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Use These 5 Tips to Buy a Laptop Computer

Are you planning on buying a laptop anytime soon? You are not alone; 55% of US households own laptops, up from 40% in 2010. Before you run out and spend your hard-earned cash, take a look at these 5 tips on purchasing a laptop. It could save you some time, money, and heartache.

01. Why Do You Want A New Laptop?

First things first; stop and ask yourself the reason why you want that new laptop. Could it be the "shiny object" syndrome? Next, consider what activities you perform while on the computer. Do you mainly check e-mail and interact on Google+ or Facebook? Are you a small business person or hardcore gamer? How you answer these questions determines what laptop meets your needs. For example, some folks would like a desktop replacement, while some will need something light-weight for travelling. Decide to purchase a laptop that's just sufficient for exactly what you need. I'm betting that you don't actually need that $2000.00 laptop that does everything but the dishes. Let form follow function and simply buy a laptop which will meet your needs. Once you've a good idea of the laptop you would like to spend the next 3-5 years with, plan a field trip.

02. Consider the "Feel" of the Laptop.

Take a trip to your closest big box store, but keep your wallet inside the glove compartment. This is a fact-finding mission only. You want to get up close and personal with the laptops that you are considering for purchase. Check out the keyboard. Is it slick to the touch, or does it have some grip? When you type, do the keys travel a comfortable distance? Take a close look at the monitor. Many laptop monitors have a highly reflective surface, which translates into migraine inducing glare when used in bright light. Are the graphics nice and sharp? Is the text easy to read? Does the laptop itself feel sturdy and solid or flimsy and "plasticy"? Does the body grab and hold onto fingerprints with a kung-fu grip? After narrowing your choices even further, hop online and get educated.

03. Study the Reviews.

Don't trust the marketing – it isn't there to educate you as a consumer, but to separate you from your money. Grab your favorite refreshment and jump online to get a feel for what other consumers are saying because the best way to buy a laptop is first to pick the model that matches what you require and then go through its reviews on blogs and forums. Read the good and bad reviews with an open mind. When you come across a negative rating, consider whether it is the fault of the laptop or misguided expectations. Use several different websites in your research. Sites such as C|Net, Amazon, and LaptopReview have very informative reviews. After studying them, you will be ready to make an informed and educated purchase.

04. Avoid the Sales Floor.

Some of the best deals are only available online, which is one reason why many people are foregoing the trip to the local big box store and shopping from the comfort of their homes. You will also find a great variety of features and add-ons for your laptop. However, the cost of said convenience comes in the form of shipping. Always be mindful of how much it will cost to have the laptop sent to you, and budget for that amount. Another thing to consider is computer support when something goes wrong. I advocate supporting your local, hometown computer business. Chances are, you'll pay less and get better service. Buying a laptop computer online will also shield you from high pressure sales tactics. Since many of the kids that work on the floor in those big box stores work on commission, it is possible that they may steer you towards a more expensive laptop. If you do decide to visit a brick-and-mortar store, watch out for the upsell. External monitors, external hard drives, and additional software applications are frequently suggested. Your best bet is to wait until you really need such items (if at all).

05. Think About Those Accessories.

There are only a few accessories you would need right away. The rest can wait. You might want to invest in a wireless router to set up WiFi in your home. Even if you already have one, it may be time to upgrade. I would also suggest you buy a laptop sleeve and bag. I know some people don't like the mouse pad on the laptops. A small, wireless mouse makes the perfect accessory.

Buying a laptop is easy. Buying a laptop that you will be happy with takes a little more effort, but if you follow these 5 tips, you will save some time, money, headache.

John Wright is a Computer Consultant who has been successfully removing malware from personal and business computers for several years. Visit http://www.johnscomputerconsulting.com/ to ask questions and learn more.

Article Source: Http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=John_Et…

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