TMCnet Feature
November 25, 2020

Laptop Buying Guide - 4 Crucial Things to Consider before buying a Laptop

The laptop market is saturated with choices, so finding the right device to buy is no easy task. The vast number of makes, models, and features can quickly lead to decision fatigue, which often results in people purchasing a device that isn’t the most optimum.



However, knowing what to look for when buying a laptop can help get you started on the right foot. This will narrow down the list of choices based on your own requirements, which will hopefully end up making the final decision easier. Here are four things to consider when buying a laptop.

Budget

The most important thing to decide when buying a new laptop is how much you are willing to spend. You need to think of a reasonable budget based on what you can afford before you search for anything. Once you have a figure in mind, you can start to find out what you can get for your money.

One of the easiest ways to do this is by comparing different laptops and their prices on comparison sites. The best comparison sites understand that not everyone wants to blow their entire wage on a new laptop, and instead offer a range of options and prices. For example, LaptopUnboxed specializes in helping you find laptops and accessories based on your own budget and requirements. You can immediately start viewing products that are affordable and relevant.

However, just remember to adjust your expectations accordingly. More powerful devices with high-end specs will end up costing you more. Selecting something more affordable may mean sacrificing these features (but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as we explain later).

Storage

The last thing you want to do is run out of space for your photos, videos, music and documents. For that reason, it’s better to have too much storage than too little. However, people sometimes go way overboard by choosing a laptop with terabytes of storage space which often isn’t needed.

Unfortunately, there is no calculator to give you an exact figure of what you need. Yet, terabytes will most likely only be necessary if you are a keen online gamer, photographer or other data-heavy hobbyist. Anyone with a decent-sized music/movie library should calculate the total amount of space they require beforehand. However, remember that this only applies to media stored locally on your computer. On-demand streaming services like Spotify (News - Alert) and Netflix do not require storage space, unless you choose to download anything for offline playback - such as when taking a flight.

There are also other ways to store your own files, such as via cloud-based services like Google (News - Alert) Drive, OneDrive, and Dropbox. You can create a free account to get several gigabytes of extra storage at these platforms, which you can then access from multiple devices.

The one thing to remember about your laptop’s storage space is that some of it will be taken up by the operating system and possibly some other necessary files. This will result in less personal space being available. For example, a laptop advertised to have 256GB may only have 240GB available for you to use.

The one thing we do recommend is to buy a laptop with a solid-state drive (SSD) over one that uses a hard-disk drive (HDD) - if you can find one within your budget. That’s because an SSD has many benefits, such as being much faster and better for battery life. One of the few issues is that an SSD is more expensive than an HDD - but prices have dropped considerably in recent years and continue to do so. It’s well worth the upgrade if you can afford it.

Stewart Dunlop, CEO of PPCGenius says “It totally depends on what you want to do with your laptop. Being a CEO of a company, I usually use my laptop for simple tasks like checking emails and using a web browser then just about anything should be fitting. But for my graphic design team, they need to do a lots of graphic design work or need to run many programs at once, then you will want a laptop that can handle that. For my development team they need a laptop for more intensive needs; a laptop with a good processor, a solid state drive (SSD), and enough RAM (News - Alert) to meet development needs”
 

Specifications

The temptation to go for a powerful laptop with top-of-the-range specs is obvious. However, as we mentioned above, this often requires you to spend more money. Whether you actually need the added power or not depends on what you are planning to do.

If you are looking to play blockbuster games with high-quality graphics, it’s a must. It’s also necessary if you are thinking of doing any large photo or video editing, especially the latter. That’s because these tasks will put a lot of strain on your laptop’s resources. You’ll need to consider CPUs, GPUs, RAM and other specs.

However, these are very particular circumstances that will not apply to many people buying a laptop. For example, if you are planning on playing a few online games through your browser, you do not need top-of-the-range specs. Likewise, if your photo editing consists of using Microsoft (News - Alert) Paint every now and then, pretty much all laptops will be able to handle that.

Browsing the internet, writing word documents, watching YouTube and Netflix, and other common tasks should not be an issue either. Most new laptops will have pretty decent specs as a standard, so these kinds of tasks should be performed relatively easily.

Size and Weight

It goes without saying that the primary advantage of buying a laptop over a desktop is portability. Being able to carry your laptop around is probably why you’re getting one in the first place. However, this means there are a few more points to consider - such as how big the laptop is and how much it weighs.

For instance, the size of the screen needs to be balanced. It should hopefully provide enough space for your activities without proving to be a hindrance when carrying it around. Larger screens naturally add weight, while they can also be difficult to fit into bags. On the other hand, smaller screens can make certain tasks feel cramped, with large spreadsheets being trickier to navigate, for example.

Thin laptops also tend to be naturally lighter. Over the past few years, manufacturers have been able to remove CD/DVD drives in newer models, as the world begins to rely less on optical discs for data storage. This has made a huge impact on design as laptops can now be compressed to much thinner dimensions without compromising a vital feature.

“The size and build of the laptop is an essential factor to consider before buying a laptop usually because it becomes quite easy and convenient to carry a small laptop in your bag than big or bulky machines. If you are a student and think to buy a laptop for you to carry it around your school or college, then it is crucial to buy a laptop that can easily be carried around” says Mark Condon from Shotkit.

However, you may have issues getting rid of other features. For example, an Ethernet port generally requires a thicker design, but this kind of wired connection to the internet may be more preferential than Wi-Fi, or even necessary in some cases. To help you decide the optimum balance between size and weight, there’s a useful guide by LG. It explains the different kinds of laptop designs available along with a few examples of real-life scenarios to consider.

Author Name and Bio

Ray Jonathan is the Founder of Link Aloud. He is in Digital Marketing Industry for 5+ years



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