7 Tips for Buying a Laptop
- 1 7 Tips for Buying a Laptop
What is the Best Laptop Brand?
Your first quest should be to choose a brand. There are over a dozen major manufacturers of laptops, each with scores of models across classes. If you do not zero in on a brand or two at the outset, you will have hundreds of different laptops in consideration, of which over twenty will easily fall within your budget and qualify as per your preferred specifications.
Choosing a brand will help you to focus on a few models and then you can embark on extensive comparison. Comparing twenty or thirty laptops is not easy and you may not be decisive.
Lenovo, HP, Dell, Acer and Asus are the top five laptop brands right now, followed by Microsoft and Apple. The ranking change on the basis of popularity, i.e. sales, and the specifications of the models rolled out each year.
Your primary purpose of buying a laptop should influence the choice of brand. Lenovo is great for professionals, so is HP and Acer. Dell has better gaming laptops. Asus is a more affordable brand among these five.
Both Apple and Microsoft make laptops for professionals and students. Their sales are down compared to the top five over the last year or so but their laptops are by no means inferior.
Features of a Good Laptop
There is no standard approach to determine the features of a good laptop. Your purpose shall demand certain features and you must have them in the model you choose. In a more generic sense, you should look for Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD. These are the minimum specs you must have in a laptop.
There are many laptops with inferior specs or more modest features but they will become dated in some time. You do not want to invest in a laptop that will be outdated in a few months or a year.
You may go for Core i7, which is more advanced but also pricier. You can always go for more than 256GB SSD and the models will be costlier. You should have a screen with a 1080p display.
The resolution should be 1920 pixels by 1080 pixels or better. This is what is known as full HD. The battery life of a laptop should be eight hours. This is the minimum requirement. It should be noted that gaming laptops rarely have such long battery life as they consume much more power.
Things to Consider before Buying a Laptop
You must have a lucid idea of everything that you will be doing on a laptop. Kids will do fine with Chromebooks. Students will struggle and professionals will find such laptops to be futile.
Those who need advanced computing power should go for Mac OS or Windows Professional. The operating system will determine the prowess of a laptop, of course depending on the sheer might of the hardware.
Functionality and processing power of laptops depend on hardware and software. You must know the exact tasks you have to perform in order to conduct a relevant comparison of different laptops. Your choice of brand will also be partly influenced by these tasks.
Ideal Size & Weight of a Laptop
Laptops can have screens as small as eleven inches or as large as seventeen inches. Both are extremes and you may not find either suitable. Eleven inches laptops are basically notebooks. They are very light and effortlessly portable.
However, you will struggle with the small screen. Most people find the range of thirteen inches to fifteen inches to be ideal. These are mid-weight laptops. Sixteen or seventeen inches laptops are basically just a tad short of desktop versions.
These are great if you do not intend to carry them around. Many people need such larger screens, especially animators, designers, editors and gamers. The weight is proportional to the size and form.
Thirteen to fourteen inches laptops weigh less than four pounds. Fifteen inches laptops weigh between four and six pounds, at times slightly more.
Questions to Ask when Buying a Laptop
One of the first and perhaps the most imperative questions when buying a laptop pertains to the warranty. While it is easy to figure out the duration of the warranty, you must delve deep into what the policy covers. You must know which components, what kinds of damages and the extent to which your laptop will be repaired without any charges. Also ask about an annual maintenance contract or an extended warranty.
Prioritize All Essential Features of a Laptop
A laptop is not just about the processor, memory and storage. You must check out the graphics processor and its specs. You should assess the quality of speakers, the layout of the keypad, quality of the touchpad, wireless connectivity, ports and the range of drivers that are preloaded, the built-in operating system and the software that are included in the price. Many brands provide one year subscription of an antivirus, perhaps an antimalware too, with the purchase. Not all models of laptops will have such inclusions. You need to delve into these details as they are essential features of any laptop.
Avoid Fancy Features Unless Necessary
There are laptops that come with touch screens. There are detachable laptops available today. These are fancy features that are still not necessary for most people who have to work on their laptops every day. Some people find these features useful. You can consider such models only if you will use the detachable or touch screen attribute.
Otherwise you are just going to spend more money on these accessories for no productive reason. Conventional designs are much more durable and you will want to use the laptop for a few years before you can consider an upgrade.