Step-by-Step Guide for Buying a Laptop Computer

Buying a computer is intimidating and buying a laptop can be even more difficult. They typically cost more, are harder to upgrade and have additional factors of battery life, size and weight to consider. Still, if you are willing to follow a step-by-step guide for buying a laptop computer, you can find one you will love.

Understand your needs

First, consider how you plan to use your laptop. A laptop used as your only home computer will have different requirements than a laptop you plan to carry to classes or use on a plane. Everything will affect the price of the laptop, so if you know you're rarely using the battery, you can cut back a bit on price. If all you want to do is search the Web, a netbook might be sufficient.

Size and weight

One of the primary advantages of a laptop is portability, so you'll need to consider size and weight. Smaller laptops will either be less powerful or more expensive. If all you need to do on your laptop is type and surf the Web, the power is likely unimportant, but if it's replacing your desktop, you'll want to consider a higher-priced laptop, larger laptop or both.

Battery

Laptop batteries have two key considerations. First, the length of time the battery is reported to last in the manufacturer's advertisements is under ideal circumstances; in real life it will not last that long. Second, laptop batteries are easy to upgrade, as you can always buy more or better batteries. Still, you want to buy a battery that will stay charged at least 20 percent longer than you expect to need it.

Upgrading

The final thing to consider is that laptops are difficult if not impossible to upgrade. This means that the size of the hard drive, the amount of RAM and keyboard are going to be more important than they'd be with a desktop computer. Some of this can be overcome with external drives and USB devices, but in general if you don't get it with the laptop, you won't have it, so be very careful you get everything you want.

By taking a step-by-step look at those things that a laptop has and a desktop computer doesn't have, you can make the choice far easier. This means that you only have to focus on the device as a computer. In this way, you can help ensure it is no more difficult to buy than any other computer.

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