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So, you want to buy a new laptop, eh? Good for you! Computer/laptop manufacturers are constantly improving the way machines are being made, so it’s natural to feel the temptation to upgrade your device every 2-4 years. When you run a business and your laptop is an integral resource for you, 3 years is an important milestone. If you had purchased a warranty, it’s probably up for renewal now. So you’ll have to decide whether you want to extend the warranty or replace the machine.

There are a lot of different options available in today’s market and people often ask us which laptop best suit their needs. Unfortunately, there’s no one answer that will work for everyone. We’re all unique – and that means our needs (and budgets) are too. But here is a helpful guide that you can use if it’s time to go shopping.

1. Size

Are you often on the road? Do you bring your laptop with you everywhere you go? If your laptop is always being carried from place to place, the portability of your new laptop should be a priority. Most designs nowadays are slim and light, so take note of the ones that emphasize their size. We recommend a screen size of no more than 13.3 inches and a weight less than 1.5kg.

2. Screen Quality

How many hours a day are you staring at your screen? If you’re using your laptop regularly, make sure you get a screen that works for you. There are two parts to this. One – if you like natural lighting, try to avoid a touchscreen. The touch-capability is convenient but they tend to be glossier and reflect more light. It will be a pain if you’re always struggling with a glare. Two: look for a decent resolution. A 1920x1080 pixel resolution will keep images and icons from getting squished on your screen. You want to find a screen that’s wide enough but not too wide.

3. Keyboard Quality

This factor often goes unnoticed until the purchase is made. We suggest typing a few sentences on a demo model before you make a purchase. Keyboards are all slightly different; the keys can be different sizes and there may or may not be a number pad. Consider what kinds of writing you tend to do each day and find a keyboard that suits your needs. If you want bigger keys, we suggest you skip the number pad and get a USB number pad (if you really need it). You might also want to listen to the sound of the keys. Occasionally, a keyboard will make a clicking noise that distracts some users.

4. CPU (Processor)

Your CPU is what allows you to multitask and perform multimedia tasks. If you’re using design programs or complex software, you need a CPU that can handle your work load. In theory, a dual core processor can perform 2 tasks simultaneously and a quad core can perform 4. Our recommendation is the Intel Core-based CPUs, specifically the Core i3, Core i5 (which could be dual or quad core), and Core i7. Think of the numbers at the end as an indicator of their potential capacity and lean towards the 7 if you want high performance. One caveat though: the higher you go up, the hotter your computer can get.

5. RAM

Random Access Memory allows you to access data quickly and run more applications simultaneously. Most machines come with a standard 4GB of RAM. If you’re not doing anything too tech-y, that might be fine. But the cost to move up in RAM is relatively insignificant so try to opt for 6 or 8GB (if you tend to run multiple applications). Pro tip: to take full advantage of Window 10’s processing power, you want at least 8GB.

6. Storage

With thinner and thinner laptops being the trend, you might be hard-pressed to find a new model that can match or beat your existing storage capacity. That’s okay! Just try to look for a model that has 128GB or 256GB of storage. If you need more, opt for an external hard drive. They’re cheaper than getting a bulkier laptop that will prove to be a hassle anyway.

7. Battery Life

The power of a manufacturer’s battery can vary, especially taking into consideration what you actually do with your laptop. For example, watching a HD movie with the brightness setting turned all the way up will drain the battery very quickly. There’s not much you can do about that. But when you’re looking to purchase a new machine, take a minute to scan for the battery’s Watt-hours (Wh) or milliamp-hours (mAh) in its specs. The bigger the number, the longer the battery can potentially last.

8. USB 3.0

Last but not least, make sure you get a machine that has USB 3.0 ports. 2.0 is slowly being phased out and you don’t want to be stuck with an older version in 2-3 years. Make sure you also check to see that the laptop has more than 1 port. With slimmer designs, some makers might forgo extra ports to maintain a specific size. It can be annoying when you can only plug in one external device (storage, phone, mouse, etc.).

Final Suggestion?

If you’re unsure about how to find the laptop that’s right for you and you’re worried about being bullied by pushy salespeople, talk to us at Polarverse. We can help you identify your specific needs and get you special pricing on machines that will come equipped with Microsoft office and anti-virus software.

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