A Comprehensive Guide to Computer Purchase: 01 - From Requirements to Criteria

This article is a transcript of a video that you can watch by clicking the thumbnail below. Hence, certain statements may not make sense in this text form, and watching the video instead is recommended.



Are you in the market for a new computer, considering adding to your existing fleet, or simply intrigued by the world of computing? In the forthcoming videos, let's delve into this process and I plan to aid you in making an informed purchase or maybe learn something from you in return.

How I approach this

Typically, I initiate this discussion by questioning the necessity of a computer. In an era where many manage their entire digital lives on smartphones, it's essential to assess whether a computer is genuinely required. However, the fact that you're watching this video suggests that you indeed are interested in either purchasing a computer or are curious to know about the things that it involves. With that established, let's navigate through the realm of requirements.

Questions to ask yourself

To kick-start the discovery phase, consider asking yourself these questions:

  1. What specific purpose will the machine serve?

    A lot of us often fall into the trap of buying things that we do not need, so this could potentially be a starting point for guarding ourselves against this common mistake.

  2. What functionality would you lose without this purchase?

    This could be another of those questions that would heavily impact your decision. Gauge the impact of this decision on your daily life and determine the urgency of acquiring a computer.

  3. Is it your sole device, or will it complement an existing fleet?

    This distinction is crucial, as the criteria for a primary computer vastly differ from those for a secondary one, such as for commuting or leisure. It can potentially save you a lot of effort, time, and of course, money.

  4. Do you understand the implications of your choice?

    Ensure you're not following trends blindly; be aware of what you truly need versus external influences. For instance, some may opt for a computer for gaming when a gaming console could be a more cost-effective and versatile alternative.

Now, these are the questions that you can afford to ask yourself only when you’re the one in charge of the decision, and not someone else who’s doing it on your behalf, for example, your employer or a family member who wants to buy one for you. The subsequent videos in this series assume that you have full control over your purchase, and are also the one paying for it.

Exploring options

Having addressed these foundational questions, we will gradually delve into decisions that bring us closer to our goal of finding the ideal machine. Subsequent videos will explore various aspects, including form factors, operating platforms, brands, and the nuances between purchasing new versus used machines. I'll also share insights on maximizing the return on your investment. Stay tuned for a comprehensive guide to navigating the world of computer purchases.