The Most Common Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Brand New Laptop
Over 71% of Americans now work from home. That doesn’t mean everyone works using a powerful desktop PC. You might be one of the people who needs something to use while on the go. You’ll need a brand new laptop.
Of course, the benefits of a good laptop go beyond the freedom of work. You can use them to play high-end video games, browse the Internet, communicate, and watch movies. You can use powerful laptops for other types of work too, including graphic design, web design, and video editing.
However, it’s not easy to pick a laptop these days. There are many options on the market. Fortunately, we’ve got a good list of shopping mistakes listed below. Continue reading this list we prepared to guarantee you buy the best laptop and for the right price.
The Most Common Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Brand New Laptop
Buying the First Laptop Available
Never buy the first laptop you come across. That’s a quick ticket to regret. Buying a laptop because it looks better than the others and because of a low price don’t guarantee it’s worth the investment.
Whenever you find one you like, write it down or add it to your wishlist. There are other steps to take before completing the transaction and sticking with that laptop.
Remember that this laptop will stay with you for years. Most laptops can last three years or even longer if you take good care of them. You’ll want one that won’t waste your money during that period.
Not Powerful Enough
How do you know that a laptop is worth the investment? How will you know it’s not going to give you problems during those three or more years?
Learn how to gauge laptop performance based on its parts. This requires getting familiar with at least four parts of a PC: the processor, RAM, video card, and motherboard.
If you need a laptop for professional video gaming, streaming, video editing, or web design, you’ll need a premium build. This means getting a laptop with the latest Intel i7, Intel i9, or AMD Ryzen processor. Pair this with a mid to high-end range graphics card such as Nvidia RTX 3060 GPU.
When it comes to memory, 8 GB DDR4 SDRAM should be your minimum. Go for more if you can afford it. As for your motherboard, make sure it has modern ports for things like multiple HDMI cables, USB-C, USB 3.1, and Thunderbolt.
Wrong Types of Laptop
Not all laptops are the same. For every type of laptop user, there is a type of laptop. If you intend to use the laptop solely for office work or school, prioritize a smaller, lighter laptop. You’ll carry it around often, after all. It’s not a good idea to bring a heavy gaming laptop to school if you only need one to take down notes and conduct school research.
If you need a laptop for video editing or gaming, you will need to invest in a powerful, heavy laptop. You should get one with a bigger screen and better battery life.
Are you someone who wants a jack-of-all-trades and won’t bother tinkering with a bunch of third-party applications? Not interested in mods for video games or torrents? You would do well with an Apple product instead, such as a MacBook Air.
Yes, size does matter when it comes to improving your laptop experience. Not only will the size affect the weight of the laptop, therefore affecting portability, but it will also affect functionality.
A big laptop is a great option for those who require visual real estate. This includes gamers, graphic designers, architects, artists, and web designers. They need all the space possible to see what they’re doing and for better multitasking options.
For office work, where you’ll need one tab at a time, a smaller screen is better. These lighter laptops often don’t require a lot of power either, meaning you’ll get more out of the laptop’s battery.
Forgetting to Check Features and Accessories
Avoid the mistake of buying a laptop without checking its built-in features and accessories! A lot of people simply take a look at a laptop’s specs but forget to check the webcam, Bluetooth, WiFi capabilities, speakers, and touchpad.
Does the laptop feature a touchscreen? Does it have a Thunderbolt or HDMI out port? Is the laptop’s keyboard a condensed one, or does it feature a full set, including the Numpad keys?
A common mistake is to ignore the capabilities of the webcam. Check if the webcam can capture in 1080p resolution.
When it comes to the screen, don’t always aim for the highest resolution and framerate. 4K UHD resolution can seem great on paper, but it will require a bigger screen. Using it will drain your battery. This won’t benefit you much if you only need the laptop for basic work.
Avoid buying a laptop that already seems outdated and old. Even a brand new laptop, fresh from the store, can be an outdated piece of hardware. This is especially the case if it features weak specs, like an Intel Celeron processor and an integrated GPU.
Keep in mind that laptop maintenance isn’t as easy as desktop PC maintenance. You can’t swap out all of the parts. You might not even be able to access some parts for cleaning or repairs without disassembling the whole laptop.
Avoid this problem by sticking with a laptop that uses newer, more powerful parts. You don’t have to go with the most premium build, but at least get something that doesn’t use parts from five years ago.
Choosing the Wrong Operating System
Never forget to check the operating system (OS) of the laptop before buying it!
Buying an Apple product, such as a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air? It will use the latest macOS, such as Big Sur or Monterey. These are easy to check since most people only buy MacBooks from an official Apple store.
However, any other laptop could utilize a different OS. Not all laptops run on Windows 10 or Windows 11. You might accidentally buy a laptop that runs on Linux or Chrome OS.
While these OS options have their set of pros and cons, the biggest issue is compatibility. You might not be able to run the apps or games you need because they don’t work with the OS you have. You’d have to spend again simply to own and install Windows 10 or Windows 11.
Overpaying for a Laptop
A lot of people make the mistake of overpaying for a laptop. Don’t repeat this! Take your time to check the market and compare prices.
It’s always a better idea to check an official store, like the page from Lenovo or the official Apple store. These stores guarantee that you’ll see the standard SRP (Suggested Retail Price) for the laptop you want. Signing up for the official stores might even grant you discount vouchers in the future.
At the very least, don’t make it a habit to buy from scalpers. These are people who buy highly-sought laptops in bulk, therefore draining supplies from stores. They then sell the items online for high prices.
Ignoring Product Reviews
Yes, reviews matter and it’s okay to trust consumer reviews you find online. Keep in mind that the seller isn’t the one writing these reviews. They can’t cheat the system and write reviews for their products either.
Every review comes from a consumer who purchased and tried the laptop. They can tell you whether or not there’s a concern of false advertising. They can alert you about features not mentioned or over-hyped by the promotional materials.
Reviews can also let you know that yes, that particular laptop is worth the price!
Of course, don’t simply take their word for it. Look for reviews that come with photos or videos. Take time to watch video reviews on YouTube, unboxing videos, and product breakdowns.
Not every brand new laptop will be worth it in five years. Some laptops, even new ones, might not come with USB 3.1 ports, for example. This means transferring files from your laptop to a flash drive will take longer than necessary.
Does the laptop feature WiFi 6 capabilities? Does it feature compatibility with the newest Bluetooth update? Can you upgrade the RAM or the built-in hard drive to further extend the laptop’s function in the future?
These are questions you need to address before spending on a laptop. You don’t want to buy one that works today but will become obsolete in a year or two.
Buy the Best Brand New Laptop
Now you know the different mistakes to avoid when buying a brand new laptop. Simply going for the shiniest or most expensive option doesn’t always guarantee a worthwhile purchase. Avoid these mistakes and follow our tips to get the most out of your investment.
But why stop here when we’ve got even more technology tips for you to check out? We also have guides that cover other topics, from general business to real estate, so continue reading our lists and posts today!