New computer recommendations

Updated 11/2/23:

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. 

Our recommended minimum new computer specifications are:

  • Intel Core i3/AMD Ryzen 5 processor or better. For an Apple Mac computer we recommend getting Apple’s “M” series processor rather than an Intel processor.
  • 8 GB RAM or more
  • 256GB Solid State Drive (SSD) or larger
  • Please read New Computer Buying Guide for more detailed information.

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 less secure due to unpatched processor flaws and some cannot be upgraded to more recent secure operating systems.

We’ve seen 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 pixels 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. If you come across a good deal elsewhere, remember to look for specifications that are a minimum of what’s listed above.

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

We can setup your new computer and transfer data from your old one

Please consider our IN-HOME services to get your new computer set-up quickly and properly, vs. the chain stores offerings, or attempting it yourself:

  • Set-up and connect your new computer to your network, printer and other external hardware. If you buy from a national chain store you’ll likely notice that they don’t specialize in in-home service, or they charge much more for the option. We’ll make sure all of your external devices work with your new computer.
  • Transfer data (documents, pictures, music, etc.) and compatible programs from an old computer. Some tech services just transfer your data to a folder on your desktop – we organize your data and put it in the right folders and programs. 
  • Remove trialware and unnecessary adware. We also setup free security, backup and word processing/spreadsheet software.
  • Customization and explanation of Windows features. We’ll setup the menus, controls and buttons with familiarity of your previous computer.
  • Install initial updates. A new computer out-of-the-box is already several months behind critical operating system updates and computer hardware updates.
  • Consulting about questions you have about your new computer system
  • Recommended storage/disposal/donation of an old unused computer

Custom-built computers

If you need a computer custom-built for gaming or business needs, we recommend contacting our friends at Technology Center.

What you need to know about “credential stuffing”

Credential stuffing is a cyberattack that exploits stolen login credentials. Online accounts with PayPal, NortonLifeLock, 23andMe, and Roku are just some of the companies that have reported recent attacks on customer accounts. Here’s how it works:

  1. Data Breaches: Attackers obtain large databases of usernames and passwords through data breaches on various websites or services.
  2. Automated Login Attempts: They use these stolen credentials in automated programs to attempt logging in to other unrelated websites or services.
  3. Preying on Reuse: The attackers rely on the fact that many people reuse the same login credentials (username and password) across multiple accounts.

Imagine a thief who finds a box of keys stolen from various houses. They try these keys on different houses in the neighborhood, hoping some will unlock doors – that’s similar to credential stuffing.

Why it works:

  • People reuse passwords: As mentioned, credential stuffing works because many people use the same login information on multiple sites.
  • Large-scale attacks: Attackers can attempt logins on thousands of accounts very quickly using automated tools.

How to protect yourself:

  • Unique passwords: Use strong and unique passwords for every single online account you have. Password managers can be helpful for creating and storing strong passwords.
  • Multi-factor authentication (MFA): Enable MFA whenever available. This adds an extra layer of security by requiring a second verification step beyond just your username and password.
  • Beware of phishing attacks: Phishing attacks can trick you into revealing your login credentials on fake websites. Be cautious of suspicious emails or messages.

FTC warning consumers about new tech support scams – Here’s what you need to know

In their “Anatomy of an Imposter Scam” blog series, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) breaks down how to recognize, avoid, and report business and government imposter scams. Scammers are targeting people with pop-up warnings or calls claiming to have detected a virus on their computer. Here’s the rundown:

  • The Scam:
    • You receive a pop-up warning or a phone call claiming a virus has infected your computer, or a fraudulent charge on your account.
    • The scammer offers “tech support” to fix the non-existent problem.
    • They pressure you to give them remote access to your computer or phone.
    • Once in control, they might install malware, steal personal information, or pressure you to transfer large sums of money for fake repairs. They may even offer to transfer your call to the “FTC” or “FBI” so that they can “protect” your money.
  • What NOT to do:
    • Never call a number from a pop-up warning.
    • Don’t give remote access to your device to unknown callers.
    • Never transfer money or share personal information based on unsolicited calls.
  • What TO do:
    • If worried about a computer virus, contact your real bank or investment advisor directly using a phone number you know is correct.
    • Report the scam to the FTC at

Many scammers impersonate more than one organization in a single scam – for example, a fake Amazon employee might transfer you to a fake bank or even a fake FBI or FTC employee for fake help.

Key Takeaway: Be cautious of unsolicited tech support calls or pop-up warnings. Verifying information directly with trusted sources and avoiding remote access to strangers protects your device and your financial security.

In their latest blog post the FTC is warning consumers about a new twist on tech support scams. Source: New tech support scammers want your life savings

If you’ve been a victim of a scam and need your device(s) checked out so that you are confident that they are safe to use, contact Computer Techs.