I know it’s early,but people are already looking for good deals on Christmas gifts and there are some great items out there for very low prices. It seems incredible that some things have dropped in price as far as they have. Add to that some of the on-line deals and “Black Friday” specials that will be available soon,and you have some great opportunities even in a scary economy.
Of course,computers are going to be on the top of my list. In desktops,I recommend Dell,HP and Gateway (with a little reservation about Gateway’s customer service attitude). I don’t recommend Compaq,Emachines and brands you have never heard of,unless you do your homework to know what their quality and customer service commitment is. Prices start around $300 for entry-level systems with Windows 7 and I am recommending 7 over Vista,even though it’s pretty new. If you are looking for a good gaming system,you can also get amazingly powerful desktops for $700 or more. This year you can also look at the all-in-one (computer and touch screen in one box) systems. These run from around $800 and include Windows 7 (very cool with the touch screen).
In laptops,the small “netbooks” have really come into their own. Sized at 9-12 inches (screen size),they are extremely lightweight and portable,have wireless internet capability and web-cameras,and are available in models that are very basic (from limited storage and memory up to 2 Gig Ram and 160 Gig Hard Drive) in prices ranging from around $200 to over $500.
Regular laptops are still my favorite. Some are even featuring touch screens to take advantage of some of the Windows 7 features. I recommend Dell,Gateway,HP,Acer and Toshiba. Sony and Sager are lesser-known but very good quality as well. There is an incredible range of prices on laptops from around $400 to over $3000 for the new “gaming” laptops. Most good brands and models are going to be in the range from $600-$1000. I recommend the 15-16 inch screen versions for a good mix of screen size,value and price.
Shaun McCausland has been in the computer industry for 28 years (locally with Musicomp &Bits ‘N’ Bytes) and currently does in-home and on-site computer consultation,service,training and repair. If you have questions,you can reach him at 668-7118.