Top 7 tips to consider when buying a new laptop
Is there a right laptop that can fit every user’s needs in the long term?
Laptops are considered a basic need/or a basic necessity in the world today transitioning from the traditional static desktops. Unfortunately, some people invest in buying laptops without paying attention to the priority features and end up incurring financial losses and wastage of time in their quest to identify the laptop that can fit their needs.
When buying a laptop, you may want to consider the following factors to ensure your investment is worthwhile:
- Screen size and type
If you are a frequent work traveler and rarely work from a permanent office desk setting, identifying the right screen size is crucial. 12.5 Inch, 13.3 Inch
or even 14-inch screen size is ideal for you. The most common screen size is a 15.6 Inch and 17 Inch which is deal for gamers and movie lovers.
Supposing you spend long hours in front of your screen, then you definitely don’t need a touch screen laptop as they have glossy screens that lead to reflections hence uncomfortable to the eyes.
A high resolution (full HD) screen is recommended in case you need enough space to line up windows and keep things in view. IPS (In-plane switching) technology gives you a wide viewing angle and best user comfort
- Processor (CPU)
This is the main part that defines the processing speed of all tasks in a laptop –surfing the web, video editing, playing games and all other processor intensive tasks. When buying a laptop think of Core i3, core i5 or core i7. Core i3 is the entry level processor whereas core i5 makes up the majority of mainstream PCs.
Core i7 based laptops offer the best performance. Please note that in case you use your laptop on your lap most of the time then the heat coming from the base of the laptop can be a cause for concern.
A laptop’s portability convenience is highly dependent on a decent battery life to work anywhere. Batteries come in 2 cell, 3 cell, 4 cell, 6 cell (commonly) and even 9 cell. Power consumption is highly dependent the screen size, screen brightness, resolution and the kind of tasks running. Online video streaming and transfer of loads of files via the wireless network drains your battery faster.
- RAM (Random Access Memory)
For smooth operation of all tasks, it’s recommended to have a laptop with at least 4GB RAM. For processing intensive tasks like video editing and graphics design you might need higher than 4 GB RAM.
Apart from the RAM size, also the type is important in defining speed. The latest DDR4 RAM runs on a faster frequency than DDR3 RAM.
The normal hard drives are no longer in use especially in thin laptops due to their low speeds, somewhat bulkiness and production of noticeable heat and noise. Solid State Drive (SSD), on the other hand, has a lot more speed than a hard drive, runs silently and doesn’t add too much weight and bulk in the laptop.
SSDs have two main downsides; they don’t offer as much capacity since you’ll find them in 125GB, 256GB and 512 GB in sizes. They are expensive too. However, with an SSD laptop you’ll get to enjoy crazy speeds in loading programs, accessing your data and you’ll also be amazed at how quickly you can boot up your system.
- Build Quality
With our current lifestyles of multitasking you can never be more careful, laptops get liquid spillages or even get dropped. We have ruggedized laptops that can withstand rain, dust and even dropping shocks and some are built especially for brutal educational environments and even military-grade protection.
- Warranty and after sales Service
Before buying a laptop ensure that the brand has warranty and most importantly a warranty center in your city.
Importing unique brands from other countries might bring you challenges in case of warranty related claims. After sales services like repairs, part replacements and complementary accessories like docking stations are crucial. You can also choose to buy warranty extension periods or insure your laptop.
Other key factors to consider may include: availability of your ideal ports like USB 3.0, HDMI port, serial port etc. Know the amount you are willing to spend/ budget in advance as it helps in your long term projections on durability, reliability and convenience that comes with your laptop investment. Striking the balance is a choice one should make from an informed point of view.