Even if you have had a few laptops in your life and you know what features are important to you, that does not mean that you are protected from common laptop buying mistakes.
We are all fascinated by the beautiful design and high-end functionality. It is not an art to buy the most expensive technique with the inability to find the right usage for it. The art is to buy exactly what we need.
This guide will give you a small, pragmatic insight into what to look, when buying a laptop.
Let's list the common buying errors and discuss them.
1. Is it worth to choose the lowest price?
There are some great budget-grade laptops, but the fact that they are cheap doesn't mean they will provide the functionality you need. Budget-class laptops are mostly bundled with just their basic functions, but they will be too weak for professional work. They may have very poorly integrated cooling systems and, under high loads, they will heat and work very slowly.
Let's take the example of choosing between a dual-core and quad-core processor. Let’s say, that you would like to work on multiple programs at the same time, choosing a dual-core processor will make your computer sluggish and unable to handle many different streams of information at the same time. You will purchase a laptop that is not powerful enough and will not be able to meet the needs you need - it will become a big problem in your daily life and will cause you all the stress.
Instead of always choosing the lowest price, it is important to understand your needs and match them to your existing budget.
2. Is It Worth to Overpay?
As opposed to the "cheap" laptops mentioned above, the best laptops in the world may have been designed with the best features and functions, but if you pay for the parameters, that are not needed, you will simply spend your money useless.
Let's say you have a laptop, expensive with many different features, and its parameters go beyond what you need. Let's take the example of a MacBook Pro with the highest parameters. It can cost around 6000 EUR - but very rarely will anyone need a 4TB hard drive (data storage). Buying a computer with a smaller hard drive can save you quite a bit of money. And if you need to, you'll always be able to purchase additional storage (both external hard drive and upgrade).
Gaming laptops are also relatively expensive, but if you only play Indie games, you won't need all of these features.
Buy what you need and try to reasonably evaluate the funds you invest.
3. Should I Buy a Laptop for "Today"?
This is an old question, but it is still true and the answer is:
- "If we just think about today, it won't be relevant tomorrow"
However, let us not focus on the conclusions. Unless you're obsessed with buying the latest technology. A new laptop should last at least a few years. Purchasing a computer with a lifetime reserve will do this, as if you were paying a little more at the time, so you can save money in the long run on purchasing a new computer.
In conclusion, it would be a good idea to buy a laptop with a reserved amount of time further, so that it can serve you for at least a couple of years without additional investment.
More this and that…
At the same time, you might be tempted to choose a base model due to its low price with, for example, 4 GB RAM and 128 GB solid state drive (SSD). However, with such parameters, the computer is too weak for today's requirements, because it will quickly get a full hard disk and will be too weak to handle multiple programs at once.
For today's requirements, it would be desirable to purchase a laptop with more RAM and a hard disk drive (SSD).
4. Interface, port compatibility, and card readers - should this be ignored?
Not all laptops have all the necessary ports that will work for you. Many modern laptops, such as the Dell XPS 13, only have Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C ports. If you need a USB-A or SD card reader, make sure the laptop you select has all the ports you need.
Of course, there are all possible transitions available today, from VGA to Type-C and alike, as well as external card readers, but this will save you time and money on purchasing additional devices.
5. Screen Resolution -should you buy the Highest one?
Devices that boast 4K, 5K, 8K (and are starting to appear on 10K displays) definitely deserve more than a glance.
Although smaller screens do not allow you to fully enjoy the benefits of high definition, so this will not always be the best option, especially for a laptop. Worse, such high-resolution displays can greatly affect your device's battery life. Many 4K laptops have low battery life and you won't notice the difference in everyday tasks unless it is a high-end gaming laptop, heavy and with a huge screen.
But as you understand, we want to focus primarily on optimizing laptop functionality, mobility and ease of use.
6. Do I need to try before buying?
If this is the case, always make a good "test drive" of your laptop before buying.
Many everyday laptops are available for testing in shops, allowing you to try the touchpad, keyboard, software interface and other components that can vary greatly from model to model.
It is difficult to notice features that are not included in the specification, such as touchpad responsiveness or the visibility of a glossy screen in daylight, and there is no better way to test than real feelings and empirical experience.
7. Does size matter?
Size is important, especially when it comes to laptop. The bigger the display, the better the viewing experience, and yet it affects the convenience of mobility - with a large screen the laptop will be heavier and take up more space in your carry-on luggage.
The size of your laptop often also determines the size of your keyboard and touch-pad. This means that you may be uncomfortable with a laptop that is smaller than 13 inches.
The best way to understand what is needed is to build your expectation on your past experience. A smaller computer may be the best option for travelers, but those looking for a standard laptop will prefer 13.3 or 14 inches. … And yet the most optimal screen size is about 15 inches.
8. To become obsessed with one thing?
Tunnel vision (narrow view of things) is not the best thing if you decide to buy something. Although it is fun to place the description of the “ideal” specifications against someone else. Avoid selecting and evaluating one ideal specification as if it were a panacea. There must be some criticality in the choice. However, keep in mind the original choice - to make sure you get everything you need.
While choosing a computer, it can be a lot of fun about buying dual RAM at a lower cost, but most people who use laptops for everyday work do not need more than 8 Gb of RAM unless you plan to use more serious software.
Also, don't become obsessed with battery life, resolution, and processor speed. If you have a certain amount of money and most people have it, you might want to consider the various details of your purchase in a balanced way. Initially, make sure that your desired laptop has all the features you need. Everything else is secondary and is an added bonus.
9. Does power matter?
Ultrabook computers have become one of the most popular types of laptops and they can be very tempting. They are light, small, comfortable and easy to fit in a briefcase or backpack, and many models, especially Chromebooks, have one of the lowest prices.
What, then, not to like? While this will be more than enough for most people, it will not be enough for the creative professionals. Professionals need a workstation with a powerful graphics card to handle the software needed for the job, while most 13-inch Ultrabook laptops come with an integrated graphics card that has only basic parameters to perform basic functions.
10. Does Two-in-One solve everything?
Tablet PCs, Two-in-One (tablet with keyboard) and laptops are completely different categories. They are not interchangeable. While you can do many tasks with your tablet and keyboard, much like a laptop, these similarities will end sooner or later. Tablets are still much more limited, especially when it comes to multi-tasking, fast web browsing, sophisticated apps, or powerful software. A two-in-one keyboard may be too limited in functionality, especially when it comes to a lot of specific operations - such as keyboard shortcuts, etc.
Just because something has a screen and a keyboard doesn't mean that it can do everything as a full-fledged laptop.
Buying a laptop can sometimes be difficult, but if you do it carefully, you should have no problem.
Read all the information you can find about your chosen purchase, but when the time comes to pay, buy what works best for you.
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