All good things eventually come to an end. Take that aging PC, for instance: it’s getting as wheezy, slow, and cantankerous as an old mule.
Like it or not, it’s time for a new system. But what kind? With so many styles and configurations to choose from, picking the right PC can be a challenge.
Of course the “right” PC is what works best for your style of computing. You might have a classic desktop at work, but at home a personal computer might be many things: music system; digital darkroom; communications center for email, chats, and social networking; work-from-home workstation; gaming machine; and even the heart of your home theater system.
So many tasks, so many personal-computer options: desktop, all-in-one, laptop, laplet, or tablet? For a growing number of people, the next personal computer is simply a smart phone. So it’s not surprising that some long-time Windows Secrets readers have found choosing a new system daunting — and have asked for our recommendations.
We’re glad to help — though with some caveats. We won’t recommend a particular model or manufacturer of PC. And we can’t tell you how much to spend; you know your finances — we don’t. But we will tell you what hardware to look for and why.
We’re also not going to mention operating systems. At this point, if you’re buying a new system, we have to assume it’ll come equipped with Windows 8.1. Given the recent changes in the OS, we think any Windows user can now live comfortably with Windows 8. (Install a good Start menu replacement app, and you can easily ignore Win8’s Modern UI altogether.)
For this discussion, we focus primarily on desktops and laptops. A tablet might be all some PC users need for their personal systems; but for most, the capabilities of tablets are still too limited.