly altering the health of your processor in the long run.

Make sure you give your computer the required peace and rest.

Keeping It Clean

It is best to keep your computers covered when not being used. This will keep the dust and dirt from seeping into the tiny holes and gaps damaging the computer's circuitry.

Also, ensure that no food item comes near the device. Tiny crumbs of food can fall into the keypad, interrupting the function of the switches.

Avoid Temperature Changes

Sudden temperature changes can expose the disk drives to potential threats. In addition, changing temperatures will expose the machine to condensation.

Hence, let your laptop return to room temperature before you resume usage. Of course, it would be best if you also avoid exposure to heat and sunlight.

Avoid Overheating

This is one primary reason for most of the computer malfunctionings. Keep your laptops in well-ventilated areas. Air circulation is essential.

Enclosed areas can cause laptops to overheat and produce several other problems. A hot processor can slow down your computer or even render it useless in some cases.

Keep Away From Unwanted Downloads

You may have noticed unwanted downloads every time you're digging in for something important. Consider antivirus cleanups of your operating system every week.

This will help your laptop feel fresh and work much more efficiently. Not to mention, it will also protect your device from viruses.

Running Unsupported Files

If your laptop doesn't meet the specifications, do not run large, unsupported media files. This can damage your computer in the long run and can even cause freezes and crashes.

Maintenance Checks

Getting your laptop checked as soon as it runs into a problem can keep things better. However, if you keep noticing the issues without taking any timely action, the problems may persist and become even more extensive.

Hence, consulting a local store at the right time to get your problem solved instantly can add to the life of your computer.

Acquire Computer Knowledge With Superprof

Investing in the right computer is a big deal. However, it is essential to learn how to get the most out of it.

Superprof can help you collect all the knowledge you need to improve on your computer using skills.

So whether it's computer programing, computer repairs, or merely basic computer guidance, Superprof can find you the best tutor near you to master the required skill.

Before deciding on which PC to buy, you should read the article: Microsoft vs Apple

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