Buying a New Laptop? Keep These Tips in Mind

A laptop isn’t something you purchase every day. For most of us, we purchase a laptop every five to seven years. However, when it does come time to make this purchase, you want to be sure you get it right. 

Start by brainstorming what you need from your laptop. Are you a gamer who plans on running a lot of high-processing video games? Are you a remote worker who spends a lot of time in coffee shops seeding emails and working out of spreadsheets? Are you a student who needs a laptop to double for school and Netflix streaming?

When you understand what your primary use is, you’ll be able to focus your search on the specifications that matter most to you, which prevents overspending on unnecessary features.

Different uses will prioritize different specs:

  • Gamers will need high-performance graphics cards and robust processors.
  • Professionals might need better security features and powerful multitasking capabilities.
  • Students may prioritize portability and battery life.
  • Casual users might find mid-range laptops more than sufficient.

 

While there are powerful laptops that are versatile enough to work for everyone, you don’t necessarily need to buy one of these if you only have simple requirements. For example, there’s no sense in a casual user overpaying for a gaming laptop when they’re just going to use it to check emails and look at recipes on Pinterest.

 

  • Know When to Buy

Timing your purchase can also help you get the best deal on a new laptop. Major sales events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and back-to-school seasons often feature significant discounts on devices (including laptops). 

New models usually launch around the same time each year, so last year’s models are often discounted when the new models are released. Typically, you can find laptop deals in Canada right around the release of new models.

 

  • Consider Processor and RAM

The processor is the heart of the laptop, influencing how fast it runs applications and manages tasks. Intel and AMD are the leading processor manufacturers, with options ranging from basic to high-end. For most users, an Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 processor will handle tasks smoothly.

RAM (Random Access Memory) helps your system handle multiple tasks at once. A minimum of 8GB of RAM is advisable for most users, but 16GB or more may be necessary if you’re into heavy multitasking, video editing, or gaming

  • Take Storage Into Account

Solid State Drives (SSDs) offer significant advantages over traditional Hard Disk Drives (HDDs). SSDs are faster, more durable, and use less energy. While they cost more than HDDs, the speed with which they load programs and files is worth the extra expense for most users.

Most people will want to consider a laptop with at least 256GB SSD for adequate storage space that doesn’t compromise on speed. But again, this all depends on your needs. If you know you’re going to store most of your files in the cloud, you don’t necessarily need a ton of storage space on the laptop itself.

 

  • Research the Battery Life

Battery life is really important if you plan to use your laptop on the go. Look for laptops that offer at least eight hours of battery life, which is sufficient for a full day of work or study without needing a recharge.

If battery life is one of the factors you’re considering, there are some laptops that come with 13 to 15 hours of battery right out of the box. You would definitely want to consider these options, as they could allow you to get up to two days of use on a single charge. (That was unheard of three or four years ago.)

 

  • Think About Portability

If you’re going to be using your laptop on the go a lot – which is what a laptop is designed for – think about portability. This includes the size of the laptop.

Laptops typically range from ultra-lightweight models that weigh as little as two pounds to more robust models that can weigh five pounds or more. If you travel or commute with your laptop on a regular basis, opt for a model that weighs around three pounds or less. The physical size of the laptop also matters. Models with a screen size of 13 or 14 inches strike a good balance between usability and compactness.

 

Conclusion 

Finding the right laptop comes down to understanding what you need and what you don’t. When you prioritize the right factors, you’ll find it much easier to sort through all of the available models and options to ultimately find the best one for your situation.

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