Category: Tech primers
Published: 20 July 2016
(see also The “don’t forget/decision making list” when buying a new laptop)
Last updated September 2022
This is a short list and consider it a work in progress, a number of common assumptions are made.
- Are you sure you don’t want a laptop with an external screen and keyboard (and perhaps a USB docking station)?
- Processing power: Intel i3 for students/retirees with minimal needs (yes a generalisation no offence intended), Intel i5 for general usage business, Intel i7 for video editing power users or gamers.
- Monitor, required size? Suggest 24" 1920 x 1080 resolution or larger
- 16GB of memory (8Gb is probably OK for general business tasks but for the improvement in productivity over the entire lifetime of the PC I suggest 16GB )
- 256GB or 512GB M.2 NVME SSD hard drive. (the M.2 NVME SSD technology is SIGNIFICANTLY faster than just a standard SSD and no-one should be buying an old spinning platter drive now for the main system hard drive see also point 7 in the section below)
- Keyboard and mouse
- Windows 11 64 bit
- MS office? (Home and business edition? Office 365 subscription?)
- DVD player/recorder drive or Blu-ray player (or recorder?)
- DVD or Blu-ray playing software
- Does it come with Windows home or Pro version? (Pro is better for everyone, it's required for joining a business domain)
- Keyboard and mouse upgrade (wireless? Better quality?)
- Consider adding a second hard drive. One SSD drive for windows (see point 3 in the section above for more detail on this) and a traditional large (but slow) drive for bulk data storage?
- Do you have a network connection point for this PC? Is wireless required? Does the PC have a wireless network card included or do you need a USB one?
- Does the PC have the correct monitor plug for your monitor?
- What’s your data and system backup plan?
- Will my old/weird/special software run on Windows 11, will it run on 64bit windows
Although you certainly can set things up yourself decisions like using OneDrive as the default save location, logging on with a local account vs a domain account vs a Microsoft account vs a domain account with a Microsoft account attached might require some good advice and assistance to have a good experience from the start.
For example it’s a good idea to remove unnecessary “crapware” software that the manufacturer got paid to put on there and installing a full set of standard software products like PDF tools (without getting tricked into installing something that will be unhelpful), and common windows store apps etc.
This information has been provided for the benefit of digitalwelcomemat IT customers.
Treat this information as informative only and do not take actions or make decisions on the basis of the information contained here. All IT decisions and actions should be made after consultation with your chosen IT professional taking into account all the of the relevant factors.