Thinking of investing in a new laptop? I’m assuming you are if you clicked through to read this article. They come in a variety of sizes, features, and prices, making it a challenge to choose the best one.
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That’s why you need to figure out what your needs are. I’ve put together this laptop buying guide to help narrow down your options.
1. Don’t let price be the deciding factor
No matter what model you get, laptops are expensive. Given this, some people will immediately choose the cheapest option. In contrast, others may do the opposite and go for the most expensive model, assuming that anything expensive must be the best.
Regardless of which side of the coin you may be on, choosing your laptop based on price alone is almost guaranteed to lead to disappointment.
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Budget laptops come with minimal storage and, without a few essential features for your work, can fit right in.
While the most expensive ones often include features you’ll never have, and plenty of storage that will go unfilled.
Instead of choosing less or the most expensive, you should:
- Set a maximum budget
- Assess your current needs and what you hope your new model will have
- Find a device that covers all or most of your needs and is still within your budget
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2. Always try it before you buy it
Whether you’re a first-time laptop owner or just upgrading to a newer device, it’s always a good idea to give your new computer a test drive before you buy it.
It’s important to note that almost all tech stores, including the Apple Store, Microsoft Store, and Best Buy, allow you to test their devices. This will give you the opportunity to:
- See if the features are to your liking
- Get a feel for the keyboard, touchpad, and interface
- Make sure it is the size and weight you are looking for
If the store, for some reason, does not allow you to test it, or if you buy it online, double check return policy before you buy it and make sure it’s reasonable.
3. Be aware of compatibility
One of the more common mistakes when buying a laptop is not double-checking port compatibility. Most laptops today use USB-C ports, while you may still have a few devices that use USB-A ports.
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True, this problem of incompatibility could be solved by buying a dongle. However, instead of spending more money, it’s a good idea to check if your computer’s ports are compatible with most of the devices you know you’ll be using.
4. Plan for the long term
Like making a decision based purely on price, don’t rush into buying a laptop based on your current needs, as you’ll want your computer to last at least a few years. So, before making a purchase, it is always wise.
- Take a look at your current device’s storage and capabilities
- Determine how many of its apps and services you use
- Find out what you need in the next few years
You don’t have to get the most advanced, modern model; however, you should always buy one that will at least improve upon your current device and allow you to grow for all your future needs.
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5. Size matters
Always think about Goldilocks when choosing a laptop. Depending on your taste, some may be too big, others too small, leaving you wanting the “right” model for you.
This can be determined quite quickly by several factors.
- If you will use it more on the road or at home
- Where do you plan to use it and/or what do you plan to transport it to?
- Your visibility and input requirements.
Let’s say you plan to use your laptop almost exclusively at home. In that case, a rugged device 15 inches and larger will probably suit your needs better, as long as you have room on your desk or wherever you plan to work.
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These devices may not fit into the backpack or carrier you want, and if they weigh around 10 or more pounds, your shoulders won’t be grateful.
If you work more often on the go, a smaller device that measures around 11 inches or more may be more to your liking. However, as said before you buy it, it’s better to try it first because you might have trouble typing on the small keyboard. equipment that lies somewhere in the middle is the best way to go.
Of course, the most common mistake anyone can make when buying a new laptop is making a decision based on just one factor. Before making a final decision, it’s important to consider your multiple needs and reasons for purchase. With these five factors in mind, you’re guaranteed to bring home a device that will keep you happy for the foreseeable future.
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