Laptop buying guide

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Laptop buying guide

The top seven things to look out for when making a laptop purchase.

Laptops are a piece of tech that is here to stay. The idea of having a computer that you can always carry with you is a thumbs up however you look at it. But then, laptops exist in their hundreds leaving the average consumer confused. And there comes a time in a human being's life when they have to choose the laptop they will take as their mate in their day to day. A while ago, I thought hard about the place of gaming laptops in today's tech space, and as I put my thoughts in an article, I could not help but ask myself what people look for when buying a laptop. It is such a simple question that can be easily overlooked. Reviewers like to say that whatever you want and afford is what you should get and that is true. But, here are the seven most important metrics to use when making your decision.


Laptops are meant to be carried around and from this statement alone, we can conclude that the best laptop is the most portable one, one that is not too heavy yet powerful enough to handle whatever you throw at it. However, I hate to say it, but get what works for you. It is advisable to have a real-world feel of the laptop before splashing your cash on it. Smaller laptops are also likely to have a smaller keyboard, a smaller display, and sometimes even a smaller battery. But in today's world, it is very easy to strike a balance. A 13 to 15-inch laptop is a reliable range for me.


Well, you knew this was one of the reasons. right? The big P. If you ask around, this is the greatest factor that we unwillingly have to consider because money is a limited resource. Most buying advice is given from the consumer's price range and how much you are willing to spend. When shopping for a laptop, it is important to have a budget. The said budget should be informed by prevailing market rates so a look at current markets is advisable. And, you can always turn to the used market for that older but more premium machine. Do not spend more than you have to.

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Any modern machine you buy is likely to come included with the most common ports. Unless it is a MacBook where Apple adds in and removes ports at will. Take the HDMI and SD card slots that had taken a break but reappeared on the current Macbook Pro. My point here then, is that certain models will have your hands tied when it comes to ports and connectivity in the long run. And even if we might make fun of the hide-and-seek games Apple likes to play, they know one thing for certain, you cannot use all the ports the PC world has to offer. And that brings us nicely to our take here, look for the ports that would best serve you. You can also compromise as there are ways to get around these issues of the lack of ports. I would not buy a laptop without an SD card slot but that is just me. What do you swear by when it comes to ports and slots? Stick to the principles you have set and buy the laptop that puts your port interests first.


Random access memory, the first concept taught to anyone with an interest in computers quickly comes to mind. The reality of the situation is that anything above 8 GB of RAM is adequate for the average user. You might want to adjust that figure upward depending on what you want to use your laptop for. Computers have upgradable RAM and it is advisable to get a laptop that you can upgrade later. RAM does not work on its own. For example, a gaming laptop is also likely to have a powerful GPU, a feature that you might also be interested in if you are into video editing or graphic design. Having all the power at your fingertips is the best thing in the perfect world, but the world is anything but perfect.


It is only right that we cover storage after memory. I am going to keep this tip short and hot. In today's tech world, get a laptop with an SSD as opposed to a HDD, they are faster and less noisy. They also have a smaller footprint and so should fit right into the compact aesthetic we want for our laptops. The capacity of the SSD or HDD however, is entirely up to you. A terabyte is a comfortable figure that I can throw around when asked for advice.


Laughs in desk setups. For all of us who do not have three 4K external monitors on our desks, the display is a huge talking point when looking for a laptop. Here, the 1920 by 1080 pixel to 4K display on your laptop should serve you well. Should you need anything above that, then we can only recommend an external monitor like our desk buddies. On matters of brightness, rather than have me talk about specific nits that you should go for, once you iron out your choices, look for them for a real-world feel and gauge how your eyes respond to the screens.

Use case

What do you want your laptop for? Gamers have their laptops, and so do business people whose laptops come with a touch of leather or Alcantara, mostly. Sometimes, rather than waste time looking around, the perfect laptop for you might be classified by its use case. Granted, use cases are interchangeable; such as using a gaming laptop to edit videos or a business one to edit light photos. This use case is also the key to the thought process when it comes to purchasing your machine.