Buying The Cheapest Available

Laptops come in all shapes, sizes, and price ranges. An important factor that comes into play when purchasing a laptop is the price. While there are some great deals out there, not all cheap laptops are made the same. A major price driver is the processor. If you are deciding between a dual core versus a quad-core or a Celeron versus an i3 you may want to consider their features before deciding. The Dual Core and Celeron processors are not as powerful as the Quad Core and i3 processors. While you might be saving money in the short term, you may run into frustrating slowdowns in the future due to having a cheaper processor.

Ignoring Ports & Compatibility

This is a commonly overlooked factor when picking a new computer. Newer computers will only come with Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C ports. Most flash drives and external drives still use the USB 2.0 or 3.0 connectors, which are not compatible. If the new computer has these ports you will need to buy an adapter or dongle to make the peripherals work, which adds to the cost of the computer.

Thinking Size Doesn’t Matter

When it comes to laptops, size matters. There are tradeoffs with going with a bigger or smaller laptop. Bigger laptops will have bigger screens and full-size keyboards but might not be as portable. Smaller laptops will be ideal for frequent travelers but may not have the power needed to complete your tasks. In order to determine what size will fit your needs and lifestyle the best, consider how you have used a laptop before and what about the size you liked/disliked.

Paying Too Much

Conversely, to paying too little, you can also blow your budget on a computer that is way more powerful then what you will need. Taking your kids to school doesn’t require an Indy 500 car. High-end laptops with all the bells and whistles can easily cost over $1,000 dollars. A MacBook Pro with all the available options costs over $6,300 and an ASUS ROG gaming computer can cost over $4,600 dollars. Make sure you evaluate your needs versus the specs listed on a laptop. If all you’re doing is checking email and some online shopping, you don’t need that big gaming computer.

Opting For The Highest Resolution

Improvements to picture quality aren’t just coming to your TV. Laptops now boast 4K or ultra HD screens. If you’re not doing gaming or video editing, opting for a 1080p display will save you some money. Another benefit to a lower resolution screen is the laptop’s battery will last longer in between charges.

Not Buying Enough Power

In the quest for portability, laptops have gotten smaller and thinner. As a part of that, there are several Ultrabook models that are very portable but lack power. For example, Chromebooks are portable and cheap computers. Many users are drawn to them for those features, but these computers will typically have small processors, low RAM, and tiny storage capacities. Some will only come with 32GB of storage, most smartphones have more storage than this. Always look at the specs and make sure you are getting enough power for your needs.

Buying The Laptop For Today

Unlike desktops, laptops do not have as many upgrade options for the installed hardware. As technology advances to make laptops smaller, their components are becoming more integrated. Some laptops, like the MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro have their hard drive and RAM built onto the logic board. As a result, you should always consider the laptop you will need for tomorrow, not necessarily today. In doing so you can ensure you will have a viable computer for years to come. As software becomes more advanced and offers more features it will have different hardware requirements. This situation can turn using your laptop into a frustrating experience.

Assuming A 2 in 1 Is The Same As A Laptop

While some tablets and 2 in 1’s can perform several functions of a laptop, they are different. 2 in 1’s are often more compact than a traditional laptop. This will lead to a compact keyboard and difficulties in running more complex programs and applications. Options like the Microsoft Surface Pros will have similar specs to laptops but lack the port availability that comes with a laptop. This is a grey area in computing devices because they may seem very similar. So, if you are considering one of these as an option make sure you do your research.

Being Obsessed With One Spec

Looking at only one spec on a laptop can be dangerous. If you want speed you may only focus on the processor that is in the laptop. Having the biggest processor doesn’t guarantee your computer will always be fast. If you are on a budget, make sure you have a balance of the hardware requirements you need for your use and your budget.

Not Trying Before You Buy

Buying a laptop is like buying a car. It is a personal decision and what might work for you, may not work for someone else. Like a car, getting some hands-on time with a laptop can confirm or change your opinion about it. Most big box stores will have a multitude of laptops on display. If you don’t test out the computer and you purchase it online, make sure there is a good return policy.

Final Tip…

It may seem like some of these tips contradict or overlap one another and for the most part, they do. However, by not considering these points when purchasing a laptop, your experience can vary drastically. The most important components when purchasing a laptop is your budget and what your intended uses for the computer will be. If you need help finding a laptop to suit your needs or want more information on a computer before purchasing, come in and talk to Computer Warriors. Our staff members are experts at getting the best computer to fit your needs!

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