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Get your tech in check with powerful or portable computers

Are you ready to upgrade to a new computer? Walmart has plenty of options from laptops to tablets to desktop models all at Every Day Low Prices. Here's how to shop for different models.

Laptop, tablet or desktop computer

The first thing to consider when buying a new computer is whether you want a laptop, a tablet or a desktop model.

Desktop computers

If you plan to use your computer in one location, desktops have many advantages.

  • Power - You can get a more powerful computer for your money. A typical, modern-day desktop computer can provide a 500-gigabyte hard drive, a 3.4-gigahertz dual-core processor, a 24x DVD+/-RW optical drive and 1 gigabyte of installed memory, which you can upgrade to 4GB.

  • Upgrade options - There are always options to upgrade. You can add a larger hard drive if your system is slow starting up, shutting down or in performing day-to-day tasks. If you don't want to install a new one inside your computer, try an external USB 3.0 drive, then move your music, photos and videos to it. Plus, more RAM (random-access memory) means more multitasking potential; it'll allow you to quickly switch back and forth between different applications.

You can get a larger monitor like a 27-inch, LED, full-HD 1080p model and set up your keyboard in a way that's ergonomically comfortable for you.

Laptop computers

If you need a more portable computer, a laptop is powerful and affordable, and you can always connect it to a separate monitor and keyboard when you're at your desk and you want to use a larger screen. Modern-day laptops can serve a variety of functions depending on your intended use and what style you feel most comfortable with.

  • Touchscreen - This laptop allows additional scrolling and maneuvering capabilities by, as its name suggests, touching the screen.
  • 2-in-1 - This versatile option combines the power of a traditional laptop with the additional functionality found in a tablet by simply removing the attached monitor from the keyboard.
  • Chromebook - These machines run Google's Chrome operating system and are designed primarily for Internet usage, with most applications and documents residing in "the cloud."
  • Gaming - A gaming laptop provides high-resolution graphics and impressive sound it often has the very latest in video technology with the fastest processor and the maximum amount of memory.
  • Ultrabook - This is a thin, lightweight form of a laptop, featuring similar functionality of an ordinary laptop without some of its hardware features, like optical drives.
  • Refurbished - A refurbished computer generally means the system was returned by a customer and cannot be resold as new; it didn't meet the manufacturer's quality test and thus was rebuilt; or it came from an order that had been canceled.

iPads and tablets

If you use your computer primarily for email, web browsing and watching videos, you may be able to get away with using a tablet as your primary computer. Then, you can always add a tablet keyboard to gain most of the functionality of a standard laptop. (The aforementioned touchscreen laptops are also another great way to get the best of both worlds.)

The biggest consideration with an iPad or tablet computer is the size. Tablet screen sizes range from a mere 6 inches on the low end all the way up to more than 18 inches. Most tablets, however, fall into the 7- to 10-inch range. If you're looking for something portable to take with you anywhere you go, a small tablet like a 7-inch model is a great choice.

Tablets in the 10-inch range provide a good balance between portability and productivity. You can't operate them with one hand, but they're still very light and compact. Larger tablets aren't quite as portable, but they can give you a great laptop replacement.

Weigh your options

You should always consider the speed and processing power you need for your computer. Single- and dual-core processors are adequate for basic functions like email and web browsing, but you'll want a quad-core computer if you do a lot of gaming or video streaming.

Whatever you decide, you'll find it for less at Walmart, where you get Every Day Low Prices on computers and accessories, including printers, scanners and software. Save money. Live better.

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