The purpose behind this document is to give you some basic, easy to understand, guidelines to follow while buying a laptop.  If you know very little about computers and have no idea what to buy this should be  a great starting point for you.  We welcome your feedback.  Please feel free to use the contact tab on our site and send us positive and negative feedback.  As well you may comment on this article below.

 

What to look for

Screen Size: Screens are measured corner to corner (at an angle).  Nothing smaller then 14 inches.  The size of the screen will often dictate the size of the laptop.  (Usually) The larger the screen the heaver the laptop and the less time the battery will last.  So if you are looking for a large 17 inch screen plan on also buying something to wheel the laptop around as it will be very heavy.

Memory:  Memory is not storage.  Memory is part of what the computer uses to activly think.  Not having enough memory will slow the computer down.  You should only need 4gb minimum.  If you like to keep a lot of web browser tabs open (In Internet Explorer, or FireFox, or Google Chrome) then you might want to look for more memory (But this will raise the price of your computer).

Drive Size:  The Drive is also referred to as “Storage” or “Hard Drive”.  This is usually measured in gb.  Look for a minimum of 380gb.  If you are going to be downloading tons of movies or photos then you will want a larger drive.  500gb or larger can go a long way.  If you see 1tb that is the same as 1000gb.  (tb = Terabyte and gb = Gigabyte)

Operating System:  Windows 7 Home is fine.  Anything with Windows 7 should work unless it has “Windows 7 Basic”.  Windows 7 Basic has some annoying restrictions.  DO NOT buy Windows Vista or Windows XP.  The newer stuff comes with Windows 8.  Most people prefer the Windows 7 interface unless it has a touch screen.  Windows 8 is for touch screens.  It can run in Windows 7  mode.. HOWEVER.. The moment you run a Windows 8 program that goes out the window.  We will have more information on Windows 8 soon.

Maker:  We recommend buying a Toshiba, Samsung, or Asus.  DO NOT BUY AN HP.  HP laptops usually last 1 to 3 years before they just fall apart.  (Please do not send us comments on this.  Everyone has friend who is happy with their HP or got lucky.  Our opinions are based on client feedback as well as what we have found in the general community)

WiFi:  This is the way your laptop talks to your router to get Internet without a wire.  Older laptops will use a wireless protocol called “G” to communicate with your router.  Newer laptops will use “N” or “G”.  Make sure the specifications for the laptop you buy have “N” under wireless networking.  The “N” protocol is much faster and has a better range.  If your current WiFi router does not support “N” then you will need to buy a new one or put a new one behind your modem that supports “N”.  You can buy a refurbished Linksys/Cisco E2000 on Amazon for about $40 that will work very well.  The E3000 is also a good router to buy.

Other Things to Consider:  Do you want a keyboard with a number pad?  Do you want a webcam for Skype etc?  Refurbished or New (Make sure it is Factory Refurbished)?  Does it have a built in DVD Player?  Is the DVD Player also a burner (Do you need to burn CD’s?).