Buying a new Laptop? Congratulations. Buying a new laptop feels really good but, if you are buying your very first laptop, it can be a confusing task. There are a lot of laptops in the market and their number is ever growing. Looking at the specs sheet is not the appropriate way to buy a Laptop.
These are few key points that you should consider at the first place, before finalizing the purchase.
Things to Consider Before Buying A Laptop
“What kind of laptop should I buy?” or “What should I look before buying a laptop?” These are some of the questions that keep on striking whenever you enter in the laptop store.
Let me tell you one thing, you will never get everything on the same laptop. You have to sacrifice some of your wishes in your dream laptop, especially when you are buying with budget constraints. But you can get the best one and that too in your budget.
This is an ultimate guide which surely going to help you in buying the best Laptop in your budget. I tried my best to include everything you should consider before buying a laptop.
#1. Build Quality
Just tell me one thing. Would you buy a Laptop having an i7 processor and 16GB of RAM, 8GB of the graphics card and other high-end specs but having a plastic body, flexing screen, non-durable feel? Obviously not. Before buying a laptop, you must consider the build quality of the laptop.
It should be solid, durable and looks good. Do not choose a laptop which looks a piece of plastic. If your budget allows you then go for a metal body otherwise buy a laptop having a plastic body but it should have solid, clean finishing, heavy-duty and looks sturdy. The screen of the laptop should not be swinging while picking it up.
#2. Display Quality
The display or screen quality of the Laptop indeed plays a vital role in providing the best computing experience. The display is something which is always in use no matter what program you are running. A good display would enhance your web browsing experience, entertainment experience and of course gaming experience. Most of the budget laptops have 1366×768 resolution and it ranges to 3200×1800 Quad HD display such as in Dell XPS 13. There is also Retina display with a resolution of 2,560 x 1,600 which ranges to 5,120 x 2,880 (in iMac only) which is available on Apple’s MacBook only. If you are buying a MacBook then there is no need to think about display.
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Before buying a laptop, take some High-resolution videos with you in a storage stick and play it on your potential laptop. Make sure, full HD videos seem sharp and crisp. Open a window with a white background or wallpaper, make sure, there should not be any yellowish shade blending with the white background. Also, watch videos from different angles to make sure viewing angles are satisfactory.
The screen should also not flicker while touching the back panel of the laptop. If you are from those who work in natural light or outside, make sure the brightness of the screen is good enough. Go outside with a laptop with 100% brightness and check if the display is visible or not.
Another aspect of display quality is the display size. If you are a traveler or a businessman who have to work while traveling, then you should go for 13’ display. They are small and compact as compared to 15’ display laptops.
MacBook Air and Microsoft’s Surface Pro are highly recommended to such kind of users or you can buy any Dell, Lenovo Ultrabook available in the market. If you want 15’ display, then it is advisable to buy a laptop having 1920 x 1080 or more resolution such as HP Spectre 13. Playing a 1080p video on 720p display especially on 15’ display would definitely ruin your experience. It’s all upon the user and the user’s requirement.
Photo Source: Apple
Most of the users don’t use laptop speaker much. But some does. Before buying a laptop, you should check the sound quality produced by the laptop speaker. Play some movies, YouTube videos, music and check the sound output.
Set the volume at 100%. It should not produce burst sound or the sound with so much treble. Lenovo has Dolby Digital Plus speaker which are quite good in sound quality. Obviously, you will never get the stereo quality sound with the deeper bass on your laptop speaker but at least there should be an appropriate ratio of bass and treble which give you pleasure, not a headache.
The pair of decent speakers is not the deal breaker. For the best sound, you need to add multimedia speakers or you can also use Bluetooth speakers for better sound, comparatively. Check out the best Bluetooth speakers.
#4. Storage Type
The storage of your laptop is for storing the data in your laptop may it video, sound, program, document, almost everything. New laptop boots up in 15 seconds and gradually, it starts taking time as there is new program installed.
You will find HDD in most of the laptops which is good but if you need high disk speed and best performance, consider SSD instead of HDD.
SSD is fast as compared with HDD, compact in size and power efficient but it is expensive as compared to HDD.
#5. Keyboard & Trackpad
Whether you are a writer or a gamer or just an average user, you will use the keyboard. The keyboard of the laptop plays an important role in computing experience. Give proper attention to the keyboard. See if the special keys like shift, alt, control key are properly placed and have big in size. Also, give proper attention to the material of the key.
Don’t buy the laptop having slippery, extra glossy and too plastic key. If the keyboard is based on a single base, press the “H,J,G,F” keys and make sure that keyboard doesn’t trickle. Also, check if the keyboard has a backlight sensor or not.
Most of the budget laptops don’t have a backlight keyboard. Don’t get sad, buy a USB LED light which costs you ₹150 -200.
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The trackpad is yet another important input device for your laptop. Trackpad always used more than the keyboard. If you are spending 60-70K for a laptop, make sure trackpad have multi-touch gestures and pressure sensing capabilities. If you are going to buy a budget laptop, make sure the build quality of Keyboard and trackpad is satisfactory and does not feel cheap and you have enough space to place the palm of your hand. For huge and better Trackpad, consider buying Macbook.
There is no specific laptop manufacturer which reveals battery life other than Apple. Apple claims the MacBook’s battery life of 10 hours. But, it may give you a battery life of around 7-8 hours which is pretty good as compared to other laptops. So, you can go for the laptop, whose manufacturer claims longer battery life.
The weight of laptop doesn’t matter to you if you are going to use it on home, office. You just placed it on the table and start working. No bothering movements or placements. But if you are someone who travels with laptop or student who carries it in college or school then you need to consider the weight of the laptop. A normal laptop can weigh ranges to 2 kilos to 2.5 kilos. They are bulky.
If portability is your major concern, consider buying Apple’s MacBook Air which weighs around 920 gm. For Windows, there is Microsoft’s Surface Pro which is lighter than MacBook air and weighs around 760gm. These 2 are super light and portable laptops. Apart from these, there are many other laptops by Dell, Lenovo, HP which weigh around 1 to 1.5 Kgs.
#8. Customer Care Support
Customer care support is one of the important parts of effective marketing and Brands are spending millions of dollars for providing the best Customer Care/After sale support. Consider buying the Tier 1 brands like Apple, Dell, Lenovo, HP. Each brand has its own policies regarding replacement and warranty claims.
So, get clear with the vendor regarding replacements, warranty and all these before buying a laptop.
If you are a hardcore gamer, then you must be looking for high-end graphic card, RAM, processor. You can consider Acer’s Predator but if you are buying for normal usage like entertainment, web surfing, writing etc. then you don’t need to consider such things. A decent laptop with decent specs will be good for you.
If you are a coder or App developer or anyone who required special software to work, then consider the Operating System as some applications works on specific OS.
There are some specific programs that don’t work on MacOS, in that case, you don’t have an option of Apple’s Macbook.
Moreover, if you are a YouTuber or in video/photo production, then you need to render your videos. Rendering videos produced on Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro on a machine having basic specifications can be an irritating and time-consuming task. So, buy a laptop with a good CPU, processor, RAM and graphic card for smooth and faster video rendering.
#10. Number of Ports
Ports available on the laptop also a point to be considered. You should see if there are enough USB ports. Also, look for HDMI port, MicroSD slot, LAN slot, VGA slot, 3.5mm Jack. Some people need HDMI, VGA ports for their professional tasks. The normal user also needs USB port on regular basis.
But these days, a new technology is replacing all these ports named as USB Type-C port. Type C port is a single port for everything. But if you don’t have USB Type C devices, you are required to buy additional adapter.
If you are considering MacBook Pro 2018, you need to buy a separate adapter for USB, MicroSD etc. You can check this Adapter for MacBook.
This laptop buying guide covers all the important aspect which you should consider before buying a laptop. Do not rely only on specifications. Companies distract the buyers by showing them specifications on the paper. The first thing you should do is to look at the physical aspect of the laptop as mentioned above. After you get satisfied with the above points then asked for the i3, i5 or i7 processor.
Neither you can replace the keyboard, trackpad of the laptop nor can you change the display. Emphasize on those things which cannot be upgradable. One more thing, buying a laptop on a limited budget is more difficult and challenging. Anyone can buy a good laptop with enough money in the pocket. So consider this Laptop Buying Guide and research carefully then buy the best one. Don’t look for cheap laptop deals and buy the best you can afford.