The average laptop lasts three to five years, at best. Sometimes it’s even less, and sometimes it’s a bit more depending on how well you take care of it and spend on it initially. With that said, everyone has to buy a new laptop at some point or another.
And provided you aren’t buying a laptop in an emergency because your last one got lost, broken, or otherwise, you have time to make a thorough and educated decision. Knowing how to buy a laptop is important in many ways.
You don’t want to waste your money, which is usually thousands of dollars for a quality computer. And you don’t want to waste your time looking for another one if your initial purchase doesn’t suit your needs.
A laptop should be something you consider carefully and do your due diligence before placing your order. Use these tips for buying a laptop and you’ll be sure to pick out the right computer for you.
1. Your Perfect Platform
When you’re buying a laptop, you’re also choosing the operating system it uses, whether that’s Windows, Apple, or Chrome. Windows works on the widest array of laptops, while Chrome and Apple are more specific.
You may have previously worked with one operating system and want to stick with the same one, or you may try switching it up. It is a good idea to explore all your options and try out the different ones just to see what they can do before you buy a laptop of your own.
Each operating system will have its pros and cons, and it’s best to choose the one that liens up with what you need your laptop for. You may also prefer a certain laptop style, which could limit your operating system choice.
2. Two Tools, One Laptop
One of the main laptop benefits is their portability, as well as their flexibility. There are many types of laptops and now you don’t have to choose between a tablet or a laptop. You can get both in one machine.
If you know you will need to use a lot of visuals, need to draw, or prefer handwritten notes, choosing a laptop that can convert into a tablet could be a perfect fit. But if you don’t need one, check off your other boxes before looking at those so you don’t miss any crucial aspects because you went for something more new and exciting.
3. Size Does Matter
Will you travel a lot with your laptop? Or are you using it as a desktop and working from home? Laptops come in many different weights and sizes, and sometimes the screen size is important.
It can be helpful to pop into a store that sells laptops to get an idea of the right screen size for you and compare different ones side by side. You may also want to pack your back with the weight of your top choice and see how it feels to carry it around.
4. All Hands On Deck
Purchasing a laptop can be done online, but it’s a good idea to test it out in person if you can. The feeling of a touchpad and keyboard can make or break the experience of using the laptop.
Some touchpads work exactly how you want them, while others won’t do the trick. And a keyboard is crucial for using a laptop. You want to ensure it’s the right size and feel for daily use.
5. What’s Your Budget
Laptops come in a huge range of prices. You can find basic models for a few hundred bucks or spend thousands on the most advanced options. Be clear with how much you want to spend before you start shopping.
Some laptops need additional accessories that will cost you. Are you going to need Microsoft Office or other applications along with your laptop? How about a mouse and mousepad?
6. What’s Your Brand
Looking at brands doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with brand loyalty. Some brands will focus on certain aspects like creative projects or good for data processing or gaming. And some brands last longer than others.
Look into the top brands available and what they specialize in. A laptop is an investment, so choose one that will last and work well for you while you have it.
7. Special Specifications
Laptops come will all kinds of specs, and you don’t need to understand all of them to buy a laptop, but learning some of the basic terminologies can help. Knowing how much RAM you want, as well as storage and battery life, will get you a better fit.
8. What For?
If some of these questions leave you longing for an easy answer, you might have one. Before you run out to buy a laptop, make a list of what you’ll use your laptop for. You may not need a ton of storage but would prefer a smaller laptop that travels easily because you’ll only use it while on the move.
Maybe your laptop is your whole life and you need one that can handle everything you throw at. Do you prefer to work away from home? Having a long battery life could save you a lot of trouble.
If you don’t know what you’re purchasing a laptop for, it can be challenging to choose from many of the above choices. A laptop is meant to be used, and with so many types of laptops, you’re guaranteed to find one that suits your purpose for the purchase.
9. The Process and the Power
Before you learn all about laptop benefits and why this model is the best, know some of the technical terms so you understand if it is the best. Understand different processors and what they have to offer. You aren’t only choosing an operating system, but a processor as well.
The processor, sometimes referred to as the chip or CPU, will determine how much power and work your laptop can handle. You will either buy a laptop with an Intel or an AMD processor. Each has its own naming system for the different options of power.
For Intel, it ranges from a Core i3 to a Core i9. If you want to use your laptop to do basic things like surfing the web and using Microsoft word, you should be fine with an i5. Upgrading to a higher power can be great, but it will shorten your battery life. For more processor details, you can read about it here and learn how improvements are happening all the time to make laptops more powerful.
10. Extra Tools
Will you be using your laptop to conduct zoom calls or chat with family? If so, you’ll want to make sure a camera is present if you don’t want to be hooking in an old one on top. And what about movies and CDs?
Not a lot of laptops are made with disk drives anymore, and some have limited ports where you can plug things in like a mouse or a USB. Check on these extra things you might want with your laptop before you buy. They’re easy to forget or overlook but can be a big pain once you realize they’re missing.
11. So Many Shops
The final tip to finding your dream laptop is about being smart where you shop. You can buy a laptop directly from the manufacturer, or you can buy it from another seller like Best Buy or off of Amazon. There are pros and cons to both options.
Shopping in a store lets you try out the laptops and feel them. You can get hands-on experience, but a limited selection since shops don’t always have the specs you want. Shopping online allows you to get the specific laptop you want, but you won’t know how it really looks and feels until it arrives at your door.
If you have the time and want to feel certain about purchasing a laptop, go to stores in your area, both an apple store and a general tech store like Best Buy or Microcenter, and try out the different types of laptops. Note the prices and then compare the ones you liked to their online counterparts.
When you have made your choice and know the specs you want, you can decide based on if you can get it in a store and want it right away if it needs to be specially ordered due to customizations.
How to Buy a Laptop
Knowing how to buy a laptop ensures that you get it right the first time, and can hit the ground running. Buying the right laptop is especially important if you need it for work or any time-sensitive project that you could be working on right away.
Taking the extra time to make the right choice will save you a lot of time in the future. Make a list of what you need before purchasing a laptop, do your research, and you’ll be working away on a new computer in no time. And if you found this helpful in getting you ready for your new device, keep reading for more insightful info.