Buying the Best Computer for Your Family’s Needs: A Brief Guide

Shop-for-a-computerWith all of the options available today, buying a computer can seem like an overwhelming purchase that you’re never 100 percent sure of. This is especially true if you’re buying one that has to meet the wants and needs of everyone in the family household. Whether it’s your children playing video games or you reading the news and checking your email, there’s a computer out there to satisfy your preferences.

With that said, here’s how to buy the best computer for your family.

Decide Between a Mac and a PC

Although most computers are similar on the inside, the debate between which one is superior continues?and likely will for years to come. If you’re thinking about your family and your budget, though, it’s good to know that Macs generally cost more (they use quality materials and include a state-of-the-art design).

With that said, Mac only carries five computer lines including the Macbook Air, the Mac mini, the Macbook Pro, the Mac Pro, and the iMac. PCs, however, come in a variety of shapes and sizes for a cheaper price. With more options to consider without the hefty price tag, PC could very well be the way to go.

OK, so deciding which to choose isn’t exactly easy, so check out this article?that dives more in depth when comparing the two popular computer brands. Doing so will help you save time and anguish.

Decide Between a Desktop and a Laptop

Generally speaking, a desktop computer will feature higher performance specs than a laptop within the same price range. If you have kids that are into high-end gaming, or high-performance photo or video editing software, then you’ll likely want to opt for a desktop computer.

Although your need for speed may attract you to buy a desktop computer, especially if it’s a computer that the family will be using in the household, you might want to consider a laptop for portability purposes and if your everyday requirements are minimal (like checking email or surfing the web). Not only that, but you can find laptop deals at just about any store you choose to shop at for your computer needs.

Here’s another informative article that’ll give you further insight about whether to buy a desktop or a laptop.

Decide Which Software You Want Included

Another feature to consider when purchasing a computer is what kind of programs it comes with, without you having to buy additional software. Here are some standard apps that newer Macs and PCs offer their consumers.


  • Safari. The standard Internet browser that comes with Macs.
  • Mail. Works with iCloud, Yahoo!, Gmail, AOL, and Microsoft Exchange.
  • Mac App Store. What to purchase an additional app? This is where you’ll do it.
  • iPhoto. Offers everything you need to do everything you want with your pictures.
  • iMovie. Edit and share your videos.
  • GarageBand. If someone in your household has an ear for music, GarageBand can help them create it.
  • Pages. This is essentially Mac’s version of Word.
  • Numbers. This is essentially Mac’s version of Excel.

Click here for a more comprehensive list of built-in apps found on new Macs.


  • Internet Explorer. Yes, Windows is still unfortunately using this browser by default.
  • Mail. Works with Hotmail, Outlook, and Gmail.
  • The Windows Store. If you want or need additional apps, this is where you’ll go.
  • Photos. Using this app, you can view photos stored in your SkyDrive, Flickr, or Facebook account online.
  • Xbox Video. Xbox-branded video app lets you play your own videos.
  • Microsoft Suite. The industry standard when it comes to creating documents and crunching numbers.

Click here for a more comprehensive list of built-in app found on new PCs.

Decide on the Specifications You Want

Deciding which specs you want your computer to have depends on what you want to use it for. There’s a range of factors to consider that’ll influence how fast your want your computer to run and how much memory it has. The more you feed it, the larger the price tag. Here’s a great resource for crafting your perfect computer spec list.

Decide on Warranties and Accessories

Once you’ve picked out a computer that’ll fit your family’s needs, you’ll likely either browse through the numerous accessories you can buy for it or approach the cash register and get asked whether you want a warranty. This is all subjective, but here are some things to keep in mind when deciding whether to fork out the money for a warranty.

With all this in mind, what kind of computer do you plan on purchasing?