A new PC isn’t just a tool: it’s a way to ignite your passions and discover a world of exciting new hobbies and pastimes.
Whether you’re a budding photographer, YouTube star in training, or planning on creating the next Minecraft, your PC can help you get there.
In fact, it might even help you discover a new passion – read on to find out how.
These days, it’s easier than ever to take great photos – and whether you’re shooting on a smartphone or taking things more seriously with a proper DSLR, a well-equipped PC will help your pictures look their best.
From simple crops and rotation to creative and eye-catching special effects, a PC gives you huge scope to express yourself
Adobe Photoshop is well known as the industry-standard photo editing software – but you can get similarly impressive results without spending a penny by using GIMP, also known as the GNU Image Manipulation Program.
For quicker results that still look great, web-based image editors like Fotor let you get creative without even needing to download any extra software.
Finally, when it comes to storing and organising your photos, Google Photos will automatically back up your photos and make it easy to search through them with its powerful automatic image recognition and tagging. It’s got an easy to use app for PC, which you can find here – and you can also install it on your Android and iOS devices to keep all your pictures in one place.
If you’re a budding blogger, junior journalist or novice novelist, there’s no better companion than a laptop.
For finishing up those drafts, Docs, Google’s web-based word processor, makes it easy to create, edit and share documents from any web browser. It’s a great free, general-purpose replacement for Microsoft Word – but there are also some fantastic specialist options:
FocusWriter is a simple and stripped-down app that helps you keep your mind on your work by eliminating distractions – even hiding your other apps to keep you on track.
If you’re interested in making leaflets, pamphlets and other stuff for print, Scribus is a powerful and versatile page layout program – and it’s entirely free. Rivalling the industry-standard Adobe InDesign, it’s a great way to get professional results.
Today, YouTube stars and vloggers are some of the biggest celebrities in the world. But all you need to get involved yourself is a laptop with a webcam, a YouTube channel – and something to say!
But to really make an impact, you’ll want to make some creative edits. Windows 10 comes with an awesome program called ‘Story Remix’, which replaces the much-loved Windows Movie Maker. With this, it’s easy to combine video clips, photos and music into brilliant home movies.
As you shoot more and more video, though, you may find that your phone or built-in webcam aren’t quite up to the job.
If that’s the case, a full-HD webcam like the Logitech Pro C920 can give your videos a professional, high-res sheen.
Gaming has never been as popular, or accessible, as it is today. Games aren’t just for kids any more, and today’s games offer something for everyone – whether you’re after fierce action, cerebral puzzles or a rich, involving storyline.
If multiplayer action’s your thing, you’ll find thousands of potential players with Steam, the immensely popular PC gaming storefront and social network. Not only can you grab massive discounts on all kinds of PC games, but you’ll also find a ready-made network of friends and fans to get involved with.
But whatever you’re into, one of the great advantages of PC gaming is that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get involved. Hobbyist developers and programmers make all kinds of games available for free – and every month, we publish our pick of the best free PC games available.
Finally, a new PC is a great way to get involved with one of the most creative, challenging and rewarding hobbies: coding.
Coding is how apps, games and web pages are made, and it’s a skill highly sought after by employers. But it’s also a deeply engaging and fun pastime – combining the satisfaction of solving challenging problems with the pleasure of creating something entirely new.
For kids, Minecraft Hour of Code teaches them the basics in a way that’s easy, accessible and fun – and fully themed around the popular block-building video game.
Older kids and adults, on the other hand, can go a long way with Codecademy – a free online course with interactive lessons for 12 different programming languages.