How to buy an affordable PC

Recently, my wife and I visited her parents in Houston for the weekend and while visiting, we were in need of using a laptop. A few years ago, we upgraded my wife’s laptop from an older Dell Inspiron 1525 laptop to a newer 13″ Apple MacBook Air.

Rather than attempting to sell the old Dell, I thought I would upgrade the hard drive, install 2 more GB of RAM and replace the existing cracked shell with a sleek black casing around it and give it to my mother-in-law for personal use.

Well, 3 years later, the Dell appeared to be nearing it’s end with a battery, which can be replaced by the way, having roughly a 20 minute life to it and issues with the track pad.

My wife and I decided we would help to upgrade her mom’s PC as a Mother’s Day gift this year so she could go back to having a fully reliable laptop.

Bear in mind, the Dell provided my wife with 4 good years while in Undergrad and another pretty solid 3 years with her mother.

Now it was up to me to search for the perfect and most affordable laptop out there to fit my wife’s mother’s needs:

  1. Surfing the Web
  2. Word Processing
  3. Creating Spreadsheets
  4. Viewing and Storing Photos
  5. Watching Netflix

With that being said, I looked at a few options:

Asus 1

Image courtesy of BestBuy.com

1. Asus – 15.6″ Laptop – Intel Celeron – 4GB Memory – 500GB Hard Drive – Chocolate Black – ($250)

 

  • PROS
    • A PC with a reasonably sized screen
    • More than enough RAM and Storage
    • Lightweight
  • CONS
    • Processor with noticeable lag when using
    • Difficult to Multitask
    • Relatively Slow when surfing the Web, especially Facebook
lenovo 2

Image courtesy of BestBuy.com

2. Lenovo – Ideapad 100s 14″ Laptop – Intel Celeron – 2GB Memory – 64GB eMMC Flash Storage – Silver – ($200)

 

  • PROS
    • Decent amount of RAM
    • Solid State Drive for a quieter and better way to store necessary files
    • Sleek design while very lightweight
  • CONS
    • Once again, using the same processor as the previous Asus, noticeable lag when using
    • Smaller Screen at 14″
    • Much smaller hard drive due to being an SSD (Solid State Drive).
Asus 3

Image courtesy of BestBuy.com

3. Asus – 15.6″ Laptop – Intel Core i3 – 4GB Memory – 1TB Hard Drive – Silver – ($300)

 

  • PROS
    • Once again, very nice large screen
    • More than enough RAM, twice the storage than the previous Asus
    • Lightweight
    • Core I3 processor which has a very noticeable difference over the Celeron
  • CONS
    • A little more expensive than the previous 2 laptops mentioned

After narrowing the search to these 3 PC’s, I had to go to the store to give them all a test drive.

I personally am not used to using a PC with an Intel Celeron Processor, and after reading plenty of reviews, I had my doubts.

After attempting to try out the two laptops with the Celeron Processor, I found it to be quite irritating and frustrating to even do anything as simple as logging into Facebook.

Granted those two laptops are very affordable but in the end, I thought it would be worth the extra money to go with the Asus 15.6″ with the Intel Core I3 Processor due to the sizable difference it really makes. Even with the intention of needing a PC for only simple needs such as Web Surfing and Word Processing, I do believe that you need at minimum a PC with an Intel Core I3 Processor.

I also believe you will need at least 2 GB of RAM in case you are into multitasking.

As for storage, I do prefer SSD’s over traditional HDD’s due to it being lighter weight, quieter and cooler, however they tend to be a bit more expensive and have smaller storage. With that being said, I would advise at least a 128 GB drive of some sort, plenty of space to store photos, musics and any documents you may have with room to spare.

When it comes to screen size, I personally would never get anything less than a 15″ screen, but that’s just me.

With all of that being said, the 3rd option for the Asus 15.6″ with a Core I3, 4 GB RAM, 1 TB HDD was the most ideal PC to choose for the basic use of surfing the web, storing documents and streaming video.

So remember, especially now-a-days, it is very possible to purchase very high performing laptop to fit the most necessary needs for every day use when using a computer while not breaking the bank.

Always do your research and I strongly recommend before ever buying any computer to try out the PC or Mac and make sure it works for you! The last thing you want is a computer that is to bulky, to heavy, to slow or even to loud.

If you anyone has any questions or may need help picking out the right computer for themselves, please feel free to contact me with any concerns you may have.

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