Choosing a Laptop

My clients regularly ask me to help them choose when buying a laptop. It can be daunting with so many options out there all with different specifications.

I can break it down into a few easy questions you need to ask yourself.

How much are you willing to spend?
Will you be doing advanced tasks such as video and editing and playing games? Or more simple everyday tasks such as online banking and email.
Does it need to be light? Will you be travelling with it daily? What size screen 13 inches or 15 inches?

1. Currently, I see many laptops around the $700-$800 that perform all the tasks the average home or office user needs. Spending more does not neccesarily mean you will get more bang for your buck. If all you need is a laptop for surfing the internet and normal office tasks, this budget will be enough.

2.Without getting too technical the computer is made up of parts analogous to the human brain.

Main Brain: CPU-look for i5 or i7 with a speed of at least 2.0Ghz

Short Term Memory: RAM -look for at least 4 gigabyts of ram (its cheap to add another 4 gigabytes for 8 in total)

Long Term Memory: Hard disk -look for at least 250GB of storage in total and solid state if possible.

I highly recommend solid state(SSD), it makes starting your computer and opening programs roughly three times faster. Look for either a hybrid drive with some SSD and at least 250GB of storage in total. If you don’t get a solid state disk then look for at least 500GB of disk storage.

Screen: Size is the main factor here, Portable size without getting too small is 13-13.3″. If you are going to leave your laptop at home all the time, go for a larger screen 15.4″. This is really personal preference.

Web Cam: All laptops should come with this built in.

DVD drive: you may or may not need to read dvd’s or cd’s. Newer light laptops do not come with this built in.

Finally shop around, retailers are always offering deals. You may be able to save 100’s of dollars by buying a promotional item. Start your search online, once you find a laptop you like search for it on sites like shopbot.

Extended warranty can be a good investment, company’s such as ASUS an ACER offer a few more years cover for less than $50.

Finally If you would like some advice on choosing a laptop, don’t hesitate to ask.