10 Common Mistakes with Laptop Shopping and How to Avoid Them
Are you looking for a laptop?
An estimated 92% of households own a computer of some kind in the US. That’s one of the highest global rates. But it’s not only about owning a laptop, you need to make sure you get the right one for your needs. And with so many makes and models on the market, that isn’t always easy.
Don’t worry, we can help! Read on for these 10 mistakes with laptop shopping so you know what to avoid.
- Not Doing Research
One of the best things you can do when looking for a new laptop is to research what is available on the market. You start by working out what you want your laptop to do and what your budget is.
For example, if you want your laptop to run graphic-intense, hardcore AAA games, it needs to handle that. But, if it’s for basic tasks like web browsing, you won’t need the latest laptop features the market has to offer. Either way, you need to know what you’re expecting the machine to do.
Visit reputable websites that do laptop reviews as this will give you an idea if a laptop can meet your needs. You also should research what type of platform works best for you. Check these for more details.
- Not Checking a Few Retailers
You need more than the information about different laptops. You need to check different retailers too. Not all retailers offer the same value; choose someone with great customer service.
You can do this by looking up online customer reviews. This will give you an idea of what to expect before stepping through the door or onto their site. This is a big investment, and you want to know you’ll have support at each step.
Comparing laptop prices is a good idea too as these can vary too between retailers. Some might offer deals at a time where others don’t. By looking at a few retailers, you avoid overpaying.
But make sure you’re getting warranty cover (without paying extra) before using a deal. It won’t be a deal if you’re left with a laptop you can’t return after 30 days or have it repaired if it breaks.
- Picking the Cheapest Option
There is a difference between a good deal on a great laptop and picking the cheapest option. A low price tag doesn’t mean that the laptop is right for you or your needs and you may end up disappointed.
You’re going to get what you pay for and lower-end laptops will have fewer features than those priced a bit higher. They also won’t be able to handle heavy tasks like using many different applications and once. This comes back to making sure the laptop does what you need it to.
A cheaper dual-core processor won’t have the power of a quad-core processor. It’s also worth noting that reputable, well-known brands will cost more. It’s wise to pay that little bit extra for the security a well-known brand offers.
- Picking the Most Expensive Option
You also don’t want to pick the most expensive as this might not be the right fit either. Sure, these high-end models will tick all your boxes but do you want to pay a premium price for features you won’t need?
In most cases, it’s likely that if a laptop is pushing your budget it’s got some features you don’t need. For example, some top-of-the-line laptops sit at around $5,000 but do you need 5TB of storage?
Pro tip: Most people don’t!
And even if you do end up needing more storage, some laptops have SSD cards you can upgrade to allow for this. Or you can get great external hard drives that do the trick. Both options are much cheaper.
In general high-end gaming laptops are quite pricey but you need that power. If you’re looking for basic tasks though, you don’t and you could end up wasting a lot of money.
- Believing All the Information a Salesperson Gives
No matter how big their smile or how warm their welcome is, salespeople aren’t your friend. Don’t expect them to help you pick a laptop that suits you best. It’s their job to sell you a laptop that is best for their employer.
If there is a specific model the shop has to sell fast, you can be sure they’re going to focus on it and try to get you to buy it. Everything they tell you, take with a big pinch of salt. This is where your research comes in handy and rely on that to make a decision.
- Skipping Repair Options
A high-quality laptop from a known brand, barring accidents, should stay in good shape for a long time. But it’s still a good idea to know what warranty and repair options you have, in case of the worst.
Check how long the warranty period on a laptop is. Can you get accidental damage insurance for it? Are the laptop’s components still in production and easy to get hold of?
You’ll also want to find out if the laptop has a reputation for being hard to repair. For example, some types of laptops have batteries you can’t remove from the laptop. This makes them a lot more difficult to repair.
Often, you’d need to send it away to a professional repair service and this will cost more. If you can’t be without the laptop for a few weeks, then you need to choose something easy to fix.
- Getting Tricked Into Extended Warranties
In principle, there isn’t anything wrong with an extended warranty. But don’t give it too much importance when you’re laptop shopping.
Extended warranties aren’t much good unless you’re traveling often. And even then, it’s only good if it covers accidental damage and theft. The only other time to consider it is if you’re buying a niche, highly-complex laptop. This is because you may find it useful to extend the tech support.
If those two situations don’t apply then don’t pay extra for an extended warranty. In a lot of cases, you’ll find these warranties still expire before you’re likely to need them. And most repair costs would cost the same as the warranty anyway.
- Not Trying Before Buying
Another mistake people make is not giving the device a test before buying it. Once you’ve gone through the spec sheet, don’t assume that’s all you need to know and it’ll be fine. Testing laptops help you find out if everything on the spec sheet is correct. You’ll see the features you get that also could be missing on the spec sheet.
For example, is the screen too glossy in daylight and gives off so much glare you can’t see it? Is the touchpad responsive, or does it drag and take a while? Does the keyboard feel comfortable to type on, do you like its layout and design? These things you’ll only find out with hands-on testing.
You’ll be using this laptop for a long time, so it’s important that it feels right. A lot of stores let people try a device before they buy it. If you’re buying online, either find that model in a store to test or make sure you can return it.
- Ignoring the Fact Size Does Matter
Another mistake people make is thinking that small and large laptops are the same. Size does matter, and a laptop’s size will play a role in how satisfied you are with it.
Larger laptops have bigger displays and will provide a superior viewing experience. Great for Netflix binges and playing video games. The drawback though is they’re heavier and less portable.
Smaller laptops will have a smaller trackpad and keyboard which may feel cramped. You might find it uncomfortable to use but their portability is second-to-none.
So, how do you work out the size that will suit you? Think about what you want the laptop to do. If you’re traveling a lot and need it to facetime family and check emails, a smaller ultrabook should do.
For everyday use where you have to move around a bit, a standard size laptop will suit your needs. If you won’t be taking it anywhere, consider larger laptops like 15.6″ or 17″ as this gives the most screen real estate.
- Obsessing Over One Specification
If you have tunnel vision on a specification you’re likely to make an expensive mistake. Don’t single out a feature as your favorite and obsess over it. Many specs go into a great, all-around laptop. Ignoring them all in favor of one isn’t going to get you the right laptop.
Of course, you need to work out the baseline specs that will get you a laptop that does what you need. But you need some flexibility here, considering the budget and feel of a laptop too. Don’t get hung up on that spec sheet.
Don’t Let Mistakes with Laptop Shopping Get You Down
So, there you have it! Now you know these top mistakes with laptop shopping and know what to avoid.
Take your time and do your research. The most important thing is working out what you need the laptop to do and what your budget is. Look up laptop reviews and shop around to make sure you’re getting the best deals. This isn’t a decision to rush and the more thought you put into it, the more chance you’ll get the perfect laptop.
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