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 a few key points that you should consider in 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 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.
The first thing you should consider is your requirement. Why you need a laptop and then proceed further. Don’t get hypnotized with the marketing gimmicks.
If you are a coder or App developer or anyone who required special software to work, just make sure your software supports the operating system. If someone wanted to edit videos on Final Cut Pro then Windows Laptop is not even an option for you simply because Final Cut Pro is available only for macOS.
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 might be rendering videos. Rendering videos produced on Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro on a machine having basic configuration 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. Gamers are pretty sorted with this. They know their GPU and chipset.
2. Build Quality
Just tell me one thing. Would you buy a Laptop having all specifications from your wildest dream 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 that looks like a piece of plastic. If your budget allows you then go for a laptop having an aluminum 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.
3. 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 that 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 2560 x 1600 which ranges to 5120 x 2880 (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 the display. It is the best.
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Here are a few tips to check the Display Quality of your Next Laptop:
- Open a white background 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. The best displays on a laptop can go up to 500 nits of brightness which is good enough to be visible even on a sunny day.
- For those who remain exposed to screen for a longer duration, you can check if the laptop has Reading Mode or True Tone display to filter out the Blue light.
Another aspect of display quality is display size. If you are a traveler or a businessman who has to work while traveling, then you should go for 13’ display. They are small and compact as compared to 15’ display laptops.
Photo Source: Apple
Most of the users don’t use the laptop speakers much. But some do. 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.
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Set the volume at 100%. It should not produce burst sound or the sound with so much treble. Lenovo has a Dolby Digital Plus speaker which is 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 speakers are not the deal-breaker. You can sacrifice this because we have other better options for a sound like Bluetooth speakers, multimedia speakers, surround sound headphones. Check out the best Bluetooth speakers.
5. Storage Type
The storage of your laptop is for storing the data in your laptop may it video, sound, program, document, almost everything and that should be reliable, fast to read, and power-efficient. You might have noticed that a new laptop boots up in 15 seconds and gradually, it starts taking time as there is a new program installed.
You will find HDD in most of the laptops which are 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. If you are a gamer or into video production, you must require more disk space. But for all those who work with Google Docs, Google Sheets, or other cloud-based programs, you can opt for SSDs.
6. 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 the computing experience. Give proper attention to the keyboard.
If the keyboard is based on a single base, press the “H,J,G,F” keys and make sure that the keyboard doesn’t trickle. Also, check if the keyboard has a backlight sensor. The Apple Macbook Pro’s butterfly keyboard was a pain and now Apple finally fixed it with a new Macbook Pro launched in May 2020.
Most of the budget laptops don’t have a backlight keyboard but that is not a deal-breaker.
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 has multi-touch gestures and pressure-sensing capabilities. If you are going to buy a budget laptop, make sure the build quality of the 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.
7. Connectivity & Web Camera
Most of the laptop manufactures are moving towards USB Type-C port now. For using USB, you have to spend extra bucks on adapters. Just make sure you are getting 3.5 MM jack that almost every laptop has but for other ports like USB, HDMI, SD Card, you might need an adapter.
The webcam is not a priority for most people but if you are having an online meeting session over Skype or Zoom, the camera must be your priority. So better consider buying an additional webcam because inbuilt cameras will never satisfy you.
8. Battery Life
There is no specific laptop manufacturer that 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 a longer battery life.
The battery life of any device also depends on the user. If you are an avid gamer, you should not be concerned about the battery life of your laptop but if you are a casual user, battery life can bother you. So, take care of that.
The weight of the laptop doesn’t matter to you if you are going to use it in the home, office, or 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 a 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 ultrabooks by Dell, Lenovo, HP which weigh around 1 to 1.5 Kgs.
10. 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.
This laptop buying guide covers all the important aspects 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 that cannot be upgradable/modified. 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.