Tips on buying computer portable laptops

Laptop buying tips

Updated:
03/13/2021
by

Computer Hope

Purchasing a home or business laptop tin can be a confusing and sometimes frightening experience. Below is a listing of help and tips when considering purchasing a laptop computer.

What to look for

When purchasing a laptop, y’all likely have a general idea of what you want or how you lot want to use it. Beneath is a listing of the diverse components found in most laptops today and recommendations and tips when considering any of these components.

Battery usage

Determine how long the battery is expected to concluding under regular utilize. Many manufacturers indicate a battery usage fourth dimension, simply this may exist at the lowest possible settings; ensure the manufacturer clarifies what the normal battery usage life is when using the portable figurer in all power modes.

Display

While most laptops include a VGA, HDMI, or DisplayPort for connecting an external monitor, the laptop’due south brandish is an of import consideration. When looking at the display, ensure information technology is large enough for your needs. If the price is not the most important consideration for you lot, we highly recommend purchasing a laptop with at least a 15″ or 17″ display size. If the price is a concern, we suggest looking for a laptop with a 13″ or smaller display size.

Complete buying tip information on Apartment-Panel or LCD solutions can be establish on our flat-console buying tips page.

Drives

Drives are sometimes overlooked when considering a portable computer but can be an of import consideration. Portable computers tin come up with diverse drive configurations, for example:

  • One bulldoze bay
    with a DVD-ROM or DVD writer bulldoze. If you exercise not plan to write data to a DVD, the basic DVD-ROM drive is adequate. However, if you desire to save data to a DVD, make sure the laptop includes a DVD writer, often listed as a DVD-RW drive.
  • No drive bay
    allows a laptop to be light and utilize external drives instead of internal drives. Pay close attention to the price of these laptops. While information technology may appear to be a portable solution, many manufacturers charge you an additional price for the external drives, which are oft needed.

Yous may also want to consider dissimilar media solutions. For case, all laptops include one or more USB ports for USB flash drives or external hard drives. Having a laptop with at least two USB ports is beneficial, allowing you to connect a wireless mouse and USB flash drive or external difficult drive at the same time.

Hard drive

Difficult drives accept and ever will be an important consideration when purchasing a new portable computer. Like a standard computer, the hard drive is the destination of all your files and data, and if that drive becomes full, that bulldoze must exist replaced, or an external drive needs to be continued to the laptop. When looking at the hard drive infinite, look for a laptop with the maximum difficult drive size to give you lot more storage infinite long term.

Complete buying tip information on hard drives is on our difficult drive buying tips page.

Lock

Does the laptop include whatsoever locking system? If yes, what locking system is included? This can exist important if you are on the road or frequently use the laptop in public places.

Memory

SODIMM

Memory is and will be an important consideration when looking at purchasing a laptop. Determine the amount of memory included in the laptop, and verify if in that location are one or more empty retentivity slots for adding more memory in the futurity. The more memory the laptop has or tin can support, the faster and more efficient the laptop can performfor many use cases.

Consummate ownership tip information on computer retentiveness is on our retentivity ownership tips page.

Modem

PC Card or PCMCIA slot and card

While less normally used today, if a modem is required for Cyberspace connectivity, ensure the laptop has a PC Card slot. Current laptops rarely include a modem, so yous need to purchase a PCMCIA modem and connect it to the laptop using the PC Carte slot.

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Consummate ownership tips and data on modems are on our modem buying tips page.

Network Card

LAN port / Ethernet port

If a network connection is required, ensure a network port is available on the laptop. Today, well-nigh all laptops have a network port built-in and available to use for Internet connectivity.

Complete buying tips and information on network cards are on our network carte buying tips page.

Processor

Illustration of a CPU.

The computer processor is always an important consideration when purchasing a laptop. Today, with multiple processor manufacturers, it may exist more disruptive and more cost-efficient to look at the different processors available.

Complete buying tips and information on estimator processors are on our CPU ownership tips page.

Audio card

All laptops today accept a sound card integrated into the motherboard. Yet, that sound menu oft only provides basic sound capabilities and quality. If yous want a more advanced audio carte du jour that increases the number of speakers that tin be used and improves the sound quality, you need to buy a PCMCIA or external sound card. To use a PCMCIA sound carte du jour, make certain the laptop has a PC Carte du jour slot.

For near users, the basic audio carte included in a laptop is sufficient, but the sound volume is not very loud. Consider purchasing headphones to hear sounds more than clearly, especially if listening to music or videos on the laptop.

Weight

Weight is another important consideration when considering a laptop. The lighter the laptop, the easier it is to carry, especially when carrying it for a long time. Check each laptop’s weight and endeavour to find the lightest laptop that has the features you want.

Video card

Video cards are condign an essential factor when purchasing a laptop. While this may surprise some, a video card can brand or break a laptop for playing games. Most games today require additional video retentiveness and special video modes, such every bit OpenGL. A video card with lilliputian video memory or without these video modes cannot play the more advanced, graphically intensive games.

About lower-priced laptops include basic video cards and are not capable of playing many games. If you want to play games on the laptop, wait for a laptop with an NVIDIA GeForce, AMD Radeon, or similar video carte du jour. Those video cards go far possible to play most video games on a laptop.

Complete ownership tips and information on video cards are on our video card buying tips page.

Brand of laptop

When looking at purchasing any brand of laptop, you likely hear expert and bad stories. Regardless of whether the story is good or bad, these stories are e’er based on that user’s experience. While it may be true that a user had a bad or terrible feel with that laptop, all laptop manufacturers have users who had a bad experience. There is no such matter as an imperfect computer manufacturer. Below is a listing of diverse things to consider when purchasing a laptop. In some cases, how to tell the good from the bad, helping you purchase the laptop that suits your needs.

Add-ons

Computer inkjet printer

Some companies may try to sell additional add-ons when purchasing a laptop. Unless yous have done your research on the boosted add-ons, do not consider any add-ons. While in some cases it may be benign to get a printer, scanner, camera, or PC cards with a computer, you may be paying a premium for the improver. In the case of a printer, you lot may have to pay a premium for ink in the futurity.

Practise your research to ensure that if you get additional hardware or add together-ons, the hardware suits your needs, and it does not stop upwardly beingness something that isn’t used.

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Costless add together-ons? Some computer companies may entice you lot to buy a laptop by giving you free add-ons. These add-ons may be advertised as free; however, they oftentimes are not free. Ensure the add together-on price is non being added to the overall laptop price.

Documentation

While near manufacturers today are reducing the documentation included with their laptops, information technology is however a good idea to find out what documentation, is included.

Some laptop manufacturers include paper documentation or paper inserts; yet, does that information include upgrading the laptop in the future? How do you connect cables, peripherals, and accessories to the laptop? Is there documentation on how to utilise any included software?

Note

It is important to distinguish between paper documentation and on-line documentation. On-line documentation, which is more common today, is information available on the Internet, usually from the manufacturer’s website. If the data is available on the Internet, review that data to make certain it suits your needs before purchasing the computer.

Location

We use location to describe different topics. First, what is the location of where the laptop is purchased? If the laptop is purchased at a local retail store, can it be returned to that store if unsatisfactory? If the laptop is purchased on the Net or directly through the manufacturer or reseller, where can the laptop be returned if unsatisfactory?

2nd, is the store location where the laptop was purchased able to service the figurer? If not, where is the closest location where the laptop can exist serviced?

Tertiary, if purchasing directly from the manufacturer and shipping through the mail, how is information technology shipped? What is the fourth dimension for the laptop to go far at your destination? What happens if the laptop is damaged during shipping?

Refurbished

Refurb

Refurbished is a term used to describe a computer, hardware device, or component in a computer that was used. It was looked at, possibly repaired, and determined to be in working social club. However, considering the product was used or purchased, it cannot be sold as new.

Refurbished laptops take a lower toll and are a expert deal for users looking for a better bargain. However, compare the refurbished laptop’due south price to a new laptop and review all the tips on this page, every bit all the same rules, tricks, and tips still apply.

Service

service

Service is an of import consideration to look at when looking to purchase a laptop, new or used. The service is how many companies depict the repair of a laptop if it, or a component in it, becomes broken. Below is a list of recommended services.

  1. Is the service onsite, meaning a technician comes to your location to replace or set up a bad component? If the service is onsite, is it for the
    consummate
    fourth dimension of the warranty?
  2. If onsite is not offered, what is and for how long?
  3. Can the laptop be taken to a local service center? If yeah, what is the closest authorized service middle?
  4. What is the time frame the service takes to occur? For example, if the laptop has a bad component, what is the time it takes for a technician to come onsite and supercede that component, or what is the time it takes to have the laptop sent in to be stock-still? Finally, if that time frame is not accomplished, what is the visitor willing to exercise? Would they be willing to provide yous with a loaner laptop?
  5. Because the laptop is portable, is International Service bachelor? This allows users in a different country to take their computer fixed in that state.

Software

Microsoft Excel software box

For many figurer users, especially new users, the software is an important consideration when purchasing a new laptop. While there is software that nosotros highly recommend looking for when purchasing a laptop, like a discussion processor or spreadsheet programme, some companies may over-hype the software package included with the laptop. Below is a listing of what to look for when looking at the software included with a laptop.

  1. Does the software include Microsoft Part or Corel Suite? These packages include a discussion processor and spreadsheet plan. For the majority of all users, this should be an of import consideration.
  2. Is the software full versions of that software, or only software demos or shareware programs?
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Back up

Technical support

While you can always contact Computer Promise for support, manufacturer support for most users is another important consideration. If an issue arises with the laptop, you must be able to contact a support representative. Things to consider when looking at the support options for a laptop are listed below.

  1. Is support open 24 hours, seven days a week? If not, what are their hours?
  2. Is support open up on holidays? If not, what days are they closed?
  3. What back up options are bachelor? Telephone? Email? Web? Chat?

Upgrade

While this selection may non be considered at kickoff when purchasing a laptop, it is an of import consideration. Below is a listing of different options to wait for when looking to upgrade a laptop.

  1. Can the RAM be upgraded? If available to upgrade, what are the maximum amounts, or is it specified in the documentation provided with the laptop or on the Net?
  2. Are the upgrades something you tin practice, or does it crave a service middle to install?

Warranty

Warranty

Finally, what warranty is offered by the laptop manufacturer? How long is the warranty? Does the warranty embrace hardware and software issues?

Warranty can cause frustrations for near users. Nosotros highly recommend looking for a laptop with
at to the lowest degree
a one-year warranty. Many cheap laptops just come with a xc-twenty-four hours warranty, meaning if a part goes bad after merely ninety days, you pay for the part and the service. This may non exist an event for users who but need a cheap laptop and are willing to pay for parts and service.

Annotation

Refurbished laptops usually only have a xc-24-hour interval warranty.

Scams

Sentry out for the scams and tricks below when buying a laptop.

Get what you lot pay for

Brand sure y’all are paying for what you go. It is known that some on-line, less reputable companies may list a laptop as having a specific processor speed, amount of RAM, or specific size hard drive. However, the laptop has a slower processor speed, less RAM, or a smaller difficult bulldoze.

To decide the laptop’s bodily hardware specifications, get the brand and model number of the laptop, and so search online for that make and model number. Review the specifications for that make and model on a reputable website, similar Amazon, Best Buy, or New Egg, and verify their listed specifications match what the company selling the laptop claims are the specifications.

Legal software

When purchasing a laptop, ensure it comes with legal software. Many end-users or modest computer companies who build or sell computers may not provide y’all with legal copies of the software, which is illegal. Verify the software that came with the laptop is on a standard CD and not a burned CD. A burned or home-made CD looks different, with a gilt or green lesser. Ensure that if the software requires a product cardinal, it is included with the laptop. An example of software that includes a product fundamental is Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Function.

Notation

If the laptop includes demo or trial software, like a Microsoft Office trial version, a production key may not come up with the laptop. A product primal for trial software is often obtained when the software is purchased later on the trial version expires.

Source: https://www.computerhope.com/btips/laptop.htm