Looking For Portable Storage
Wi-Fi speed is important because fewer laptops come with a built-in ethernet port for plugging into your local wired network.
If this is the case, you may be able to purchase a USB-to-ethernet adapter of the same brand or a third-party alternative.
In either case, look for a laptop that supports the current Wi-Fi standard, 802.11ac, now rebranded as Wi-Fi 5. This is backwards-compatible with previous standards including the previously most popular 802.11n, but is much faster.
The emerging standard for newer laptops is Wi-Fi 6 which is faster and designed to support more devices than Wi-Fi 5.
Connectivity on laptops these days is all about USB-C, the new low-profile standard that’s becoming common on more models. A USB-C plug is slimline and easy to use , but its appearance can be deceptive, as the same-shaped plug is used for several different standards USB 3.1 Gen-1 and Gen-2 and Thunderbolt 3.
Most USB-C ports will be either USB 3.1 Gen-1 which is rated at 5Gbps , the same speed as USB 3.0. The faster version of this is USB 3.1 Gen-2 . There’s also USB 3.2 Gen-2×2 . Then there’s the blazingly fast Thunderbolt 3 and 4 and the new USB 4.
Avoid cheap third-party cables and chargers or you may risk damaging your computer or worse
Total computing portability is enticing enough, but what other benefits can a laptop offer?
A laptop takes up much less space in your home or office than a desktop PC.
Do I Need Any Extras When I Buy A Laptop
To my mind, the whole charm of a laptop is that it gives you everything you need in one device. That being said, I know that some people find laptop keyboards cramped and trackpads annoying. Thankfully, these days almost every peripheral keyboard and mouse is Bluetooth enabled so all should connect to your laptop with ease. You can find my guides to the best keyboards and best computer mouse by clicking those links.
Should I Get A Longer Laptop Warranty
Most laptop makers offer one-year warranties on parts and labor. These standard plans are limited, so they won’t cover accidents that stem from spilling a drink on the keyboard or dropping the system on the sidewalk. Fortunately, your credit-card issuer likely covers such mishaps for a short period of time after you buy a new product, and it also may extend the manufacturer’s warranty. Check your account benefits guide for details.
If your credit-card issuer doesnt cover you, some laptop makers will happily sell you extended warranties. Apple, Dell, HP, and Lenovo all offer wide ranges of extended warranties and coverage for accidental damage. Expect to spend $100 to $300 for these options. Our rule of thumb is that if a warranty costs more than 15 percent of the laptop’s purchase price, you’re better off spending the money on backup drives or services that minimize downtime.
Of course, you can’t put a price tag on peace of mind. There are instances when the logic board or the displaythe most expensive parts of a laptopfail, and while rare, such a catastrophe can cost you half of what the laptop is worth in repair costs.
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What Is The Best Processor For A Laptop
If youre just buying a laptop for everyday use, you probably dont really need to worry about the processor as you wont usually be doing anything that needs much processing power.
The vast majority of laptops use Intel processors. These are split into Core, Pentium, and Celeron, the first being widely considered the best, the last the worst. Most laptops Ive found through my research use Intel Core which comes in i3, i5, i7, and i9 varieties and each has nine generations which mark slight improvements. Essentially, the higher the numbers the better the processor.
But, again, it depends on your use. If youre doing very basic stuff, an Intel Core i3 processor will do just fine. Maybe an i5, if youre going a bit harder. You wouldnt need an i9 processor unless you were doing very, very high-intensity gaming.
However, Intel do have a new rival whose processors are starting to appear on the market. This rival is AMD who make, from most to least powerful, Ryzen, Athlon, and A-Series processors.
AMD is popular among gamers because they make both graphics chips and processors meaning that the technology has been designed to work together from the off, rather than being fused together at a later stage. Some people claim this means that AMD processors are better for gaming, but its a hotly contested area.
Either way, if youre just doing basic stuff, you really dont need to worry about it.
Making Your Computer Shopping Easier
We want you to spend more time using your new computer rather than shopping for it. To help speed up the time it takes for you to order a machine and get it, check out our buy online and pickup in warehouse options. Consider our extended warranty for your new purchase to give you peace of mind. Now go forth and find the software, hardware, and accessories you need to conquer the world!
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Information From User Reviews:
User reviews are very helpful, especially when you are trying to find the best deals on laptops. However, there are many fake reviews that are meant to boost the ratings of a retailer’s site. If you are shopping for a laptop on Amazon, you can use Fakespot, a site that is helpful in determining the fake reviews from the real ones. Always look for genuine laptop reviews.Another important reminder is to test out a laptop before buying it. Many major retailers such as Apple, Microsoft Store, and Best Buy allow you to test out various features of different laptop models before you make a purchase. However, if making a stop at your local retailer is not possible, consider buying a laptop from an online store that has a strong return policy.
Black Friday: The Best Time To Find A Great Cheap Laptop Deal
While there are deals on laptops year round, the best time to nab a genuine bargain is usually around the Black Friday/Cyber Monday season. These days, this extends through most of November.
Take a look at the laptop market in the lead-up to the sale, though it can be advantageous to understand how prices change so you can make a judgement on whether a deal is really as good as it looks.
It will also pay to make a list of a few laptops you’d be interested in if they went on discount. That way, when the deals start rolling in, you already know what it is you want and don’t get tempted in by other deals on laptops you aren’t familiar with.
You can get some great discounts if you’re prepared to buy a refurbished or second-hand laptop. Find out how to get a bargain – see how to buy a second-hand or refurbished laptop.
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What Kind Of Computer Do You Need For A Cricut
All of the devices in our pick of the best laptops for Cricut meet the system requirements for the devices’ software and then some. However, if you choose a different laptop, make sure it meets the basic Cricut system requirements below. Note that if its a Windows laptop, it must be running a full version of Windows, as opposed to Windows S mode.
For Windows :
- Connectivity: USB port or Bluetooth connection
- Display: 1,024px x 768px screen resolution
You Have Expensive Hardware Repairs
Things happen: The screen cracks the keyboard or trackpad stops working. Some simple fixes, like getting a new mouse for a desktop, don’t take much time or money. However, some repairs may come close to or exceed the cost of a new computer, depending on the specific components being replaced. If that’s the case, you’re only prolonging the inevitable, and you’re better off purchasing a new device.
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The Absolute Worst Time To Buy A Macbook
Because MacBook sales are relatively rare, you might not want to wait for the right discount to come along. If you need a MacBook now, you need it now, after all.
But there are still some times you should try avoid splurging. If you can help it, do not buy a MacBook right before one of Apples fall events. Typically, one is held in September and another in October or November. These are the primary times when Apple unveils new hardware, including MacBooks.
The company also usually hosts an event in the spring where MacBooks sometimes appear. Again, avoid purchasing a MacBook right before a show if at all possible. You dont want to buy a new Apple laptop, only to find out it has become outdated a week or two later.
This advice is particularly important this year because Apple is heavily rumored to be planning a huge update to the MacBook Pro 13, plus an important refresh for the MacBook Pro 16. The former will get a total redesign, with a new design, better display, additional ports, and more. The latter, meanwhile, is expected to transition to Apple Silicon chips, which will give it a major performance boost.
In other words, 2021 is the year to act with caution. Both laptops are expected to land around the middle of the year, or perhaps in the fall, so hold off for now until they launch. We have all the details on both laptops, including everything you can expect to see when they launch, so make sure you are in the know before making a decision.
How Much Ram Do I Need
We recommend 8 GB of memory for most people. That should be enough for web browsing, editing documents and spreadsheets, light gaming, and occasional video and photo editing. But consider stepping up to 16 GB if you regularly use high-end applications like Adobe Photoshop or Premiere, if you play visually demanding games, if youre doing 3D drafting, or if you work in web and app development. Many laptops cant have more memory added after you buy them, so be sure to get one with 16 GB of memory now if you think youll need it that usually adds $100 or $200 to the price tag.
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Are There Any Particular Brands Who Are Known As The Best In Class
When it comes to smartphones, everyone knows that Apple and Samsung will always deliver a good quality product, regardless of the model. Is it the same for laptop manufacturers? When the Telegraph asked Elford, he said: All the major laptop brands produce good quality devices. Apple Mac still stands out from a design and quality perspective.
What To Consider Before Buying A Laptop
Before going to the mall to buy a new laptop, it is important to do a lot of research. You will also need to decide what to look for. What type of laptop do you want? Do you care about the screen size or resolution?
Are you worried about battery life or laptop portability? Once you have chosen a particular laptop to buy, you can search for promotions and clearance events.
If price is the most important factor, you may need to compare different stores to make sure you get the best deal. Using an overtime price tracking tool might be helpful. If you go for the cheapest laptop you can find, just know what youre getting into. In a few years, it may need to be replaced.
One last thing: it is better to test the laptop before buying it. For example, when you want to get an Apple laptop, do well to test it before going home. You wont be happy if you go home and find that the laptop you just bought doesnt have enough USB ports or that the keyboard is too small.
Many large retailers like Apple, Microsoft Store, and Best Buy allow you to test various functions of different laptop models before making a purchase. However, if stopping at your local store is not possible, consider buying a laptop from an online store that has a robust return policy.
Just in Case Laptop is Not What You Can Afford, Then Check Out These 20 Best Tablets for College Students on a Budget | 2021
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Intel Cpu Nvidia Gpu Refreshes Lead The Industry
Though PC vendors tend to release new products at three times of the year, they usually don’t refresh each model more than once a year. Business notebooks in particular can stay on the market unchanged for as long as 18 months. Most updates are timed to coincide closely with Intel’s CPU release schedule, as manufacturers want their laptops to carry the latest generation of processor nearly as soon as it’s available.
Intel announced its new 8th Generation “Kaby Lake Refresh” chips in August 2017, and new laptops with the processors began rolling out in late September. The 8th Gen Core refresh is more significant than most prior CPU updates, because the mainstream U series has been upgraded from two to four CPU cores, which provides much better multitasking and productivity performance. In our tests, laptops with the new chips were as much as 92-percent faster than their predecessors on certain tasks. This is a processor upgrade that’s definitely worth waiting for.
In January 2018, Intel unveiled the business-friendly, versions of the 8th Gen Core i5 and Core i7 U series chips. Dell is already selling refreshed versions of most of its Latitudes. Lenovo has announced all-new ThinkPads with Intel’s new CPUs, and some of them have even gone on sale already.
Bottom Line: Most consumer laptops and many business laptops already have Intel’s 8th Gen Core CPU, but if the laptop you want is still using a 7th Gen CPU, delay your purchase.
Upgrading The Hardware Leads To Compatibility Issues
Typically, upgrading RAM and switching to a solid-state drive are among the first steps in boosting a computer’s power. However, upgrading the motherboard or the CPU is where you could run into compatibility issues. You might find yourself in a situation where many or all of your computer’s components need to be replaced. The costs may be too onerous, and it might be better to buy new computer hardware. Consult your IT team or, if you’re farming out repairs to a third-party service, ask lots of questions about the repairs and the costs.
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Deals On Laptops For Students: Sales In September
There are also sales in the back-to-school season in August and September – look out for them at Currys PC World in particular. These are usually on the very latest models that will have launched earlier in the summer, with laptops from £200 to £600 getting some sort of discount.
This is great if youre after the very latest tech, although youll often find better deals on older models if you hold out until Black Friday. Of course, if youre heading to uni and need a computer, this isnt always possible.
See our best laptops for students guide for recommendations, including advice on picking the right model for your needs and budget.
When Is The Best Time To Buy A Computer 5 Things To Keep In Mind
Looking to buy the best new computer for the best lowest price? When is the best time to buy a new laptop or computer?
It can be expensive to buy a new computer or laptop, so it makes sense to time your purchase for when you can secure a bargain.
While prices are always subject to change without warning, annual sales or new hardware launches can be the perfect time to get a computer or laptop at a discounted rate. However, you could be waiting for a price drop that never comes. If you need the computer or laptop sooner rather than later, it’s better to buy it while you can.
Here are the best times to buy a laptop or computer.
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Whens The Best Time To Buy A Laptop
Besides September, April and May are some of the best times to buy a laptop, Consumer Reports says. Some experts agree that the spring is a good time to start shopping if youre looking for a discount on an older model.
Others say that youre better off buying a laptop during two specific times of year: the back-to-school shopping season or the holiday season. Laptopmag.com spoke with an analyst who argued that one of the best times to buy a laptop falls between the end of July and the first few weeks of August. You could also find a great deal on a laptop between the end of November and the end of December.
But Laptopmag.com notes that timing the purchase of a new laptop can be tricky. Prices can fluctuate throughout the year. And it depends on what youre looking for. You may be waiting for a particular PC to go on sale. But the manufacturer may decide not to offer any deals on its products at all during a certain year. In fact, sometimes companies remove older models from stores without having a special promotion.
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What Is The Average Lifespan Of A Laptop
The same concerns apply to laptops. Most experts estimate a laptop’s lifespan to be three to five years. It may survive longer than that, but its utility will be limited as the components become less capable of running advanced applications.
The key metric of whether it’s time to replace a laptop is if its method of use still matches up with its current computing power. Some laptops still run efficiently for longer than five years, but their range of tasks may be limited.
Key takeaway: Laptop computers have a shorter lifespan than desktops, usually three to five years.
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