3 Questions To Ask When Buying a Laptop

Closeup of businessman holding Questions sign towards you, vintage effect toned image.

If buying a laptop is new to you or if you have been deceived with your last laptop purchase, this is the article for you. Sometime we let the marketing world do the thinking for us and we just give in to their suggestions. Not anymore ! Here are 3 questions to ask when buying a laptop.

Question #1 : What Operating System suits you best ?

  • Mac OS

Before considering buying a MacBook Air or a MacBook Pro, you should first ask you these questions. Do you have and iPhone ? An apple TV ? Do you have the cash or in order to buy one you have sell a kidney ? My honest opinion is, if you have been using Apple products for a long time and are accustomed to their User Interface or you are a graphic designer / video editor and need the retina display I don’t see really a valid point in purchasing one. But if you do have Apple products or need to work on Apple’s softwares, read on the next question to narrow your search in the big 3 MacBook laptops.

  • Windows 10 OS

Unlike MacBooks, you can find a decent Windows 10 laptop under the $ 500 mark. If you are working around a budget but need the full power of a personal computer, Windows 10 laptops are the way to go. If you have been using Windows versions your whole life, trust me no need to switch to another one. It is suitable for the average user AND for Video-Editors dare I say, more than MacBook Pro. That’s right. Did you know a similar priced Windows laptop ALWAYS has better hardware specification than their Apple counterpart ?

  • Chrome OS

If you ever heard of Chromebooks, they were launched in 2011 by Google and is a linux-based system (like your Android phone). They target a specific group of people and maybe you are one of them. If you find yourself while using your computer always on your browser and doing simple tasks like emailing, word processing and so on, this is a good deal for you. Chromebooks are the cheapest kind of laptop out there with a whooping starting price of only $ 150 ! Investing in a laptop as cheap as this can help you invest more other money-making aspects of your business.

 

Question #2 : Are you frequently on the move ?

Buying a laptop for home is great but what if you travel a lot ? Maybe you are a mom and you have to fetch your kids daily or maybe you are a student and have to go to course regularly. By the way if you are, check out this Student Laptop Buying Guide. So the main factors here are screen size, weight and battery.

If you are 90% of the time going to work at home, a larger screen size should be the main feature of the laptop. A larger screen helps for better viewing experience, more productivity and also a bigger keyboard. For the typists out there you know how important a big enough keyboard is.

Now if you do travel a lot, is it by car or public transport ? If you do travel by car, weight is not an issue. You can get a large screen laptop BUT have to keep in mind for the battery life. The longer you are away from a power socket, the longer you want the battery life to be. Typically an 8 hours battery life is enough.

If you travel by public transport or walk a lot, I suggest a smaller laptop in the 11 inch range but if you have a good budget, you could go for larger slim laptops that are available now.

 

Question #3 : Are you a touch person ?

By touch I mean touch screen. Thanks to the technology age, we now have all sorts of options. If you like touch-screen more than using a mouse, you could invest in those 2 in 1 laptops. They usually come with a stylus pen and are great for portability. The 2 in 1 laptops are detachable so can act as a laptop or a tablet. This nice perk may be appealing to you if you are a graphic designer or just like the ease of use of a tablet from time to time.

Well that’s it. I hope these questions will help you make the right choice on your next laptop purchase 🙂

8 Comments

  1. Excellent article. When it comes to choosing a laptop you really need to make sure it’s using an operating system that you are familiar with and comfortable using.

    For me, i’m a Windows guy and have been my entire life. I like the MacBooks and know how to use the OS but i am much more comfortable with windows.

    Like you said, choosing a laptop based of your needs, wants, and available cash is the best way to go about selecting the perfect computer.

  2. Hey Chris, great article. I do believe that OS choice is important. However, you mentioned that a similarly priced Windows PC will always have better specs than a Mac product is not necessarily true. The 13″ MacBook Air is one of the most competitively-priced Ultrabooks on the market today. This is especially true due to the build quality, storage and the PCI-E based memory.

    For $1100, you would be hard-pressed to find a Windows 10 machine with better specs at a similar weight, size and build quality.

    Thoughts/ideas?

    • Hey Michael, I agree that the MacBook Air is the sweet spot for Apple for the most bang for the buck. However, even in the 1000-1200$ price range, you still can get a better performing Windows laptop. If you look closely at the hardware specifications of the current MacBook Air 13″ in comparison to the similarly priced Dell XPS 13.3″, they both have the PCI-E memory storage but the Dell has an i7 cpu rather than an i5 and comes with a higher resolution display. At this point it’s all about preference in my opinion.

      You can find the Dell XPS here : https://goo.gl/ohWZoe

  3. This comes at a good time-my trusted Toshiba laptop is now 10yrs old-but I love it and would another, but alas Toshiba will be gone, but checking into who will be taking over any warranty work for them so there may be a hope. Otherwise, I will really need to be asking those 3 questions a lot in my search.
    Thanks for a great starting point.

  4. Great article!
    As time goes on, there are more innovations coming so fast that we don’t really get the time to think about the change and how to adjust to it. I’m still not used to the touch screen thing and I am still using my mouse. One change that I noticed with myself is the size of the laptop. Today a small notebook is sufficient for me instead of a 15 inch or 17 inch.
    And even though I am most familiar with Windows OS, Windows 10 has been a headache to work with especially with the new notebooks. I’m thinking maybe I should make the change to Chrome OS instead.

    • Hi Dira,

      Yes the since the Windows 8 and now 10 Windows has not been the same. Chromebook is an excellent choice if you work only online. It’s easy to get used to and is the best bang for your buck !

  5. Thank you for sharing this great article. I am not very tech savvy. For three computer purchases I have made so far, I participated in none of them. In fact, I just give my brother and he buys it for me, because I fear of getting rip off. I find your article very helpful. I guess I don’t have to be that scared to buy a computer in the future. Now I know what questions to ask. Thanks for for all the information!

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