New computer recommendations

Updated 5/30/22:

Since you’ll likely be spending the next 5-10 years or more with your next computer, please take a few minutes now to make an informed decision about what to look for in a new computer and accessories – and get the best deal. 

We don’t recommend trying to save money on a refurbished computer. Typically they won’t last as long as a new computer, and are likely less secure due to unpatched processor flaws and are limited in the ability to upgrade to the most recent secure operating system.

Our recommended minimum new computer specifications are:

  • Intel Core i3/AMD Ryzen 5 processor or better. For an Apple Mac computer consider getting an Apple M1 or M1 Pro/Max rather than Intel processor
  • 8 GB RAM or more
  • 256GB Solid State Drive (SSD) or larger
  • Please read New Computer Buying Guide for more detailed information.

If you come across a good deal elsewhere, remember to look for specifications that are a minimum of what’s listed above. We’ve had the best reliability with HP and Dell brands. Keep in mind that cheaper laptops and all-in-ones typically only have a vertical screen resolution of 768 pixels, whereas higher quality and clearer screens are 1080 or higher.

Click on the links below to view recommended computers meeting the minimum recommended specifications noted above at the respective retailer’s website. Some models may be available in-store. Apple Mac computers also available.

Desktop PCs:

Best Buy – Dell, HP – SSD PC Desktops

Costco – Dell, HP Desktops – make sure hard drive is SSD or HDD+SSD

HP Store – Desktop computer towers with SSD

Dell – Desktop computers & All-in-One PCs with SSD

Laptop/Notebook PCs – regular price differences are due to variances in screen size, processor (speed), screen resolution and 2-in-1 convertibility:

Best Buy – Dell, HP SSD PC Laptops

Costco – Dell, HP – SSD PC Laptops

Apple Mac:

Best Buy – iMac desktop

Best Buy – MacBook laptop

Costco – iMac desktop

Costco – MacBook laptop

Apple – iMac desktop – select Apple M1 or M1 Pro/Max chip

Apple – MacBook laptop – select Apple M1 or M1 Pro/Max chip

You May Not be Using All the Great Features of Your Browser

Web browsers are your gateway to the internet or World Wide Web. Browsers contain a lot of features that make your online experience more efficient. This includes things like tabs that allow you to open different web pages at the same time, and “bookmarks” or “favorites” that let you save website addresses so that you don’t have to type-in or search for frequently visited websites. 

Some of the most popular browsers are Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Apple Safari, and Opera. These browsers have many useful features to help you get things done with ease. While some features of the browsers are known, others are either unknown or under-utilized,

Here, we’ll discuss some of the great features of your browser that you may not be using yet. 

5 Helpful Browser Features You May Not Be Using

[Read more…]

New option for home internet service – should you switch?

Wireless carrier T-Mobile is expanding their services to include Home Internet in some areas of Reno/Sparks. Assuming you are in their limited service area – should you switch?

Why you may want to switch

  • If you’re on a budget, at $50/month TMHI is less expensive than most AT&T and Spectrum internet plans.*
  • TMHI is available in some rural areas that are under-served by AT&T and Spectrum.
  • If you’re in an area served only by AT&T’s legacy DSL service with speeds less than 6 Mbps, and Charter/Spectrum is not an option.

* Low-income households may qualify for a discount of up to $30/month on internet service from many providers through the Affordable Connectivity Program.

Why you may NOT want to switch

  • Wireless service speeds are more variable and can be less reliable than other wired providers, particularly during peak times.
  • If you’re on a bundled package with AT&T, DirecTV or Spectrum and don’t want to change your TV and/or home phone service.

Internet speeds provided by local home internet providers

The chart below shows a comparison of the speeds provided by the major internet providers. Streaming video needs the most bandwidth (higher speeds), but that number only needs to be as high as 25 Mbps for streaming the highest-quality 4K Ultra HD content.

INTERNET PROVIDERTYPICAL INTERNET SPEEDS – Download Mbps / (Upload Mbps)
AT&T DSL<6 / (<1)
AT&T U-VerseUp to 100 / (Up to 20)
AT&T Fiber100-5000 / (100-5000)
Charter/Spectrum Cable300, 500, 1000 / (10, 20, 35)
T-Mobile 5G Home Internet33-182+ / (8-25+)

If you need help deciding which internet or other service provider is best for you, contact us.