1. Go for broke. Buy the most powerful system that you can afford.
2. Ask about tech support. Some companies will ship replacement parts overnight.
3. Visit at least one store. In cyberspace, it’s hard to gauge a system’s size.
4. Maximize the monitor. A smaller monitor will save money — but it won’t save your eyes.
5. Don’t skimp on memory. Save yourself the trouble of an upgrade.
6. Negotiate on software. Find out which applications are bundled with each system.
7. Go for a name brand. Stay away from local stores that build their own systems.
8. Double the warranty. Use a credit card that has a buyer’s-protection policy.
9. Inquire about price protection. Some companies will credit your account if their PC’s price drops within the first 30 days of ownership.
10. Be brave! If you don’t know what a term means, ask for an explanation.