A huge 60 percent of Americans have a laptop or a desktop computer. We use these all the time for work and play, and with working at home becoming much more common due to recent events, the laptop is set to become even more important in our lives.
So if you’re in the market for a new machine, do you know how to choose the right laptop? Choosing the wrong computer could make your life much more difficult. Choosing the right one can make it easy.
In this guide, we’re going to take a look at how to choose the right laptop for your needs. Are you ready to get started? Then read on!
1. What’s Your Budget?
First and foremost, you need to make sure that you have a budget in mind. While a lot of companies now offer monthly payment plans, these can add up and you don’t want to end up losing the laptop because you can’t pay.
If it’s possible for the laptop that you want, we would recommend that you buy the machine outright. Take a look at how much you’ve got in your account and how much you’d be happy spending on a laptop.
If you do want to go the way of the monthly payment plan, make sure that it’s an amount of money that you can afford every month.
We’d recommend that you log on to various sites to see prices and then think about whether you can afford it! You may wish to wait for Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales to get the very best bargains.
2. What’s Your OS Preference?
Do you have a preference when it comes to your computer’s operating system? For most of us, we’ll want to use Windows for the greatest compatibility with existing software as it’s by far the most popular OS in the world.
Yet there may be reasons that you’d like to check out other operating systems. For instance, maybe the ease of use that comes with macOS is appealing to you or you like the open-source focus that Linux distros have.
Perhaps you will always have an internet connection, so the speed and low cost of a Chromebook is an appealing prospect.
Ultimately, when deciding upon which OS to use, you should look at the programs that you use the most, whether for work or play, and check that they run on the machine you want to buy. If not, is there an alternative that you could use?
3. What Form Factor Would You Prefer?
There are laptops of every size: which would you prefer? If you’re going to be carrying the laptop around all day, a light type of laptop known as an ultrabook is probably what you’re looking for.
These machines are perfect for workers and students on the go who want power in a small package. If, on the other hand, you’re looking for something that can play the latest games, you should consider a specialized gaming laptop. These are considerably larger and heavier than ultrabooks and are sometimes known as “desktop replacements.”
If you have a good desk setup, then the laptop being heavy won’t matter. Think about your specific needs.
4. Do You Need a Long Battery Life?
Powerful laptops need a lot of power which means that high-powered gaming laptops and the like tend to have poorer battery life than ultrabooks. If you’re going to be away from a power socket for a lot of the day, for example, on the road or in lecture halls, then good battery life is absolutely vital.
If you’re always going to be at home or the office when you’re using your laptop, then the battery life is not as much of a concern.
Unless you’re playing demanding games or doing other intensive tasks, most laptops will offer at least two hours of battery life.
Battery performance is measured in mAh or milliamp hours. Look for batteries with higher mAh for longer battery life.
5. Do You Want Lightning-Fast Load Times?
If you want your laptop to boot up in a flash and for all your programs to be as fast as they possibly can be, then storage matters.
It’s not only the size of the storage that matters, either.
For the fastest loading times, an HDD, a traditional hard drive, won’t cut it. Instead, you should buy a laptop that has a solid-state drive or SSD. These don’t have any moving parts and are, in essence, very large SD cards or memory sticks.
The lack of moving parts means that finding data on the drive is a breeze, which means much faster loading times for you.
The only problem with using an SSD is that they are generally more expensive than hard drives of the equivalent size. We would recommend that you look for a laptop that has both. The OS and common programs can be stored on the SSD and you can use the HDD for storing everything else!
6. Consider Screen Quality
Wanting the very best screen quality is natural but it can come at a cost. There are two main factors that affect the screen quality.
The first is the resolution and the second is the refresh rate.
The resolution is a measure of how many pixels there are on the screen. We would recommend that if you’re going to be using the laptop for watching movies, playing games, or anything else that you want a very crisp picture for, don’t go for a screen resolution of less than 1920×1080.
If you’d like an even better picture, you could buy a laptop with a screen resolution of 2560×1440. If money is no object, you could also get a 4K laptop!
The refresh rate is a measure of how often the screen redraws the image. For instance, if the refresh rate is 60 Hz, then the screen will refresh the image 60 times per second. If you want the best screen for gaming, then we would recommend buying a laptop with a refresh rate of 120 Hz.
7. How Much Power Do You Need?
It’s important that when you’re deciding on a laptop, that you take a look at the specifications of the hardware. Take a look at the power of the CPU and how much RAM it has. The higher these numbers are, in general, the better your laptop will perform.
If you’re gaming or will be using your laptop for rendering etc, you must have a dedicated GPU rather than integrated graphics.
Integrated graphics systems use the CPU for both computation and graphics, which means that performance can’t match machines with dedicated graphics cards.
8. Are You Interested in a Touch Screen?
If you’re used to working on a tablet and would like to have a touchscreen on your laptop too, then you’re in luck. A lot of laptops now come with touchscreens, which you can use while working away as normal.
If you long for the other features of a tablet too, then a 2-in-1 laptop might be exactly what you’re looking for. These are laptops that usually have separate keyboards, so you can use them as either a laptop or a tablet.
Depending on the machine, these can be very expensive but they’re very popular thanks to their versatility. We would recommend shopping around if this is something that you’re interested in, as the prices of 2-in-1 laptops can vary considerably.
9. Do You Like How it Looks?
This may not be the most important part of your laptop but it still matters. You’re going to be using this laptop a lot every single day, so ensuring that you like its appearance is vital.
If, for instance, you’re a businessperson who values professionalism, something that is covered in LED lights and multicolored probably isn’t what you’re looking for. If however, you’re a gamer who loves expressing their identity through their laptop, then a drab office computer isn’t going to scratch that itch.
Make sure that it’s a computer that you’re going to be happy looking at when you use it.
Now You Know How to Choose the Right Laptop
Knowing how to choose the right laptop is of vital importance when you’re shopping around. We recommend taking all the details of the laptop into account before you buy it to ensure that you’re happy with your purchase!
For more interesting and informative articles like this one, be sure to check out the rest of our blog for the latest in tech!