Home Office Computer Buying Tips
Nowadays, few choices are more important than the personal computer you select for your home office. Whether you
favor Apple, Dell, or some other hardware vendor, whether your preference is for the Mac OS, Windows or Linux, some
common elements run across any good system. Cost is clearly the first consideration. We would all like to have
$10,000 to spend on our home office computer and with that kind of money; you could buy the absolute best around.
However, rarely is that justified and much less so for a computer in the home office.
The specific amount is less the idea here, though, than the principle: get what you pay for, but pay for what
you need. We are all tempted to cut corners. Saving money is important in any business, particularly when starting
out. However, trimming the PC budget too tightly will cost you productivity all day, every day for the useful life
of the machine.
It is possible to spend too much on a home office computer even when you think you are getting
something for that money. Too much, does not mean here not getting a good deal from a vendor. It means
spending money for aspects that do not give you any value.
One current Intel processor that runs at 3.16 GHz clock speed, for example, sells for several hundred dollars
more than the 3.0 GHz model. The other aspects of the two processors are almost identical. The higher number does
not actually mean the machine will be five percent faster. Even if the price were only one percent higher you would
still be spending money unwisely since you will rarely, if at all, notice the difference. There are many aspects to
computer performance and this small extra speed will go unnoticed.
Therefore, lesson one is that if you learn a little bit about what makes for good computer performance then you
can avoid spending money to get essentially nothing in return. Although you do not need to be an expert yourself,
it never hurts to learn. Nevertheless, be sure to ask some probing questions or get someone to advise you.
Post-sales support can be equally important. No major hardware manufacturer today gives stellar post-sales
support. They simply have too many customers to make it feasible to answer all the questions that come up. Most
will send replacements parts or a service engineer in a reasonable amount of time for machines that actually breaks
down within the warranty period. However, you should not expect much more.
That means it can be worthwhile, depending on your personal comfort level with computers and other
circumstances, to purchase indirectly. Many resellers offer a great value by providing increased phone and email
support, rapid on-site repair services and other value-adds if you purchase from them instead. They can do this
because they have a smaller customer base, often are closer to the customer and are usually much better trained
than the customer service staffs at major corporations.
Lesson two, then, is to consider how important for you is it to have rapid, reliable, knowledgeable help when
something goes wrong. Hardware and even, largely, software, is very solid these days. If, when you need help you
need it now and need it badly, it can easily be worth the extra ten or so percent you might pay for a system.
The old saying penny wise and pound-foolish is an enduring truth, never more so than when it comes to choosing a
home office computer. For most home offices today, it forms the core of a person's productivity. It is worthwhile
to put a little extra thought into choosing one.