Is your computer on its last leg?
We rely on our computers for everything these days—especially now. COVID-19 has got more people than ever working, learning, and creating remotely.
But if your machine is bogged down with spyware, low RAM, or hardware that can’t be updated to the newest operating system, you could find yourself limping along the Zoom Era while everyone else is running past you.
Unfortunately, a new computer can be a major investment, requiring you to drop $650 or more—not including set up time.
Luckily, there are a bunch of Cyber Monday computer deals just around the corner. If your computer can last just a few more weeks, these deals can put a new machine on your desk for a fraction of the normal sticker price.
If you need these deals, scroll on—if your computer can handle it!
Questions To Ask Before Buying a New Computer
Buying a new computer isn’t like buying a screwdriver. If you need a new screwdriver, you just go to the hardware store, pick the best looking screwdriver off of the shelf, and pay for it.
Purchasing a computer is a much more complicated process. There are hundreds of models on the market, with the further option to build a machine to your own specifications.
Before you buy a computer, ask these questions to make sure you buy the right one.
What Will You Use My Computer For?
Computers are versatile devices that can be used to do just about anything. However, you don’t necessarily need your new computer to do everything. In fact, if you get a machine that’s too advanced, it might make it more difficult to do the things you need it for.
Think about what you will be using your computer for.
If you’re using your computer for graphic design, you will need something with a large screen and high resolution. If you do a lot of video editing or animation, you will need a large screen, high processing power, and plenty of storage space for rendering large file sizes.
On the other hand, if you’ll be using your computer to record music, you don’t need to worry as much about the size or clarity of the monitor. You will, however, need to prioritize your sound card.
Are you a gamer? You’ll need a top-notch machine with fast processing power, a top-of-the-line graphics card, and a cooling system to keep up. You could expect to spend upwards of $1,000.
However, if you just need something simple to create documents for work or school, you could probably be perfectly fine with a netbook that has no onboard memory, a small screen, and average processing speed.
Do You Need a Laptop or Desktop?
Perhaps the most important question you need to ask is whether you need a laptop or a desktop.
The first part of this question has to do with portability. Will you be using your computer in the same spot all the time, or do you need to travel around? While certain desktops are small enough to be moved easily if need be, it’s best to go with a laptop if you need something portable.
The other thing to consider is how much power you need. Due to their light size, laptops generally aren’t as powerful as desktops. That isn’t to say that every desktop is more powerful than every laptop, mind you, but more powerful laptops are generally more expensive than desktops of the same specification.
That said, the premium you pay for a laptop may be worth the portability it gives you.
Do You Need a Complete Computer?
Desktop computers are made up of a number of different components, unlike laptops.
If your desktop is on the fritz but your monitor is still plugging along, you would be perfectly fine to buy a new tower without worrying about the monitor. If your mouse and keyboard are still fine, you can keep those too.
You might even be able to replace some components within your tower instead of buying a whole new computer.
What To Look For In the Best Cyber Monday Computer Deals
Now that you have a better idea of what you’re looking for in a computer, it’s time to get into specifics.
Every computer has a seemingly endless list of technobabble describing its specifications. You don’t need to learn how to decipher every bit of that information like an archaeologist in an Egyptian tomb. You just need to look for these things.
RAM and Processor Speed
Everybody wants a fast computer. But if you don’t know a lot about computers, it can be hard to know what to look for.
You really just need to look for two things: RAM and processor speed.
RAM stands for Random Access Memory, and it’s one of the most important numbers in your search for a computer. RAM is essentially a short term memory for applications while they are working. The more RAM your computer has, the more smoothly applications will run.
Processor speed refers to how quickly the processor can receive and follow commands. This is recorded in Gigahertz, or gHz. The higher the gHz, the faster the computer.
In order to get a computer to go, it needs an operating system. There are a number of OSs, but the most popular are Mac and Windows.
For the most part, each function almost identically for most basic purposes, such as web browsing, document creation, or streaming.
However, some programs are only compatible with certain operating systems. For instance, if you want to use Mac’s famous music creation program Garage Band, you will have to use a Mac operating system. On the other hand, if you’re a gamer, Windows or Linux will serve you a bit better.
Before you buy a computer, make sure it uses the operating system you need.
Most computers have ports where you can plug in external storage, connect to different displays, or connect to recording interfaces.
Make sure that your new computer has all of the ports you need before you buy it.
Internal Storage Space
Experts predict that as many as 67% of software and enterprise infrastructure will be cloud-based by the end of 2020.
However, even if you’re already using Dropbox, Google Drive, or iCloud to store most of your files, you will still want to have some level of internal storage in your computer.
If you’re doing a lot of media production—music creation, photo editing, video production, etc—you will want more internal storage.
HDD vs SSD
The final thing to look for in a new computer is the type of hard drive.
The most common is HDD, or Hard Disk Drive. This is the traditional hard drive, which works by reading data off of a spinning electromagnetic disk.
Over the last few years, SSDs, or Solid State Drives, have become more popular. These do not have moving parts, which make them much faster and smaller than HDDs. However, SSDs are usually more expensive than HDDs of the same storage size.
Many consumers think the performance of an SSD is worth the premium price, however.
Deals To Watch For
Cyber Monday 2020 is right around the corner. And if you’re looking for a great deal on a new computer, there are a number of bargains on the horizon!
Here are some of the best Cyber Monday computer deals to look for.
Lenova has a strong reputation for making solid machines for the average consumer as well as for more serious computer users.
Perhaps their most robust consumer model is the ThinkPadT40S. It features a processing speed of up to 4.8gHz, up to 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and a 14″ anti-glare screen outfitted with Dolby Vision.
This serious performance usually carries a serious price tag of $3,399.00. But between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it goes on sale for $999.00—a 70% discount! This deal is only at lenovo.com, so make sure to bookmark it.
Dell PowerEdge T30 Intel Xeon E3-1225v5
You might think that thousand dollars might be a bit excessive for any computer, no matter how powerful. And if price is more important than performance to you, look no further than the Dell PowerEdge.
This is a comparatively modest machine, but it’s the perfect computer tower for someone who doesn’t need a lot of bells and whistles.
The PowerEdge T30 features 8GB of RAM and a 1TB HDD for internal storage. This usually retails for $797, but Dell is dropping the price to $299 for Cyber Monday.
Apple Mac Mini
Apple is well known for the design and performance of their computers—but that all comes with a steep price. However, most Apple acolytes (Apple-ytes?) say it’s worth it.
The Mac Mini is loaded with their famous iOS operating system and access to the App Store and their suite of free media software—Garage Band, iMovie, Photobooth, and more. It’s fitted with an Intel i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD.
It usually carries a list price of $1,099, but Amazon is lowering the price to $929 for Cyber Monday.
Watch For More Deals!
These are three of the hottest Cyber Monday computer deals, but they’re hardly the only ones worth paying attention to. Expect more to be announced as we get closer to the actual day.
Use the information in this article to make the right choice to find the perfect computer for your needs!
In the meantime, bookmark our blog for more useful tips!