INDEPENDENT NEWS

Smart Steps To Buying A Student’s PC

Published: Wed 28 Nov 2001 09:37 AM
Tips for Parents wanting to buy for Xmas
AUCKLAND, November 27, 2001 - For today’s students, the PC is an indispensable part of learning, but parents don’t have to go back to school for a lesson on making smart technology choices. Six simple steps will help parents select the right desktop or laptop PC for their family or the college-bound student.
1. Get a big brain—Teenagers are the most demanding PC users on the planet. They push the multimedia edge on and off the Web, and they use the PC as a home movie editing machine and a digital jukebox. Since these power-hungry applications require a PC with a big brain, go for the most powerful brain—or processor— you can afford. For laptops, that means an Intel® Pentium® III processor with a high “hertz” number. One gigahertz is currently the top for laptop PCs. For desktop PCs, your best bet is an Intel® Pentium® 4 processor-based system at 1.7 gigahertz or faster.
2. Remember memory—The techno buzz word here is RAM (for Random Access Memory), which works with the PC’s brain to make your programs run more smoothly. Go for at least 128 megabytes of RAM for a laptop or desktop PC. And make sure you have the option to add more as your needs grow.
3. Don’t scrimp on storage—The trend in software is for bigger programs, so get a big hard disk (the PC’s “filing cabinet”). For a laptop, look for at least 10 gigabytes (that’s 10 billion bytes of storage capacity), and 40 or more gigabytes for a desktop. And if recording data or music on CDs is on your student’s check list, be sure to get what the kids call a “burner” (slang for a CD recorder) and a DVD movie player.
4. Get connected—Not long ago, a simple modem and a regular phone line were all you needed to dial-up the Internet. Desktops and laptops today come equipped with a standard modem, so you’re covered on this front. But many colleges today also offer students the option to connect using a high-speed digital link. A smart move is to ask for a desktop with a Network Interface Card or connector designed to connect to a campus’ high-speed network, cable or DSL modem. For laptops, you may need to buy a special mini-card and adapter to connect.
5. Think weight and battery life—For laptops, look for a model with Intel® SpeedStep™ technology to boost the running time when operating via the battery. And bring a backpack with you to the store to “test drive” the weight of a candidate laptop.
6. Set a clear budget—In setting your budget, ask yourself how long you expect to keep the PC and what you want the PC to do today and tomorrow. If you want a system that has room to grow and can support the latest and greatest software, invest in a performance PC. It will last longer and do more for you.
For more information on how to find the laptop or desktop PC that’s right for your student, check out www.intel.com/home.
Intel, Pentium and SpeedStep are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries.

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