Blog @ Sarasota Computer Repair

Computer Tips & Buying Advice

Tips for Buying a Laptop in Sarasota

Best Buy Laptops in SarasotaWhen you seek out information online about buying a new laptop, do you wonder which articles can be trusted? Do you fear that what you are reading is just marketing material intended to get you to buy? This article has been written to provide you with honest facts about shopping for a laptop, so check out the tips below.

[box style=”check”]Learn about our laptop computer repairs here.[/box]

Weight Matters

Consider the weight of each computer while you are shopping. Most laptops are less than 5 pounds, which is important if you will be using your computer while on the go. Although some laptops focus on mobility issues, these computers are often more expensive. Consider buying a computer with a smaller screen if you can manage.

Size up your purchase. Small laptops usually have less features, but can fit in any size case. This makes them easy to carry. Large laptops are harder to stow, but have all the features. If the work you will be doing is processor intensive, you may want to go bigger.

Battery Technologies – Which is best for long battery life?

Consider battery life when making a laptop purchase. This is especially important if you have to travel a lot via car or in the air. Check to see how long the battery of your prospective computer is supposed to last. Be careful, though as many manufacturers indicate the battery usage time but that time listed is usually if you are using the laptop at a very low power level. Think brightness down, just casually surfing the web. If you are using a highly intensive program like a photo or video editing program, then you will experience much poorer battery life than the typical laptop user. If you purchase a laptop that has a minimal battery life, it will be more difficult to use it on the go, especially when a power outlet is not available to you.

Instead, opt for a laptop that offers several hours of battery life to increase the portability and convenience. In our experience, the laptops with the best battery life have Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) cells. Older generation computer batteries use Nickel-Cadmium (NiCad) or Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH). You do NOT want a either of these types of batteries in your laptop. They tend to have a much shorter lifespan than the newer Li-Ion batteries.

[box style=”info”]For more information on current laptop battery technologies, read about rechargeable batteries on Wikipedia.[/box]

Laptop Specs – What’s Important?

Learn a little bit about specs before you purchase a laptop. Know the differences between various CPUs, hard drives, graphics chips, and RAMs. You do not need to know everything about each of these items, but understand what each is and what function they have in a laptop. Always know how much memory (RAM) is available on your laptop. This lets you know when you must remove those programs that you don’t want in order to free some space up. The more memory you have available to you, the faster your laptop is able to run. You do not want to spend more for something that you do not need or not spend enough for something that you wanted after the fact.

Make sure your laptop includes WiFi. While most laptops today do, some older models are still around that do not include this important feature. Without WiFi, you will not be able to connect to a wireless router, and this means you cannot use your laptop in a coffee shop, many hotels or even the airport.

A graphics chip is an integral part of your computer. For basic functions of the laptop, an integrated graphics chip will be sufficient. Dedicated graphics chips are preferable for those who watch a lot of videos or use the laptop to play games. It’s important to note that laptops specifically made for gaming often have some of the best chips inside of them.

[box style=”info”]For more information about what are the minimum specs recommended on a laptop, read this article from the University of Denver.[/box]

Avoid the Sales Floor

As sad as this is, most computer salesmen are paid on commission, they will tend to sell you the computer THEY want to buy, instead of the computer that YOU SHOULD buy. To avoid sales people who desperately want to make a commission, do your research online. Then go into your local laptop store to make the purchase. CNET.com has excellent laptop computer reviews and advice. Our favorite laptops right now are the increasingly popular Ultrabooks. Think thin, light, & fast!

Try out the laptop you want to buy before you purchase it. You have no idea how easy it will be to type on a laptop until you test out the keyboard, for example. Remember that the size of the monitor will also affect the size of the keyboard.

Conclusion

These laptop buying tips will get you started on your journey to finding the best computer for the money. Then remember Sarasota Computer Repair, when your laptop computer needs service. We’ve got you covered. Oh, and do NOT buy those extended service agreements that Best Buy, Amazon, & Wal-Mart offer. They are not cost effective, and actually getting the computer replaced can be a real hassle. Good luck on your laptop purchase.

[box style=”check”]Go out and start shopping to find the model that offers the best features to fit YOUR needs![/box]

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