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Home / Features / Smart shopping: things to consider before you buy a laptop

Smart shopping: things to consider before you buy a laptop

Are you in the market for a new laptop? Keep reading.

Buy a laptop

With so many laptop options out there, finding the right one for you can be confusing process. But don’t worry! It’s much simpler process than you might think. Follow these simple steps, and you’ll find the perfect laptop quickly.

Before going further, it’s important to note that today’s laptops are much more affordable than they were a few years ago. This means laptops are now an excellent option for everyone, regardless of the budget. So, you can rest assured that you’ll be able to find a great laptop that suits your needs —and your wallet.

Think about your budget, but don’t be afraid to splurge


You can find a decent laptop for under $500/£500, but if you’re willing to spend more money on a device that will be with you for years and possibly longer, it’s worth considering getting something more expensive. Just make sure that the more expensive model has enough power and features for what you need it for; if not, it won’t be any better than a cheaper option would have been anyway.

Don’t worry about ports

The USB-C port is the new standard. It’s reversible, so you don’t have to worry about how you plug your cables in. The USB-C port can be used for charging, data transfer, and video output.

Need a missing port? You can always purchase a USB hub; countless are on the market at various prices.

Don’t go for a touchscreen if you don’t like them

Surface Laptop Studio 2 vs Surface Laptop 5

A touchscreen laptop may tempt you, but they’re not for everyone. Don’t buy one if you don’t need or want to use your laptop as a tablet. Touchscreens are also often more expensive than non-touchscreen machines, and require exceptional software support to work correctly.

Make sure the keyboard is comfortable if you’ll be typing a lot

If you’re going to be typing a lot, make sure the keyboard is comfortable. The keys should have a good layout and size and feel nice under your fingers. Some laptops also come with backlit keyboards, which means you can see them in the dark. This can be helpful if you want to work late at night or when it’s too dark in your room for regular lights.

Another thing to consider is key travel, the distance between each key when pressed down. The more travel there is, the more comfortable it is because it reduces finger fatigue.

Consider battery life as well as weight and size


A laptop’s battery life is one of the most critical factors. It varies from model to model, and can be affected by how you use your computer. It’s generally better if you can get at least six to eight hours of continuous use on one charge.

Consider whether you want a long-lasting battery, or one that lasts for less time but charges quickly. You might also want to consider whether you need the portability of an ultraportable laptop or can get by with something heavier, and therefore less portable.

Don’t buy too many features you’ll never use or care about

Before you purchase, you must consider how many features you need and whether they’re worth the extra cost. If you only plan on using your laptop for web browsing and emailing friends and family, getting an expensive machine with high-resolution cameras built into it probably won’t be worth it.

A good rule of thumb is that if a feature costs more than $50/£50-$100/£100 extra (or even $200/£200), think twice before buying it. Consider whether there’s some specific reason why having this feature will improve your experience significantly enough to justify its price tag. Otherwise, you may be disappointed later when you realise that most of those extra bells and whistles aren’t useful.

But what about the internal specs

Acer Swift 14 laptop 2023

When selecting a laptop, there are several factors you should consider. First, determine the amount of memory and storage that you require. You should also decide whether you want a Windows or an Apple-based laptop. Nowadays, with numerous cloud-based storage solutions, you may not need as much onboard storage as you once did. However, memory is crucial. The more memory your laptop has, the faster and more efficiently it will run. This means that the laptop will have better CPU and GPU, which will result in smoother experiences, whether browsing the internet and doing word processing or performing resource-intensive tasks like gaming or video editing.

Buying a laptop can be challenging, especially when there are so many different models and features to consider. However, if you keep these six things in mind when shopping, choosing the right one will be much easier: budget, ports or lack thereof, touchscreen preferences, keyboard comfort level, battery life needs, and internal specifications.

Still need help? Check out our favorite laptops of the year.

Profile image of Bryan M. Wolfe Bryan M. Wolfe


Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including iMore, TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education.

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