4 Questions to Ask Yourself When Shopping for a New Laptop

If you’re in the market for a new laptop right now, you might find shopping to be overwhelming. There are so many models with an endless number of options available on the market and figuring out which specs you should pay attention to can be tricky at best. Personally, I always recommend that people are honest with themselves about how they’ll use their new laptop so that they don’t pay for features they don’t need. With that in mind, it’s important to invest in a laptop that can grow with you for at least a couple of years. After all, you don’t want to be replacing your laptop on a yearly basis. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when you’re shopping for a new laptop:

How will you use your new device now?

This is the million-dollar question. Basically, I would discourage anyone from purchasing a device that has features that they’ll never use. For example, if you plan to use your device for basic tasks like surfing the web, creating documents in Microsoft Office, and sending emails, then an entry-level laptop will likely suit your needs.

How will you use your new device in the future?

I’m all for saving a few bucks and purchasing a laptop to fit your needs instead of one that’s going to be underutilized. However, I also urge consumers to consider how their needs might grow in the next year or two. For example, if there’s a chance you might end up using your device for work, you might need something with a bit more power. After all, there are few things that will kill your productivity like a slow or unresponsive computer. If that’s the case, look for something with at least an AMD A9 or Intel i5 processor. The Acer Aspire 3, the Lenovo Ideapad 320 or the Lenovo Yoga 710 are great options to consider. As a bonus, the Lenovo Yoga 710 also features a touchscreen, which can further increase your productivity.

What types of accessories will you be connecting to your new laptop?

When it comes to computer accessories, we’re living in strange times right now. With many computer manufacturers migrating to USB-C ports while accessories are still being produced with standard USB connections, having a good idea of how you’ll connect your accessories is important when shopping for new devices. For example, some new laptops are hitting shelves with only one USB-C port. Now, if you’re planning to connect a projector, external keyboard, and printer to one of these laptops, you’ll want to have a plan for that. I recommend looking for devices that have an HDMI port and offer Bluetooth and other wireless capabilities in addition to USB ports. This way, you’ll be able to connect a TV or projector and support devices such as wireless printers and headphones. As for the USB ports, you can always invest in accessories to adapt or expand your connectivity.

What about media and gaming?

Really though, what about them? Well, media and gaming require a lot of power! This means that if you’re a gamer or work with media, like video editing, you’ll want to invest in a much more powerful machine. In this case, I would recommend an Intel i7 processor or above. Gamers will also want to pay attention to the graphics card to make sure it can keep up. Something like the Nvidia Geforce GTX 1050 would be a good choice. Let’s not forget that graphics and gamers are also much better consumed on a larger screen, so at least a 15-inch monitor is a must. In fact, one of my favourite gaming laptops on the market right now is the MSI GP72, which sports a 17-inch screen.

Armed with the answers to these questions, you’re sure to find the right laptop to fit your needs. And if you’re ready to purchase one now, you’re in luck because Staples is having a 3-day Laptop Event starting Saturday, March 17th, offering you the chance to snag your next laptop at a great price.