SmartMLS staff does not recommend one PC manufacturer over another. Some guidelines we can give you if you are in the market for a new computer are:
- Buy a computer that fits your needs. Do not buy a PC just because someone (your kids, neighbor, friend, etc.) tells you that you should. Too often people will buy a computer solely because someone told them how great it is. They end up spending way too much money on a machine that is well above and beyond anything they will require. Don't buy a high end gaming PC or a fancy media creating/editing laptop if you mainly use a computer just to check your email and get on the MLS.
- If you have been a Windows-based PC user your whole life and are looking to get a Mac, make sure you are aware that it will be a significant learning curve, especially in the beginning. The Mac operating system has a dramatically different look and feel than Windows, and it will take you a while to get used to it. If you have a specific need to switch to a Mac (photo editing, for instance), great. However, if you don't have a valid reason to make the switch, you may want to stick with what is familiar and comfortable.
- The most important hardware specifications to keep in mind are memory (RAM) and processor. These are the things that have the most influence over the computer's speed. Try to get the most memory (measured in GB) and the fastest (measured in GHz)/newest generation processor that you can afford.
- Pretty much all computers sold these days include massively large hard drives. Unless you take and store a lot of photos and movies, a 1 or 2 terabyte (TB) hard drive will likely be more than you will ever need (in terms of storage).
- If you have had good experience owning a specific brand or manufacturer in the past, you may want to consider sticking with it. Conversely, if you have had problems with a specific manufacturer in the past, it could be a good time to switch to a different one. All of the major players (Dell, Lenovo, HP, etc.) are generally good and to be trusted.
- If you are buying a laptop, go to a store and actually test out the keyboard. Not all keyboards are identical (with regard to the space between keys, materials used, feel, key responsiveness/noise, etc.). If you are able to test them out in person, you may find some that you prefer over others.