May 16, 2014

    3 tips to help you make the most of your PC buy

    1. You can still get Windows 7

    New computers usually come with Windows 8 or 8.1. You should update yours with the latest patch, which offers several improvements for keyboard and mouse users.

    However, if you cannot get used to the new tile-based interface, some vendors can downgrade the operating system to Windows 7, which is similar to Windows XP.

    2. Solid-state drives are amazing, but pricey

    The performance of these flash-based storage drives is excellent. They are much faster than the usual hard drives.

    While prices have declined over the years, solid-state drives remain fairly expensive.

    Many vendors now offer such drives in their computers, but the capacities are often smaller because of the cost.

    If you do choose a solid-state drive, you might wish to also get a network-attached storage device or, at least, an external hard drive with ample storage space for your data.

    3. Screen matters

    In-plane switching or IPS displays have superior viewing angles, compared with twisted nematic (TN) ones. IPS screens are often used in smartphones and tablets, where wide viewing angles are important.

    However, in budget laptops and all-in-one PCs, TN screens might be preferred as they cost less.

    When choosing a laptop or a monitor, you can tilt the screen back to see if the colours get distorted. IPS screens will look mostly the same, but TN panels will look awful, especially at more extreme angles.