Your very first laptop is your introduction to all the wonderful and liberating opportunities that can only be offered by a portable, virtually do-it-all device. To make your experience that much more satisfying, here are some tips to help you buy your first laptop:
1. What do you need the laptop for?
Never buy because a laptop has an impressive list of specs. If you are not a heavy computer user, it is possible you might be buying more functions and features than you need or know how to use. Carefully consider what you intend to do and what you need a computer for. This will help you zero in on the most important features in one model.
2. What is your budget?
If cost is not a concern, then you pretty much have free rein about which brand and model to buy. However, if you wish to set a limit, having a budget will help you zero in on the brands and models of laptops that you can afford. It will limit your choices but it will make it a lot easier to decide which laptop to buy. For those with a very tight budget, you might want to consider buying a used laptop instead.
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Today’s laptops are designed to replace or at least be an alternative to the more bulky desktops. With more and more emphasis being placed on portability, laptops have also become thinner and lighter. If mobility is a huge priority, it is a good idea to consider smaller, lightweight laptops. These are easy to carry around and can be stored in a drawer or mid-sized handbag.
However, be prepared to compromise. Smaller laptops will have a limited amount of space for certain features and functions. Netbooks, for example, often lack a DVD player or burner because it takes too much space. The keyboard and tracking pad will also be smaller. For smaller laptops, it may be necessary to purchase additional accessories to extend the functionality of the laptop.
4. Battery life
You will need to rely on getting power from the laptop battery in places where an electrical outlet is not available. If you prefer working unemcumbered by wires and cables, then look for a laptop with longer battery life.
Read also: How to Take Care of Your Laptop Battery
Even first time buyers are likely to purchase a laptop to access the Internet. Most laptops have wireless capability, so this is not much of a concern. Once the service has been activated, it is pretty much just a plug and play routine.
Ports are also an important consideration when buying a laptop for the first time. These ports will be used to connect laptops to peripheral equipment such as a printer, scanner, digital/video camera, MP3 player, mobile phone, etc. Ports extend the functions of a laptop and allow you to sync two or more devices so files can be shared.
6. Should you consider brand name laptops?
Some first time buyers are drawn to a particular brand and model but if budget is a concern, it may be a good idea to consider less popular options. The good news is that there are no-name or less popular models that can be as good as or even better than brand name computers. Before buying, however, ask about warranty, customer service and after sales support.
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