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How to Purchase a Notebook Computer
or the Web. Classified ads and used computer sellers offer
additional outlets for purchasing used computers.
15 Consider purchasing an extended warranty
or service plan.
If you use your computer for business or require fast
resolution to major computer problems, consider purchasing
an extended warranty or a service plan through a local dealer
or third-party company. Most extended warranties cover the
repair and replacement of computer components beyond the
standard warranty. Most service plans ensure that your techni-
cal support calls receive priority response from technicians.
You also can purchase an on-site service plan that states that
a technician will arrive at your home, work, or school within
24 hours. If your computer includes a warranty and service
agreement for a year or less, consider extending the service
for two or three years when you buy the computer.
10 If you have a computer and are upgrading
to a new one, then consider selling or trading
in the old one.
If you are a replacement buyer, your older computer still
may have value. If you cannot sell the computer through
the classified ads, via a Web site, or to a friend, then ask if
the computer dealer will buy your old computer.
An increasing number of companies are taking trade-ins,
but do not expect too much money for your old computer.
Other companies offer to recycle your old computer free or
for a fee.
11 Be aware of hidden costs.
Before purchasing, be sure to consider any additional costs
associated with buying a computer, such as an additional
telephone line, a broadband modem, an uninterruptible
power supply (UPS), computer furniture, a USB flash drive,
paper, and computer training classes you may want to take.
Depending on where you buy the computer, the seller may
be willing to include some or all of these in the computer
purchase price.
How to Purchase a Notebook Computer
If you need computing capability when you travel or
to use in lectures or meetings, you may i nd a notebook
computer to be an appropriate choice. The guidelines
mentioned in the previous section also apply to the
purchase of a notebook computer. The following are
additional considerations unique to notebook computers,
including netbooks and Tablet PCs.
12 Consider more than just price.
The lowest-cost computer may not be the best long-term
buy. Consider such intangibles as the vendor’s time in business,
regard for quality, and reputation for support. If you need to
upgrade a computer often, you may want to consider a leas-
ing arrangement, in which you pay monthly lease fees, but can
upgrade or add on to your computer as your equipment needs
change. No matter what type of buyer you are, insist on a
30-day, no-questions-asked return policy on the computer.
13 Avoid restocking fees.
Some companies charge a restocking fee of 10 to 20
percent as part of their money-back return policy. In some
cases, no restocking fee for hardware is applied, but it is
applied for software. Ask about the existence and terms of
any restocking policies before you buy.
14 Use a credit card to purchase a new
Many credit cards offer purchase protection and extended
warranty benefits that cover you in case of loss of or damage to
purchased goods. Paying by credit card also gives you time to
install and use the computer before you have to pay for it.
Finally, if you are dissatisfied with the computer and are
unable to reach an agreement with the seller, paying by credit
card gives you certain rights regarding withholding payment
until the dispute is resolved. Check your credit card terms for
specific details.
1 Determine which computer fits your mobile
computing needs.
Before purchasing a notebook computer, you need
to determine whether a traditional notebook computer,
netbook, or Tablet PC will meet your needs. If you spend
most of your time working on spreadsheets, writing and/
or editing documents, sending and responding to e-mail
messages, or using the Internet, then a traditional notebook
computer will suffice. If your primary use will be to access
the Internet while traveling and you are not concerned as
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