Design

A computer for the whole family or everyone's own?

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DR

How much computers are needed in a family "It all depends on the profile of the tribe: nomadic, fan of online games, addicted to video ...

1. The family "touches everything"

For you, the computer is a bit of office automation, sending emails, the Internet and sharing photos? You can settle for almost any configuration called "entry level". Depending on the size of your apartment and the comfort of use sought, you will opt for a desktop or a laptop. Only differences: the laptop is a little more expensive and more fragile than a PC (important when you have young children). Count 500 € for a branded CPU (HP or Packard Bell) with a processor at 2 GHz, a hard disk of at least 160 GB and a 19 "screen, and between 600 and 700 € for a similar configuration on a laptop with a 15 "screen (Acer).

A computer in the children's room?

The temptation is great (if only to have peace), but it is discouraged by most psys and actors in the computer world. This makes it possible for the child to be isolated in a virtual world (games, chat, etc.) and you can not monitor what he is doing on the Internet.

2. The video family

Whether you are shooting your own pictures or watching movies, you need a muscular setup with a DVD player and a large screen. Count a little more than 1000 € to have a powerful machine with 24 "screen To better integrate the computer in your living room, some manufacturers (Sony) have designed Media Center turntables, a kind of big DVD players but containing a real computer Connected directly to the TV, they are optimized for all multimedia applications and are simply controlled (remote control) Count around 1000 € without screen.Finally, you can choose to store your images in a server of hard disks (HP or Netgear), so you can archive your data, save it and share it remotely via a WiFi network - expect 600 € for 1 TB (terabyte) of storage.

3. The fan family of games

You need the ultimate, because the game is power hungry. The ideal is a processor clocked at 2.4 GHz at least, with a very good graphics card for 3D, a good sound card and a special gamer mouse. Count a minimum of 1 000 € for a central unit without the screen, more than 1 500 € for an equivalent configuration in portable and much more for a computer dedicated to the players (Alienware).

4; The nomadic family

You are always up and down and, for you, the computer is above all a personal object. Size and weight are therefore very important criteria of choice. Why not opt ​​for an ultraportable? The investment is more important than for a classic por-table (count € 1,000, and more when the design is at the rendezvous: "AirBook" Mac, "Vaio" from Sony, etc.), but you will benefit from a lighter and less cumbersome computer (12 "screen or lower) At home, you can connect all your computers in a network, either by WiFi, or by CPL (" powerline ") adapters connected to power outlets. Another solution: you can buy a single "real" computer for the whole family and equip you with smartphones for consulting e-mails or the Internet.

Last possibility: these hybrid objects, mid-computer half personal assistant as the Eee PC that Asus markets since 2008 (300 € without subscription). And not to depend on the only WiFi network, you can equip a 3G key and go through the network of your mobile phone broadband. SFR offers a bundled subscription with the Asus Eee PC, and Orange has just launched a key available either by package or "à l'acte".

TO KNOW…

GHz (gigahertz): This frequency is one of the parameters used to establish the power of the computer.
Mo, Go and To: some landmarks. A high-definition digital photo is 5 MB. One minute of high-fidelity sound is 10 MB. Beethoven's complete work represents 20 GB and the contents of a university library about 2 TB.
12, 19 or 24 inches? To find your way around, be aware that a 12 "screen has a diagonal of about 30 cm, 15" = 38 cm, 19 "= 48 cm and 24" = 60 cm.

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