12 common laptop-buying mistakes you can easily avoid

Buying the

Regardless, is about more than just checking the specifications. individual laptop reviewsEven though the spec sheet is important when buying a laptop, there are still some common pitfalls that laptop buyers face. To help you avoid a case of buyer’s remorse, we’ve compiled a list of 12 common laptop purchasing blunders to avoid when shopping for your next machine.

Buying the cheapest available laptop

There are some great budget laptopsThere are some inexpensive options available, but just because they’re inexpensive doesn’t mean they’ll do the job you want or include all of the features you require.

Let’s say you’re You now have a system that isn’t as powerful as your requirements require, and you’ll be plagued by this problem until it’s time to buy again. Choosing between a dual-core and quad-core processor is a difficult task. You want to run multiple applications at the same time, but you went with the dual-core processor because it’s a little cheaper.

Rather than going for the cheapest option, it’s best to find a laptop that meets your requirements and then compare it to your budget.

Paying too much

The most expensive laptops, on the other hand, may check all the boxes, but if you pay for features or hardware that you don’t need, you’re wasting your money.

A+ If a laptop puts a strain on your budget, it’s likely because it contains features you don’t require. new MacBook Pro For half the price, you can get the same machine with the same specifications except for less storage, and you can get plenty of cheap storage from. Top-spec laptops can cost upwards of $6,000, but few people require 4TB of storage space on their laptop. an external drive.

Gaming laptopscan be prohibitively expensive, but if you’re only playing indie games, you don’t need all that hardware. Purchase only what you require and avoid going overboard.

Buying a laptop “for today”

Unless you’re obsessed with having the most up-to-date technology, a new laptop should last at least a few years, if not more, if you want to save money on another purchase. It’s an old adage, but it still holds true. Rather than buying a laptop for your current needs, you should buy one for where you think you’ll be in a few years.

For the low price, you might be tempted to go with a base model with 4GB of RAM and a 128GB solid-state drive. It’s probably a good idea to get a step-up model with a larger hard drive and more RAM. However, because it will quickly run out of storage space and may not be able to handle multiple applications well, this will limit its long-term appeal.

Ignoring ports and compatibility

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Many modern laptops, including ours, Not all laptops come with the ports you need. Dell XPS 13, only have Thunderbolt 3If you require USB-A or an SD card reader, double-check that your laptop has those ports before purchasing, or budget for an adapter. as well as USB-C ports

Opting for the highest available resolution

A device with a 4K display is certainly worth more than a cursory glance, but smaller screens don’t always allow you to reap the full benefits of the higher resolution.

Several Worse yet, 4K screens can significantly reduce the battery life of your device. 4K notebooks Unless you’re buying a super high-end gaming laptop or one with a huge screen, 1080p is the best option for saving money and getting the most out of your battery. You won’t see many benefits if you have poor endurance with higher resolution screens.

Not trying before buying

Many common laptops are available for testing at big brick-and-mortar stores like Apple, Best Buy, and the Microsoft Store, allowing you to play around with the touchpad, keyboard, software interface, and other components that vary significantly from model to model. Give the laptop you’re considering a thorough test drive if you have the opportunity.

It’s easy to overlook features that aren’t listed on the spec sheet, such as the responsiveness of the touchpad or the visibility of a glossy screen in direct sunlight, and there’s no substitute for getting a real hands-on feel for how it works.

If that isn’t an option, buy from an online store that offers a generous return policy.

Thinking size isn’t important

Oleg Magni/Pexels

A larger display provides a more expansive and often superior viewing experience, but it reduces portability. The size of a laptop’s keyboard and trackpad are often determined by its size, so if you choose a laptop that’s less than 13 inches, you’ll likely be cramped.

For frequent travelers, a smaller ultrabook may be a viable option, but those looking for a standard laptop should look for one with a 13.3- or 14-inch screen. Consider how you’ve used laptops in the past to figure out what you’ll require. If you rarely leave your house with your computer, a 15.6-inch model will give you the most screen real estate.

Becoming obsessed with one specification

While it’s entertaining to compare spec sheets, avoid picking one specification as your favorite and focusing solely on that factor. While you should have a baseline specification in mind to ensure that you get the performance you require, don’t get too caught up in maximizing any one of them. When it comes to purchasing a laptop, tunnel vision is bad news.

It’s easy to get giddy about paying a little more for double the RAM, but most people don’t. need more than 8GBUnless you’re using some serious work-related software.

Similarly, don’t get too caught up in battery life, resolution, or processor speed. If you’re on a tight budget, which the majority of people are, you’ll have to learn to balance a variety of hardware. Make sure the laptop you want has the features and hardware you require; anything else that is less expensive is a bonus.

Not buying enough power

Ultrabooks have quickly become one of the most popular types of laptops, and it can be tempting to assume that they are the best option for you. They’re small and light enough to fit easily into a briefcase or backpack, and many models — particularly Chromebooks — are among the most affordable on the market. What’s not to like about that?

You might need something with a powerful graphics card in particular, as most 13-inch ultrabooks have an integrated one. While most people will be satisfied with the performance, creatives and professionals may require workstation-class hardware to handle the intensive software required for their jobs.

Assuming that a 2-in-1 is equivalent to a laptop

Kyle Wiggers/Digital Trends

Their keyboards can also be a bit cramped ( When it comes to multitasking, fast web browsing, using complex apps, or running demanding software, tablets remain far more restricted. They can’t be used interchangeably. Tablets, 2-in-1s, and laptops are all different types of computers. While a tablet and keyboard can perform many of the same tasks as a laptop, the similarities end there. Microsoft’s Surface Go has this problem).

This is the polar opposite of focusing too much on one spec — if you ignore everything else, you’ll make the same mistake. Simply because something has a screen and a keyboard does not mean it can perform all of the functions of a laptop. all You’ll start making assumptions about what the machine can do based on the specs, which is dangerous territory.

Misunderstanding laptop graphics

When comparing graphics cards, don’t just look at the amount of video memory in gigabytes (GB), as this doesn’t tell the whole story. If you plan on using your laptop for a lot of entertainment or gaming, graphics are important, but their systems aren’t always well understood.

Instead, check to see if the GPU is integrated, discrete, or (much less frequently) a hybrid. When comparing discrete GPUs, consider how much VRAM is specifically allocated to the discrete GPU, as well as whether the GPU is a special edition (lower power) version, such as Nvidia’s Max-Q variants. However, if you want the best performance, you’ll need a powerful discrete GPU, and the most popular options are from Nvidia and AMD, just like on desktops. For most common laptop tasks, an integrated GPU connected to the processor is sufficient, and it’s common, especially in more affordable laptops.

Check out our guide to PC and laptop graphics for more information.

Focusing too much on storage space

However, a lower-capacity SSD is almost always preferable. Because spinning hard drives are less expensive, laptops with more storage space can be found for less money. Although the majority of the industry has embraced SSD storage, you can still find laptops with traditional hard drives at Best Buy or Micro Center.

Choosing less, faster storage will ensure that you get a laptop that feels modern and won’t stifle your productivity, no matter what you’re doing. It’s important to remember that solid-state drives (SSDs) are much faster than spinning hard drives and can make a significant difference in how quickly your system boots and responds.

External hard drives are plentiful if you need more storage, and there’s no shortage of them. excellent cloud storage optionsfor video, photo, and music storage When combined with an external hard drive or cloud storage, a 256GB or 512GB SSD should be sufficient for most people.

The bottom line

Try to time your purchase to coincide with big sale days, such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. That way, when it’s time to buy a new laptop, you’ll know which products are right for you and fit within your budget. Of course, you’ll want to make an informed decision, so read reviews, conduct research, and compare data before making a purchase. Which laptop is best for you will be determined by your personal preferences, needs, and even aesthetic preferences. Spend some time looking around for the best price or deals, as a little bit of research can go a long way in saving money. It’s important to remember, however, that the “best” laptop varies from person to person. laptop deals
 you can find during Black Friday
, for instance.

We choose what we want to spend our money on on our own, and we always keep budget-friendly items in mind. Before swiping your credit card, double-check those specific features. At Digital Trends, we strive to help our readers succeed in any way we can. Prices, specifications, and availability of each product or deal are subject to change. Our goal is to provide you with the most up-to-date information, the best deals, and well-considered product reviews.

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We aim to assist our readers in finding the best deals on high-quality goods and services, and we select what we cover with care and independence. Digital Trends may receive a commission for products purchased through our links, which helps us continue to provide quality content to our readers. Prices, details, and availability of the products and deals mentioned in this post are all subject to change without notice. Before making a purchase, double-check that they are still valid.

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