How Do You Choose A New Laptop? – 8 Tips

Choosing a new laptop can be a daunting task. It would help if you considered your need for power, screen size, and storage. 

If you choose the wrong one, you could pay more for repairs than you did for the laptop. 

Spending large amounts of money on things that will last you years is a great way to build wealth and add to your security. 

Now don’t get me wrong here – I’m not saying let’s go out buying hundreds of laptops and hope they’re safe (although that could be fun). 

It comes down to a choice: do you know what to look for when buying your new laptop?

In this in-depth guide, you’ll learn:

  1. What will you be using your laptop for?
  2. How long do you want to do it?
  3. What size would you like?
  4. Which platform would you like to work on?
  5. Would you like a touchscreen?
  6. What is your budget?
  7. How old is the model?
  8. Where do you buy your laptop?

If you pay attention to these 8 points, you must have found a good laptop. I answered every question for 6 different categories of laptop users.

How to choose a new laptop?

So take a good look at which group you always fit in, because then you will receive clear personal advice. You may also fit into two groups, so try to pay attention to both pieces of advice.

To make it easier, I also gave some laptop advice at the end. This way, you can immediately look at the best laptops.

1. What are you going to use your laptop for?

This is the main question. This determines which laptops you will be able to choose. If you then ask yourself: “What am I going to use my laptop for?” there are several things to consider.

  • How long should the battery last?
  • How fast should the laptop be?
  • How much storage will I need?
  • What build quality do I want?

Let’s take a closer look at all these questions.

How long should the battery last?

Unfortunately, a battery does not last indefinitely. You have to ask yourself, how long will I need a laptop in a place with no power outlet (or where a power outlet is hard to find).

You could, of course, opt for the largest possible battery, but that immediately leads to several problems. For example, a laptop with a very large battery is very heavy, but these laptops are usually also costly.

For students and business users

Are you on the road a lot? Or do you, as a student, always have to work from different locations? You can’t always find a socket everywhere. That is why a large battery is essential. If you work from different places all day, a battery that lasts about 8 hours, or longer, is recommended.

For home users

If you mainly use a laptop at home, you can easily find a socket. But of course, you don’t want to be tied to the socket. I recommend a minimum battery life of about 4 to 6 hours.

For the power users, professionals, or gamers

If you are a professional, gamer, or an artist using your laptop for video editing, simulations, large programs, 3D modeling, or playing games, your laptop must have better battery life. But because you use so much energy, a laptop battery does not last that long. I would opt for the largest possible battery, but you will often have to search for the socket.

How fast should the laptop be?

In addition to the battery, this is also an essential question. Of course, you want your laptop to be as fast as possible. But of course, it would be a shame to spend a lot of money on a computer when you almost only use programs such as Word.

For students

As a student, it depends on your study how fast your laptop should be. Speed is less critical if you are doing a study where you will not need large programs. Still, speed is important if you do a technical analysis (or a study with many videos and photo editing).

So pay attention to the following:

  1. A fast processor is not very important; an Intel Core i3 or i5 is recommended. For a technical study, a faster Intel Core i7 is useful.
  2. If you are doing a technical study, it might be advisable to look at a  dedicated GPU. If you don’t know what that is, you can read my advice for a laptop at the end. Then you will immediately see what you should pay attention to.
  3. Choose at least 8 GB of RAM because this ensures that you can keep many tabs open on Chrome and quickly switch per app.

For home users and business users

A home user or a business user rarely requires special configurations or demanding software to run a laptop, but even so, laptops sometimes fail to boot or have other issues. A laptop user should adhere to these tips to ensure reliability and prevent crashes.

  1. A laptop uses a processor to perform many calculations per second. Higher-end processors deliver faster performance than slower ones. You would like to choose a laptop with an Intel Core i3 or i5 as a processor.
  2. The “Random Access Memory” (RAM) in a computer is the part of the system that provides temporary storage for information being used. The amount of RAM required depends on the size and complexity of files or programs being worked with; for home or business use, 8 GB should be sufficient.

For power users

As a power user, high speed is essential. Your simulations, 3D modeling, or video projects are very heavy for laptops. You will therefore need the best of the best.

So pay attention to the following parts:

  1. The faster the processor, the more quickly the laptop will respond to the user’s requests. Therefore, it is important to look at processors and ensure they are of the highest quality when shopping for a laptop. Intel Core i7, Intel Core i9, or AMD Ryzen 7 processors with at least 6 cores are highly recommended.
  2. For 3D simulations or video editing, you must choose a good  GPU. Think of an NVIDIA GTX 1060.
  3. Opt for at least 16 GB of RAM. If you use very heavy applications, you might even have to opt for 32 GB of RAM.

For professionals and gamers

For the best gaming experience, your laptop must be fast enough. When you are unable to play smoothly because of slow performance, you’ll want to be able to rely on a laptop with an up-to-date processor and plenty of memory capacity.

So you have to pay attention to a few things:

  1. Make sure you have a fast processor, for example, an Intel Core i5 or i7 or an AMD Ryzen 5 or 7.
  2. Make sure to choose a good GPU. Due to the GPU’s role in 3D graphics rendering and heavy computing duties, the GPU must be able to handle complex graphics and multiple program processes without slowing down. Gamers or professionals choose at least an Nvidia GTX 1050. The Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti, Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti, AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT, AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT for better gameplay is the best option.
  3. Some games require more resources than others. Choose 8 gigabytes of RAM for the best performance or, preferably, 16 gigabytes. The more RAM you have, the more data your computer can access at once.

How much storage will I need?

The storage of many laptops is fixed and cannot be increased. However, one option to increase storage space is to delete files. It is time-consuming and frustrating, so choosing a laptop with sufficient storage capacity when buying a new laptop is essential.

For students, home users, and business users

You’ll need storage for Word files and possibly a few programs most of the time. You will often have enough with 250 GB (unless you have a lot of photos/videos), but if you want to be sure that you will not run out of storage, it is better to opt for 500 GB of storage. 

But the speed of storage is also essential. Many cheap laptops usually have an HDD with a large amount of storage. The problem with this type of storage is that it is slower than an SSD. It is, therefore, better to opt for a laptop with an SSD in it. These are usually more expensive, but your laptop will be faster.

This is an important thing to note because a laptop with an HDD usually boots in about 30 seconds, and a laptop with an SSD usually boots in 5 seconds.

For power users, professionals, and gamers

You often use large files, such as games or video files. Of course, you need enough storage for this. That’s why I recommend choosing 1TB of storage. This will be enough for most users.

It is also essential that you choose a laptop with an SSD. As a result, your laptop will start up much faster, and you can run large programs quickly. If you want the fastest storage, you could opt for an NVME SSD, these can usually transfer several gigabytes per second, but they are a lot more expensive.

Choosing a laptop with an SSD; otherwise, your programs will not run smoothly, and you will have to wait a long time for programs.

What build quality do I want?

Deciding on build quality is a matter of cost and intended use. It should be sturdy, durable materials if you carry your laptop around a lot. If you plan to use it at home only, you may opt for a less expensive model.

So let’s see which build quality is best for you.

For students and home users

If you want a laptop that will last, build quality is essential. But if you are on a budget and value performance over durability, buying a faster laptop could be better. Also, because laptops are prone to accidents such as drops, it is good to look for laptop sleeves or covers when purchasing one.

For business users

It would be best always to look professional, so your laptop must have a durable, attractive build. I prefer laptops with a plastic or aluminum chassis because both materials are durable and offer a good “feel” when I use them.

For power users, professionals, and gamers

It depends on your situation whether you should opt for good build quality. It depends more on your preference for you. If you only use your laptop at a fixed location, you could save money on it, but if you like to opt for a sturdy or professional-looking laptop, you can spend more money on this.

2. How long do I want it to last?

Now that we have answered the first (very long) main question, we can start thinking about the second question. Of course, you want to last as long as possible with your laptop, but we all know that it won’t last forever.

If you have enough money to buy a new laptop every two years, you can choose not to buy a case. But suppose you want to use your laptop for four years (or longer), it is advisable to ensure that it does not break. For example, you could opt for special laptop bags, laptop sleeves, or covers. 

3. What size would you like?

One of the most important decisions to make when purchasing a laptop is selecting the screen size. A larger screen can help provide additional screen space, making it easier to view multiple documents simultaneously. A smaller screen can be useful for traveling or working in cramped spaces.

Usually, you can choose between the following three formats:

  1. 13 inch (33.02)
  2. 15 inch (38.1)
  3. 17 inch (43.18)

A laptop’s diagonal measurement relates to the size of your viewing area. A 13 inch diagonal allows you to work comfortably with a font large enough for most uses, but if you prefer a larger print size or want to use a word processing program that is not optimized for small screens, you should consider a 15-inch laptop.

Notebooks with a 17-inch display tend to be larger and heavier than those with a 15-inch display, so they may not be as easy to carry around.

4. On which platform would you like to work?

os

When shopping for a laptop, be aware that some laptops run different operating systems. Some software is compatible with only certain operating systems, so it’s essential to know which operating system a laptop uses.

Windows

The Windows operating system is widely used in personal computers and many businesses. The interface is relatively easy to learn, and the machines are affordable, especially when one compares their price to that of a Macintosh or Linux-based computer.

On Windows machines, users can use almost any software. More than 80% of all computers run on Windows; however, nearly all software works on Windows. If you want a laptop that can do almost anything, you should buy a laptop with Windows.

macOS

Apple macOS is a Unix-based operating system for Macs. It is a popular alternative to Windows for business and personal use. macOS is not as popular as Windows because Apple’s laptops are more expensive than the laptop running Windows OS.

Macs are designed for users seeking a premium, maintenance-free experience. The simplicity of Apple’s operating system makes it relatively easy for new users to adapt to the platform; it’s also an excellent choice for people dedicated to Apple’s mobile products.

You could opt for an Apple laptop with macOS if you already have an iPhone because those devices work well together. However, you pay a lot more for an Apple laptop than a Windows laptop.

ChromeOS

If you want to spend very little money on a laptop, you could opt for a laptop with ChromeOS. These laptops can almost only use the internet, but they are very cheap. You could buy a laptop with ChromeOS for as little as $300.

Chromebooks are a popular budget-friendly line of laptop computers running the Google Chrome operating system. This operating system prioritizes browsing via the internet and cloud storage. Chromebooks have many advantages over traditional Windows or Mac OS laptops, including lightweight and low-maintenance construction.

However, Chrome OS has limited storage capacity, as it lacks Microsoft software and hardware-accelerated graphics capabilities. It cannot play demanding games and cannot work with external optical devices.

5. Would you like a touchscreen?

This is often a personal preference. You can sometimes choose for some laptops whether you would like a touchscreen. Laptops with touchscreen are usually slightly more expensive.

You could choose a laptop with a touchscreen if you like to take notes, for example, or if you often use apps from the Microsoft Store. But if you want to use a touchscreen, you should pay attention to it.

6. What is your budget?

If you’ve answered the questions so far, you may have found some laptops to choose from. But you also have to be careful not to spend too much money.

You can usually find a pretty good laptop starting at $500. But of course, it depends on the type of laptop you are interested in. I have written a recommended budget for the different categories of laptop users below.

For students

As a student, you don’t want to spend too much money on laptops. That is why you must choose a laptop that suits you. It depends on your study because some studies need a faster laptop than others.

Unless you like to use a MacBook, I won’t spend more on a laptop than $1000. But as a student, you can get a great laptop that suits you for $500. If you would like to use a MacBook as a student, click here to check the price on Amazon.

For home users

If you only want to use a laptop for personal, non-business purposes, it is unnecessary to purchase the fastest model. This can save money by choosing a less powerful model. If you are willing to spend more, you can still find a laptop for at least $500. 

However, if you expect to need business-related functions such as faster Internet access or memory storage, it is best to purchase the most powerful model in your price range. However, don’t exceed $800 for a laptop intended only for home use.

You can purchase either an Apple MacBook or a MacBook Pro. The MacBook is less expensive, but the MacBook Pro will provide more storage capacity if you need it.

For business users

If you work for a company, you can usually get a discount, or you can only choose from a certain number of models. As a business user, it is important that you still look professional, so spending a little more money is useful, for example, for better build quality.

I would therefore choose a minimum of $750 to a maximum of $1500 as a budget. You can always find a cheaper laptop, but you risk looking unprofessional with a slow/poor-quality laptop.

If you have a relatively high budget, choosing a laptop from a reliable brand is recommended. Think of reliable brands such as Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Apple.

For power users and professionals

If you want to run heavy programs on your future laptop, you will have to set aside a slightly larger amount. It is also important that you choose a reliable brand if you spend a lot of money on a laptop. Think, for example, of Dell, Lenovo, and Apple.

The budget, of course, depends on the quality processor you want, but a budget of at least $1250 is recommended. There is no maximum budget because, as a power user, the price is less important, and the quality of the product is.

For gamers

If you want to buy a laptop as a gamer, you will need a reasonably large budget, although this depends on the games you want to play. You can get a gaming laptop for $800, which may be good enough for your games. 

You have to be especially careful to choose the right components in the laptop because this will determine which games you can play.

7. How old is the model?

The model’s age should be seriously considered when deciding which laptop to purchase. Older models will often not access the latest software technology and may not receive future upgrades to the operating system.

Why not buy a laptop older than 1 year?

If you want to buy a laptop, it is essential to know that you may want to replace your laptop with a newer model in the future. This new model will likely be slightly faster than your current laptop and will probably be supported by the manufacturer for longer. You can save money in the long run if you decide to buy a new laptop rather than an older one.

8. Where do you buy your laptop?

When you purchase a new laptop, you want to choose a reliable company with a good return policy. Amazon and Best Buy are two companies that offer quality products, reasonable prices, and knowledgeable staff. 

In addition, you can often also purchase computers directly from their makers. For example, you can buy Microsoft Windows 10 or 11 laptops directly from Microsoft, and Apple sells its MacBooks online.

My advice

Now that you have read what you should pay attention to, you can start looking for it yourself. But to make it even easier, here are some laptops that are undoubtedly good quality.

Acer Chromebook

Last updated on 2022-05-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Acer Chromebook offers a variety of features that make it an attractive option for the home user seeking a budget-friendly alternative to PC and Mac. 

However, it is essential to note that one of its main limitations is the lack of a hard drive, which means you will be confined to web-based applications. 

Recommend for students. Starting at $250, it is affordable for those on a budget.

Acer Swift

Last updated on 2022-05-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Acer Swift is a perfect match for students: Affordable, yet it delivers an excellent combination of power and style. You’ll easily get enough performance to tackle everyday tasks, including internet browsing and document creation. 

You may find laptops with more glitzy styling, but few deliver the mix of performance and value that this laptop does.

The latest model of the Acer Swift is thin and light enough to carry easily around campus, with a decent build quality so that it won’t break easily. It includes some hardware upgrades that make it a better performer than previous models; it also has longer battery life. The Acer Swift is our top recommendation for students.

MacBook Air

Last updated on 2022-05-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

MacBook Air can be a good choice for many people; it is reliable and has excellent performance, matching Apple’s reputation for an elegant, sturdy design. Like other computers in its class, it may not be a good choice for power users who need more computing power than the Air offers. 

Those who want to buy an Air can most certainly use it without concern—starting from $999. But I recommend it for professionals and business users.

HP Spectre x360

Last updated on 2022-05-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The HP Spectre x360 is a business-oriented laptop providing an elegant design, high-end performance, and numerous innovative features. It also comes with excellent processing power and storage to handle demanding tasks. 

This versatile device also makes for an excellent gaming laptop. Plus, it’s available in various customizable colors to match your business style. Highly recommend it to business users and professionals.

Razer Blade 15

Last updated on 2022-05-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The latest version of Razer’s Blade gaming laptop takes everything great about the previous models and improves on them. The 15.6-inch LED-backlit display is the same as what was used in the last model, with a 144Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time. 

The laptop’s Intel Core i9 or i7 processor and Nvidia GeForce GTX and RTX graphics card provide more power than most people need to play games. Recommend for gamers and power users.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

Last updated on 2022-05-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Zephyrus G14, a high-performance gaming laptop, boasts a powerful new processor, dedicated graphics card, and SSD storage. Its 120Hz display enables smoother rendering in games above 30 FPS, and its cooling system allows for longer gaming sessions without the laptop heating up.

Unlike most gaming laptops, this gaming laptop comes with an IPS panel that supports a 3ms response time. If you’re interested in the latest IPS technology but don’t want to spend thousands on a high-end laptop, this model from AUS is a perfect choice. 

Remember that the battery life isn’t great when playing games, but you can extend it for short periods by lowering the screen’s brightness. Recommend for gamers and power users who have a tight budget.

Conclusion

Instead of jumping on the latest, most excellent tech that might not fit your needs, take a little time to consider these 8 factors before making your next laptop purchase.

You may have a budget, so purchasing a new laptop within your price range is advisable. If you are an experienced buyer, you already know that you should be able to find a cheap laptop or an overpriced laptop among a group of similar models. 

Even if you are not too concerned about saving money, for now, it still pays off to do some research first before trying to get the best deal on a new laptop. 

Thanks for reading, and I hope you find this information helpful.

For any doubts, “contact us through the comments sections, and I’ll be happy to answer any questions.

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