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Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Laptop

By Bless

Laptop computers are very common now. There are so many of them that the real problem one would have to face is choosing from the alternatives that are available in the market place. Though very common to find, laptop computers still cost quite a fortune. In addition there are just too many brands and types to choose from. Each holding specific qualities, advantages and disadvantages. It therefore means deciding exactly which to by is not simply a matter of getting recommendations but knowing what aspects should guide your choice of a computer you decide to purchase lest after buying you realize that your choice was a mistake. The things to look for when buying a laptop are many. Considering the following aspects will help you make an informed decision and at the end you will definitely be happy with your choice.

Budget

Before going on to other things, you should begin by considering the amount of money you have or are willing to use to purchase the laptop. This is important because every other choice will be useless if the money you have is not enough to pay for what you desire. As a matter of fact, setting a particular amount to be used guides every other decision that has to be made before buying a laptop. More so, if you do not set your budget straight, you may set yourself up financially.

The primary purpose for buying

Unlike a television which is primarily to watch video images, computers have much more complex uses. This makes it important to consider your main reason for the purchase before buying a laptop. A person’s laptop could very well serve as a portable office, meaning it can be carried about for work to be done anywhere you find yourself. If you are buying a laptop primarily for the sake of work, you need to consider what kind of work you do and especially whether or not you will have to move the computer with you wherever you go.

Some jobs that are done on laptops can be done from any place so the owner works on the go. He could be on the train or bus working. She may want to take the computer to and from the office everyday to continue unfinished task. In this case, other aspects of the computer have to be carefully considered. Some other person may want to buy a computer just for watching videos and probably gaming. The laptop is therefor just a medium of entertainment and it also means certain peculiar aspects have to be considered. Just remember to take out some time to consider the main purpose why you intend buying a computer. There may be different reasons why you want to get a laptop but make sure you prioritize those reasons and consider the main reasons carefully before making a choice.

Size

Once you are settled on the reasons why you want to buy a laptop, you should now realize that the size you choose matters. It has a whole lot to do as far as user experience is concerned. The screen size is usually the main issue of concern when considering the size of a laptop but since the screen size is always directly related to the overall size, we just talk about size in general. It is an important laptop selection criteria you can’t afford to ignore. Laptops have different sizes, ranging from those which are as small as tablets or Ipads and others which can compete with the size of a normal desktop. The size of laptop you choose to buy will determine a lot of things, ranging from comfortability of use to the ease with which it can be carried around. This makes considering the size an important aspect when deciding which laptop to buy. It should appear as one thing to consider in your laptop features checklist. Basically I will advice that you not only look at specifications on a product list but check it up physically if you can. The size written on paper or on adverts may seem big enough but not match your desired specifications when delivered. Looking at the computer you choose to buy helps you tell if it is really what you are going to be comfortable with. Never choose a laptop size from a catalog if you are not very sure of the units of measurement for sizes that are used. Some people cannot really tell what some sizes look like by imagination. They would have to see the product physically to make the right decision. If you are one of such people, ensure that you make a decision based on actual observation.

Brand

Some years ago, there were not too many brands to choose from and those that existed did not really have as many product types like is the case today. More so, there are technological complications that may arise from choosing the wrong brand, making your experience with the product seem quite challenging if not altogether unbearable. There are a very large number of brands that exist as far as laptops are concerned. The most common of them include Hp, Apple, Dell, Asus, and Samsung. Depending on where you are located, the brands of laptops available would be different. The main thing however is not just about the brand name but its features and limitation.

Some brands prioritize certain aspects or features of a computer over others. For example there are computer brands that prioritize the hard drive capacity and outer build over other things. The outward appearance and hard drive capacity of such a brand may look appealing enough to make it your choice. But as you will find out, there are other things which may be far more important than the appearance or hard drive capacity of a laptop, depending on what your main purpose for buying it is. Your choice of a brand to buy must therefore be made after carefully considering certain issues. Some of those aspects that need to be considered are examined in the following lines.

RAM

For those who are not very familiar with the technical makeup of laptops but need to use one anyway, you should check the RAM capacity of the laptop you choose to buy. It is definitely one thing that must feature amongst your laptop selection criteria. RAM capacities are basically in Megabytes or gigabytes. Since I don’t recommend buying a laptop with RAM capacity of MB, we are simply going to consider those that are measured in GB. There are 1GB, 2GB, 4GB, 8GB, 16GB and probably other RAM types. The RAM of your computer is responsible for handling or managing ongoing processes. It is the memory of the computer. Like the brain. Which implies that the speed with which it can process information is crucial to the wellbeing of the computer. Imagine a human brain which is very slow in processing information. There are about a hundred activities and impulses going on in one’s soul and body at the same time. Yet the brain has to process and send across the right information to every part and to do so on time. What will happen if more information than the brain can handle has to be processed at the same time? The brain will simply crash down, leaving the whole system in a state of confusion.

In the same light, the amount of RAM your laptop has will determine the complexity of applications you can run on it and also how many applications or actions you can carry out a time without the laptop freezing or slowing down annoyingly. This makes it necessary to include it in your laptop features checklist. The standard RAM capacity for a fairly good laptop should be 4GB. You should only choose to buy a laptop with 2GB of Ram if you are only going to be using it for basic office tasks like typing, compilation of documents or using other simple office related applications. It will be difficult to use such a laptop to run heavy complicated programs.

For those who are in need of computers that can run and properly make use of far more heavy and complicated programs or applications like Adobe products or other video, audio and picture editing applications, you cannot afford to settle for anything less than 8GB of RAM capacity or else your work will be very tedious and time consuming. The basic thing is to consider what you will be doing with the computer you buy and look for a RAM capacity that properly processes the amount of information you will need processed at a certain time.

 

Storage space

Those who know little or nothing about how computers function usually have the idea that the higher the amount of storage or hard drive space a computer possesses, the faster or more efficient it will be. But that is not necessarily true. The main thing that affects the speed and efficiency with which a computer functions is the the RAM capacity. The storage capacity may pose a problem if it becomes too full. Why then is it important to consider the storage capacity before buying a laptop? Well, since you will have to store a lot of information in it, you have to consider the matter carefully before making a choice. That is the primary reason why you need to consider the storage space before choosing to buy a computer.

Since there are very large capacity hard drives, the storage space may not be a very serious issue to consider, especially for those who would love to have their information backed up or stored in different places. You can always get an external hard drive or USB drive that can augment for the lack of space if you should choose to get a computer that does not have enough space. Personally, I will advice anyone to buy a computer with high RAM capacity even if the hard drive space is small.

Keyboard type

There are different types of keyboards and no matter which other considerations you make, if your main activity on the laptop will be typing, you will definitely want to carefully consider the issue of keyboard type. Some keyboards are more comfortable to use and others could be quite stressful because of the way they are designed. Key buttons for example may be harder and less flexible when pressed. This means more effort may have to be made when using it.

There are also laptop keyboards that have light beneath the keys, making them easier to use in the dark. You have to work at night or in a poorly lit room. When that time comes, you don’t want to be hindered by the fact that your keys are not visible. Choose a keyboard that has the advantage of good lighting.

Another issue about keyboard types that needs to be considered is the space between keys. It could be quite stressful even for those who are good at typing to use a keyboard with keys that are either too close to each other or too far apart. The space between keys and the size of those keys should help make the typing experience better.

Lastly, some brands try to incoperate different symbols and characters of two or more languages on the same keyboard. To the manufacturer, this may simply be to enable a wider range of users the possibility of using it. But you don’t want to put yourself in a situation where you have to look for characters or symbols before using them. Even the clarity with which the letters are written is an issue to consider. Some are written in such a manner that makes it easy to be wiped off with continuous use.

Operating system type

There are different types of operating systems for computers and these operating systems, like the different brands of laptops have their advantages and disadvantages. There is Unix, Mac, Ubuntu, Linux, Windows and many others. You may be familiar with some of the names mentioned while others will definitely sound very strange. It is preferable to buy a laptop with an operating system you are familiar with but if you just want something for a change, then paying attention to their advantages and disadvantages will help guide you into making the right choice. We are not going to outline the advantages or disadvantages of each here. Just know that there are several of them, check up which one will suit you best and consider buying it.

Battery life

The fact that laptops are portable is one of the main reasons why people prefer them to normal desktop computers. However, the portability of laptops will be of little or no advantage if they were not able to keep power. Your day could completely be spoiled if after doing some serious work, electricity goes out before you could save what you have done. More so, because a laptop has battery and keeps power, you can still use it even in a situation where it cannot be connected to electricity.

Some laptop batteries can last just about an hour when not connected to electricity while others can last for up to six hours. There are situations or societies where getting a computer with little or no capacity to keep power may not be a serious point of concern. You should therefore ensure that the laptop has a good battery life before buying. If you are living and working in a city that almost never ever experiences power cuts, then it may may not be very necessary to take the matter of battery life very serious. On the other hand, some communities can hardly go for a few hours without having power cuts. Those who live and work in such a place will definitely need to find a computer that has the capacity to keep power for much longer. Your job could seriously be slowed down if you have to get a laptop that does not last more than a few minutes. For you, sacrificing some extra money to get a computer that can keep power is very important. Be sure to include the issue of battery life in your laptop features checklist to avoid future embarrassments. A powerful long lasting battery is one of the things to look for when buying a laptop.

USB ports

In considering the issue of USB ports before buying a laptop, there are two main issues to look into. The first is the type of USB ports available. It is very common to see laptops with USB 3.0 ports but there are others such as Type C or Thunderbolt 3 which are quite ideal. For most people, the issue of USB port types is not a major call for concern. But if you do a lot of transfer of files between gadgets, you definitely need to take note of this point. Type C USB ports are sometimes preferred for the simple reason that they accept 3.0 and others. The types of USB ports available is definitely a laptop selection criteria and should be considered before buying a laptop.

The second thing is the number of USB ports available. Some laptops come with just one or two USB ports. For someone who does a lot of movement of files between gadgets at the same time, having just two USB ports would not be ideal. You will need at least three of them. Conclusively, the type and number of USB ports available are some of the things to look for when buying a laptop.

Build quality

This should definitely feature as a laptop selection criteria. Just like mobile phones, it is possible to drop your laptop. Since it is not something you plan or wish to happen, and considering the magnitude of damage that can be done if a laptop drops, it is important to take special note of the build and external structure. Some laptops are built to withstand certain conditions. Some would be left in pieces if dropped from knee level. Others will not need any special repair if they fall. The built quality of a laptop is one thing that should appear on your laptop features checklist. Of course, for a more compact type, you will have to put more money on the counter but be that as it may, the sacrifice could be worth it, especially if you are the type of person who is most likely to drop the computer. It is better to get a laptop at $600 that will last longer and withstand even more dangerous situations without falling apart than to get one which is just about $400 but would have to be replaced in a matter of months. All that is considering that you have the money to make the choice though.

Weight

Since most people will want to carry their laptops around, we could not leave out the issue of weight. There are still very bulky laptops in the market today though technological changes have made the slim versions more popular. The main thing is, most of these bulky laptops are way cheaper than the ones which are comparatively slimmer and lighter. If you are a student for example, you may have to carry a laptop bag around very often and if you choose to buy one of those bulky, heavy laptops, you may regret it when you finally realize the load you have to carry about frequently and especially the burden. Get the lightest you can afford by carefully considering the issue of weight. For such a person a lightweight is one of the things to look for when buying a laptop.

Since there are so many things to look for when buying a laptop, and considering that the price of one is considerably high, one needs to be cautious. The next way to go about it is to have a laptop features checklist which includes especially the features you are interested in so that when the time comes you don’t forget to check something. The laptop selection criteria or process will be less complicated if you have a laptop features checklist.

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