Computer Buying Guide

Are you planning to buy a new computer? Confused about choosing the type and specifications you want to buy? Here are some things to consider in choosing the right computer for your needs.

Various Types of Computers

1.Computer type

Computers are divided into two general categories: portable computers or desktop computers. Portable computers are suitable if you need a computer that is easy to carry (mobile) while desktop computers tend to be bulky and difficult to carry.

The following is a brief explanation of the types of computers:

Laptop / Notebook – A portable computer that has various functions to meet your needs. If you want to buy a laptop/notebook/netbook, you can see a more detailed guide here.

Netbook – Laptop / notebook whose screen size is 10”, without DVD and basic specifications. Although recently less popular than tablets, netbooks include computers with the lightest and cheapest keyboard.

Ultrabook – Laptops that are thinner and lighter than laptops in general. More expensive when compared to laptops with the same specifications, but the shape and design of the ultrabook looks more premium and exclusive.

Tablet – A small and light computer with a touch screen. Programs on tablets are usually called apps. Can be used with a keyboard, although the main value of the tablet is the touch screen.

Tower desktop – A computer with a separate monitor and desktop. Easy to upgrade separately.

All in one desktop – Desktop and monitor in one. The shape and design is more attractive than the desktop tower. Compared to Tower Desktop, it is more difficult to upgrade

Which type of computer is most suitable for me?

If you only use your computer at home or office, then a desktop is an economical choice. In general, for a cheaper price than a laptop, you can get a desktop with the same specifications. The screen is also bigger so it’s more comfortable for your vision.

But if you need a computer that is easy to carry with you to the office, meeting or school, then choose a laptop or ultrabook.

Tablets and netbooks are of course easy to carry but are more suitable for light work and programs.

Here are some computer components you need to consider:

2. Hard Drive Capacity

The hard disk is the part of the computer that stores your data. The larger the hard drive capacity, the more data and files/songs/movies it can store. Most hard drives are now measured in Gigabytes (GB) or Terabytes (TB).

1 Terabyte = 1000 Gigabyte

Capacity-wise, a 500GB hard drive is sufficient for most people. You can also use external storage such as Flashdisk or External Hard Drive to increase storage capacity.

By type, hard drives are divided into 2 types: SATA and SSD. Laptops and desktops generally use SATA, tablets use SSDs, ultrabooks use SSDs or a combination of SATA and SSD. SSD hard drives are faster, energy efficient and vibration resistant but more expensive than SATA hard drives.

3. Random Access Memory (RAM)

RAM is memory that helps your computer run various programs simultaneously. The bigger the RAM, the more programs/activities you can run without slowing down your computer.

On a laptop or desktop, it’s also worth considering that programs like video editors or games require more RAM than playing videos, emails or browsing.

In general, 2GB of RAM can run various light programs smoothly. However, many recent programs suggest that your computer has 4GB of RAM. For power users or gamer, a minimum of 8GB of RAM is recommended.

On the tablet there is no option to choose RAM for a model and you can’t add it.

4. Processor Power and Speed

The more cores (brains) on the processor, the more work can be processed at the same time. Processor speed means the maximum speed each core can work at. In general, the faster a processor the better.

Light usage such as browsing, email, chatting, word, excel then dual (2) core processor is sufficient. If the computer is used for video editing, 3D, hardcore gaming then a minimum of quad (4) processors is recommended.

For a list of processors commonly used in laptops, desktops, servers, click here.

5. Wifi

Ports – serves for connections between computers and their accessories. Some types of ports in general: USB, HDMI, Thunderbolt, VGA, SD Card. Make sure the product you buy has the ports you need

Wireless connection – serves to transfer data between devices. Example: Wifi, 3G/4G cellular, NFC. Although many accessories can be purchased separately, it will be much more practical if these features are already built into your computer.

Display technology – in general, the better your computer display, the better your user experience will be. Display resolution is very important if you want sharp and clear images. For touch screens, the sensitivity and durability of the screen is also important to consider.