When it comes to purchasing a form of technology, it pays to be well informed. From smartphones-tablets to desktop computers and laptops, there is always something to be researched. So what are some things one should be looking for when planning to purchase a laptop? Below is a list of the top 10.
1. Warranty and Release Cycles
This is a key factor when shopping around for ANY piece of technology, but especially for a laptop. Generally speaking, they have a shorter life-span than say, a desktop, simply because they are being hauled around from place to place, or class to class.
Many companies already offer a standard warranty with their product, but it never hurts to ask for extended coverage if one is worried about the longevity of the machine.
2. Security Features
This is one of the most crucial aspects to choosing a laptop. There are so many websites in this day and age that may inadvertently infect a piece of technology. By adding security features to some potential built-in options, one will ensure the long life of their device.
3. Ports and Expandability
Another aspect to consider is the number of devices one is looking to connect to their laptop. Whether it’s a smartphone, camera, or portable music player; a variety of ports (and potentially additional storage) are necessary.
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4. Do you need an optical drive?
This question may not be first and foremost for some, but optical storage mediums have been important computer components since the ending of floppy disks, and the beginning of CD drives.
Having said that, the arrival of USB and cloud storage have essentially caused the extinction of CD drives. Which means, many units will not come with a CD Drive or Burner, however, there are ways around that via external disk drives.
5. Storage and Memory
Another key component to purchasing a laptop is the need for storage and memory. Whether the unit is simply being used for note taking, or gaming, some form of internal storage is necessary. Some may even want to choose an additional external hard drive in order backup files. This is a great option if prized documents are being stored on the laptop.
6. Processor and Graphics
Though this may not seem important at the outset, there is a significant difference seen between computers with a solid processor, and those without. And graphics are key whether the laptop is being used for simple everyday tasks or intense gaming.
7. Screen Size and Resolution
Though a fairly basic aspect to laptop shopping, it is an important factor. If one has issues seeing, a smaller screen may put unnecessary stress on the eyes. But too big of a screen may end up being cumbersome if the laptop is being hauled to and from work or school.
The resolution, of course, is also crucial. The poor resolution will result in a pixelated look which makes a smaller screen difficult to look at for extended periods of time. And if one is comparing two computers, the general idea is to go for the higher resolution if possible or choose an HD upgrade when available.
8. Size and Weight
Again, though not often thought of, this is still an important factor to consider. Will the weight of the unit, “outweigh” the strain of carrying the unit around? Will one be traveling up and down stairs multiple times a day? Is the unit just for around the house? What programs will be run on the computer? All of these factor into whether the size and weight matter
If neither are an issue, then one would more than likely be able to go with a less expensive unit (housing just as much power), simply because they aren’t concerned with the size of the screen or weight of the unit.
9. Battery Life
This particular aspect is important for those who need to run their computers all day every day, or perhaps even days at a time without plugging into a power outlet.
Though battery life can fade over time, it is best to consider a unit that boasts battery life longevity and ease of which to change out a new battery if the time comes.
If one is looking at replacing a battery in the unit down the road, it is also good to price out the cost of the battery to ensure it won’t end up costing more than is worthwhile.
10. “Analyze Your Usage Scenario”
Not everyone seeks out the same qualities in a laptop, and the types of programs being run will determine one’s demands for storage. Will there be lots of spreadsheets, notes, power point images and more being stored? Will photographs be kept safe via the laptop? How about video editing, chatting with friends and family or watching TV?
Whatever the need, there is a varying answer for everyone. One last factor to consider is the brand. Mac? or PC? All of these change what type of laptop and laptop storage one would need. The best way to find out what one needs is to make note of what the laptop is being used for the most, and then bring that list along when shopping.