• Ensure that the computer you buy meets your present needs and gives you room to grow.

  • As a rule of thumb, you can't have too much processor speed, RAM or hard drive space, so get as much as you can afford. As the prices of RAM are so cheap, you should have at least 1 GB RAM, especially if the operating system is Windows Vista. You should also get hard drive with speed at least 7200rpm, instead of 5400rpm.

  • LCD display now becomes a very affordable choice. Get a 17" or larger LCD flat panel display by all means. Note that contrast ratio should be 500:1 or greater. Response time should be as fast as possible, 8 ~ 12 ms being very common. A 2~4 ms response time LCD is not uncommon these days.

  • Unless you are budget tight, don't just go for the cheapest PC. It only means that all the components inside are most likely the bottom of the line.

  • If you pay about 20% more, you can get brand name computers from manufacturers such as Dell, HP, and Lenovo (IBM). However, be aware that their advertised products may not include shipping charges and taxes.

  • If you wait, you usually can use the same money to buy a better equipped or better performance computer. Moreover, the prices will for sure go down after you buy it. However, you don't have the PC while others are enjoying the benefits of using it. So, don't wait. The best time to buy that new PC is now or when you need it!

  • If you are considering to buy a note book, look for the brand names and the following components: Intel CPU is more expensive than AMD CPU; also consider dual core rather than Celeron if you're a gamer; integrated modem; integrated Ethernet 100Mbps or 1Gbps if available; integrated wireless; if weight is not a problem, then integrated CD/DVD ROM drive, CDRW drive, or DVD+/-RW drive provides convenience; minimum 1 GB RAM or up to 3GB; and minimum 100GB hard disk. Consider extended warranty (e.g. 3 years) as laptop is very expensive to repair. Be sure to click here to read a lot more about choosing a notebook.