Buyer’s guide: What’s the best laptop for me?

Buyer's Guide: What's The Best Laptop For Me?

Looking for your ideal laptop? With a list of factors to consider, it’s easy to feel inundated by the range of operating systems, specs and capabilities on the market. Don’t worry, the perfect laptop to match your needs is out there and we’re here to help you find it!

How will you use your laptop?

Different laptops are built for different purposes. If you’re buying a laptop for school or university, you may be using it primarily for creating documents, sending emails and surfing the internet. For daily use, an all-rounder like the Dell XPS 13 or the budget-friendly Acer Swift 3 could be an excellent choice, avoiding the higher price tag of a premium performance laptop that’s impressive but unnecessary. On the other hand, if you’ll be spending a lot of time on applications that demand fast graphics processing, like video editing tools or online gaming, an advanced model that boasts potent processors and ample RAM is better suited to your criteria. Consider a gaming laptop like the Asus ROG Zephyrus.

What type of laptop suits you?

Gone are the days when all laptops looked identical, unfolding to reveal a display screen and a keyboard. Although the traditional “clamshell” style still abounds, today’s laptops come in many designs. There are touch-screen laptops, hybrid two-in-one laptops that combine a tablet and laptop, and convertible laptops that have a 360-degree rotating hinge (or even a detachable screen) so that you can prop it up on a bench or lay it flat on a desk.

Do you have a preferred operating system?

Like desktop computers, each laptop has an operating system. Does this matter? It does insofar as your laptop’s operating system will influence the programs that you can install and the machinery that it uses. Ultimately, whether you’re a loyal Windows user, an adoring MacBook fan, or you’d prefer to opt for an alternative like Chrome OS or Linux, there are pros and cons to all operating systems and it’s mostly a matter of personal preference.

What features matter to you?

If you’re shopping for a laptop, you’ll soon discover that there’s no shortage of features available to choose from. Laptops come in a range of screen sizes and resolutions, and feature different processor capabilities (CPU), memory (RAM), storage space, battery life, and graphics and sound cards.

Remember to keep it simple. Focus on the intended use for your laptop—this is the main factor that should influence the kind of features and functions that you’ll need in the best laptop for you. For example, if portability is a priority, opt for an ultraportable laptop (lighter and usually limited to a 13- or 14- inch screen) that has a longer-than-average battery life, like the popular Apple MacBook Air. If you want to smoothly use multiple apps simultaneously, look for more RAM that can handle efficient multi-tasking.

Excited to choose a stunning laptop to take prime position on your desk? Explore the vast collection of new and second-hand laptops and laptop accessories for sale on Gumtree.

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