Which Laptop is right for me?

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If there's anything you should take away from this article it would be that for a new computer we recommend:

  • An i5 or equivalent/better processor
  • 16gb of RAM, 8GB is OK but not good enough
  • Solid State Drive (SSD)

 

This is one of the questions we are asked all the time. The answer is simple, the right laptop for you is the one you can afford and is able to handle what you throw at it. So, let’s take it from the top.

Start with the budget

Most of our customers start the process by trying to figure out how much a good laptop would cost. I usually advise you decide how much you are going to spend TOTAL first. If you know your target budget, and the salesperson or technician you are working with is knowledgeable and cares, you will end up getting the right product. 

Obviously, if you want a gaming computer and decide your budget is only $500, you are not going to find it anywhere, so be reasonable about your expectations and you’ll find what you want. A good budget to have for a standard laptop should be around $600-$800 to start. Don't go too cheap, you'll end up having to replace or upgrade the laptop too soon.

What capabilities should it have?

Next, you should make a list of the things you want the laptop to do. Here are some examples

  • Do you need a touch screen, tablet convertible?
    • Make sure it has a (Solid State Drive) SSD
    • HDD (Hard Drive Disk) are mechanical w/ moving parts which are not reliable
    • Flipping and moving the laptop can cause damage to the Hard Drive HDD
  • Will it connect to your network at work (domain network)?
    • Determines Pro or Home OS(Operating System)
  • Do you need a super long battery life or will it usually be plugged in when you use it?
    • This determines how many cells your battery needs to have, 6, 9, 12...
  • Do you do a lot of presentations?
    • Determine the type of outputs you need depending on projector or LCD TV.
  • Any gaming or graphics editing?
    • Needs a good graphics card
  • How much Ram is enough?
    • We recommend 16gb of RAM since more and more programs are using much more RAM due to security reasons.
    • 16gb of RAM will help ensure that not much upgrading in the future will be needed.
  • Will you need to type a lot of numbers or not?
    • Some laptops have number pads
  • Will you carry it everywhere with you?
    • Laptops vary in weight anywhere from 1 to 14+ lbs.
    • Laptops with smaller screens are generally more portable
  • Touch Screen?
    • Windows 8 and 10 are beautiful with touch screens, but that comes at a premium. If it fits within your budget, it’s worth the investment.

Future Planning

Once you decided on all the different characteristics then it's time to think about functionality, upgradeability, and so on. There are a couple of things you should be looking for:

    • 16gb of RAM
    • Intel i5 or i7 processor
    • Purchasing a laptop with an Solid State Drive will be the biggest improvement you can make on a laptop
    • How many USB ports are available?
    • WiFi 802.11 ac is here, does the laptop support it?

Probably the most important thing to look for today is a solid state. Read our article Should I Purchase A Solid State Drive.

If you have any questions about this article or would like some help picking the right laptop for you, please feel free to call or email.

Updated: 8/10/2018