Picture yourself in the middle of a big class or work presentation. Everything’s going well, but your laptop dies in the middle of the meeting, and you can’t get it back up.
You’ve put off buying a laptop long enough, so you start researching models immediately. That situation can be stressful, so you don’t have to wait until your computer dies to go shopping for a new one.
Keep reading to learn what to keep in mind as you select your next laptop.
Table of Contents
1. Start With the Operating System
One of the most important factors when buying a laptop is the operating system. You can choose between Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome, among others.
If you have an operating system you prefer, that can help narrow your search. Otherwise, you may want to consider the software you want or need to use and if it’s compatible with an operating system.
For example, if you want to use iMovie to edit videos, you’ll have to buy a MacBook. On the other hand, you may need to get a Windows computer if you want to use something only on Windows.
If you don’t have anything that restricts your search, try all of the major operating systems. Then, you can determine which one is the most intuitive for you to use.
2. Decide on the Size
Maybe you’re looking for a good laptop for travel, so you shop for a smaller model. Or perhaps you plan to use the laptop as your main device, so you can get something larger.
You might also want a larger model if you need to open a lot of windows on the screen. However, a big laptop will also be quite heavy, so it’s not the best for taking with you to school or a coffee shop.
Larger models also tend to cost more for the same specs and storage space. But you could also get longer battery life since there’s more space for the power source.
Laptops can be as small as 11 inches or as large as 17 inches. Be sure to keep the size in mind as you shop for MacBook cases and other accessories.
3. Choose the Amount of Storage
Another factor to consider is how much storage space you’ll need. When you want to do a lot of photo or video editing, you may need to get more storage space if you don’t want to use an external hard drive.
The best laptop for students will have enough space to store four years of assignments. That way, you won’t need a new laptop until you graduate.
If you have a cloud storage subscription, you could get away with less storage on your computer. The same is true if you’ll primarily use the laptop for checking your email or streaming media.
4. Review the Ports
As laptops have gotten slimmer, they’ve also lost some ports that used to be standard. Most models still have a charging port and a headphone jack.
However, you may only have a couple of USB-C ports and no older USB ports. If you need to use an SD card or another special connection, you might want to look at laptops that have those ports.
Then, you won’t have to buy an adapter and keep it with you just to use your computer to the fullest. Some people don’t need any extra ports, so this isn’t always an issue.
But photographers, videographers, and other professionals may need those ports. You can’t add extras later, so it makes sense to get as many as you can afford.
5. Think About the Battery Life
Of course, battery life is the next significant factor to think about when purchasing a laptop. You may frequently use your laptop as a desktop, so plugging it in is easy.
However, if you travel or go to a coworking space, your device needs to hold a charge. Some laptops can last all day on a single charge, which is fantastic if you use your laptop for school or work.
Other models may only last a few hours before you have to use your charge.
But you should also think about the battery lifespan, which is how many times you can charge it before it needs replacing. Then, you’ll get an idea of when you’ll need to pay for a new battery or get a different computer.
6. Know Your Budget
Buying a laptop can easily get expensive, so you should go into it with a budget in mind. Do some basic research on available laptops to get an idea of how much certain features will cost.
Once you determine what features you need and what you can live without, you can set your budget. If you don’t have enough money for your dream laptop, save up for it for a while.
You could also look into financing the purchase, or you may need to sacrifice a few specs. All of those things can work, and the right choice depends on you and your situation.
If you’re buying a laptop for intense video work, you may want to wait and save up. On the other hand, you could get something cheaper if you need a laptop for smaller tasks.
7. Consider Refurbished Models
Maybe you need one of the more expensive laptop models but are on a tight budget. You could look into refurbished and used laptops that fit your needs.
Used models almost always cost less than they do when new, and you could save hundreds of dollars. If you buy a laptop from an individual, be sure to test it yourself to make sure it works.
Another option is to go through a retailer and get a refurbished laptop. Apple refurbishes old MacBooks and uses the same quality control process as for their new models.
If you want a different operating system, you could shop at Best Buy or a similar store. Then, you’ll have a higher chance of getting a computer that works well.
Are You Buying a Laptop?
Are you in the process of buying a laptop? You should consider everything from your budget to the size of the computer so that you get the model that meets your needs.
A laptop can be a very personal choice, and one isn’t the best for everyone. Choose wisely so that you can make the most of your purchase.
Do you want more tips on choosing and using a computer? Read our blog for similar content.