In 2016, 77% of American households said they used laptops. Fast forward 5 years, and you can bet that many more households have joined the ranks.
While you might’ve used laptops before, buying one can be mindboggling. So if you’re getting one in the near future for your household, you might be scratching your head a bit.
But not to worry, as we’re here to help. Here’s what to consider when buying a laptop so you get the most bang for your buck!
One of the first things you should think about is what size laptop you want. While the main selling point of a laptop is its portability, some people do enjoy being mostly stationary with theirs.
So take your lifestyle into account. Are you always on the move or do you mainly stay at home? If it’s the former, you might want to go with a smaller laptop so you’re not lugging around a brick wherever you go.
You’ll also want to think about what you’re doing on the laptop. For instance, if all you’re doing is checking your internet, doing some browser searches, and reading Reddit, then you don’t need a very big laptop screen. However, if you’re doing detailed art, watching high-def movies, or playing video games a lot, then a bigger laptop screen is more optimal.
Do keep in mind that in general, larger laptops will be more expensive. So if you’re on a budget, smaller laptops will be cheaper.
On that note, you’ll also want to double-check the laptop’s weight. Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean heavier!
Nowadays, there’s tech out there that enables you to buy paper-thin laptops that still have big screens but don’t weigh a ton. On the other hand, there are still some thicker and heavier laptops that are on the small side.
So when it comes to what to look for when buying a laptop, don’t forget to take a look at the weight as well. For those who want a lightweight device, stick to 3 pounds or under. 4 pounds is about average, and anything over 5 will be heavy.
Not all laptops are created equally when it comes to battery life. You’ll get some that can last literally half a day (or more!) and you’ll also get some that won’t last over 5 hours.
Again, you’ll need to consider your lifestyle here. If you’re always on the go and want to only bring the minimum amount of things with you, you’ll want to buy a laptop that has incredible battery life so you won’t have to bring around the AC adapter. But if you’re always at home, then a laptop with mediocre battery life might be acceptable, as you’ll be plugged in all the time anyway.
Mac vs Windows
Macs and Windows laptops are 2 very different beasts. For one, they have different operating systems, so you might want to stick with the one you’re familiar with.
However, in some cases, it might be beneficial to switch OSes. For example, let’s say you’re familiar with Windows but are in an artistic industry. Macs are incredibly good for art programs, so it’ll pay off to learn this different OS.
Otherwise, in general, the OS that most people go with is Windows, so if you want a safe choice, go with that.
Type of Laptop
We already discussed size and weight earlier. However, there are actually a few different types of laptops out there. Of course, there’s the traditional laptop.
But you can also get something called a 2-in-1, where it converts between the traditional mode and tablet mode. This can be very useful if you need to use your laptop to take handwritten notes or draw on. It’s one of the best types of laptops to get.
You can also opt for a notebook or netbook. Notebooks are smaller laptops with less features, and netbooks are even smaller and even more basic, which means these are great for people on a budget who don’t need powerful devices.
There are several specs that come with laptops. They are:
- Central processing unit (CPU)
- Graphics processing unit (GPU)
- Random access memory (RAM)
- Storage drive
When it comes to the CPU, you want to get something that’s decent. Otherwise, you’re going to get frustrated with your laptop. Most people choose Intel CPUs as they’re affordable and reliable.
For the GPU, if you’re not doing anything graphics intensive, you should be fine with a basic GPU. Otherwise, aim for AMD or NVIDIA GPUs.
With RAM, you want at least 8 GB. Ultra-cheap laptops will have 4 GB of RAM, but we highly recommend paying a little extra for a minimum of 8 GB. For those who need more power, go for 32 or 64.
Lastly, opt for a solid state driver (SSD) instead of a hard drive if you can. It’ll be pricier, but your laptop will run much smoother and faster!
Some laptops will give you the option for it to come with the complete bare minimum. This means you get to spend as little money as possible and you won’t be bothered with a bunch of random extras.
But for some people, they like extras! In this case, it might be worth it to explore your options and see if it’s worth it.
For example, how much is Apple Care? What does it do and is it worth the money spent? If you’re not sure after reading the descriptions, maybe Google the add-on you’re looking at to see what other consumers have to say.
Know What to Consider When Buying a Laptop
After reading this article, you should now have a good idea of what to consider when buying a laptop. This ensures that your money is well spent. Laptops aren’t cheap, after all!
Make sure you don’t rush the laptop buying process. While you might need one desperately, it’s worth taking your time to explore the specs of each one and to test them out as well. Trust us, your wallet will thank you for doing so!
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