11 Tips for Choosing a Laptop

A new laptop can offer a breath of fresh air. A new laptop will run faster than your older version. A laptop without files presents a clean slate to stay organized.

Most people get a new laptop every few years. Some people want the latest model while other machines stop working.

Choosing a laptop is an important decision. You will continue using the same laptop for several years. Choosing a laptop that matches your needs will reduce problems.

If you are buying a laptop soon, consider these factors when making your decision.

11 Tips for Choosing a Laptop

  1. Choose the Best Size and Format for You

Laptops come in various sizes. A large laptop is heavier. You’ll feel a large laptop if you lug it around in a backpack.

Large laptops are also less portable. These laptops may not fit in your backpack’s protective sleeve. If you buy a larger laptop, you may also need to invest in a larger protective sleeve.

People who frequently carry their laptops may opt for a lighter model. Various companies offer laptop options that weigh under three pounds.

Choosing a laptop on the small side also presents problems. Small laptops have small screens. You may have to reduce the size of your windows to fit everything on the screen.

Some laptop users opt for a second screen at work to compensate for a small screen. Other laptop users may opt for a larger screen to avoid the extra investment.

  1. Clarify Your Storage Needs

Before choosing a laptop, the company will ask about storage. Asking for more storage increases the total cost of the laptop.

However, asking for too little storage can present problems. Your computer can max out sooner and not store additional data. Furthermore, reaching your storage limit will slow down your laptop.

If you edit videos, download files to your computer, and create documents, opt for more storage. The higher cost will make your computer last longer. This practice will save you money in the long run.

Not everyone needs the highest storage pack. If you store videos and movies, you should aim for 500 GB to 1 TB of storage. Most computer users can get away with a little over 250 GB (i.e., you only store pictures and documents).

Some laptop users practice a quarterly cleaning where they delete old files. Deleting old files clears up space and helps your computer run faster. Laptop users conducting quarterly cleanings can get away with a lower storage capacity.

  1. Check the Battery Life

Laptops are portable by nature. This portability is the main reason laptops became popular. However, a weak battery can make your laptop feel less mobile.

A weak battery limits movement, especially if your laptop powers down within an hour. Before choosing a laptop, review the battery life to ensure it fits your needs.

Many laptops provide several hours of battery life before shutting down. You can increase battery life by dimming your screen and keeping fewer apps open. These mitigation efforts will make less of a difference if your laptop has low battery life.

  1. Consider a Two-For-One Laptop for Greater Functionality

Why get a laptop and a tablet when you can get a laptop that does both? Dual functionality laptops allow users to save money and get a high-quality product. Some people greatly benefit from the touch screen these two-for-one laptops provide.

These laptops come with detachable keyboards. You should assess each keyboard before reaching a conclusion.

  1. Try It Out First

Reading through a laptop’s features will narrow your list. However, seeing and using the laptop in person provides the entire experience.

Do not buy a laptop without giving it a try. You can do your laptop shopping online but show up at the store before making a purchase.

Most companies allow you to use their laptops on display. You can get a feel for the keyboard, size of the screen, and other elements of each laptop.

This extra step increases the likelihood of choosing a laptop that works for you. Opt for taking as many extra steps as possible. When you buy a laptop, it sticks around for several years.

  1. Check Out Multiple Brands

Laptop buyers make the common mistake of sticking with the same brand. If they currently own an Apple laptop, they only look for Apple laptops. The same error applies across several laptop brands.

Many consumers feel loyal to a laptop brand, even overpriced ones. They continue exercising brand loyalty without exploring another source.

When choosing a laptop, you should broaden your scope. Explore laptop options from multiple brands instead of the ones you know. The extra exploration can help you find a better computer for your needs

A greater range of choices allows you to explore more features and pricing. When reviewing laptops from multiple brands, assess their technical support.

If a brand offers low-quality technical support, you’re on your own if the laptop stops working. Excellent technical support can save your computer and assist with problems.

Most people don’t think about technical support when choosing a laptop. However, it’s critical for your laptop’s longevity.

  1. Go in with a Budget

Before choosing a laptop, establish a budget. Going into a laptop purchase with a budget protects you from overspending. A budget helps you consider other expenses as you choose a laptop for your needs.

You might need to stretch beyond your budget for storage and other features. Since you only buy a laptop every few years, you shouldn’t skip around too much.

However, a budget will make you more conscious of every extra dollar added to the purchase. This mindset will help you skip unnecessary accessories and add-ons for your laptop.

Consider how much you can afford for a laptop. If one brand is out of your price range, explore other laptop options. Avoiding loyalty towards a laptop brand can help you save considerable money.

  1. Review the Ports

You will need ports on your computer. These converters allow you to use headphones, travel drives, and printers.

Ports are essential for laptop users, but not every laptop contains sufficient ports. If the new laptop includes the same number of ports as your existing laptop, you should be fine.

Some laptop brands do not offer traditional ports. They will sell separate converters that let you connect USB-C and USB-A plugs.

These separate converters will increase overall costs. Without these converters, you cannot use USB-C and USB-A plugs. Not all laptops present this issue. You can review other choices to save money on the extra converters.

  1. Check the Web Camera Quality

A web camera’s quality impacts how other people see you. The web camera is critical for people who often use Zoom or record videos.

A 1080p web camera is useful for most Zoom users. If you do not use Zoom or record videos often, a 720p web camera is sufficient.

Some laptops do not come with web cameras. This feature is non-negotiable for many laptop users. You don’t need the best web camera, but most people need a functioning web camera for your laptop.

  1. Look at the Screen

You will look at your laptop’s screen every day for several years. Some screens contain poor display settings that hurt your eyes.

Touch screens, in particular, may hurt your eyes. These screens provide glossier displays than other computers. This display increases glare which can produce an uncomfortable experience.

Many laptops provide display settings that let you adjust brightness. Play around with the screen at a store before purchasing a laptop. This minor detail often reveals its significance as you use the laptop.

  1. Select the Right CPU 

Every laptop contains a central processing unit (CPU). This chip functions as your laptop’s nucleus. It controls everything from mouse clicks to video encoding.

This part of the buying process applies to non-Apple users. Apple laptops receive a predetermined CPU. You must select the CPU for other brands.

Intel and AMD produce CPUs. Most laptop buyers choose between CPUs from those companies.

The best CPU depends on how you use your laptop. Gaming and mobile workstation laptops require advanced CPUs. Budget and mainstream laptops require less advanced CPUs.

Are You Choosing a Laptop Soon?

Choosing a laptop is not an easy decision. You need to consider numerous features before making a decision. Visiting multiple stores will help you feel confident about your purchase.

Are you choosing a laptop soon? We’d love to hear from you. Let us know about your experience in the comments below.