Computers have become an integral part of our everyday lives. From our smartphones and watches to the laptops and desktops we complete our daily tasks on; at work and home — computers cannot be avoided.
Although computers play an essential part in our day-to-day lives, buying computers in Ghana is not always an easy or even pleasant experience. Unlike places such as the United States — where you can just get online and find the computer you want in the configuration you prefer — Ghanaians don’t have it that easy.
Over here, the difficulty in getting your desired machine pushes most people to place orders with family and friends domiciled outside the country. The devices would be received when they return on holiday.
That nonetheless, buying computers in Ghana is not such a dire situation. There are shops where you can get very quality computers and depend on your needs, very affordable ones too.
This article aims to give you the rundown on computers, as well as the best places, or how to buy them here in Ghana. It will be updated from time to time, so that it remains a reliable source of information concerning buying computers in Ghana, for you.
Table of Contents
Different types of computers. What are they?
The modern definition of computers, according to Wikipedia, is this:
A computer is a machine that can be instructed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically via computer programming. Modern computers can follow generalised sets of operations, called programs. These programs enable computers to perform an extensive range of tasks.
In times where you settle that you finally need to buy a new computer, how do you go about finding one that will not just be worth your money, but leave a lasting feeling on you that, you have made a right choice? Not all people are tech-savvy to know what to look out for when purchasing a computer. There are myriads of reasons why people buy computers — some people make purchases because of a computer’s sleek nature, others do so because of its specifications, not forgetting a significant reason — the price.
Types of computers for personal use
- Desktop computers
- Laptops / Notebooks
Popular laptop brands
Apple: Apple computers are one of the famous brands in Ghana. Quite expensive though but if you want the Mac experience, then this should be your choice. These computers are reliable, however, upgrade on it take minutes on ordinary PCs to turn into long projects.
HP (Hewlett-Packard): HP has the name of its first founders – Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard. It started as a maker of scientific instruments, and gradually became the world’s leading manufacturers of printers. HP is a popular computer brand name in Ghana. The interface of HP computers is particularly recommendable.
Dell: The story behind the birth of Dell is a more inspiring one. It was started by Michael Dell, who was an American college student. He resold gray-market IBM PCs out of his dormitory, but with time, he couldn’t meet demand, so he started building clones himself. Dell computers are one of the popular brands in Ghana.
Lenovo: Lenovo computers are greatly preferred by a majority of Ghanaians. Lenovo bought and turned around IBM’s flagging PC and server lines, and the company sells both business and home computers. In terms of update, Lenovo computers are pretty much easier to work on. There are best known for engineering purposes because of its robust hardware.
Toshiba: There are quite a lot of Toshiba lovers in Ghana. Toshiba is a Japanese conglomerate that sells not just computers but a lot more. Its line of laptop computers has been popular for a while now.
Alienware: Alienware is an American computer subsidiary of Dell. If you are into computer gaming, then Alienware is the right computer to go for since their products are designed for gaming and can be identified by their alien-themed designs.
Asus: Asus laptops are used by a considerable number of people in Ghana, so it earns itself to the list of popular laptop brands in Ghana.
Acer: Acer laptops are popular in the Ghanaian market. As an Asian conglomerate, the company is also seen as one of the largest and most popular makes of PCs.
Samsung: The Samsung Group is known for its Electronic primary sales. Samsung laptops are equally popular in the Ghanaian market.
LG: The full name of LG is Lucky Goldstar. It is a South Korean multinational conglomerate corporation and operates subsidiaries such as LG Electronics, LG Telecom, Zenith, Display and LG Chem. LG laptops are also popular in Ghana.
Sony: Sony is one of the best leading manufacturers of electronic products globally. Sony computers are also one of the widely used brands in Ghana.
Full-size Laptop/ Notebook: A laptop large enough to accommodate a “full-size” keyboard (a keyboard with the minimum QWERTY key layout, which is at least 13.5 keys across that are on ¾ (0.750) inch centers, plus some room on both ends for the case). The measurement of at least 11 inches across has been suggested as the threshold for this class. The first laptops were the size of a standard U.S. “A size” notebook sheet of paper (8.5 × 11 inches), but later “A4-size” laptops were introduced, which were the width of a standard ISO 216 A4 sheet of paper (297 mm, or about 11.7 inches), and added a vertical column of keys to the right and wider screens. It can also be laid sideways when not in use.
Netbook: A smaller, lighter, more portable laptop. It is also usually cheaper than a full-size laptop, but sometimes has fewer features and less computing power. Smaller keyboards can be more difficult to operate. There is no sharp line of demarcation between netbooks and inexpensive small laptops; some 11.6″ models are marketed as netbooks. Since netbook laptops are quite small in size, netbooks typically do not come with an internal optical drive.
Tablet PC: these have touch screens. There are “convertible tablets” with a full keyboard where the screen rotates to be used atop the keyboard, and “slate” form-factor machines which are usually touch-screen only (although a few older models feature very small keyboards along the sides of the screen.)
Ultra-mobile PC: An ultra-mobile PC (ultra-mobile personal computer or UMPC) is a small form factor version of a pen computer, a class of laptop whose specifications were launched by Microsoft and Intel in spring 2006. Sony had already made a first attempt in this direction in 2004 with its Vaio U series, which was however only sold in Asia. UMPCs are smaller than subnotebooks, have a TFT display measuring (diagonally) about 12.7 to 17.8 cm, and are operated like tablet PCs using a touchscreen or a stylus. There is no clear boundary between subnotebooks and ultra-mobile PCs.
What to look out for before buying a laptop
Go for at least, a 4GB RAM device. This will help you to perform more functions at the same time. These days, you’ll probably want to think about 8GB as a minimum. If you’re a power-user, 16GB is the way to go. Meanwhile, gamers should look at dialling things upwards to 32GB if they want the best experience.
More RAM allows for more applications to be run at the same time, and for more data to be quickly accessible by the system at any one time, which comes in handy for tasks such as editing photos or video content.
Also, you should look for one that has slots for you to expand the RAM when the need arises. You never know.
Aside from the RAM, CPUs are also a huge determinant of how well your personal computer can perform. No matter what your needs are, you should go for at least the Core i3. There are Core i5, and Core i7 CPUs too. The higher it is, the better your laptop becomes when performing many functions.
It’s hard to go past any of Intel’s Core-based CPUs when buying a new laptop. Think Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7. An Intel Core Processor offers the best performance when it comes to multitasking and multimedia tasks. Core i3-based notebooks are generally found in entry-level systems, while Core i5 makes up the majority of mainstream computers.
Core i7-based systems are for those of you who want the best performance from your laptop. However, note that with a Core i7-based system, heat coming through the base of the laptop can be cause for concern, especially if you plan to use the laptop on your lap a lot of the time.
Some larger laptops also now incorporate Intel’s i9 Core processors. Laptops running on i9 Core processors are even more powerful than laptops running on i7 Core processors. They’re able to rival desktops for performance, but they do come with a significantly higher cost than a laptop with an i7, i5 or i3 Core Processor.
Core i5 and i7 are good standards for creative professionals, IT professionals, Engineers and anyone who uses the computer beyond watching and listening to entertainment media, using Microsoft Office applications, etc.
When it comes to laptops, size matters.
Depending on what you plan to be doing with your next laptop, you’ll want to make sure you pick the size that’s the right fit for you. Size isn’t like the RAM or ROM of a laptop; you can’t upgrade it later. You’re locked into whatever you select up-front, so choose wisely.
Laptops sizes tend to start at 11.6-inches and go all the way up to 17.3 inches. Most brands and OEMs like HP, Dell, ASUS and Acer tend to offer three display sizes – 13.3-inch, 15.6-inch and 17.3-inches. However, some vendors do sell laptops that fall outside these sizes including 11.6-inches, 12.5-inches and 14-inches.
The most important thing to consider here when looking for the best laptop you can buy is that you think about what you’re going to need that laptop to do. It’s rarely ever a case of one size fits all. Some users need something lighter and more portable. Other users need discrete graphics for things like video editing or running high-end games. If you need a PC with an optical drive or long battery life, you’ll almost certainly have to look for something more substantial.
Since you’ll probably end up staring at your laptop screen hours at a time, you’ll probably want to make sure you get a screen that is comfortable to look at and use.
To start with, you’ll have to consider whether you want your next laptop to have a touchscreen. These days, touchscreens are very common, and they can make some tasks easier than others. Unfortunately, they can also add a glossiness to the display, which is sometimes undesirable. Glossy screens lead to reflections, which are a definite negative if you’re gaming, watching content or editing images and video content. For these reasons, you might want to consider a laptop that doesn’t have a touchscreen.
Next up, be sure to look at the resolution on any laptop you’re thinking of buying. A 1920×1080-pixel resolution (Full HD) should be considered if you want plenty of space to line up windows and keep things in view.
Select modern laptops also now offer 4K resolutions. However, these high-end display panels are generally a costly add-on to an already-expensive product. They’re only really going to be worth it for those who really need them, like content creation professionals.
Photographers and videographers will also want to privilege laptops that offer better colour accuracy and support wider colour gamut and HDR standards over those that don’t.
Meanwhile, if you’re a gamer, it’s also worth taking the time to check the refresh rate on the display of any potential laptop. A faster refresh rate can often provide a sometimes provide a competitive advantage in online games, as it enables a smoother and more responsive play experience.
Lastly, viewing angles are extremely important. A laptop screen that touts IPS (in-plane switching) technology offers the widest viewing angles and the best user comfort. Chances are you’re not always going to be using your laptop in its natural habitat, so a laptop with an IPS display is usually preferred over the opposite.
If possible, take the time to go into a store and see the screen for yourself. Otherwise, rely on multiple reviews to get a good overview of the product and whether or not its screen will be able to suit your needs.
For long typing sessions, you’ll need to get a laptop that has a comfortable keyboard. You don’t want to get a keyboard that packs in every key under the sun (think keyboards that have squished in number pads) because that can translate to the poor overall user experience when hunting for specifics like the arrow or delete keys.
You want a keyboard that has a comfortable layout with full-sized keys and some space around the arrow keys. The keys should have adequate travel on the downstroke and snappy responsiveness when you let them go.
Make sure the keyboard is also backlit so that you can type with an easier view on the keys in dimly lit environments.
As with the screen, it helps to try before you buy, especially if your main task will be typing.
Manufacturer-quoted battery life is almost never indicative of what the real-world experience of using a laptop is like. There are simply too many variables that affect battery life. There is the screen brightness, the screen resolution, the number of applications you have running in the background plus whether or not you actively remain connected to Wi-Fi networks or Bluetooth devices.
The operating system a laptop runs on can also play a major role in determining battery life. It’s for this reason that ultrabooks and convertibles running on Chrome OS tend to offer superior battery life than those running on Windows 10.
If you run programs that need lots of processing, stream lots of online videos, play graphics-intensive games, or if you transfer lots of files over a wireless network, then your battery will drain a lot sooner than what the vendor has quoted.
A good practice here is to look at the rating of the battery in Watt-hours (Wh) or milliamp-hours (mAh). The larger these figures are, the longer the battery can last. For a 13.3in Ultrabook, for example, a battery with a rating from 44Wh to 50Wh will give you the best results.
Depending on your storage needs, going for an appropriate size matters. Hard drives used to be all the rage, but these days they’ve mostly out of favour, especially for thin and light laptops. This is because they can be slow, somewhat bulky, and produce noticeable heat and noise.
A solid-state drive (SSD), on the other hand, offers a lot more speed than a hard drive, runs silently, and can be installed in a form factor that doesn’t add too much to the weight and bulk of a laptop. As a result of these clear benefits, most OEMs have embraced SSD storage as the standard for laptops.
Stick to an SSD for your new laptop, and you’ll love the speed with which it can load programs, access your data, and also how quickly it can boot up your system.
The only problem is that SSDs don’t offer as much capacity. This means that SSD storage is often more expensive in terms of dollars-to-gigabytes than traditional hard drives. You’ll be stuck with a drive that’s either 128GB, 256GB or 512GB in size, but costs a lot more than one with a 1TB or 2TB hard drive would.
To compensate, many laptop and PC OEMs now pair a smaller SSD with a larger hard drive. This allows consumers to get the speed benefits of keeping their operating system on SSD storage while also having adequate storage space for the rest of their data.
The newest, fastest laptops also have NVMe solid-state drives which are much faster than traditional SSDs but also more expensive.
These days, if a laptop has less than one USB 3.0 port on it, you probably ought to look at buying another laptop. Ideally, you should look for a laptop that has at least a couple of these USB 3.0 ports.
In addition to the baseline utility you get from USB ports (which allow you to plug in an external hard or SSD drive and backup your data or use the conventional mouse or a fancy keyboard with your laptop), USB 3.0 is about ten times faster than USB 2.0. This means that data transfers over USB 3.0 take significantly less time.
Many modern peripherals also tend to deliver the best performance on or require USB 3.0 to function at all.
If possible, you should try and take things a step further and go for a laptop with USB 3.1 ports. USB 3.1 allows for a throughput of up to 10 gigabits, double that offered by USB 3.1.
If you’re ready to embrace USB Type-C, Thunderbolt 3 ports offer an even better option. Thunderbolt 3 ports have a peak data transfer speed of 40 gigabits-per-second.
If you are concerned about computer brands, here is a list of a couple of them in Ghana. Listed in no particular order, check this list out and where you can buy them.
Where to get the best deals
There many places in Ghana you can buy a laptop such as PC Direct, Compu Ghana, Can West, Starlite, etc. However, JBKlutse Shop is one of the best online platforms to buy laptops in Ghana simply for its pricing. Birth recently, the shop is managed by expertise hands who will just not give you your preferred laptop but give you expert advice on which laptop to buy to meet your everyday need.
Stay home and engage the team online and choose from our plethora of smartphones, tablets, laptops, technology toys and accessories, and any tech-oriented gadgets in our niche you can think of. It is time to enjoy the best customer experience with a lot of goodies.
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