Are you in the market for a new laptop?
If so, you may be wondering where to start. There are so many different laptops on the market, it can be hard to know which one is right for you. Not to worry – this laptop buying guide will help make the process a little easier.
In this guide, we’ll provide 10 tips to help you choose the best laptop for your needs. So, whether you’re looking for a powerful workhorse or a versatile multimedia device, read on for what you need to know!
Laptop Buying Guide: How to buy a laptop and what to look for
1) Make a list of what you want to use it for
A laptop can be functional in many ways, especially with the increasing reliance on them. However, if you are looking for something that does more than just function as a large tablet or is different from your standard laptop, then you will need to spend some time figuring out what you want yours to do.
Making your own list of what you intend to use it for, will help determine which features are necessary and which ones aren’t. For instance, if all you plan on doing is typing up documents and playing games during breaks at work, then having one with an independent graphics card might not be essential – but if this is your primary machine for working purposes, then it would be best to invest in one with an integrated graphics card.
2) Learn about your hardware options
When you’re looking at laptops, it’s important to know what the different hardware components do so that you can learn how they will affect the overall performance of your machine. Not each laptop has the same specifications, so if you are considering specific models, then take time to research which one is right for your needs.
Someones have faster processors than others and some might come with more memory or an increased storage capacity. While that might be useful later on, most people tend to focus more on the processor that they choose because it largely determines the speed and this is an area where many laptops lack compared to desktops. Expert tip: When buying a laptop, make sure to look for one with DDR4 or DDR5 RAM.
3) Know your budget (Cheap or Spendable)
Regardless of what you intend to use it for, how much you can afford will always play a role in the final decision on which model is right for you. If you know how much money you are willing to spend on your new machine then that will save time because it’ll be easier to narrow down your search that way. While there are many good cheap laptops on the market, sometimes spending more affords better specs and an overall improved experience.
4) Consider all available operating systems
While Microsoft Windows has typically been the most popular OS among users, some laptops come preinstalled with other types of software. Apple devices are built to work with its proprietary macOS system while Google’s Chromebooks are designed to work best on Chrome OS, so keep in mind what type of software you’ll need when making your purchase. This is important because if you have no experience using other types of systems, then the learning curve might be a little bit steep and might even make using your laptop more difficult.
Video Explanation: How to buy a laptop
5) Research the brand before buying
The brand has a lot to say about how good or bad a laptop is going to be, especially for common brands such as Apple or Sony. While there might not always be an explanation available online – which can sometimes lead people into thinking that they’re getting ripped off – it’s generally recommended that you stay away from less popular brands because they use low-quality parts and tend to break easily. Instead, finding one with a brand name that you trust will ensure that the laptop is built to last without an expensive repair bill on your end.
Expert tip: If you’re looking for laptops under $500, make sure to take a look at Lenovo Ideapad laptops which are available in many models and configurations.
6) Look for additional warranties or after-sales support
In addition to the standard warranty, some laptop manufacturers also provide additional services such as ongoing technical assistance and part replacement during a set period of time post-purchase.
7) Check to see if it’s upgradable
In some cases, large laptop manufacturers sell laptops that have been pre-loaded with extra hardware that can’t be changed – even though it might look like you can add more memory or replace other components. If this is something that you’re thinking about doing in the future, then it would be best to find a model where these parts are easily accessible and easy to upgrade yourself whenever necessary – which will save you time and money later on.
8) Look up the device’s history online
Before you purchase a laptop from a smaller store, make sure to take a quick look at its history so that you don’t get scammed or purchase one that was stolen. You can do this by either trying to find the serial number and entering it online to see if it shows up as being reported missing, but another way is to try looking for reviews from previous buyers. This is a quick and easy way of knowing whether or not you’re getting a good deal because other customers will often mention what type of problems they’ve had with their machines.
Expert tip: The Acer Aspire E 15 has been tested extensively by many industry experts, including Notebookcheck, TechRadar, Laptop Mag & Tom’s Guide. All have ranked it highly in terms of its value for money and sturdiness, making it a great choice when looking for laptops under $500.
9) Find out what the laptop is made of
In some cases, laptops can be built from very cheap parts which might not hold up to everyday wear and tear. While this isn’t a problem if you’re just looking for a temporary laptop that you plan on replacing after a couple of years, it’s important that you find out what type of materials were used in order to prevent wasting your money since they tend to break more easily or need constant maintenance.
10) Make sure it has all the necessary ports for connectivity
As newer models are released with sleeker designs, manufacturers often make the mistake of removing ports from older inventory in order to reduce their size. This generally leads people into thinking that they’ll need to purchase an adapter of some sort in order to use their peripherals but it can often be avoided by doing a quick research beforehand.
As technology moves forward, more and more laptops are ditching standard USB ports as well as other connection types such as VGA and Ethernet – which means that buying only the computer itself might not give you everything needed for your daily work.
Expert tip: When looking for laptops under $500, make sure you avoid those with low USB 2.0 port (480 Mbps) or USB 3.0 port (5 Gbps) speeds which might limit future connectivity options further down the line like eSATA, ExpressCard, Firewire & 1394.
TIP: Remember that Acer laptops in the Aspire series have a great history of being both stylish and dependable.
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This post was originally published on 22, January 2022, but according to new information stuff, this post is updated frequently.