10 Common Mistakes in Laptop Shopping and How to Avoid Them
Laptop Shopping – You know it’s coming long before the inevitable breakdown. Maybe you’re visited by a flash of the “blue screen of death,” or experience sudden shutdowns in the middle of your workday. Whatever the case, the omens seem clear: your current laptop is on its final legs, and the time to acquire a new computer is NOW!
You might feel the temptation to shop quickly so that your new laptop might arrive before your current machine takes its final breath, but that’s when mistakes in laptop shopping happen. The right laptop can last for years and simplify your life and workflow. If you rush, you might end up opening up that package only to find you’ve purchased something completely wrong for your needs.
Never fear! This brief and informative guide will help guide you away from the most common mistakes so that you can better understand the types of laptops out there. Keep reading to learn about ten common mistakes that can be easily avoided with a little forethought!
Follow these tips and you’ll be browsing posts like these from your new, perfect laptop in no time!
Table of Contents
Laptop Shopping – I’ll Take the Red One!
If you’re not sure exactly what you’re looking for, it’s easy to glance at a picture online and shop based on aesthetics. Maybe you’re drawn in by a laptop that comes in multiple “fun” colors. Perhaps you’re tempted to choose the model that has a glowing piece of fruit on top, making it a status symbol instead of a piece of technology.
Like human beings and books, what matters when it comes to laptops is on the inside! Often, when you buy a laptop based on looks, you’ll find yourself paying more money for much less functionality. Truth be told, when the laptop is open and in use, you won’t be seeing the color, anyway!
The cult-like following of a certain fruit-themed laptop manufacturer has left many users with machines that are physically falling apart in between new releases. Those laptops are being held together with electrical tape and dreams.
Likewise, colorful models are often marketed toward individuals perceived to be naive about technology, like college students. You will want to look beyond appearances if you want a laptop that can get the job done.
Is This a Laptop or a Brick?
When you begin to browse, you’re likely to find a series of small and large laptops available for sale. Do you go for the one with a large screen, the compact size, or something in between? Many hasty individuals press “buy now” without realizing that they’re buying a laptop that weighs more than their favorite dumbbells – or, in contrast, a hyper-expensive, paper-thin unit.
Start by assessing your needs. Are you a commuter, or someone who travels a great deal for work? You may want to factor the weight of your new laptop into your decision.
Note that smaller doesn’t always mean lighter. If you’re looking for a laptop with full functionality, avoid machines with screens smaller than fourteen inches. They are notorious for overheating, and often don’t have great hardware.
Furthermore, if you don’t plan to take your laptop on the go, you can probably get by just fine with a somewhat heavier model. A good, sturdy laptop is likely to have good, sturdy hardware. If you’re not so confident in your ability to use the cloud, you might want to go for a heavier machine with the bells and whistles you need to get the job done.
If you’re looking for a great compromise between portability and function, view here.
Is This Good for Gamers?
Most gamers know a thing or two about technology. If you’re new to that world, you’ll want to make sure to buy a machine that can handle the speed and graphic needs of modern games. If you want to play, you might want to buy a machine with a high-tech NVidia card so your graphics will come through as intended.
You will also want to keep CPU speed in mind when you’re looking at laptop specs. More speed often means that games are less glitchy, and lead to a better overall user experience.
With that said, if you’re not looking to settle in for some first-person shooter action after a long day at the office, you can save a lot of money. You won’t need a high-end graphics card, and average speed will get the job done. Don’t buy more than you need or all of that expensive tech will go to waste and won’t necessarily provide you with any added value.
Why Is There So Much Glare?
The “glossy monitor” trend is a great way to make a laptop look more attractive on the sales floor. Once it’s in your home, that shiny finish can make it hard to browse your favorite websites. You shouldn’t need sunglasses to check your email!
Skip the glossy monitor and save some money with a standard screen.
Is It Hot in Here, or Is It My Laptop?
Laptops with a lot of hardware tend to get hot, fast. With all of the parts working for an extended period, the energy has to go somewhere. A hot machine in a hot room can lead to hardware failure, and you’ll find yourself in need of another new laptop way too soon.
If you’re comfortable with the cloud, you can choose a machine with less internal hardware. The fewer moving parts, the less likely your machine will be to overheat.
Likewise, you can pick up a cooling pad along with your laptop to keep it going for much longer.
What If I Drop the Thing?
If you’re shopping for a new laptop because you damaged the old one, you might be more likely to buy the extended warranty. After all, you don’t want a spilled cup of coffee to win a second time! Before you do, however, make sure that the warranty covers the accidents that are actually likely to happen.
In most cases, an extended warranty is only helpful for individuals worried about theft or damage in transit. As soon as there’s any indication of user error or they detect any moisture, you’re SOL.
In some cases, the extended warranty may come with tech support. You’ll have to weigh whether or not that’s worth the extra cash. For the average user, however, it’s an added expense that won’t pay off.
Is the Price Too Good to Be True?
If the timing is right, you might be able to buy a new laptop on a big sales day, like Black Friday. Consider the fact that there may be a reason why the manufacturer discounted that particular model. If you choose a laptop-based solely on price, you often get what you’ve paid for.
The low price usually comes from poor manufacturing. You can expect a large hard drive, a clunky machine, and a short lifespan. Shop for features, not for the price tag and you’re far more likely to end up with a quality machine.
The cheaper the laptop, the less likely it is to have the latest laptop features. You don’t want your laptop to become obsolete a week after you have it in your hands!
What’s This RAM Thing About?
RAM stands for Random Access Memory. It’s essentially your laptop’s short-term memory. It stores data related to the tasks you complete every day, and it can make a huge difference in the way your machine functions.
While a higher number does usually mean better equipment, the casual user does not need a huge amount of RAM. 4 GB is about as much as the average user needs for a fast and efficient laptop. If you want more, you’ll have to pay for it and you may never use it!
Are All Laptops Like This?
If you’re in dire straits, you might want to order the first laptop you see online. With next-day shipping, you can have it in your hands right away.
If you’re not super tech-savvy, it might be worth your while to give your new laptop a test drive before you commit. You might find that the operating system isn’t as intuitive as you’d hoped, or that it has features far beyond what you need. A little test drive in the store can help make your decision easier.
Comparing laptop prices also becomes a lot easier when you see what you’re getting for the money.
But the Reviews Said…
You’d be wise to check out online customer reviews before you make your purchase. Remember, however, that two types of customers are likely to leave reviews: those who are extremely happy with the product and those that are extremely displeased! Search for balance, and keep track of any deal-breakers that come up multiple times across different reviews.
Avoid These Mistakes in Laptop Shopping!
When you open that package and remove your brand new laptop, you want to be certain that you’ve chosen the right computer for you. That all begins with avoiding the most common mistakes in laptop shopping and prioritizing your unique needs. Whether you need something simple, something small, or something complex, there is a perfect laptop out there for you!
Once you’ve got your technology sorted, you should check out the rest of the blog for more helpful posts that make choosing the right equipment easy. You’re just a few clicks away from quality posts that can help you get the best out of your new laptop!