What You Need to Know About Purchasing a PC or Laptop

OurSeniors.net-What You Need to Know About Purchasing a PC or Laptop

A common misconception among many people is that seniors are averse to technology and are intimidated and confused by it. But the reality is that technology is becoming easier to use with software applications that take the guesswork out of completing numerous tasks. Technology can empower seniors to be less dependent on younger generations, therefore giving them a sense of freedom that enables them to stay active and in charge of their personal and professional lives.  
A good PC or laptop can improve communication between friends and family that live far away. This proved to be particularly important for seniors during the peak of the pandemic when traveling was a challenge for everyone and many states had strict stay-at-home policies to help slow the spread of Covid-19. A good computing device also helps people run errands from home, including filling out forms, handling finances, and meeting virtually with coworkers, health specialists, and educators to name a few. 
Despite the many technology tools that are available at affordable prices, there are still a few things you should know if you are considering upgrading from an older PC or laptop or purchasing your first one. You can get additional support from someone you know and trust that is tech-savvy or from a computer retailer that can answer questions. But building a good foundation of important factors is exactly what this senior living magazine wants to help you achieve, and it will allow you to ask the right questions and make better decisions before making this type of major purchase.

Consider Your Needs

You should never walk into a store and pick a PC or laptop off the shelf without considering what you want to use your computer for. Many seniors are computer savvy and want the latest tools to continue their work or follow their passions. Others want to communicate with friends and relatives from different parts of the country or the world. No matter the situation, it is important to consider your needs before purchasing a new computer.

Pre-installed Software

There are four major operating systems to consider when buying a PC: Windows, MacOS, Chrome OS, and Linux. Each has its pros and cons which range from easy-to-use features to customizable friendly options. In addition, you want to consider optionable software that can be used for creating and editing videos, photographs, graphics, and more. Many PCs and laptops have pre-installed software that people may not need to use at all, so it’s important to make a checklist of how you intend to use your computer.

Consider Usability

If you are choosing a PC, then you should also consider the size of the computer unit. People that choose a PC have the luxury of customizing individual components such as screen, keyboard, external hard drives, etc. based on the available space for an at-home unit (e.g., desk space). People that opt for a laptop need to think about portability. Screen size, keyboard size, and weight are all things that can bring about usability challenges. If you plan on using your laptop for hours at a time screen size and keyboard comfort can affect your productivity and enjoyment. Lighter laptops are easier to carry and can help prevent shoulder or back issues.

Battery Life

In laptops, rarely does the manufacturer-quoted battery life last as long. Many factors affect the life of a battery, including screen brightness, screen resolutions, the number of open applications, wi-fi use, speaker use, and video use among others. Generally, the larger the Watt-hours (Wh) or milliamp-hours (mAh), the longer the battery will last. Another key is to search for a laptop that includes a fast-charging battery which can be extremely helpful in a pinch, especially when you are in a public (or private) space where power outlets are limited. 

Check Tech Support

On average, PCs and laptops last a few years before they start slowing down and running into technical issues that require experienced tech professionals. Most PCs and laptops come with manufacturer warranties which incorporate unlimited tech support to walk you through problems or provide hands-on support when the unit is shipped to their facilities. Additionally, most retailers offer supplementary service guarantees to help with your computer issue at a value that makes it worthwhile.
Our senior lifestyle magazine recommends you should balance all the tips provided above with your budget to ensure you get the best possible PC or laptop to suit your needs. You will likely need to make a few sacrifices as there are rarely any computing devices that tick all the boxes without costing a lot.
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