Design: What are some features that make a computer "rugged?"

1. The processor. This ultra-powerful electronic chip is like the brain of your computer, of which it directly determines the speed. For an interesting performance, opt for an Intel i5 to i7 or AMD Quad Core A8 processor of at least 3 MHz. 

2. The hard drive. This device stores in a durable way the information essential to the functioning of the computer (even when switched off), the programs and your personal productions (documents, photos, songs…). Choose a model with a large capacity, at least 1 terabyte (TB), so you can save a large number of photos, videos and files. 

3. RAM. This item is aptly named, because all of its content is blown away when you turn off the computer! This is because RAM only stores information that your machine and your programs need temporarily and allows them to access it at supersonic speed. The minimum: 4 GB of RAM. On its own, the Windows 7 operating system uses a lot of RAM space. 

4. The graphics card (or video card). This electronic card ensures the display of everything that appears on the screen and determines its quality, both in terms of definition and fluidity of images. Many computers on the market have a graphics card built into the processor that is more than sufficient for viewing movies or photos and other files. But if you want to do complex video editing or if you plan to play very animated or 3D video games, you need a dedicated graphics card or video card with at least 2 GB of dedicated memory. Computers with these cards are more pricy. It is also possible to add such a card to your computer. The brands AVI, Radeon, or GE Force, which are good options, cost around $ 150. 

5. The screen. Obviously, the larger the screen, the more enjoyable it is to watch movies and photos. Of course, a 16 ” screen will be sufficient if you mainly do administrative and word processing tasks, but if you want something more fun, treat yourself to a screen measuring between 21 ” and 24 ” (size of its diagonal). . And if you plan to watch DVDs or TV often on your computer, choose an HD or even “Full H” model to enjoy high definition images. Our expert recommends an LED screen (Samsung or LG). These screens do not heat up, offer better contrast and consume less electricity. 

6. The connections. Beyond the basic sockets (or ports) present on all computers, your machine should be equipped with: 

  • at least 3 or 4 USB ports for connecting devices, such as a camera or an external hard drive; 
  • a Wi-Fi connection to connect you wirelessly to the Internet. This option is absolutely necessary if you move your laptop from one room to another or if you use a tablet – an iPad for example – or an iPod touch; your visitors who bring one of these devices will also be able to connect to the Internet; 
  • an HDMI socket in order to view digital images from your TV, for example, especially if it is a laptop or if you plan to install your tower near the TV.  

7. Readers. Make sure that your computer includes at least a card reader, to read and retrieve snapshots from your camera’s memory card, and an optical drive capable of reading and writing CDs and DVDs. The ideal is a Blu-Ray model that will allow you to watch and record videos in a digital format.