Figuring out the best brand, features and technical specification for your next laptop can seem daunting with the choice and brands to choose from. Whether you are a bit of a pro or a novice, you still need to go into the process with a clear budget and plan in order to come out with a square peg for a square hole.
This article takes you through everything you need to consider when buying your new laptop, and ensures you end up with the perfect piece of kit for you!
How do you operate?
The first choice you need to make is what operating system you prefer, because to some extent this will determine the devices that can go on your shortlist.
For Windows users, most laptops are a good option. The only time you really need to be concerned about your OS is when you want to run macOS or Chrome OS, as macBooks or Chromebooks are required for those.
You should also think about whether you already have data in the Microsoft, Amazon or Apple cloud, and how easy it will be to integrate those applications with your chosen OS.
Building your use case
Building your use case is all about putting yourself at the center of your laptop search. Think about what you need from your new laptop and its battery.
How often do you need to rely on the battery while you work in transit? Bigger machines with stronger compute power or larger screens use more battery life for example. How often do you play video games? These can be very demanding of your CPU, so factor this in too. Also consider what optional extras you prefer such as touchscreen, additional USB ports, etc.
For most laptop users, about 8MB of memory is perfect. This means you can run a reasonable number of tasks in parallel, while still allowing your PC to process them effectively.
You are getting closer!
Once you have established the answers to these key questions in your mind, you are that much closer to getting to the final stages of your search.
From here, the next stage is to decide how much you can realistically spend on your new laptop. From around $250 upwards, there is a laptop to suit every pocket. This means you do not need to break the bank, and you can enjoy your new device without worrying how much it cost you.
Go narrow but deep
Next, make a shortlist of 3-4 laptops that meet your criteria and budget. You should delve further into the detail on those models. Check out some user reviews, as well as those of professional computer critics. This will help you differentiate between your shortlisted laptops and move closer to a final decision.
It is also advisable to check out each model with your own hands and eyes. Check them out in store if you can to test out the build quality, and, quite simply, how much you like the look and feel of each one. You never know until you actually see something, and checking out a device in store is the only real way to do this.
Last but by no means least, consider the price. Shop around and carry out some price comparisons. When you do so, ensure you are comparing apples with apples as some retailers will create bundle deals to add value to the laptop instead of simply dropping the price. You can use this opportunity to get Microsoft 365 tools and other useful software pre-installed on your device. You can also ask for extended warranty or accidental damage cover to be included instead of simply asking for, or searching for flat price discounts.
Armed with this knowledge, check out online user reviews to check you have not missed anything. There is nowhere to hide now if a product is substandard, so seeing what other users think of each device is an important final step.
The last step is to go ahead and make your final choice! Think about yourself using each laptop and how it would fit with what you need it to do. Only when you are completely satisfied should you go ahead and click “confirm purchase”!