buying first pc advice

  redyellow 14:05 22 Feb 2006

I want to buy a new PC and monitor to go on the net, download music, watch movie trailers and burn cd's and dvd's. I have about £550. I have no idea what I am talking about when it comes to computers and are very confused. Any ideas of what I should get and where to get it? Any help would be much appreciated.

  rmcqua 14:14 22 Feb 2006

Try one of these
click here
with a monitor of your choice, e.g.
click here
It will do everything you want it for, and more.

  Dellman 10:59 23 Feb 2006

Have you tried MESH?

click here

  Ivor_Monkey 17:07 23 Feb 2006

If you are a novice, I would recommend that you limit your search to a good name and get on site warranty. (Avoid return to base). So look at Dell, and opt for 3 year onsite warranty.
With the warranty cover, this breaks your budget. But it has others.
click here

  961 17:22 23 Feb 2006

Go down to PCWorld and spend an afternoon looking and listening. Ask a load of questions. Go home and think for a couple of days. Have you friends who can help with their views?

The money you have is ample these days, don't be persuaded to pay more

Don't think you need to buy mail order to get the best deal. It has it disadvantages too,service can be patchy with some companies and for someone who can't easily explain what is wrong, phone help can be difficult, and expensive

Buy a few computer magazines and spend a month learning about pitfalls others have encountered

Enter a supplier's name into the search engine at the top of this Consumerwatch forum and see what readers think of that companys products AND SERVICE

Although you may buy (marginally) cheaper, Advent and HP computers at PCWorld do generally prove reliable. You can take them home with you and if it doesn't work out of the box you can take it back

Don't pay for extended warranty and ALWAYS pay by credit card

  Joe R 18:11 23 Feb 2006


PC Advisor has a monthly superbudget P.C. top 10, and in this months (april edition) the primary focus is on these models.

  Dellman 12:45 24 Feb 2006

Buy a PC from John Lewis and you get 2 year free guarantee!!

  JYPX 18:59 24 Feb 2006

As this is your first pc I would go with the excellent advice given by 961. Custom spec/Mail order is fine, but I would leave that option until you buy your 2nd pc in a couple of years time. PC world is fine, although Staples might have the edge on price. I would look for a big name, HP, Acer , Fujitsu Siemens. If the specs are very similar and the choice is hard, buy the package with the best/sharpest TFT monitor. And, if you are a pc novice, I would urge you to buy a pc with a set of recovery cd's. I would very much hope that the inclusion of recovery discs would be normal practice for the major companies I have mentioned!

  terryf 22:05 25 Feb 2006

I would always go to a small local supplier or two and explain what you need the computer for and see what is offered. It is easier to go local and return faulty system than do without it for weeks (as happened to a customer when I was in PC World recently). The local guy is likely to be a techie whereas big stores employ salepeople who need to part you from your money. Look around the big stores and can see some machines around the price you want to pay. Write down the spec. Consider that if you are buying any other major appliance, you go to the store with your requirements in mind, not how much you want to pay. A local shop warranty is usually 'free' providing you haven't been poking around inside the case. Any warranties from major companies must have been costed into the price and you get nowt for nowt. Try to get original software discs not recovery ones, these will only put the machine back to the state the machine was in on the day you bought it. Allow for an external USB HD and back up to there then unplug it.

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