When you're looking for a new computer, there are a few things you need to bear in mind when making a decision.
Firstly, do you want a Windows PC or an Apple Mac? Macs are generally more expensive to buy than Windows PCs but are much more reliable, more secure and come with a lot more functionality built in.
This can save you lots of money over the long term so the total cost of ownership tends to work out less or the same as a Windows PC.
Macs also hold their value a lot better than Windows PCs so you can usually recoup some of the cost by selling it when you decide to upgrade next. If you use software which is only available on Windows or enjoy gaming on your computer, then a Windows PC is the best option.
The next thing to consider is whether you want a desktop computer or a laptop? Desktop computers are usually cheaper as they don't have a screen, keyboard or mouse/trackpad built in and it's usually easier to upgrade or replace components in a desktop. A laptop is obviously much more portable as it's all self contained and you aren't limited to using it in one place, but with a lot of modern laptops, it's not easy to add more RAM or storage space if you find yourself wanting to upgrade in the future.
If you decide on a desktop PC, you need to check that your existing screen, keyboard and mouse are compatible. A lot of new computers only have USB ports and DVI or HDMI connections for screens, whereas old PCs might be using PS/2 for keyboards and mice and VGA for screens. If you go for a laptop, then you need to consider what size screen you want as you can't change this afterwards, although you can connect a desktop screen or TV to most laptops so you can use it more like a desktop when you're at home.
Now you need to think about whether your new computer comes with enough RAM and storage for your needs. Each application you run on your computer (browser, email, anti-virus, Dropbox, iTunes, Skype, word processor etc) will use up RAM so you should be looking for at least 8GB of RAM so that your computer can continue to run at full speed.
The storage space on your computer is where you store your files such as word processor files, photos, music etc. Ideally you should be looking to have at least 500GB of storage space, if not 1TB. It's more and more common these days for laptops to come with newer, faster SSD drives. These are much faster than standard disks but often have less capacity so please check that you have enough space for all your files before you commit to anything. If you can afford a larger SSD in your new computer, we would strongly recommend it as the difference it can make can be quite amazing.
Another important part of your computer is the processor. The faster the processor, the faster your new computer will run. All new computers these days will come with dual core processors, which means that you get 2 processors running at the same time. This means they can be slightly slower, but when combined, the overall speed is faster than an old single core processor. If you're going to be working with large files, such as editing movies or making music on your computer, it's usually better to go for a faster processor, maybe even looking for a quad-core machine.
We're always happy to help you decide what new computer would be best for you and we can provide a whole range of laptops and custom built desktop computers so that you're getting exactly what you need. Do please get in touch with us if you'd like any help.