Shopping for a home computer
Step into your average family home in 2015 and you’ll be met by a veritable army of screens in virtually every room.
From tablets to laptops and plasma screens to iPhones, there’s barely a family member not handling a gadget at many times of the day. While much of this technology activity leads to solitary confinement in a bedroom or study, the room which houses a home computer is the one place where we can gather to enjoy some family time. This could entail looking at friends’ photos on Facebook or helping with homework or laughing at a cat dressed as a 1920s gangster on YouTube.
First, the benefits
While the younger generation might view a desktop PC as somewhat unwieldy and archaic given the tendency to view good technology as being small and powerful, there are may clear benefits (some of them health-related) to using a home PC over longer periods of time.
In terms of affordability, a PC is really the only way to go especially if you want to do more punchy activities such as editing videos or listening to music with powerful speakers. If you have to use a computer for long periods of time (especially if this is where you do your work), then a large screen and user-friendly mouse and keyboard are essential to reduce the risk of RSI or back pain.
With any system you should always look into the technical support available when you consider your purchase and it’s always worth spending a little more to get effective anti-virus software.
Here are some of the year’s top affordable PCs with a couple of items should you have some extra cash to spend…
Palicomp AMD Kaveri Evolution, £500
With its 24in monitor, you can enjoy movies and games with comfort and it has a powerful processor with solid upgrade potential
UltraNUC Pro XL, £590
If you don’t have room for a bulky PC, this quiet little number can be tucked away out of sight and is ideal if you want to use your TV as the monitor
Arbico Family i3 4185, £685
This ideal family PC doesn’t go over the top with crazy graphics, but offers a complete system for solid day-to-day use and gaming facilities
Dino PC Raging Lizard V2, £749
Despite the name, this gaming PC is a subtle, unflashy product with less fancy elements of pricier models, but it’s a tidy, neat and reliable model
Scan 3XS Z97 Performance GTX, £1200
With 8GB of fast memory and a dedicated sound card, this provides excellent value, especially with its facility for gaming and scope for upgrades
Chillblast Fusion Ares, £1400
A beautiful-looking and powerful product which offers great gaming performance and a unit with speed and accuracy at every touch: the only downside is that every family member will be fighting over it
Apple 27-inch iMac 2014, £1900
Clearly, this one is only for those who put technology high up their priority spending list, but if you have the finances available this is a must, especially if you’re an Apple devotee: phenomenal display, fantastic colour and great if you need plenty desktop room
What do you look for in a home PC?
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