At LaptopMD, we encounter just about every consumer electronics problem you could imagine on a regular basis. For the most part, there aren’t many technical snafus we can’t rectify. However, some laptops are simply beyond fixing for one reason or another.
In that case, it’s time to upgrade to a new machine. Use the following laptop buying checklist we’ve put together to guide your decision the next time you need a new laptop.
Step #1 – Pick a Platform: Windows or Mac
Probably the most important decision you’ll make is the default operating system that a laptop comes with.
For most consumers, it’s basically a choice between Windows 10 and Mac OS X.
Step#2 – Do you want 2-in-1?
The main decision to make nowadays when it comes to mobile computers is between a standard laptop and a hybrid. A normal laptop has a permanently attached keyboard while a hybrid usually has a detachable keyboard. The Microsoft Surface Pro 4, the iPad Pro, Lenovo Yoga 900 are usually given as examples of the latter.
Step#3 – Choose a Size That’s Right for You
Since it’s an inherently mobile device, a laptop must be perfectly suited to its user on the basis of size and weight.
- 11 to 12 inches: The thinnest and lightest systems around have 11- to 12-inches screens and typically weigh 2.5 to 3.5 pounds. Examples – Surface Pro 4, Macbook 12;
- 13 to 14 inches: Provides the best balance of portability and usability if you get a laptop that weighs under 4 pounds Examples – Macbook Air 13, Dell XPS 13;
- 15 inches: The most popular size, 15 inch laptops weigh 4.5 to 6.5 pounds. Consider this size if you want a larger screen and you are not planning to carry your laptop around often. Examples – Macbook Pro 15, Asus Zenbook Pro UX501.
Step#4 – Find a Machine That’s Powerful Enough
The CPU and on-board RAM of a laptop will dictate what you can do with it in the field.. The key is to thoroughly peruse laptop benchmarks before buying.
- Intel Core i3/i5: If you are looking for a mainstream laptop with the best combination of price and performance, get a Core i5. Core i3 is a small step down.
- Intel Core i7: High-end performance for gaming rigs and workstations.
- Intel Core m3/ m5/ m7: Low-power and low heat allow systems with these processors to go fanless. Performance is better than Celeron, but a notch below Core i3/ i5.
Step#5 – Find a Machine with the Right Longevity
A laptop that can’t run as long as you’d like when it’s off the cord won’t do you much good. While a Macbook should be good for 10 hours or more under normal circumstances, a solid laptop usually won’t last much longer than five.
Some particularly efficient yet robust hybrids may be able to run for 8 hours or so on a single charge before eventually sapping their battery power.
Step#6 – Select a Laptop That Fits Your Budget
Finally, the right laptop is one that ticks all of the aforementioned boxes at a price that fits your budget. That range could be anywhere from $500 to 3000$. Knowing what you want and what you’re able to get for the money that you’re willing to part with is the key.
Shop around a little once you’ve dialed in your preferred specifications to avoid being ripped off on any given option.
Making Your Laptop Go the Distance
Finally you’ve found the perfect laptop for you. It would be awesome if all your data, pictures, notes, and music appeared on your new machine seamlessly as well as a pre-installed anti-virus program. Unfortunately it can be complicated for many users to do this by themselves. When you have an issue like this the friendly and experienced staff at LaptopMD is on your side.