The size and complexity of the laptop market can make buying a new laptop seem like a difficult job. But if you do some research beforehand, you will soon be holding the cards as you find the best option for you!
Check out this article for some top hacks for buying a new laptop.
If you are a bit of a techy or a complete novice, it is good to clue up on some basics of the laptop market before you go about making your final choice. Depending on your budget, a laptop can be a reasonably significant investment, so spending a little time before you enter your credit card details can be worth it in the long-run.
One of the first choices to make is your operating system. Whether you prefer Windows, Chrome, MacOS or Linux, your OS is the interface between you and your digital world.
Each of the operating systems has some advantages and disadvantages, but mostly it comes down to a simple case of personal choice. For beginners or light users, Windows laptops are generally considered good all-rounders and relatively easy to navigate.
Tackling the technical terms
Consider your use case before you dive into the technical terms. Ask yourself what you most use your laptop for. Most regular users will use it for surfing, online shopping, watching Netflix or doing some basic administration. This is a pretty light use case.
Think about how much you can afford to spend on your new laptop. The best approach is to then look for the highest CPU you can get within that budget.
That said, other aspects of the PC may be important to you such as a lighter weight, larger or smaller screen size, or keyboard configuration.
RAM is the other technical term you should pay close attention to. The memory is basically your computer’s ability to process things – and if you max it out it will not have any more capacity to work. This is unlikely on lower-intensity use cases, but again shoot for the most RAM possible within your budget.
If you plan to leave your laptop plugged in on a docking station or on your desk, you do not need to be too concerned with battery life.
If you travel a lot or like to watch movies on flights, you will want to be aware of battery life. The more compute power and RAM your laptop uses, the lighter its battery life will be. This works the same way as cars – broadly speaking, the larger the vehicle, the higher its fuel consumption will be.
Closing in on your verdict
After you have thought about these options and had a look around for the best cheap laptops within your price range, you can move a step closer to your final purchase by compiling a shortlist.
From this, you should try to test out your shortlisted candidates. Have a look up close what you think of the screen size and resolution, and whether you think it is a device you will enjoy working with. Ideally, go into a few retailers and see if they have a display model to try out.
You should also check out some user reviews, as well as independent reviews from expert analysts. This can give you a final validation of your choice, and may bring something to your attention you had not noticed before (good or bad!).
Lastly, shop around! Although many laptop manufacturers are quite prescriptive with their end user pricing structures to prevent price wars, there are still bargains to be found if you know how to find them!
If you find the prices are consistent on your shortlisted laptops, see what extras you can get thrown in. Near the end of a month, retailers may be more willing to throw in an extended warranty, additional security features, or some cool software options to help you along your way. Failing that, look out for seasonal deals such as sales after the holiday season or Black Friday.
In short, you do not need to spend a long time researching your new laptop. But think about the key things in this article and you will be in good shape to make the best choice possible!