7 Things to Consider Before Buying Laptops

How to buy Laptops? Laptops are complex little machines with a variety of configuration options which can lead to very confusing buying decisions. In this article, we are going to cover out factors that one should consider before purchasing a laptop. These 7 factors are the crux of any laptop purchase and by using these as a guideline, you can land the most appropriate mobile PC for your needs.

1- Weight
The lighter the laptop, the easier it is to move around. Prices usually have an inverse relationship with the weight of a laptop. Hence the lightest of laptops will almost (always) cost more than the heaviest ones.

Another relationship is the features of a laptop which would affect the weight of the laptop, which can be if it has a powerful graphics card, or a larger screen etc. The laptop will end up being comparatively heavier and more expensive. So keep a look out for that.

2- Power Consumption
Battery life is critical for users who are on the go. On an average workload, a regular low budget laptop would easily give you 2.5 to 3 hours of battery time. A fairly good machine would easily clock in 4 hours.

These are battery times for regular 6-cell batteries and 9-cell batteries have longer backup times. However, power consumption varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and model to model. Additional features usually result in a powerful drain on battery supply. If you are mostly mobile, power consumption becomes a critical factor to consider.

3- Processing Power
Laptops are almost more expensive than a desktop with similar specifications and so, it is essential to opt for a level of processing power that matches your current and near future needs.

For office work only, an entry-level processor such as the single core Celeron is more than enough. For multimedia enthusiasts and power users, a Core 2 duo or equivalent processor is recommended.

4- Warranty
Locally manufactured laptops usually have a sound local warranty that can span over a time period of a year and beyond. International warranties allow one to take a laptop to any country and in case of trouble, hand it to the sales and support outlet there for repair.

Most warranties allow non-physically damaged laptops to be repaired or replaced free of cost in the first year and cover parts and repairs in the following years at an approximate cost to the customer.

5- Operating System
For most users, the operating system (OS) plays a very important role. If one opts for Windows Vista, the laptop is likely to be more expensive mostly because the OS requires the latest hardware.

Of course, it is a feature rich operating environment but that is the price one pays for the latest and the greatest. Other than that, a user can choose from Linux, Windows XP and Mac OS X.

This is not an easy question to answer, especially if you’ve never considered making the switch from Windows to Mac. But this quick overview of each platform’s strengths and weaknesses should help.

Apple’s MacBook Airs and MacBook Pros offer an easy-to-use operating system in Mac OS X Lion. It offers iOS-like features such as Launch Pad for your apps, superior multitouch gestures, and Auto Save and Resume so you can pick up on your work right where you left off. Macs also tend to outperform similarly configured Windows machines, especially when it comes to boot and resume times. While Windows PCs offer more software choices, Apple makes it easier to find and install programs with the Mac App Store.

MacBook Airs and MacBook Pros also tend to outclass most Windows machines when it comes to the sturdiness of their industrial designs, the touchpad, and display quality. However, Apple’s notebooks start at $999.

Windows 7 notebooks are generally more affordable and offer a much wider range of design choices from more than a dozen major vendors. Windows machines also have access to a much bigger selection of software, especially when it comes to games. Windows 7 is certainly easier to use than previous versions of Windows, and includes convenient features such as Snap (to view two open windows side by side). And if you care about security, there are many Windows notebooks explicitly designed to appeal to the business crowd.

6- Brand Matters
It is easy to choose unbranded systems for the sake of lower prices but that does not necessarily mean that one would get much value or quality. Most no-name companies have a lack of spare parts, precarious warranties and unstable configurations.

Make sure that you have read enough reviews and are sure about the quality of the manufacturer before you make a purchase decision

7- Cost
These days, you can easily find an all-purpose laptop with good performance for about $500. We’re talking about a speedy dual-core Intel Core i3 or an AMD A6 processor, 3 to 4GB of RAM, and at least 320GB of hard drive space. That’s good enough for most consumers looking to surf the web, go on Facebook, check email, and play casual games.

As you get above $600, you’ll start to see more premium designs, such as metal finishes. Manufacturers also start to add in other features as you climb the price ladder, including better audio and backlit keyboards. Look for a second-generation Core i5 processor in this range, as well as 6GB of RAM and a 500 to 640GB hard drive.