In the last issue we provided financial break-up of a personal computer (PC) for three different user levels. We round it off with options for must-have peripherals.
Speakers: The Voice
Computing requires no speakers, but who buys a PC only for computing any more? Listening to music or playing movies or making your own album or film, there is a speaker system to suit every level of computer usage.
Basic 2.0 stereo speakers with volume control and LED display Rs 400 Intermediate Speakers with built-in headphone and mic jack Rs 1,600 Advanced 5.1 channel (4 satellite speakers, 1 center speaker and 1 sub-woofer), LCD display, cordless remote Rs 3,700
Sound Card: The Throat
Facilitates input and output sound. Can be used to edit audio. A feature to look for is polyphony — the number of distinct voices or sounds that can be played back simultaneously and independently.
Basic 32-bit audio sound supporting multi-channel speakers and can download wavetable synthesizer Rs 300 Intermediate 24-bit, 96kHz audio, 64 voices polyphony with 5.1 surround sound Rs 5,500 Advanced 24-bit, 192 kHz in stereo and 7.1 channel surround sound; multi-channel graphic equaliser and acoustic effects Rs 12,000
Microphones: The Ears
Must for web chats, the more senstivie the better for clearer converstaions. Also useful for dictating notes or commands in PCs with voice activated softwares.
Basic Headset with volume control and flexible microphone Rs 100 Intermediate Stereo earphone with ear clips and built-in microphone; 100mW output Rs 280 Advanced Cordless headphone (range 30m) with wireless microphone and FM radio receiver Rs 1,000
Webcams: The Eyes
From simple video chats to running your own Internet TV show there is a cam for all needs.
Basic A low resolution webcam (160x120p to 640x480p) with a built-in mic Rs 400 Intermediate VGA (640x480p) video and 1.3mp image resolution; button for still photos Rs 1250 Advanced 1.3mp resolution, works in low light; face tracking technology enables webcam to move to keep you in view; ultra-wide view; built-in mic Rs 6,000
Printer/Scanner/Copier: The Multiplier
The world will never be paper-less, which means you will print, copy or scan. Here are three inkjet options; price of laser printers is falling too.
Basic Print/Scan/Copy; 6-colour photos with 4800x1200 dpi print resolution; 48-bit colour and 16-bit grayscale scanner Rs 3,200 Intermediate All the above functions plus a phone/fax; print speed is up to 17 ppm for black; integrated phone handset Rs 8,000 Advanced Print/Scan/Copy/Fax; 2.4" image display; printing via PictBridge, Bluetooth and memory card; speed is 32 ppm Rs 15,000
TV tuner cards: The Entertainer
If you keep running between your TV room and computer to catch the latest cricket score, news headline or a favourite show, spare the effort and just attach this card to your PC.
Basic Supports 125 channels; can capture still/video images; some cards also support FM radio Rs 1,000 Intermediate Can compress TV programmes into MPEG-1/2/4; infra-red remote control; can receive 160 channels Rs 1,800 Advanced Can pause a live TV programme; record directly to your hard drive; support FM and Internet radio; can program PC to record a show Rs 3,500
Routers: The Connector
Routers (with modems) bring broadband to your PC and link it to a network — wired or wireless. Can make home wi-fi.
Basic Delivers high-speed broadband through ADSL phone line; has USB and LAN ports Rs 1,800 Intermediate Wireless-G (802.11g) access point and 4-port switch; data up to 54 Mbps with firewall Rs 3,800 Advanced Dual-band with wireless-A/B/G networks; advanced security and built-in 4-port switch Rs 10,500
UPS: The Backup
Can’t buy a PC without this. Your standard options are:
|Basic||500VA, 300W will give you an estimated run-time of one hour||Rs 2,200|
|Intermediate||800VA, 540W will give an estimated run-time of two hours||Rs 5,200|
|Advanced||1500VA, 865W will run for a little more than two hours||Rs 10,000|