A practical guide for the laptop buyer

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A laptop is convenient and is the computer of choice for many people today. It is even a must for the modern entrepreneur and student on the go. However, there are an overwhelming number of options available to consumers, and unless you’re a computer guru, it can be hard to find heads or tails.

The most critical aspect of choosing a laptop is the brand, but many consumers treat it as an afterthought. There are consumer services available free online that monitor the longevity of laptops. Do your research. Check with them and pick a few brands to target. Over the past five years, manufacturers like Asus, Sony, and Toshiba have done particularly well.

The second most important aspect of buying a laptop is the warranty. Most people require their laptop to work for 3-5 years, but standard warranties are usually only one year. When shopping, consider the cost of a 3-year warranty and be sure to read the fine print.

How important is portability? Features come at a cost of weight, and we can’t overstate the difference between 3-6kg when you carry it all day. The first big physical decision is the size of the screen. An 18-inch screen is great, but it makes for a heavy laptop. If portability is critical, then you’ll want to aim for 13-15 inches.

There are many processor options at the moment. Intel’s i-series is amazing and has caused the prices of AMD’s great options to plummet. Don’t get carried away by all the quad-core excitement. Consumers can have single- or dual-core CPUs at great prices, and they are more than enough for the average non-gaming PC user.

The profit margin for entry-level laptops that most companies advertise is very low. They make their biggest profit by selling you upgrades that you may not need. A common tactic is to sell you the need for 6, 8, or even 12GB of memory. Do not bite. Unless you’re doing heavy 3D modeling, there are few benefits for the average Windows 7 user beyond 4GB.

Solid State Drives (SSDs) are all the rage in the industry. The truth is, they are a fantastic addition to any computer, but they are not a particularly good value. Laptop buyers can get a relatively inexpensive 500GB hard drive. An SSD of that size is at least three times larger, and probably much more. Consumers better avoid SSD at this time unless 60-120GB is all they need.

Lastly, businessmen and students on the go should pay particular attention to the security features available. Most of the major laptop brands include them at no additional charge. So be sure to shop around before taking the plunge visit here.


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