Tips for Students, Parents Buying a Computer - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Tips for Students, Parents Buying a Computer

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YAKIMA, Wash. - No matter where you choose to do your computer shopping, online or at a local electronics store, there are three things you need to keep in mind.

Processor speed, RAM and tech support are the most important factors.  Randy Astry, a manager at Best Buy, recommends at least a 64 bit processor, and a gigabyte of RAM.

He says most college students are buying laptops so they can study anywhere they want.  The good news is the price of laptops is coming down, but you'll need to factor in the price of accessories.

Astry says, "You should make sure you have Windows Professional, that'll allow you to get onto Microsoft workgroups."  He suggests buying a backpack-style laptop bag because it's less obvious to potential thieves.

Most dorms offer internet connections, either through dial-up, or ethernet.  Make sure your computer is ethernet compatible, and all you'll need is a CAT 6 cable.

"Most of your laptops will come with a wireless card, so you can get on a college's wireless network." says Astry.

If a student is having computer trouble, or something breaks, you'll need to know what's covered, and what isn't.  Astry says, "Your manufacturer's warranty is gonna cover parts and labor for a year.  Most retailers will offer a performance service plan."