Almost 300 million computers were sold in 2020. With many of us working from home during the coronavirus pandemic, it’s clear that there’s been a significant need for laptop upgrades.
If you’re one of these people who are thinking of buying a new laptop, you might have some questions. Do you really need a new laptop, and which factors should you bear in mind when making a computer purchase?
Keep reading as we discuss the key questions you should be asking yourself during the laptop-buying process.
1. When Is the Right Time?
The time that you purchase a laptop has a huge impact on its price. While buying a computer as soon as it’s been released will have its perks, such as upgrading as soon as possible to the latest technology, there are also drawbacks.
As with any other product, laptops are at their most expensive as soon as they are released. Unless you have a comfortable budget to cover this and you’re in great need of a new device, we’d recommend waiting for the price to drop a little before purchasing.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two great opportunities for snagging a deal. However, be warned that prices can be artificially inflated ahead of these sales, before being dropped again to show a “whopping” 30% discount.
We’d recommend some thorough price checking or using a price tracker plugin to help you check whether you’re really getting a great deal.
2. Do You Really Need a New Laptop?
Another important consideration is asking yourself whether you really need a new laptop? If your current laptop is relatively new but running slow, it might be worth making some space in your storage or even replacing the battery.
Running a factory reset is another great option to double-check whether there your laptop has a few years left in it or not. At setapp.com, they run you through the steps for restoring Macs back to factory settings, and you can find similar instructions for Windows and other models online too.
Don’t forget to save all of the files you want to keep to an external hard drive or cloud platform before doing this!
3. What Are the Important Specs?
When deciding which laptop to buy, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the different data points. CPU, RAM, storage drive, display, screen size, and more… how do you know which of these is most important?
When choosing between the best laptops in 2021, you should be looking at a minimum RAM of 8GB. This is the memory capacity of your laptop and means that your apps and software will run faster.
We’d suggest that the display specs are not so important when it comes to buying a new laptop. There’s only a negligible difference between 1080p and 4K. The display is far more important if you’re purchasing a large monitor, rather than a laptop.
4. What Are the Best Brands?
There are a few big players who have the lion’s share of the laptop market. It’s worth remembering that you’re choosing an operating system in addition to the hardware.
Apple, Google, and Microsoft make the best laptops in terms of operating systems. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find another competitor who can go up against these.
When it comes to the hardware of the laptop, there are a few more names in the game. HP, Lenovo, Dell, Apple, Asus, and Acer are the biggest brand names. When choosing between these, it largely comes down to personal preferences and familiarity.
5. How Can You Find the Best Price?
The cost of your laptop is always going to play a huge role. Even once you’ve settled on a model, you still need to consider where to buy a laptop for the lowest price.
It’s possible to buy a usable laptop for under $200, but if you’re going to be using it for eight or more hours, day in and day out, you will quickly become frustrated. We’d recommend looking around the $500 mark if you need a dependable laptop for daily use.
It’s well worth comparing the prices of different sites to make sure you get it for as cheap as possible. Remember to keep a close eye on the specs, however, as the simple change from Ryzen 7 to Ryzen 5 will make a huge difference to your computer’s performance.
6. What Will You Use Your Laptop For?
Keeping in mind how you intend to use your laptop should always be a priority when deciding which one to buy. Using it for work, video editing, gaming, watching films, or internet browsing will vary the importance of the laptop’s features.
Don’t forget other important questions, such as will you be located near a power plug, or should the laptop have a long battery life? And will you be moving around with the laptop, meaning the weight of the device will be a big factor?
7. Final Tips for Buying a New Laptop
Finally, we’ll finish off this guide with a few great laptop hacks to remember when going through the purchase process. June to September is a good period to browse for laptops, even if you’re not a student. Anyone can benefit from the back-to-school deals that run during this time.
Last, notebooks that act as a two-in-one laptop and tablet are a great choice for people who like to watch Netflix on their laptops. They’re lightweight and also make a great first laptop for children and teenagers!
Are You Ready for a Computer Update?
Having read our top tips about buying a new laptop, it’s time to take action. You might have decided to make some improvements to your current model or to try out a new brand. Regardless, by keeping these important questions in mind, you can ensure you get the correct computer for your budget, computer usage, and personal preferences.
For more technology tips and advice, take a look at our other blog posts!