Laptops are cheaper and offer more features than ever before. Know what you’re looking for – and what you’re buying – before you visit a retailer or buy online.
What do you need in a laptop?
Is your purchase related to business, school, personal use or both? This is the first topic you need to consider before you go shopping for a new laptop. You don’t need to be tech-savvy to decide how you plan to use your new laptop. Laptops for students or school use may not require all the computing power of a laptop geared to specialty work. But assuming your school laptop will do everything your desktop computer did can be a costly mistake.
Review your needs and catalog the software you’ll use. If the laptop, as an example, will use typical office productivity, retrieve your e-mail and do the usual internet browsing, extra money paid for super fast processors and heavy-duty graphics will be wasted.
On the other hand, if you plan to use special work related programs or graphics design, image manipulation or engineering software consider laptop with more processing power and graphics or video card resources. Plan to do some online gaming? Many gaming sites will let you do a quick diagnostic online to tell you if your new laptop can play their games.
Do some shopping in advance
There are multiple websites geared to laptop users, and all usually offer solid reviews of new laptop models and their pros and cons.
Choosing the right hardware
Every laptop is simply a mobile computer with a processor, hard drive, optical drive (CD or DVD), RAM, video card and a variety of USB and other ports.
Make sure you understand exactly what your new laptop offers; manufacturers are constantly changing options and laptops don’t offer the ease of upgradeability that a desktop computer has.
One of the most important considerations when buying your laptop is battery life. There’s nothing more frustrating than losing use of your laptop after only 90 minutes of use, or having to pay an extra $100 or much more for a heavy-duty battery.
What you see is what you get – period
Retail stores all typically negotiate large purchases of specific laptop models because it lowers their costs and increases profits. Unfortunately, it also means you’re buying whatever model and configuration that’s available and can’t customize your purchase.
This can be a mistake when you find you’re running out of room on your new hard drive, didn’t buy the DVD burner you thought you had, find you’re lacking a needed USB port, or have to pay more for extra RAM.
Another option is buying online
While store purchase allow you to see, feel and use your new laptop before you buy, online purchases can be allow you to buy the model you like with customized benefits such as larger drives or more onboard RAM. Be sure to buy from a reputable online source, and make sure you’ll receive the manufacturer’s warranty.
The hidden cost of software
It’s rare nowadays to be able to use any computer without some sort of software besides Windows 7 or Apple’s MAC OS X. Buying software when you purchase a laptop can mean you’re paying full retail when a little shopping online can save you 25% maybe more.
You don’t need to be a technophobe to make the right purchase of your new laptop. Following these guidelines and doing some advance research is surprisingly simple and will make your next technology purchase a rewarding one.