Whether for work, play, or study, your laptop is one of the most important purchases you will make. Your laptop is how you create, write, communicate, entertain, and learn. It is an essential piece of tech infrastructure that is so much more than a mere tech accessory.
That is why knowing the different types of laptops out there and avoiding the main mistakes in picking laptops is absolutely key. As demand for quality laptops spikes and supplies of new devices are more scarce than ever before, you need the right know-how to find the perfect device for you at the best possible price point. With that in mind, here are the main mistakes in picking laptops that you should absolutely avoid.
1. Paying Too Much
When comparing laptop prices, it is obviously important to avoid paying through the nose for a laptop. There are many high-end laptops that are absolutely brilliant on every level, but not necessary for you or your budget. For example, the latest Macbook Pro 16-inch retails at around $3000, making it one of the most expensive on the market. However, if you must buy this model, you can trade in Macbook that you are currently using in order to cushion the blow.
2. Paying Too Little
Just as paying too much can be a serious mistake, so can paying too little for a laptop. Granted, it is not too hard to find a wealth of very, very cheap laptops that will promise to do everything you need. However, laptops are at the lowest end of the market are almost guaranteed to disappoint. Almost without exception, anyone spending less than $200 on a laptop can expect it to start malfunctioning a few months in. It will also be like that the cheapest laptop you can find will not offer all of the functions it says on the tin, so be wary if something seems too good to be true.
3. Style Over Substance
Long gone are the days where small and large laptops alike were little more than clunky plastic bricks. Today, laptops from all of the top brands are stunning pieces of design in their own right. However, make sure that you are not spellbound by a sleek and stylish device that has little to offer in terms of substance. Just because a laptop is visually gorgeous and feels nice to touch does not mean that it is actually useful or offers what you need from a computer. Put questions of aesthetics out of your mind as much as possible.
4. Not Considering Your Most Pressing Needs
This is a mistake that almost everyone makes when buying their first laptop. Before you even enter the electronics store, ask yourself “why do I need to buy a laptop right now?”. List down your answers in detail. Do you need a new laptop for work? What does that work entail? Are you hoping to play games on your laptop? What type of game specifically? Do you need a laptop that is portable? Or durable?
Ask yourself as many questions are possible about your needs and use your answers to guide your search. This way, you can find the perfect device for you. Once you have these answers, you can start searching specific brands and products that are designed for people like you. For example, anyone looking for a cross-functional, universal business laptop should start with the Intel Evo Platform ThinkPads, and then narrow their search down from there. Simple.
5. Choosing Extended Warranties
The salesperson will undoubtedly tell you that you need an extended warranty and that you will live to regret it if you don’t. However, do not fall for it. In 99% of cases, an expensive extended warranty is not worth it. Extended warranties never cover the types of breakdown and damage that they should cover, nor do they even last as long as they should last in order to cover wear and tear. Take it from us – you will not use that extended warranty, so do not pay for it.
6. Obsessing Over RAM
Virtually every computer company will loudly and proudly proclaim that their devices have buckets and buckets of RAM as if this is the most important thing in the world. Yes, more RAM means more processing power for many tasks. However, in this day and age, even the cheapest laptops have more than enough RAM for the average person. The truth is that 99.9% of laptop users do not need more than 4GB of RAM. Unless you are a serious hardcore gamer or a seasoned computer scientist, you do not need more than this, so don’t bother paying for it.
7. The Wrong OS
We are not saying that iPhone users can’t buy Windows computers or vice-versa. However, it is worth thinking about the operating system that you use in your daily life, as compatibility will make your life a lot easier. If you have Apple everything, it does make sense to stick to Mac if you can afford it, as all of your devices can stay in sync. Meanwhile, Android users might be better off sticking to Windows, especially if cross-device security is a major concern. This is not an absolute necessity, but it is definitely worth keeping in mind when buying a new laptop.
8. Thinking 4K Matters
We are not really sure why 4K resolution became the hottest marketing tool in the book, but we are definitely getting sick of it. 4K resolution is great, but who needs it? 4K only really makes a difference in quality if you have a massive screen, which will not be the case with any laptop. Moreover, what most salespeople forget to tell you is that 4K is a massive drain on battery life. If you run everything in 4K, your laptop will die quickly and will need to be charged up more often, which nobody wants.
9. Not Checking Battery Life
Do you know the battery life of the laptop you are thinking of buying? If not, hold off on your purchase. Check the manufacturer’s website to get a proper estimate of battery life from fully charged. In addition, make sure to look at online customer reviews to see what actual users think of the battery life and whether it is as long as advertised. If you are on the go, battery life is crucial. In fact, battery life might just be one of the most factors to look out for when buying a new laptop in 2022.
10. Not Checking Ports
Always, always check what ports your new laptop has. Many laptops today do not have USB-C ports, which is not ideal if you use these for work. In addition, lots of laptops (Macbooks especially) no longer offer ethernet cables, despite these continuing to be immensely popular for people looking to get the fastest, most secure internet uplink possible. Consider the chargers and ports you use in your daily life and then double-check that the laptop you are thinking of buying actually has them.
11. Thinking a 2-in-1 is a Laptop
At the start of the last decade, 2-in-1 laptops started to enter the vogue. These are billed as half-laptop, half-tablet devices that combine the functionality of both into one handy device. However, think twice before buying a two-in-one. For all intents and purposes, these are not laptops in the contemporary sense of the world. The vast majority of 2-in-1s have very limited functionality, capacity, durability, and power. They are often little more than tablets with keyboards attached. If you are in the market for a serious device, do not buy a 2-in-1.
12. Overthinking Storage Space
Yes, all of us need a lot of storage space. However, you should be wary of over compromising for it. Most run-of-the-mill laptops will have more than enough physical storage space for your average user. In addition, it is nearly always cheaper, in the long run, to store things on the cloud or an external hard drive than it is to shell out for an ultra-high-capacity laptop. Consider carefully your actual and future storage needs and whether they warrant a 1TB laptop.
13. Getting Upsold
This happens to the best of us and is totally forgivable. However, it is very easily avoided if you just know the upselling tactics used by computer salespeople. Some of these have already been mentioned, such as extended warranties and 4K resolution. However, there are more subtle tactics to be aware of. Oftentimes, salespeople will try to push the top-tier model of a particular product onto you. However, remember that these are nearly always designed for IT professionals or creatives that actually need the functionality that they offer. Keep this in mind to avoid getting upsold.
14. Failure to Shop Around
Finally, don’t forget to shop around. The same laptop can often be found at vastly different prices depending on the store you go to. This is especially true for older models of laptops. Meanwhile, do not just take the salesperson’s word for it. Read the online reviews extensively to see if there are any patterns or consistent problems people are having with a particular product. This is the most sure-fire way to avoid regretting your purchase.
No More Mistakes in Picking Laptops
Now that you know how to avoid mistakes in picking laptops, it’s time to choose the right one for you. Whatever your needs, we have got you covered. Make sure to consult our dedicated tech product guides to find the ideal laptop for you in 2022.