Things to look for when buying a laptop

I’ve bought many computers, and I’ve helped friends shop for many more. They don’t always take my advice, but when I do, they’re generally happiest with the following things:

Must Haves

  • 8GB+ of RAM
  • Newest or 2nd newest generation Intel processor
  • More than 1366×768 px display
  • Battery life rated for more than 4 hours (preferably much more)

Important but I guess not critical for all people

  • 256-512 GB SSD (So worth the slight extra money)
  • 1080p or better display
  • Backlit keyboard (this is such a crucial feature more laptops should have these)
  • HDMI port is really convenient unless you’re all about the wireless
  • Get a light computer, weight is pretty important unless you plan to just plunk it on a desk
  • Touch screens are pretty affordable and they will be nice to have in the future

Other Tips

  • Spend $100-200 more than you think you should (you’ll thank me in 4 years when you’ve spent $50 a year on a better computer)
  • Buy from a place that will accept returns, and preferably a place that will service the computer in their store (man the Apple Store is great for this)
  • Don’t be afraid to return a computer if you don’t like the way it feels
  • Start a backup plan for your important files today. If you computer falls in a lake, you should be sad/angry, but you don’t need to lose anything
  • Talk to your friendly neighbourhood tech guy. Odds are he’s bored of his computer and will have fun looking at what’s new and talking to you about it.

1 comment

  1. Love your guide.
    Agree with the “Must Haves”
    I think 8GB is still low. 16GB would be enough for a gaming machine.
    Do you have any recommendations for a gaming laptop?

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