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Staples has a wide selection of the latest computers, and all at great low prices. Find the right one for you with our helpful research tools.
From powerhouse desktops to super portable laptops, there's a computer for every need. And with improving technology, they're getting faster and sleeker every day.
There’s a whole lot more to shopping for a computer than just the computer. It's also important to know what kind of extra hardware or peripherals you’ll need. Here’s what to look for:
Ports: USB (Universal Serial Bus) ports let you connect peripherals like keyboards, printers and external hard drives. While two USB ports are ideal, the more you have, the more devices you can connect simultaneously. It’s also a good idea to look for a computer with an HDMI output for streaming Hi-Def movies on your TV.
Monitors: Knowing what size monitor to get really depends on how you’ll be using it. For watching movies or sports, viewing presentations or gaming, the bigger, the better. You’ll also want to make sure the display resolution and response time support maximum sharpness and clarity.
Keyboard/Mouse: Standard keyboards and mice are a great option, but if you want to keep desk clutter to a minimum, it’s worth exploring cordless devices. For keyboards, size and comfort are key, while with mice, it’s all about grip and optical precision.
Most laptops fall into this category and range from basic to high performance depending on the features you choose. But one thing is the same: all-purpose laptops are powerful enough for everyday computing with the added benefit of being portable.
Slim, light and great for on the go, UltraPortables are a step up from netbooks. They’ve got more processing power and more advanced features than netbooks, like fast Solid-State-Drives, but are smaller and lighter than laptops. And some models come with an optical drive so you can watch DVDs.
Working together, Staples and Microsoft carefully selected PCs for their design, mobility and performance. Whether you want a super portable laptop or need a powerhouse, Windows 8 PCs offer cutting-edge features – like an innovative, lightweight construction and touch-focused interface – to give you the best computing experience.
The tower desktop is the most common PC and offers the greatest range of features. Desktops tend to get the newest technology ahead of laptops, so they're great if you need super high performance. Lower-end desktops are usually less expensive than lower-end laptops while still offering basic everyday performance. Desktops offer the most connectivity options and are also highly expandable, so they can grow with you.
Rather than having a separate tower and monitor, all-in-one desktops combine these features into one, space-saving design. Their compact size allows more flexibility in where you decide to put your PC and some even have a touch-screen display. Many come with a wireless keyboard and mouse, which cuts down on cord clutter.
A reliable choice for home users who need a basic everyday PC.
For home or business users who need faster speeds and more performance.
Choosing a computer
There are three major features to consider when buying a computer: processor, memory and hard drive. This video walks you through each of them, so you know exactly what to look for.
Choosing a computer
Choosing a laptop
Learn about data backup and security
Enables communication among mobile phones, computers and wireless headsets.
A digital visual interface port enables you to connect your computer to a digital-display monitor/TV with minimal loss of image quality. A DVI port is great for showing a slideshow of your photos on your home TV.
Security feature that replaces the need for a password.
Security feature that prevents others from using your computer.
A standard interface socket designed to provide connectivity between computers and digital audio and video equipment. If you plan to download videos from your camera to your computer, a FireWire port is a must.
When buying a laptop, you will have two choices for the graphics:
Graphics card/dedicated graphics This is a separate card fitted into the laptop with a graphics processor and its own memory. The more megabytes (MB) the graphics card has, the faster and more detailed graphics you can run on your laptop (e.g., video).
Integrated/shared/external graphics The graphics processor is often integrated into the computer motherboard. Integrated graphics share the memory from the main computer (RAM), which means the laptop will have less memory for other tasks. This is best suited to general office tasks and everyday use.
Your laptop stores all its internal data here. It's measured in gigabytes (GB) and terabytes (TB). The more GB, the more music, movies and data can be stored. Some hard drives are even encrypted for extra security.
A high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) port enables you to send digital audio and video signals to a high definition TV. HDMI supports, on a single cable, any TV or PC video format including standard, enhanced and high-definition video along with eight channels of digital audio. An HDMI port will ensure great picture quality when watching Internet content on your HDTV.
A media card slot allows you to view information directly from a media card (e.g., a digital camera memory card) on your laptop with no cables or camera required.
Enables you to connect to the Internet wherever there's cell service.
A type of software that controls the other software on the laptop.
The optical drive is the area that uses optical discs such as DVDs and CDs. Within the optical drive there are various functions that differ between laptops. These functions are outlined below:
DVD This optical drive can use both CD and DVD discs.
+/- This symbol means the laptop can use both -discs and +discs, which are made by different manufacturers. Some optical drives only use -discs (-DVD or -CD) and some only use +discs (+DVD or +CD).
RW These initials indicate that a disc is rewritable, which means it can play, record and re-record data.
Dual layer A disc with dual-layer capability can store more information than a single-layer disc, as its lasers read the disc on two levels.
LightScribe™ LightScribe uses laser-etching to burn labels directly onto your CDs and DVDs.
DVD RAM This format is efficient for storing data files, as opposed to media files. It is an ideal format for archiving office documents.
Blu-ray ROM Install a Blu-ray ROM in your computer to watch Hi-Def Blu-ray movies on your computer. Or connect your computer to your TV and use your computer as a Blu-ray DVD player.
This is the brain of the laptop. Different processors provide various levels of performance.
The Random Access Memory (RAM) is a temporary storage area. The higher a laptop's number of megabytes of RAM, the more files it will be able to process.
A TV tuner card is a computer component that allows TV signals to be received by a computer. Most TV tuners also function as video capture cards, allowing them to record TV programs onto a hard disk.
USB (Universal Serial Bus)
This is a standard that allows for easy connection of external peripherals, such as printers and mice, to your laptop. It also supports plug and play.
This allows a mobile user to connect to a local area network (LAN) through a wireless connection. There are "hotspots" where you can easily connect to the LAN (e.g., in airports).
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