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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Do you really need a laptop-buying guide?

Gone are the days when people used to consult IT professionals on which laptop to buy. Nowadays we just follow trends set by media who manipulate us into buying laptops that we do not certainly need. At times we are influenced by friends who own a certain type or model of a laptop to fit in their social status.

At the end of the day, we end up having a lot of expensive e junk at our homes that we hardly use. Put this way, buying a Ferrari while all you needed is a van or a truck. The first thing I would advice is first knowing or identifying your needs depending on the nature of your work. Here is sample of questions to ask yourself to identify your needs.

  • Am I a socialite?
  • Do I travel a lot?
  • Am I a gamer?
  • Am I graphics designer?
  • Am I a businessperson or woman?
  •  Am I a Student?
  • Am I a stay at home mum?
  • Am I a schoolteacher?

After identifying your needs the next step is coming up with a budget of how much is reasonable price for you to spend on acquiring your new laptop ($500 - $2000). The next step is doing window shopping and consulting on relevant people on the industry like the geeks and sales people on the world of computers and laptops. Be prepared psychologically to hear very geeky terms like Intel i3, Intel i5, Intel i7 and such. While doing your window shopping you should keep in mind the following.

Total Cost of Ownership 

This is overall cost that you incur from the time you purchase the laptop to when you dispose it. Most consumers only see the onetime cost the buying price, yet there other unforeseen costs for application soft wares like Microsoft Word, Antivirus, laptop accessories such as a wireless mouse, laptop bags and the rest. In addition, we forget that there are running costs up ahead like regular maintenance or a sudden breakdown like spilling coffee on your keyboard or a sudden crash on the operating system and such.

Other additional running cost that we should keep in mind is insurance of your laptop incase of theft. Lastly is the cost we incur when disposing the laptop long after it has served you or no longer in need for it. Like selling it on eBay or to a friend or donating it to an institution. There are costs involved like shipping costs repackaging it that why it is advisable to keep the original package nicely when the above need arises. After dealing with cost the thing to have in mind is the features to look for in your desired laptop.

Size and weight 

This is a major factor to consider depending on your work lifestyle. If your work entails a lot presentations and mobility then you need to consider an ultrabook rather than a usual laptop. The next question you might be asking your self is what is a ultrabook?. In simple terms, an ultrabook is a laptop that is super light compared to a usual laptop and most of them lack optical drives and an Ethernet port. They mostly use Wi-Fi as a means to connect to the internet.If your work does not involve a lot of rush then you can buy a normal laptop or best selling laptop.

Processor type

The common ones are Intel and AMD. Chances are if you ever owned a pc or a laptop then the processor is from Intel. Currently they have three types of processors.

Intel Core i3 commonly found in many budget and midrange laptops it is ideal for everyday computing. It has a 4 way multitasking capabilities and built in performance.

Intel Core i5 it is Intel’s mainstream processor packed with a 4 way multitasking capabilities with built in turbo boost technology to deliver extra speed whenever you need it.

Intel Core i7 It is designed for expensive performance machines for gamers, serious graphics designers, video editors and people who love ultimate laptops. Comes packed with a 8 way multitasking capabilities.

Hard drive and storage

Your new laptop with either behaving the traditional HDD (Hard disk drive) or SDD (Solid hard drive) which is flash memory commonly found on your iPhone.The difference is HDD’s are large, inexpensive, weighty and generate a lot of heat. Useful when editing large video files or playing heavy computer games. SDD’s are quiet drive, produce less heat and much more expensive. They are the future of computer storage but not ideal for large video collections.


This is no longer a worry most computer laptops come with more than in enough.

Battery Life

These is a sit on the fence kind of thing the most the performance of a laptop the more it demands energy but these is relevant to work you are handling and the size of the laptop. But most laptops average between 5 hours to 9 hours without need of power.

Operating system

Here is a largely dependent on which operating system you are comfortable with. Windows OS has a large software library compared to Linux and Mac OS. Apple’s OS is available to handful of desktops and laptops which makes it predicable and stable plus you can install windows applications on it or dual boot windows OS on apple laptops and not vice versa.  On the other hand Linux is free to everyone does not come with licenses to purchase and it is less prone to virus attacks.


Which Brand to settle for? This is personal choice but here is a list of well-known brands to choose from. Acer, Apple, Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, Hewlett Packard, Lenovo, Samsung Electronics, Sony and Toshiba.

Most Frequently Asked Question.

Do I buy a Laptop or a tablet?
If you skype, twitter,facebook, googleplus, pinterest, myspace,stumbleupon, LinkedIn, Orkut, Ning, cafemom and email then you are better off with a tablet rather than a laptop.
Do I need an optical drive?
Sure, you do need one once in a while when you get data or video on a dvd or in need to burn data on a disk. But it’s good to have an external optical drive for your ultrabook though you have to purchase it separately.
Do I need a graphics card?
Not not unless you are playing heavy graphics PC games like God of War and such.
These takes us to our original question of do you really need a laptop-buying guide.The answer is yes we all need a buying guide to refer to when buying a computer laptop or laptops.

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