Make Your Needs Fit Your Price Point
So you’ve brainstormed your family’s computing needs, decided that you need an everyday laptop to support your work-from-home, casual-gaming, video-chat-with-Grandma lifestyle, and documented your desired features in a spreadsheet. Great! Now it’s time to reconcile your needs against your budget so you can feel comfortable walking into a store or contacting an online sales rep to say, “I don’t want to spend more than $750, and I need to be able to do X, Y and Z with my new computer.”
While this scenario prices you out of the Apple Store – even the lowest-end Mac laptop will run upward of $1,000 after tax – it does give you a number of PC options across a brain-scrambling range of brands and product lines. Check out the deals at your local electronics store: You might even end up with some extra cash for picking up a printer or monitor.
For this reason, it’s important to leave some wiggle room in your budget, and to press your salesperson or online rep for hard details. PC salespeople are paid to know not just what all those hardware specs do, but also, say, why this year’s model of Intel processor is superior to last year’s, or how one size of monitor trumps another for the stuff your family does every day.
Of course, these salespeople also may be trained to push you toward higher-profit items, which is why knowing about how your needs map to all those hardware specs comes in handy.