10 Important Things to Consider Before You Buy a Laptop

Laptop Computer

If you’ve decided to buy a new laptop, there are a few things you should keep in mind. By considering the following points carefully, you can decide which laptop will best suit your needs.

The 10 important things to consider before you buy a new laptop are as follows:

The Budget

The size of your budget is, of course, the first consideration when it comes to making any purchase. Determining what you can afford ahead of time will allow you to work with a sales rep to ensure that you get the best machine for your money.

Style of Laptop 

Knowing what you need the laptop for will determine whether you should get a netbook, ultrabook or something that can replace your desktop. How often you will use the machine, if you will be travelling with it and if it will be the only computer you will have are all important considerations. For instance, if you only need a laptop to use while traveling between client locations and going to the office, then a desktop replacement laptop will do the job for you.

Mac or Windows

The decision to buy a Mac or a Windows notebook might be influenced solely by your budget. If you choose a system different from the one you’re used to, you’ll need to determine how much time you want to devote to learning new programs and/or operating systems you’re not familiar with.

Connectivity

Find out if the laptop provides for a variety of network connections like HDMI, USB 3.0 and/or Bluetooth. Buying a laptop with the widest selection of available networking options will make it easier for you to work with any type of device, such as external hard drives, an extra monitor or different Internet connections.

All laptops now include wireless connectivity options. Also look for the number of USB ports the computer has and where they’re located. There should also be an Ethernet or RJ-45 port so that when a wireless connection is not available, you can still access the internet.

Manufacturer’s Reputation

Reading reviews of the different laptop models available will help you to see which brands may have issues and which ones are rated well. Also investigate how service-related issues such as warranties and repairs have been handled. Knowing about other customer’s experiences will give you an idea of what you can expect from a particular company, if you decide to buy from them.

Software Included

Some programs get installed when you install the operating system. If you don’t need or want some of these “extras”, you can uninstall them later. Programs such as Microsoft Office and anti-virus programs are trial versions only. If you want to continue using them, you’ll have to pay for the full versions.

External Devices

Whenever possible, try out the different laptop keyboards. You may need to buy an external mouse and/or keyboard because the touchpad and keyboards on some laptops aren’t very comfortable to use for long periods of time. Also, it’s not a bad idea to have an external hard drive available.

Warranties

Before you buy a laptop, read and compare warranties so you understand what kind of repair service you’re entitled to and what you will be covered for. Most laptop warranties cover hardware problems that weren’t caused by the owner. These include:

  • Defective keyboards
  • Monitor problems
  • Issues with the modem or other internal components

A laptop warranty will usually cover parts and labour and will detail what actions by you that will void it.

What Isn't Covered Under Warranty

The following things are not covered by a laptop warranty:

  • Damage to or loss of data
  • Any problems associated with software, whether bundled or installed by you
  • Theft
  • Damage or breakage caused by owner

When comparing laptop warranties, find out what the term of the warranty is. Choose a manufacturer’s warranty that lasts for more than a year, as long as it doesn’t cost more. An extended warranty is a way to extend the original term and most often adds to the purchase price of your laptop.

 

Retail service plans are offered by the retail outlet that you purchase the laptop from. They are different from warranties as they can be purchased for different time periods, i.e., one, two or three years and may cover more or different circumstances. These retail plans usually offer the best value.

Repair Solutions

Find out if any repairs that may be needed will be handled onsite or if your laptop will be sent away to be fixed. If it will have to be sent away, find out how long you could be without it. The laptop warranty will state how repairs will be completed and whether new, used or refurbished parts will be used. A new laptop that will be repaired with new parts is always best.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016