Buying a new Computer ?

Can be daunting:

Which to buy – there are countless similar boxes, often with minimal information about each.

Where to buy from – Shop, manufacturer, distributor, Web site, auction, local paper…

What level of price/performance to select for each component ?

Whose advice can be trusted to be reliable and unbiased ?  (one possibly useful place is the Oxford University site)

Frequently people go to a local chain store and find a bewildering array of apparently similar computers; often the sales staff are either inexperienced or impatient to achieve a sale.  They certainly do not hope to foster a long term relationship with your computer by helping resolve problems that crop up in the months ahead.  As with any complex system, what the seller offers is at best, their guess of what will suit most people most of the time – but people’s uses for computers are so varied that one size does not fit all. 


Buying pre-configured computers on-line is fraught with many of the same mechanisms to reduce the initial cost of manufacture, but these will cost you more in the long term than they initially appear to save when studied closely.  Click here to see why buying off-the-shelf is usually a bad way to buy.


The way of avoiding the pitfalls of buying ready made computers is to buy from an organisation small enough to care.  You want someone who understands the technicalities of what is available in a very quickly changing market, and has an incentive to provide what is best for the use you intend putting the computer to.  Someone who is personally contactable in the weeks and months ahead to help resolve the day-to-day problems which arise on all PCs.  1ComputerCare is exactly that, and buy buying from a small organisation you do not miss out on the benefits of buying from a big name as explained below.

Complete this form for a no obligation quotation.

Is a bespoke PC customised for the individual more expensive than a standardised product ?

Normally there is not a significant difference in price for the following reasons:

  • 1ComputerCare can usually obtain trade discounts not available to retail buyers.

  • By selecting each component with knowledge of the individual client’s requirements, the price/performance of that component can be set at an appropriate level. Thus, there is no significant bottleneck component that causes all others to be constrained to less than their potential – hence the cheapest overall product capable of meeting the specifications is used.

  • By avoiding the day-to-day operating costs that all high street or commercial park stores (brick & mortar outlets) must carry, savings can be passed on.

Is there a penalty in lost warranty ?

No. A full year’s warranty is in included with all computers. This can be extended to two or three years at addition cost if required.  Full terms of warranty are available on request.

What is [optionally] done before a 1ComputerCare computer is delivered ?

  • Check that components are present as ordered and chase late deliveries, thoroughly test all main hardware components

  • Transfer e-mail, address book & data and salvage usable components of old PC – disk drives, modems etc. can be reused

  • Install, activate & configure all ordered software - operating system, office software

  • Set up anti-virus, spam filter, parental control, firewall

  • Install/update & configure latest versions of free ancillary software – typically this includes:

    • Spyware prevention, detection & removal tools, Popup blocker

    • Acrobat Reader, CD/DVD burning and playing tools, Video editing, photo editing & library

    • Windows Media Player, DirectX, Backup program, Fax software (if modem present)

    • Photo library and editing, FireFox browser

  • Install critical updates and security patches to operating system and MS Office

  • Patch drivers to latest revisions

  • Install printer [scanner, copier], webcam and other peripherals bought at the same time

  • Miscellaneous tasks – arrange menus, tune page file, set up Windows Explorer, lock boot sector, create accounts…

  • Configure e-mail client, set up personalised domain name and e-mail and/or Web storage

  • Defragment system disk, benchmark performance and certify virus free

Is there any penalty in buying through 1ComputerCare ?

Just one: there is no immediate gratification. Typically, 1ComputerCare bought PCs take about ten days to be ordered, assembled, tested and delivered. Picking a computer from a shop gives use of the product immediately (although some configuration is usually necessary – see above).  The requirements analysis which determines the appropriate components to put into a new PC does take time, but the benefits of having the computer designed to suit are realised over the extended years which the computer has a useful life.

What is the 1ComputerCare buying process ?

Initially a requirements analysis is done (either on-line or in person) by asking non-technical questions about the intended use, the answers to which form the basis of a suggested specification, which is researched, costed and usually sent 1 or 2 days later, together with quotation notes. This is then discussed with the client and any modifications made. 

Hardware prices are quoted at cost with any trade discount passed on.  Quotations are grouped as main hardware, software, ancillaries and labour.  This makes comparisons with other suppliers easy, and by not adding any mark up on the hardware, you may be sure that there is no financial incentive involved in recommending one solution over another. 

When ready to order, we just take your debit/credit card details and place the order on your behalf.  You are free to order yourself, but the advantages of buying through the trade are forfeited. 1ComputerCare then orders the components and tracks their delivery.  In order to minimise the cost of manufacture, the assembly of main components is usually undertaken by a specialist company following the specification agreed between 1ComputerCare and the client.  They are then able to offer a complete system warranty, although 1ComputercCare would take care of all the details should a claim ever be made.  When the system is received by 1ComputerCare, any extra hardware is installed (perhaps by transferring from a PC currently in use), software is installed and configured and the system thoroughly tested. 

Status reports are phoned or e-mailed periodically as required.  Approximately 10 days after ordering, the new computer is delivered to your home with your own documents, music, photos, e-mail and address books already set up and ready to use 'out of the box'.  An information sheet is given and the PC is demonstrated.

What happens to my old computer ?

You may put it in your attic ‘just in case’, take it to the nearest land fill site, or, after any components which may be useful installed in your new computer are salvaged, you may choose to add it to the components from which working systems are assembled for donation to charity.

Should I buy new, upgrade an existing system or look at the second user market ?

For a discussion without charge or obligation, to establish what is most suitable for you individually, contact Eugene Gardner at 1ComputerCare.

What next ?

Complete this form for a no obligation quotation.