When it comes time to purchase a new laptop what do you look for? There are so many options and price points, from $279 bargains to high powered machines that can cost as much as a car. One of the most common price points is laptops priced less than $1,000, as they are affordable and tend to have a lot of features.
Every business owner and entrepreneur has a laptop and they tend to upgrade theirs more than the average person, due to heavy use and wanting new features. Whether you are running a medical blog or managing a full-blown e-commerce operation, a laptop makes it easier while traveling. So, to help you understand what to look for when it comes time to get a new affordable laptop, use these suggestions.
Adequate USB ports.
The point of a laptop is portability. Well, some of the new models that are going for the thin look are removing USB ports. This can render a laptop useless for some people.
“You should have a good idea of how many USB ports you need to get the most out of your laptop,” says Loren Taylor of Soothing Company. “If you usually run an external hard drive and charge your mobile phone, then you need a minimum of two USB ports. Having a thin laptop is nice, but not at the expense of making it useless for your needs.”
There are plenty of “thin” options that also have USB ports. Do you want to be a few pieces of paper thinner or do you want to be able to get the most out of the laptop?
Enough memory to power your needs.
Not all laptops are equipped with the same power. If you are running large programs that are memory suckers, then you need to make sure you are running enough so it doesn’t slow everything down.
“If you are running a massive program like Photoshop that is very resource-heavy, you are going to want to make sure that you purchase something with enough memory to keep everything running fast,” says Tad Thomas of Thomas Law Offices. “To come in at this price point you may have to wait for a Black Friday sale in order to get a high memory laptop under a thousand dollars.”
If you find your laptop isn’t fast enough, you can always upgrade the memory card. They are easy to replace, sliding in and out essentially.
Cooling power to handle non-stop use.
Many people don’t like a loud laptop, but they don’t realize that the noise is keeping the laptop running efficiently. You have to have a fan on your machine, especially if you are running a lot of programs at once.
“If your laptop is using a lot of resources you will want a good fan and cooling system,” says Chris Moberg of Slumber Search, a review site for the best mattress for side sleepers. A lot of the low quality machines will have weak or under powered fans and this will result in overheating and machines dying out.”
This is why many of the low cost laptops are throwaways and only last a short period of time. If you plan on keeping your new laptop for some time you need to make sure it has a solid fan.
The warranty is important, so take the time to read the details. You want something with at least a full-service 12 month warranty. Anything less could be trouble and have you end up paying much more than you would have for a better more expensive laptop.
“If you are spending less than a thousand dollars on a laptop you more than likely won’t be purchasing extended warranty coverage,” says Darryl Howard of Blogger Tips, a website that explains how to start a blog. “Make sure any issues cover all parts and labor for at least a year.”
Now, if you are buying a more advanced laptop for several thousand dollars, then it’s worth looking into extended warranty issues. Apple, for example, has very good plans via Apple Care.
Often times when laptops are on sale they feature outdated components, like processors. “While you don’t need the latest and greatest, you do want to make sure that you are not buying something with a processor that is 5 years old,” says Ignacio Soria of CANN & Co. ”Look at the specs and then Google the processor to read the latest information. As long as it’s fairly new and there aren’t any issues you should be fine.”
Many of the tech review websites will have extensive processor reviews. Find those and look at the publish date of the article. This will give you a good idea of when they were first introduced.
Graphics to meet your demands.
Not all laptop graphics are created equally.
“If you are only doing word processing then your graphics card won’t be a major deal,” suggests Andrew Tran of Therapy Blanket. “Now, if you are an avid gamer or if you do graphic design for a living, then this will be something that you will want to pay attention to.”
If the graphics aren’t a major concern, then you will be able to get the most value, as prices can jump when you are running more advanced graphics cards.
Long battery life.
The point of a laptop is to give you portability, so the battery life is important. The thinner the laptop, the smaller the batter will be, so remember that when determining what kind will suit your needs.
“Slim designs are nice, but they also have the lowest charge holds,” advises Marc L Montgomery, DDS of Montgomery Dental Care, a professional restore your smile practice. If you need to use your laptop on the go, without access to an outlet, make sure the standard battery has plenty of work time, and not just standby time.”
Remember that manufacturer claims will always be exaggerated. If a laptop says it has battery life of 6 hours on a full charge that really means about 3 to 4 hours, max, at regular use.