Today, a computer is one of the most important purchases you’ll make. That’s because computers – whether they’re desktop PCs or laptops – are now a central part of your household, from simply checking your emails to buying your weekly grocery shop online.
So if you need to buy a new computer, it’s important to choose wisely. While it’s still possible to walk into a store and browse what’s available, you’ll usually find a wider choice of models and better prices online. But just which websites are the best for computer shopping?
Top sites for computer shopping
One of the most popular computer shops in the UK – online and offline – is Currys PC World. Both Currys and PC World have separate websites since Currys sells non-computing equipment as well, but their prices and deals are the same. Browse the selection at either website and you’ll find a huge variety of laptops and desktop PCs. So whatever your budget and specifications, there’s likely to be something here that appeals. They also offer a range of refurbished computers, so you could pick up an Apple Mac for a few hundred pounds less than buying one new.
In general, computers from Currys PC World come with a one-year guarantee. That means that if it breaks down within 12 months of purchase, you can usually get it fixed for free. At John Lewis, however, electricals often come with a two-year guarantee as standard – and sometimes, three-year guarantees are thrown in on special offers. John Lewis’ computing department may not have the widest choice but their prices are competitive and free gifts are commonplace, especially if they have excess stock to shift before a new model comes in.
In recent years, Tesco Direct has also made inroads into the computing market. If you’re looking for a laptop that will only be used for basic functions, like web browsing and word processing, you can pick up a very reasonably priced laptop here. You can also pick up Clubcard points or use your vouchers when you buy computers from Tesco Direct. Elsewhere, relative newcomer Laptops Direct is worth a look too, as they have a wide range of laptops and accessories to suit low and high budgets.
Buying direct from manufacturers
If you have a certain brand in mind or you haven’t found a device that meets your requirements, it might be a good idea to buy your computer direct from the manufacturer. That’s because leading computing brands like Apple, Dell and Samsung allow customers to customise their laptops and desktop PCs online. So if you’d like your computer to have a faster RAM but less hard drive storage, you can order your computer with these specifications. You could also choose to add extra cells to a laptop to lengthen its battery life, or extend a standard one-year guarantee to cover three years instead.
Consumers looking for more detailed advice guides will find plenty of assistance on the web. The Which? guide to buying a new PC delivers comprehensive tips, though you’ll need to be a member to access all their information. PC Advisor is another great place to go for advice, and Techspot’s PC buying guide even has a useful computer spectrum to help you narrow down your choices.
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