Buying Guide

Buy A New Computer With Guidance. No Markup.

Buying a new computer can be a bewildering experience for consumers and small businesses as there are plethora of choices on top of ever changing technologies.  Some times, we would arrive at customer sites only to find the new computer(s) with incompatible or missing components. And no one wants that.

There are no shortage of articles on the Internet giving you 10 must haves, 9 new features, 7 steps on picking computers. These actually lead to more anxiety and confusion.  I confess that I am adding one more piece on this topic.

Our goal is to help you make the right choice without angst.  Call us before your next purchase.  We have no brand or system bias. We do Windows and Apple. We simply want the best fit computer for you.

That’s why we don’t mark up computers.  You can buy the ones that we recommend directly on your own or prepay us to purchase on your behalf.  Whichever is more convenient. Either way, you pay the same sales price, sales tax and shipping charge.  Instead, we charge a fixed consulting fee of $39. More often than not, we save you time, aggravation and more.

Our approach is to learn more about you.  We talk and listen.  We answer your questions and we ask questions like:

  1. How do you use your computer?
  2. What do you like about your current computer?
  3. How often do you use the computer?
  4. Are there any existing applications that you would like to continue to use?
  5. Do you still want to use the same monitor?
  6. Do you want to use the same printer?
  7. What’s your aptitude to learn new things?
  8. Do you travel, moving around the house with your computer?
  9. Is your current computer a Windows computer or Apple?
  10. Do you want similar system?
  11. What about a tablet?
  12. Do you have a preference, brand or otherwise?
  13. Aside from email, web browsing, what else you use the computer for?
  14. What is a comfortable screen size for you?
  15. Any particular color preference?
  16. How many people are going to use this computer?

We would learn if you like to open many tabs in the web browser or not, streaming Netflix, You Tube or playing Spider Solitaire, Type A or not and more. These snippets of information give us a pretty good idea on your needs.  You notice that there’s no mentioning of CPU speed, memory size, graphics card and hard disk speed.  Because through the conversation, you gave us a pretty good idea what would work for you.

We will then research and propose 3 alternatives within your price range with costs and where to purchase.  We give you the pros and cons of each alternative. You may choose or ask more questions. It may take several iterations.  And that’s O.K. We are here to help.

We hope this makes your next computer purchase a little bit less daunting and a more pleasant experience.

3 MUST HAVE NEW PRINTER FEATURES

You Google printers and a zillion of them spit out on your screen. That’s not helping.

Put aside your brand preferences for the moment and forget about the glitz and fancy features.

Here’s my 3 MUST HAVEs.

#1 MUST HAVE. Printer has to be easy to install and maintain.  So, a LCD screen on the printer is my #1 MUST HAVE.  I don’t want to look up in the manual or remember all those esoteric button combinations in order to set up/review printer features. No screen, no go.

#2 MUST HAVE. Then you want to see if the printer provides Ethernet and/or Wifi LAN feature.  With the LAN enabled printer, printing can be shared among family/staff members.  I prefer Ethernet connection as it is less error prone and drama, in my view.

#3 MUST HAVE. AirPrint. Look for the Apple AirPrint compatible logo before you buy. Invariably, someone wants to print from an Apple device. With AirPrint, printing from iPad and iPhone will be a bliss.  Otherwise, it gets complicated.

Aside from the 3 MUST HAVE features, there are many other items to consider. Most printers offer all-in-one features, including multi-page scanning, copying and faxing.  Print quality in general is good enough unless you are looking for high definition printing. Then you should find ones that provide higher resolution.

Paying more means faster print speed, better durability, more paper sizes and possibly color laser.

Most importantly, don’t be too cheap.  Spending $150 +/- should get a decent new home/small office printer.