Buying any kind of new tech is normally an exhilarating prospect – so much so, the popularity of so-called ‘unboxing’ videos has skyrocketed on platforms like YouTube in recent years.
However, when you’re buying a production tool like a laptop that will ultimately be used to help you perform tasks for study or work, there are a few things to bear in mind. Rather than getting carried away with the thrill of the purchase, below are a few buying tips to help ensure you end up with the laptop that best suits you.
Think about how you use tech and what you need your laptop to do
Everyone’s different and the demands you place on a laptop will likely differ considerably from other people. The starting point for buying any new tech should always be to consider exactly what you want the machine to do – plus how (and where) you intend to use the laptop. This approach will give you a base point from which to work out the other requirements listed below.
For example, if you only use a laptop for emailing and casual web browsing, you’re unlikely to need a particularly expensive or powerful machine, so you should check online for cheap laptops for sale to explore your options. At the other end of the spectrum, if you work in video or photo editing, you’ll benefit from a much faster processor and graphics card (plus storage space).
The basic criteria to consider for a new laptop
If you take the above steps and know how you’re going to use your new laptop, the points below should be relatively easy to answer.
Operating System (OS): These days, most people already have a clear preference in terms of the Operating System (OS) they like to use. Then again, that has become somewhat blurred with the incredible popularity of the iPhone, which has encouraged many users to move to Apple OS – particularly from Microsoft. The choice you make here will largely come down to familiarity – plus any OS-dependent software you might already own.
Screen size and machine weight: Portability is the key advantage of laptops over desktops so size and weight are important. In the main, most users will get on just fine with a screen between 12.5 to 14 inches (which will also make the machine lighter).
Battery life: Battery tech has been tortuously slow to improve over the years. However, progressive manufacturers are now finding ways to boost batteries (mostly by making more efficient processors and internal processes). However, as a rule, you shouldn’t buy any machine with a battery life of less than nine hours.
Work out which model works best for you: Many new laptops come with integrated touchscreen technology that allows them to work in traditional clamshell or tablet mode. However, you should decide if you really need this function as the added cost of production from integrating touchscreens often means sacrifices in other areas.
Check the keyboard and screen: If you envisage doing a lot of work on your laptop, you should take the model for a test drive to check its ergonomics. Touchpads should be accurate straight out of the box while you’ll also want good key travel and tactile feedback from the keyboard.
Lastly, check the specs: Far too many prospective laptop buyers put specs at the top of the list of priorities when, actually, the points above are of far greater importance. While performance might be needed for some tasks, don’t just focus on the numbers and instead buy the machine that best fits your overall needs.