Sure, the cheap ones can be very tempting, the ones with 4K screens are beautiful, and the 2-in-1s catch everyone’s eye. But what do you really need? Not all computers will work for all users. know what they are The most common mistakes when buying a laptop and avoid them.
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Buy the cheapest model
The Cheaper computer may be an easy option, but it probably won’t have all the features you need and probably won’t last as long as you’d like.
For example, imagine that you are hesitating between a dual-core and a quad-core processor. In your case, you want to run many applications at the same time, but you choose the dual-core processor because it is slightly less expensive. Well, you will have a system that, in the end, will not cover your needs and that problem will make you, in the end, buy a new laptop.
So, instead of going for the lowest price, it would be better to find a laptop that really meets your expectations. A good way to start your search is to know exactly what you need. Make a list of must-have features, then compare it to the spec sheets for each model.
pay too much
On the contrary, the The world’s best laptops may tick all the boxes, but if you pay for features or hardware you don’t need, you’re simply wasting your money. Chances are, if a laptop blows your entire budget, it has something you don’t need. A new MacBook Pro with the best specs can cost up to $6,000, but very few people need 4TB of storage space.
You can get the same machine with the exact same specs, plus less storage, for half that price, and you can get much cheaper storage with an external drive.
Gaming laptops can also be notoriously expensive, but if you’re just playing indie titles, you don’t need all that hardware. Buy what you need and try not to overdo it.
Buying a laptop “for today”
It’s old advice, but totally true. Unless you’re obsessed with the latest technology and newest models (some of us have a good excuse) a new laptop will probably last at least a few years.
That means that instead of buying a laptop for today, you should buy one thinking about where you will be in a couple of years. You might be tempted to go for a base model because of its low price, with something like 4GB of RAM and a 128GB solid-state drive.
However, that will limit its long-term appeal, as it will quickly run out of storage space and may not handle multiple apps well. It’s probably a good idea to go for a model with a larger drive and more RAM.
Ignore ports and compatibility
Not all laptops include the ports you need. Newer ones, like our favorite Dell XPS 13, only have Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C ports.
If you need USB-A or an SD card reader, make sure your chosen computer has the specific ports before you buy or budget for an adapter.
Opt for the highest resolution available
A device with a 4K screen is definitely a good option, but it’s not always the right choice as it doesn’t allow you to enjoy all the benefits of higher resolution.
Worse yet, 4K displays can have a huge impact on battery life. Many 4K laptops have low battery life with higher resolution screens and really, you won’t see much of a benefit.
Unless you’re buying a super high-end gaming laptop or one with a huge screen, we recommend 1080p to save on your wallet and battery life.
Don’t try before you buy
If you can, always do a proper trial run with the laptop you’re considering before you buy. Many laptops are available for testing every day at large 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 differ substantially from model to model. other.
It’s easy to overlook the importance of features missing from the spec sheet, like the responsiveness of the touchpad or the visibility of a bright screen in daylight, and there’s simply no substitute for getting a real hands-on feel for it. what it is to use it.
If that’s not possible, buy from an online store with a well-established return policy.
Thinking that size doesn’t matter
Size matters, especially when it comes to a laptop. A larger screen allows for an often better viewing experience, it also has drawbacks like portability.
The size of a laptop often determines the dimensions of the keyboard and trackpad, which means you’ll probably be overwhelmed if you opt for a laptop that’s smaller than 13 inches.
The best way to discover what you need is to consider how you have used computers in the past. A small ultrabook may be a viable option for frequent travelers, but those looking for a standard laptop will likely want to opt for a 13.3-inch or 14-inch screen.
If you rarely leave home with your laptop, consider a 15.6-inch model for maximum screen real estate.
Obsess over a feature
Tunnel vision is bad news when buying a laptop. While spec sheets are fun to face, avoid picking a particular one as your favorite and only go by that factor. You should have a baseline spec in mind to ensure you get the performance you need, don’t get obsessed with maximizing a single feature.
It’s easy to get excited about paying a little more for twice the RAM, but most people don’t need more than 8GB unless you’re using software for professional purposes. Likewise, don’t obsess over battery life, resolution, and processor speed.
If you’re on a budget, and most people are, you’ll need to learn how to balance a variety of hardware. Make sure the laptop you want has the features and hardware you need, anything else that falls below budget is just a bonus.
Choosing an ultrabook when you need something bigger
Ultrabooks have become one of the most popular models of laptops and it can be very tempting to automatically assume that they are the best option. They’re lightweight, small enough to fit in a briefcase or backpack, and the prices of many models – especially Chromebooks– they are among the lowest.
While most will find the performance to be more than enough, creatives and professionals may need a workstation to handle the high-end software for their work. In particular, you may need something with a powerful graphics card, while most 13-inch ultrabooks use an integrated one.
Assuming a 2-in-1 is the same as a laptop
Tablets, 2-in-1s, and laptops are separate categories. They are not interchangeable. While you can accomplish many tasks with a tablet and keyboard that you would normally do with a laptop, the similarities soon end.
Tablets are still much more restrictive when it comes to multitasking, fast web browsing, using complex apps, or running demanding software. Their keyboards may also be too narrow. Just because something has a screen and keyboard doesn’t mean it can do everything a laptop does.
This is the opposite mistake of focusing too much on one spec: if you ignore all the specs, you’ll start making assumptions about what the machine can do, and that’s dangerous territory.
Not understanding about video cards
The laptop video card or GPU is important if you plan to use it for video or gaming, but its graphics systems are not always well understood. Don’t just look at the amount of video memory in gigabytes (GB) when comparing graphics cards, because that doesn’t tell the whole story.
First look at whether the GPU is integrated, discrete, or – rarer – a combination of both. A processor-integrated GPU is fine for most average laptop tasks and is very common, especially on more affordable ones.
But if you want the best performance, you’ll need a powerful discrete GPU, and just like with desktops, the most popular choices are Nvidia and AMD. Pay attention to how much VRAM is allocated specifically to the discrete GPU when making comparisons, and whether it’s a special edition (lower power) version, like Nvidia’s Max-Q variants.
Focusing too much on storage
Most of the industry has jumped on SSD storage, but you can still find laptops with HDDs (traditional hard drives) at your favorite store, which are obviously cheaper. So you’ll often find laptops with more space for less money, though a smaller capacity SSD is almost always better.
It’s important to remember that SSDs are much faster than spinning hard drives and can make a big difference in system boot times, speed and responsiveness. If you opt for faster, smaller storage, you’ll want to make sure you get a laptop that feels modern and won’t slow you down, whatever you’re doing.
If you need more space, External hard drives cost ten cents a dozen, and there’s no shortage of great cloud storage options for storing videos, photos, and music. A 256 or 512 GB SSD should be enough for most people when combined with an external hard drive or cloud space.
Buying a laptop is a complex decision, but you can find the tools to succeed. Our reviews on Digital Trends in Spanish are a good start, where we guide you through each feature of a laptop and its performance in our practical tests.
We thoroughly analyze and evaluate every laptop we receive, from the user interface and display to performance and overall design. However, remember that buying the right laptop for you means just that. Examine as much of a possible purchase as you can, but when it comes time to pull out your credit card, make the purchase that makes the most sense to you. And look for the best price too. You’ll be surprised at the kind of offers you can find.
We strive to help our readers find the best deals on quality products and services, and we choose carefully and independently.