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      Computer buying 101

      Computers come in all shapes and sizes. Desktops, laptops, tablets, they can all perform the same basic functions but are also unique with different qualities that may appeal to specific people.

      How do you find the one that is best for you?

      There's variety, to say the least, when it comes to computer purchasing, so communicating your specific needs to your salesperson is key for a good purchase.

      Is it for school, work, travel, or family? Is it just entertainment and video games?

      No matter your needs, tell your salesperson and they'll help you find the right one, along with the right components to go with it.

      Webcams, external hardrives, and printers are often necessary accessories. But there are so many brand names. Which brand is best?

      "I always like to describe it--it's your Chevy versus your Ford," says Krystal Riggs, a store manager at Best Buy in Marquette. "Everybody has their preference. I wouldn't say one specific brand is better than the other. It really does depend on what that computer can do for that customer."

      Any computer is not likely to be cheap. Prices vary greatly. They can be as low a few hundred dollars or more than a thousand. If you're looking to replace a current computer because of slow performance or other problems, you might want to consider another option.

      "Sometimes they don't need to replace a whole computer," Riggs says. "Sometimes they just need to get a little tender, love, and care put into it and get it renewed again."

      Best Buy's Geek Squad specializes in computer repair and can offer a more affordable alternative to purchasing a brand new PC.

      But if your needs require new computer equipment, take your time and discuss it properly with your salesperson to find the one that's just right.