The majority of computer users purchase from manufacturers with a history in the industry and, if satisfied with their first purchase, are unlikely to change brands, regardless of company mergers or subsequent change of ownership. For example, owners of IBM laptops are used to using a ‘Trackpoint’ button instead of a mouse pad for mouse movement and prefer to select IBM as a result. IBM is now owned by Lenovo and the IBM range of Thinkpads is now Lenovo branded. It has not influenced sales figures. Each manufacturer will have their own features and customisations and once user are familiar with them, they seldom select other brands that would require retraining themselves on certain features.
The Market Leaders
The most popular manufacturers of computers (whether desktop or notebook) include Apple, HP, Dell, Sony, Toshiba, Acer and Asus. When it comes to specs, most will be comparable in both speed and performance, reflecting the latest advances in hardware or software. Aesthetics such as appearance can often be the deciding factor for new users and changes in design can often increase sales for a product range. If you are buying a branded computer system for the first time, careful research is required to ensure you obtain value for money and all the features you require. Technical blogs and reviews will provide all the information you require to make a decision as in most cases, the information is unbiased and written from both technical and user viewpoints.
An important consideration for nontechnical users, an indication of the level of customer service can be obtained during the sales process (if you buy online). Confirm that your warranty terms cover all components as some warranties do not cover internal components. Seems ludicrous? It is common practice for manufacturers to offer an extended warranty that does not cover monitors, hard drives and other components. As these warranties are useless, avoid manufacturers that use them.
The most trusted computer manufacturers in the marketplace will all have some issues that annoy technical users. For example, many use a recovery partition for OS installation. If your hard drive is damaged, you lose the recovery partition also and cannot install your operating system on a new drive without an install disk. Some manufacturers charge for this disk. Many install crapware (yes, it is an industry term and used to describe unnecessary custom branded software that is pre-installed on systems) to promote their own services and products. Consider these types of issues and consult with some technical contacts if you are in any doubt.
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