Great Tips Before Buying Your New Laptop

tips before you buy a new laptopBuying a new laptop is something that I would consider a fairly major purchase. To start with, I would like to state that I have actually worked for a retail company that purchases and sells everything that has to do with computers, and being a salesmen, I would like to contribute my knowledge to properly purchasing a new laptop. This especially applies to those who are buying a new laptop for the first time, or buying a computer for the first time.

Step 1 – Define your goal, and figure out your requirements

Hopefully that title does not scare you. Basically, the first question I ask someone, when they are purchasing a laptop is: What are you going to be using it for? Generally, responses are quite simple: I need it for work, or my daughter is going to school, or I am a gamer and want to play the latest and greatest games out there. This is when you should consider answering that question yourself. However, before you do that, there is one question that you must answer for yourself, and that is: Are you or someone that uses your laptop, ever going to play new 3D games on it?

If your answer is:

NO: If your answer is no, then you have narrowed your selection of laptops down by about 25% – 40% (Depending where you are buying them from). An important thing to keep in mind is that, if you are not playing games on it, you do not want a “dedicated graphics card” on the laptop, because you will never use it for what you are doing. The dedicated graphics card is a costly piece of material and it will not speed your laptop up for word processing, or the internet, or even your video editing.

YES: If you answered “yes” to the fact that you would play new 3D games, then you absolutely need a laptop that has a “dedicated graphics card” in it. When you talk to your sales representative make certain they know you will be playing games on it, and that the card itself has 128Mb of video ram, or more. Another point that you MUST watch out for, is that many laptops have an “on-board graphics card”. Do not get stuck with an on-board graphics card, if you intend on having a gaming laptop. The quality of games will be considerably horrible, and you will wish you re-read this article. As of writing this article, the more expensive, and thus better cards are GeForce 7600 Go, or 8600 cards, or some of ATI’s Radeon X1700 or better. You will have to discuss with your representative your budget, and how fast you want your games to run.

Now that you have figured out whether or not you will be gaming on your laptop, you must consider the other software you will be using, and what kind of processing power, and memory you will want on your laptop. To make things easy I would suggest reading the software requirements of the programs you will be running, to get an idea of what you will need to run that software.

Step 2 – Identifying your wants

This could almost be the final step, if not for some last minute notes. This step is very straightforward. You must decide for yourself how fast you want your machine to be. This is a critical step, because as soon as you purchase your laptop, you cannot change anything inside of it! The one exception is the memory, and that can always be upgraded. A general rule is, the more you pay, the more you get. Below, I will list in order of importance, the general components of the laptop that you are interested in:

1) CPU – This will determine how fast your machine launches programs and runs ( You will want at least a dual-core, unless you cannot afford it ). Look for Pentium Core2 chips, or AMD’s X2 type chips. Ask your product rep for a range of processors, and more information or guidance if you need.

2) Memory (RAM) – This is where all your programs store their temporary information. So, like our brains, the larger the amount of ram, the more programs you can have running, or you can launch larger programs. *Note: If you skimp on this item, you will sacrifice alot of performance (1 Gigabyte is generally the minimum, 2 Gigabytes will be the recommended).

3) Hard drive – This part is where you store your files for the long term. Accounting books, and music files, are all stored on the hard drive. The larger it is, the more files you can cram into it. Performance of your laptop is not affected by the size of the drive, and generally not by the speed of the drive. Hard drives will range from 80 Gb – 200 Gb (Sometimes more).

Generally those are the three most important components you will need to look at in all the laptops. Now I wish to share with you some final notes.

3) Final notes, and considerations

a) If the laptop you are considering purchasing is going to be over $1200, I would greatly consider buying a “Total care warranty”. This will run for 20% – 30% of the laptop price, but will cover any drops, wear, split liquids, etc. for 2-3 years. This is definitely worth considering, as I have seen many laptops with cracked screens, and to replace the screen, you are looking at $800 with labor and parts at least.

b) Brands do not matter a whole lot. Most, if not all laptops are manufactured by a global electronics company, that fills orders for many of the major brands you will see. So do not judge based on brand name, and do not judge based on looks. You will here many people tell you that “such and such a brand is no good” and some brands will be praised. To each their own, good luck shopping!

About the Author:
Justin Frei is the proud owner of Net-Lotto.org, an honest, free online lottery. Create a free account today at: Net-Lotto.org – Easy to play, easy to win!

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  • well said. one really doesnt need to have a graphics card just for the heck of it.it wud really wear down the notebook. for me, brand matters coz ultimately u r not only buying a laptop, but also the brand to be a part of u.

  • Gus

    “Do not get stuck with an on-board graphics card”

    That is one of the best pieces of advice I’ve received when looking for a laptop.

  • Hmm well brand matters i’d say you have to take it in consideration as different companies have different warranties designs. Also look at the new mac book so thin…

  • Daniel

    The new mac book is thin, but it’s not the smallest one or the first one there have been other very thin designs out for a while.

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  • Well done, the tips are very good enough to guide. When we go for laptop, its essential that we need to know which one would be better and even we need to consult the technicians. But now, after reading this post it will be easy to buy a laptop.

  • Im going to buy a laptop knowing its going to be obsolete soon…. so instead of getting a good one for like 1500 dollars. I am in buying a 300 dollar laptop that I will simply replace in a year or 2.

  • How, this is very helpful. Thanks for taking the mounds of information and making it useful!

  • Helpful post. Lots of technical info. summarized nicely for a lay person like me. Looking to buy a new laptop in 4-6 months, will use you information. Thanks!

  • Have read the post. I was just about to buy a loptop for my home. But i don’t know which one will be suitable for me. These tips here are very much worthy for me to select a laptop. Thank you and looking for more posts.

  • The new mac book is thin, but it’s not the smallest one or the first one.

  • How, this is very helpful. Thanks for taking the mounds of information .

  • Nice tips, sometime i just look more expensive is good than others

  • Macbook Air deservedly holds the crown as the next best thing to a bread knife in the world of laptops. While this will definitely come across as great news for people who like to cut, slice, and chop in style, there can also be a flipside to this. How about Macbook Air being classed as a weapon and not allowed on airplanes anymore?

  • Very good tips. I got my last laptop used for $100 since the LCD wasn’t working. I replaced the inverter and fixed it for $50. Sometimes it pays to get a fairly new and seemingly worthless laptop for a quick and cheap fix.

  • Good job. A valuable resource.
    thank you for the post.
    keep going on.

  • By reading posts from me so you understand what should I do when I want to buy a new laptop so that it will reduce the risk of buying a laptop that is less good. I say many thanks because I’ve found this site, so many..

  • Another great post on blogging! Thanks so much for taking the time to share you information and wisdom with other bloggers.

  • Yes – thats the first step when choosing a laptop. But I tell you that the most important thing in choosing, is buying the most reliable laptop in the planet! Visit the best brand of laptop review site to know more…

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