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Back to Basics: Finding Your Perfect Home Office Computer

Updated on September 12, 2017
Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe knows about finding the perfect spot for picking out a home office with a desk, computer, and chair, even for an apartment.

What Computer Fits Your Lifestyle?

When you've found the perfect desk to fit your home, apartment or college dorm, you'll need to complete it with another home office essential that's a must have for every writer. Your computer! Finding the perfect ideal home computer can be hard to meet all of your writing needs, especially when you're on a budget. Do you prefer a standard PC? Or take it on the go for travel? How about both? There are many kinds of computers. Research before you start comparison shopping and mark down the important pros and cons of each. This could be the perfect gift for you or for someone you love.

Here's a Photo of a Typical Keyboard of a Mac Desktop Computer

This  keyboard reminds me of my former desktop computer.
This keyboard reminds me of my former desktop computer. | Source

Be productive on a desktop computer

A desktop computer would be perfect for you if you have a long or average-sized desk to suit your writing needs. Whether at work or home, there are many ways you can research for the right computer. With Apple, Microsoft, Dell and Hewlett Packard competing for your attention, you probably don't know where or how to start your comparison shopping. Every year, they come up with the newest models with upgraded software programs. Read the online reviews of Consumer Reports and at the company's websites. Check out your local newspaper and magazines and news reports on the news. You can also do it word-of mouth and ask the computer experts questions. Size out the competition the next time you go to Best Buy or another electronics store.

From my personal experience, everyone in my family had used Apple computers, since we didn't worry about computer viruses and other woes from Microsoft. We've watched the news reports on TV, read the online reviews at Apple.com, and checked to compare the prices from Consumer Reports and from other valuable sources. When we arrived at the Apple Store, we've asked questions and gotten answers from the experts and examined both models with their prices. For me, besides the money, it all came down to the memory for saving my files. I've had two desktops that lasted me a long time—my last one lasted seven-and-a-half years, due to monitor wiring and faulty online access. When I've gotten my new laptop, three years ago, my mother used it for playing games and checking email—she also helped me with edits, up until she died last spring last year. Before I moved, I had thrown it in the trash, since I didn't need it anymore.

If you love your computer to stay grounded, a desktop computer would be a perfect keeper for you. You can have one as a spare for computer emergencies or in blackouts. Here's a list of pros and cons to help you figure out if it's a right computer for you.

Pros:

--It can fit anywhere on your desk, preferably in the middle of the desk.

--There's a CD slot for you to insert CDs on the right side of the monitor and/or via tray on a keyboard.

---Many gadgets and gizmos can be attached to your desktop like a printer or scanner from their wires and cords.



Cons:

---They're expensive. The best time to get them is when they're on sale at Apple Store or other electronics sales. That's when you get the best deals.

--They're heavy to carry if you need to take them for a tune-up, especially in its box. When I had to take it in for computer repair, we had to load and offload the computer from my mother's Easy Wheels shopping cart, due to its weight.

---The wires and cords could be tangled and a hassle, when you take it into repair.

Get Creative on a Laptop

I wish I had a tablet--but that laptop looks like mine on my desk
I wish I had a tablet--but that laptop looks like mine on my desk | Source

Let Your Writing Flow on a laptop

Laptop computers are perfect for you when you're on the go. Whether it's for travel for work or vacations, or for the National Novel Writing Month (Nano) write-ins in your area, you can put them on your lap, table or desk. There are many available versions to choose from. For example, Macintosh had the Ibook laptops a decade ago. Now there's MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. Just like for regular desktop computers, I did my research online and my comparison shopping at the stores three years ago.


Though both kinds of MacBooks looked great, when I asked questions at the Apple Store, I've determined that the MacBook Pro was the right choice for me, due to more memory space. The MacBook Air model was lighter and thinner to carry. A couple of people in my local writing had purchased the MacBook Air to our monthly meetings to read their work and take down notes. Though the Pro version was more expensive than the Air version when I bought it at their sale. So don't be afraid to ask questions at any computer or electronics store, or even at the Apple store, before you make your final decision. This summer, I recently bought a MacBook Air, since my former MacBook Pro had various computer issues for the past year, due to a water spill. That's what my brother and I did back then and now.


Pros: Laptops are modestly priced in the thousands. Check for the best deals in your local newspapers every week and watch their TV ads. When it's on sale, that's a real good time to make a move to buy a laptop.

---You can hook up your printer, disk drive, and scanner to your computer. Less hassle with cords and wired being tangled when you're hooking them to a power strip or surge protector.

---Laptop cases are perfect to carry them on the go for easy travel.They come in different styles, shapes, colors, etc., with or without handles.

---Laptop trays are ideal to place them on top, instead of your lap.

Con: No CD-Rom slot at the side of monitor or keyboard.

Write on the go

Source

Ipads, Iphones and Tablets are perfect for traveling writers

If you want something lighter and inexpensive for portable use, consider an Ipad, iPhone or a tablet. It's ideal if you're on the budget. They also go on sale with the great deals and cost around $200. The next tine you see a commercial for a tablet, iPhone or Ipad, you can find the one that fits your needs.


Pros: They can fit into any briefcase, suitcase or pocketbook.

--You can check email, go online to read articles or play games, or surf the web.

Con: You can't print anything or do any writing since there's no keyboard. Due to its small size, you have to save your work and print it from home.

External Keyboards are perfect for computer emergencies

My former Dell External Keyboard is a Life-Saver for Computer Emergencies
My former Dell External Keyboard is a Life-Saver for Computer Emergencies

Computer preference poll

Do you have a computer at home or at work?

See results

Turn it up on External Speakers

External speakers are handy to have for losing volume in your computer
External speakers are handy to have for losing volume in your computer

Favorite computer

What kind of computer do you prefer?

See results

External Devices for Computer Emergencies

If you ever run into having a computer emergency by having loose computer keys or irreparable water damage to your keyboard, consider buying external devices. It's less expensive than having it repaired or replaced at a computer store or at Apple. It would save you money and the hassle.

That's what happened to me last spring and fall. First, my "E" button keycap popped out of my laptop's keyboard. I went online to look it up on how to fix it up in a "snap" and even asked my brother out. It won't snap back in. Though I've could've done without it, he gave me a free external keyboard that he had gotten it from work. And it's been working perfectly ever since then when I've hooked it up to my laptop's USB outlet. Also, when I had a little bit of water damage to the keyboard, none of the keys worked, other than the power button and the space bar. My Dell external keyboard saved the day for my then 4-year old MacBook Pro laptop. I have gotten used to it for the past year.

Also due to the water damage, I also lost the speakers from my laptop, a few days after the spill happened. Nothing worked. So I ended up buying Logitech external speakers from Target, when it was on sale, and have been using them since then. Just plug them into your USB outlet and also to your plug outlet to hear the music. Though I don't need to buy earphones and earplugs or earbuds, these speakers worked without them anyway.

Another thing to have in handy is an external mouse for your laptop. Since I might be using it someday soon, since my laptop's mouse sometimes doesn't work when I don't see the cursor on the screen, computer users have preferred the regular mouse than the one on the laptop's keyboard to move around with. My late mother was one of them.

So consider buying an external keyboard, speakers, and/or mouse as an alternative, when you have a computer emergency. They will save you money and a lot of grief from having computer downtime.

In Conclusion

There's something for everybody. You can find one for you and for someone else, may it be a friend or family member. Since I've given you the pros and cons of the three different types of computers to fit your writing needs, go out and find what you're looking for. In my next hubs, check out printers and ergonomic chairs. Happy computer hunting!


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    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 11 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Nice buy at Goodwill for an inexpensive external keyboard. I think you meant keyboards and not key words. Good for you. I agree with you on those keyboard. Due to water damage last month and worn keys, the power and space bar button are the only keys that works on my laptop. And I also lost speakers and brought external ones last month too.

    • CelebrateUSA profile image

      Ken Kline 11 months ago from Chicago, Illinois

      Love live the desktop!

      Also, I have found the ergonomic keyboards to be a must have for bloggers/writers.

      The ergonomic keywords are big, chunky and hard to initially get used to but for all the hours they are a great investment in my daily comfort. I now own three - thanks to Goodwill for the many people who did not give the $50 keyboard a real try. If you see them for $5 at Goodwill, if you try them for a solid two hours, I promise you your wrists and your body will thank you!

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 21 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Oh no, Marlene! Thanks for your kind words. Good for you!

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 21 months ago from Northern California, USA

      My computer is running out of memory space, so I guess it is time to get a new one. Your article is quite timely and informative. I was considering getting a tablet, but then you pointed out the limitations and now I clearly see that getting a laptop is the best solution for me.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 21 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Breathing for your kind words and comments. I agree with what you said here.

    • breathing profile image

      Sajib 21 months ago from Bangladesh

      A useful post describing the different choices of perfect computer for home office. The author has very clearly mentioned that what modern day people can choose for their home office. It depends on the usage and needs of the office. Those who don’t have to move from their office place can set themselves with desktop. But here is another condition. If you need high quality graphics and other additional requirements, high quality laptops or MacBook can be the best choice for you. You should also choose a device that can handle the work load of yours. Also it must suit your personality ans style.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 23 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Linda. It does sounds cool to do a split form on your desktop. I don't think my laptop can do that! Great ideas!

    • lindacee profile image

      lindacee 23 months ago from Arizona

      Since I do a lot of writing, I tend to gravitate toward a desktop configuration. I have a 20" monitor which allows me to do a split screen with research and composition all on one rather than relying on 2 smaller monitors. I also use a tablet to check email and mess with social media. Great informative Hub!

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks V for coming back to this hub. Me too! I hope it stays that way. No one commented on my forum post. So I updated it instead.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Poetryman, thanks for liking my new picture. Finally it got re-approved after I took a month off. Hopefully HP will leave me and this hub alone!

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 2 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Useful hub. I like my desktop, HP Pentium-3 even though there can be some cons as suggested by you. And, glad to see your hub featured back. I came here through your forum post, just now, and found it very interesting.

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 2 years ago

      Looks like things are working for you again on this article posting. I like your new picture. Be blessed!

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Errontes. You're very welcome. I hope it passed HP's QAP again since I've updated it.

    • erorantes profile image

      Ana Maria Orantes 2 years ago from Miami Florida

      I like your hub. The computers lifestyle for the office work can be demanding. With the update internet conection changes and upgrade, computers get out of style fast. We need to find the perfect tool. Thank you miss kristenhowe.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Bev for commenting. Sounds like a cool computer.

    • theraggededge profile image

      Bev 2 years ago from Wales

      Just got my new laptop (4th one) It's whizzy whiz fast and I love it to bits. You mentioned that the cost of a laptop is in the low thousands but surely an average (non Apple) one would only be a few hundred? I am in the UK and my Acer was £600. I also love my 12" Galaxy Note as I can write my notes and emails on it with a pen. Good stuff, Kristen.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Rachel. Can you let HP know for me? I appreciate it Rachel. I hate the NFQ and hope they respond to my email.

    • Rachel L Alba profile image

      Rachel L Alba 2 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      Hi Kristen, This looks perfectly fine to me. I can't understand why it wouldn't be featured. I voted up and useful.

      Blessings to you.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Hey Peach, I don't blame you. I think 24 would work better for me. Thanks for the visit.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      i love to use my sony vaio laptop but i use external LED to widen the screen. It is hard to concentrate with small screen, 17" is still small for me. I need 24"

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Jasmeetk for stopping by and commenting.

    • Jasmeetk profile image

      Jasmeet Kaur 2 years ago from India

      interesting!!! voted up!!

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Don't we alll, Sandeep. A laptop with a case is also perfect for travel, too. Thanks for the visit.

    • sandeep15r profile image

      Sandeep Rathore 2 years ago from New Delhi

      I like desktop. But when I travel I wish I had a tablet.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      A tablet will work, Poetryman, when you travel and on the go. Thanks for the visit.

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 2 years ago

      Whenever we travel I, wish I had a laptop. At home I prefer a desktop. What I think I need to do is get a tablet to travel.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Hi Lorelei. I used to have both like you for backup. But I just have my laptop. Close enough. I haven't used my new desk since I moved last fall and hope to move my laptop there, when I'm feeling better. Thanks for the visit.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 2 years ago from Canada

      I have both laptop and desktop computers but much prefer my desk computer. It just feels more like an office I guess.