How to outfit your computer with accessories
While the mainframe of your computer should carry the most weight in your decision when purchasing a new computer, take note of the computer accessories you may wish to purchase to give your business’ tech house that little bit of extra oomph.
Outfitting your new computer with the right computer accessories can help you get the most out of your purchase. But it can be an overwhelming task trying to figure out which accessories are already included, which ones you already have at home, and which ones you have to buy.
We'll help you sort it all out before you go shopping, making it easier to get everything you need in one trip while helping you make budget-friendly choices—even if you're shopping online.
Some accessories will be included with the computer, but some may not. You may also be able to select which accessories to include, which can affect the overall price of the computer.
Depending on where you buy your computer, it may already come with certain software pre-installed. However, for certain tasks you might need additional software. It's worth checking whether you can buy the software you want along with the computer, because the price may be lower than if you buy the software separately.
Also known as a monitor (link to computer monitor article), a display is often included with new desktop computer purchases. When you shop for a new computer, consider whether you really need a new display. Often, there are similar computers for sale at the same store both with and without displays, and buying one without a display can save you some money.
A desktop computer purchase usually includes a basic keyboard. However, if you want extra features like a wireless connection between the keyboard and the computer or extra keyboard buttons that do things like launch specific programs, control the sound volume, and so forth, you may need to buy one separately. If you are buying a laptop and want a keyboard, you'll need to buy it separately as well.
A mouse is also usually included with a new desktop computer. A wired mouse connects to the computer with a cable, and a wireless one connects via radio waves (and unlike a wired mouse, a wireless one needs a separate battery).
If you plan to listen to music or watch video on your computer, you may want separate speakers, instead of the ones that might (or might not) be built into the computer. Although separate speakers are included with many computers, you may want higher-quality ones, so it's a good idea to try them out in the store. If a desktop computer doesn't come with external speakers, make sure it has a built-in speaker, or you won't be able to hear the computer's sound.
There are some accessories you may not want or need, so make sure you don’t splurge on unnecessary extras.
For the accessories that you'll need to purchase separately, consider buying them at the same time as you buy the computer. It's certainly more convenient, and you'll also be able to take advantage of the salesperson's know-how when it comes to selecting accessories that are compatible for your particular computer.
Assuming you want to connect your computer to the Internet or a home network, you will need a network cable or a wireless network adapter. If you buy a printer or other equipment, make sure you have the right cables to connect it, because many equipment manufacturers no longer include cables.
If you want to be able to print documents, photos, or other materials, you'll find a variety of reasonably priced printers. The choice depends largely on what you want to print and how often.
You may want to connect a router between your connection to the internet and your computer(s). A router lets you build a network that lets you share a single Internet connection, as well as printers and other resources, between multiple computers. It also improves security by adding another layer between your computer and the outside world.
Depending on what kinds of drives you have on your computer, consider buying some blank CDs or DVDs to record on. Your salesperson can help you select the appropriate type to take advantage of the capabilities of your particular machine.
Remember to keep all receipts when you’re outfitting your computer – not only does it pay to hold onto them in case of refund or exchange, you may also be able to claim the expenses on tax.
Published on: Tuesday, June 14, 2011