If you’re shopping for a laptop for your kids going back to school, or just looking for something to help you with productivity, there’s a lot to choose from. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for laptops on the lower end to distance themselves from competition in the form of tablets and even smartphones. As such, tons of weird gimmicks have started showing up on laptops across the entire market, and they can be hard to sift through.
When you’re shopping for a new laptop, there are a few basic mistakes you’ll want to take care to avoid. Whether they’re experienced tech junkies or relative newcomers, here are the basic mistakes that people make when they’re shopping for a new laptop.
Paying too Much
Some of the higher-end laptops you’ll find are downright amazing. However, that doesn’t mean that every expensive laptop is a good deal. If a laptop feels like it’s straining your budget for you to fit it into your purchases, it’s likely rocking some features that are completely unnecessary. Don’t get suckered in to paying a huge upcharge for a 4K display, 4TB of memory and 12GB of RAM when the laptop is going to be used for taking notes and watching YouTube videos.
Along this same line of reasoning, make sure you know what display resolution you’re comfortable with. If you want to use a laptop for lots of Netflix streaming, video games and photo editing, you might want to opt for the full 4K resolution. However, if you’re buying for a student so they can write research papers and check their email, then you might go for a 720p screen that costs less than half the price.
Undershooting Your Needs
On the flip side, if you buy a laptop entirely based on “oh, this is the cheapest one I could find!” then you’re likely going to get what you pay for. If your laptop barely has any storage or RAM, then you’ll find it quickly running out of usefulness for you. Likewise, if you need a lot of applications running at once but opt for a dual-core processor over a quad-core processor, just because the dual-core was cheaper, you’ve only short-changed yourself.
When you’re buying a laptop, have a good idea of your needs. When you know what you need, then it’s easier to set your price point. If you undershoot what you need, then you’ll have issues on you hands that you won’t be able to fix until you just buy the laptop you should have bought in the first place. Likewise, if you overshoot and buy something hilariously overpowered for what you need, then you’ve wasted a ton of money on bells and whistles that aren’t helping you.
Not Trying it Out
Would you ever buy a car without test driving it, or a home without touring it? If you would, then, congratulations on your huge piles of disposable cash. However, people with normal budgets try things before buying them, and your laptop should be no exception. The prevalence of online buying has made this a bit less common in recent years, but this is a disturbing trend. It’s important that you try out any complex piece of technology before you buy it.
The feel of the keyboard, the speed of the processors and the appearance of the resolution are all important things to see in person. Even minor touches, like the shape and weight of the laptop, are hard to gauge just by looking at stats and dimensions on a cold web page. Little things like the sensitivity of the touch pad or the lack of certain features might not jump off the page at you, but would be immediately apparent if you tried the device in-person.
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