In 2008, it will be very normal if you buy electronic products in the internet world. I think it’s not modern anymore if you go to a mall and review each product there. If you want to buy a new PC or notebook, try to find the review in the internet. There are plenty of full reviews there so I think you will learn much more than if you go to a mall or electronic dealers in real world. What more interesting is, you don’t need to go out from your home. You can read about different products, different brands in front of your computer.
I always went to electronic malls when I had time to check new products. I checked their prices and performances but I realized I was just wasting my precious time. Start from early 2007, I always buy everything online, start from games to new notebooks. Even if you do not want to buy electronic products online, you could at least try to find out what you want with your internet browser.
If five years ago new PCs or other electronic products are designed for children and nerds, these days it is easy to find new computers for your need. Many companies like HP or Dell produced their own business laptops. With cheap prices, you could get the best performance from new notebooks. It is the same with PCs. You do not need to search for old PCs if you have a tight budget, you can expect PCs which specially designed for people like you.
Computer companies know people have different objectives. There are people who buy new computers for games but there are also people who buy new computers for their jobs. However, there are too many products released every day so I think the best option for you is to search in the internet what suits you most. It will be pretty hard and very time consuming for you if you try “traditional way” (i.e.: go to mall and search for new computer, etc.). Buying new electronic products online is the most effective way at the moment.