Buying A PC

Branded or Custom Built ??

Although most of the major brand names have a good reputation for the quality of their systems some do not provide very good support. You should however consider them before attempting to build a system yourself.

Technical support considerations:

This is a key factor. If you need help connecting a printer, adding memory or installing drivers for other peripherals.

Will you have access to professional assistance? Will there be a telephone number connecting you to a knowledgeable, education-specific technician to answer questions and assist with other issues? Will you have access to online support?

Be sure your PC’s manufacturer will be available to help with the kind of technical support that can let you rest easy.


An often over-looked part of a modern computer, but possibly one of the most important aspects.

Modern computer systems generally come with a one-year warranty as standard, with extensions being offered at varying prices. But not all warranties are created equal. There are many different TYPES of warranty available.

Three common types are Return to Base (RTB), Collect & Return, and Onsite.

Return To Base warranties involve you, the customer, returning the PC to the point of purchase for repairs, at your own cost, and collecting it again when the repair is completed.

Collect & Return warranties generally involve the manufacturer of the PC arranging for a faulty PC to be picked up from your home or office, and taken away for repair, and then returning it to you when the repair is completed. This is done at the manufacturer’s expense, but the PC may be away for as long as two weeks or even more!

Onsite warranties are the best of the lot. If you call in to report a fault, the manufacturer will send an engineer out to your home or office to repair the PC. Response times vary from as long as a week, to responses measured in hours!

Finally, there are also what are known as ‘insurance backed’ warranties. These could in theory be any of the above types, but typically tend to be Onsite. The difference is, that instead of covering the warranty themselves, they manufacturer’s have used a third-party, backed up by insurance, to cover the warranty. What this means to the customer, is that even if the manufacturer should disappear, you still get your warranty.