The Washington Post writes The last time I browsed the selection of desktops in a computer store, I came down with a case of instant deja vu. Each time I’d spot a thoughtful feature on one company’s PC — say, both USB and FireWire ports on the front or a full set of memory-card slots — I would look at the machine to its right or left and spot the exact same item.
After eyeballing 27 different PCs, I could have more easily distinguished them by color than any other detail. Only a shoebox-size model from Shuttle Computer Corp. stood apart in this lineup of tower-case desktops. (This store didn’t stock Apple hardware.)
Faced with this conformity, many shoppers judge PCs by their processors’ clock speeds. But that no longer tells anything useful — any new processor easily handles browsing the Web, downloading MP3s or editing digital photos. Few tasks, such as editing video, demand more power.
A computer shopping list should focus on different criteria: hard drive, memory and removable storage.
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