When it comes to buying a laptop, the decision can be a pretty daunting one. They’re expensive machines that you’re hoping will last you a good few years so you don’t have to pay those high repair prices — or worse, pay for a new laptop altogether.
Although shopping for a laptop can be intimidating for some, it’s essential to keep a cool head on your shoulders and think in a rational way about your decision. Don’t get drawn in by a cool-looking color or one component that outshines the faults of the laptop.
Don’t rush it!
Think about these laptop-buying mistakes that many people make when deciding on their purchase so you don’t make the same ones.
- Overpaying for a Laptop
There’s a saying that goes, “you get what you pay for.” It’s one many people bear in mind when making a purchase, believing that if they cheap out, they’ll get something that doesn’t last.
Often, that’s true! But you don’t want to overpay for a laptop either.
For example, if you want a laptop to game on but you aren’t planning on downloading those huge open-world games like Skyrim and The Witcher, you may not need that computer that costs thousands. For smaller indie games, a smaller and therefore cheaper laptop may be just fine.
Don’t go for the most expensive laptop because you assume it’ll cover all your bases. You might be wasting some money when something a little less expensive would have done the job just fine instead.
- Or Buying the Cheapest Available
Having said that, don’t buy the cheapest laptop available either. There is some truth to, “you get what you pay for,” and that means the cheapest laptop is likely to be one that won’t last you a long amount of time.
It might be unable to handle running multiple programs at once, slow down quickly, or not have a lot of great components. This might be fine if you’re just looking to type out some documents and save some pictures but chances are, the cheapest laptop in the store will fail you before you can say, “oops.”
Although your budget is an essential consideration when picking out your laptop, try not to let it control your decision — whether it’s because it’s tight or unlimited.
- Not Trying It Out
Buying laptops online may be a great option in the modern world, but it doesn’t come with one major disadvantage. You don’t get to try them out.
It might be impractical to go into a store and ask to try every single laptop, but use the internet as your base for research. When you have one you think you might love, or maybe even a couple of options, you can track them down in a store and see how they feel.
Often they’ll seem or feel much different in person, and it may change your mind. Or you might love them and it might cement your decision to buy, but at least now you know!
- Blindly Trusting a Brand
There are many types of laptops and that means many brands that make them — as well as other products. You might have a TV you love that makes you want to buy a laptop from the same brand, or have heard good things about another, but don’t go into it blind.
Products are very different. A brand may make amazing televisions and terrible laptops!
Do your due diligence and be open to different brands. Do your research and listen to what people are telling you.
Some brands, sadly, have laptops that fail faster than others and you don’t want to be stuck with one of those notorious computers because you didn’t look into it.
- Not Considering the Size and Weight
Presumably, you’ve chosen a laptop over a desktop computer because of the portability. A desktop computer can be higher-powered, but it comes with the obvious disadvantage of never being able to take it anywhere, which puts many people off buying them.
Laptops, however, aren’t always as portable as you might think. They come in a range of sizes, with between ten and fifteen inches being the most common, and some go even bigger. These are much harder to cart around in your purse or shoulder bag.
Make sure you read the size and weight and if you can’t go and see the computer in person, find something of a similar size and hold it for judgment.
- Failing to Balance Everything
If you’re looking for one thing in particular in a laptop above all else, you might get super excited over it. Say you want a really good graphics card for your games — you might forget to make sure it has everything else, like plenty of USB ports for controllers and to charge devices.
Some good advice is to make a list before you shop. Think of the common laptop features that you can’t possibly give up, and try to find a laptop that has all of them.
You might get tired of the search and be tempted to compromise but with such an expensive purchase, you should hold out until you find one that has everything you need. It’s out there — you might just need a little patience while sifting through webpages to get to it!
Don’t end up with a bad machine because you were drawn in by one good feature.
- Not Shopping Around
When comparing laptop prices, you aren’t just checking different laptops. The same laptop itself may be priced differently on different retailers!
If you’re buying a new laptop, you want the best deal possible. Check the manufacturer’s website themselves, since retailers can often overprice things, and make sure to shop around.
If you want the laptop even cheaper, you can even check out some refurbished options. Many manufacturers offer laptops that are as good as new for a much cheaper price, which may make all the difference when a couple of hundred dollars is knocked off!
- Trusting Salespeople
The issue with going to a retailer is that the salespeople desperately want to make their commission. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s their job.
However, it does require you to be a little extra diligent. Some people will try and sell you something that may not be in your best interest, because it’s in theirs. They may want to sell you something that’s more expensive than you need, or push you to make a purchase you’re not sure about because it’s in their store.
Not everyone is disingenuous or but for themselves above all else, but always be wary of what salespeople are telling you and you can’t go wrong.
- Not Checking Out Repair Options
The hope is that nothing will go wrong with your laptop for a long time, but you always want to be aware of your repair options. Check how good the laptop’s warranty is, if insurance is offered, how much is it, and how easy the components are to repair.
For example, MacBooks have many advantages, but their batteries are more difficult to repair because they can’t be removed from the device by the user as easily as others. Therefore, repair times may be longer because it usually has to be sent away.
If you can do without your laptop for a couple of weeks for a repair, this may not impact you at all, but it’s important to consider.
- Not Doing Your Research
Above all else, you need to do your research. Google the laptop, search for common problems, listen to the internet when it suggests better alternatives, and read the reviews until you’re sick of them!
It’s always an idea to read both the five-star reviews and one-star, because you’ll get a solid idea of what the biggest strengths and faults are.
If you’ve Googled your new laptop relentlessly, then you can be solid and secure in making your purchase!
Keep These Laptop-Buying Mistakes in Mind, and Don’t Make Them!
Don’t be too intimidated by the process of buying a laptop. As long as you keep those common laptop-buying mistakes in mind and make sure you don’t make any of them, you should end up with a laptop that will serve you well.
Do your research, make sure you aren’t drawn in by one specific feature or the chatter of salespeople, and stay objective. That way, you can’t go wrong!
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