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best laptop deals

Best laptop deal - some buying tips

Introduction

Should I buy a laptop or a tablet? If you can only afford one device, then you’ll probably need a laptop. Budget laptops cost the same as mid-tier tablets, and they can do so much more. Laptops are made for productivity, which means creating documents, sending emails, and using powerful software. However, in today’s world, using a tablet with a keyboard can also be a laptop or desktop replacement. It depends on what your needs are.

What do you get from this article?

So in this article, I focus on the best laptop deal, give you buying advice with some tips. There are many specifications, processor, memory, hard drive size, graphic chip, display, and weight. How can I keep the overview? The devil is in the detail. A low-cost laptop doesn’t necessarily mean a waste of money. I want to assist you in your decision to buy the next or your first laptop. It should be your best laptop deal for the years to come.

In general, laptops are now so powerful and the lifetime raised to 10 years. In the past, this was not the case. You couldn’t load new operating systems or productivity software onto a computer since the hardware was outdated or not powerful enough.

So, let’s get into the details, but before that, this article won’t join the debate about shall I buy a MacBook or a Windows laptop. I cover the hardware specification, and what you read here applies to both.

Screen size, resolution and weight

It’s a simple question. Answer the question, will I travel a lot with the laptop? Does the size and weight matter?

I would not buy a laptop with less than a 12inch screen size. If you don’t agree with that, then I would say buy a tablet. The screen size of 14inch is the standard laptop screen size and is perfect in most cases. 15inch or 17inch is excellent if you keep the laptop at home all the time and want to be flexible to carry it around within the house. Screen size bigger than 15inch is like desktop replacement. You wouldn’t need a desktop computer anymore. Perhaps just an external screen.

Every display panel consists of a series of dots called pixels, and the more pixels you have, the more you can see. Most laptops come with low-resolution, 1366 x 768 screens that show far less content than high-resolution panels with at least 1920 x 1080 pixels.

Buy at least a screen with HD (1920×1080) resolution. Most laptops support it. Lower screen resolution I wouldn’t call the best laptop deal. Indeed you can go for a higher resolution up to a 4K display. Text on a high-res screen may be difficult to read and cause eye strains. You should keep that in mind if your eyes are not so good anymore. Windows 10 has a feature to scale the fonts and maintain the excellent quality of the screen. If you are not sure, I would visit a computer store and look at some laptops with different screen resolutions.

Processor

Processors are so powerful in this world. It’s something you shouldn’t look at first when buying a laptop. It’s not the first criteria for a purchase decision. Intel sells i3, i5, and i7, where the i7 processor is the fastest. In the ads for the best laptop deal, you find generations of the processor family. Currently, the latest generation is the 10th. Intel’s competitor is AMD. AMD processors are generally cheaper. You notice that laptops with AMD processors in the ads are usually less expensive.

I recommend buying at least an i5 Intel-based processor.

Memory (RAM)

In my view, besides screen resolution, this is the most critical factor if you love your laptop purchase. Don’t make mistakes here and buy a budget laptop with less than 4GB memory. I tell you, you are going to regret it sooner or later. Buy your computer with a least 8GB memory. If you cannot afford the price, make a compromise with the processor and buy a cheaper processor. Buying less memory is my opinion; the biggest mistake you can make.

A laptop with less than 8GB memory cannot be the best laptop deal!

Hard drive

Almost all laptops sold today have an SSD. Prices for SSD came down, and this is a speed boost for the laptop. Cheap laptops are still sold with non SSD drives. I would not opt for one. SSD prices are right now. The decision for your best laptop deal is more the size.

Don’t buy less than 256GB! You are going to store pictures, videos, and documents for sure. After a couple of years, you will reach the limit with only 256GB or less. Of course, you could add external storage, but it is not very convenient.

I recommend a 512GB SSD drive. Remember, you buy a laptop for a few years.

Connectivity

Well, this has changed dramatically in the last years. Laptops are getting thinner and lighter at the cost of connectivity. Gone are the days when a laptop had an internal cd-rom drive, but this is okay. You won’t need it anyway. New laptop brands are replacing now USB connector with USB-C or Thunderbolt 3. Only for some business laptops, there will be an Ethernet connector for the LAN.

So you probably find the best laptop deal with a USB and USB-C connector beside the power connector, and that’s it. A full-size HDMI connector is not standard as well, which you need for an external monitor. What you find is a mini-HDMI connector for most laptops. However, you would need an adapter for the external monitor or a special HDMI cable with the right plug at each side.

So what do you need, the USB port you occupy with the external mouse. HDMI for the monitor and perhaps the USB-C with an external hard drive. A lot of laptops have a slot for a memory card. Just swap out the memory card from your camera or phone and insert it.

Pay attention that your best laptop deal has at least 1 USB and a full-size HDMI connector with another USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 plug.

Service and support

Well, looking at the best laptop deal offers service and support is, in most cases, restricted to a bring-in guarantee for 1 or 2 years. That is fine if you can be without the laptop for some time. A repair may need 2-3 weeks. It would help if you kept that in mind. Manufacturers like HP or Dell offer to purchase an on-site guarantee with or without damage insurance for up to 5 years. On-site means someone will visit you at home to repair the laptop. It’s very convenient and fast. I would recommend an on-site warranty if your laptop costs more than $1500. It’s investment protection and ensures the laptop stays intact for the duration of the service. Five years for such a service contract is a useful duration since a laptop will last more than five years.

Alternatively, you could buy the laptop without service and go to an independent laptop repair shop in your neighborhood.

Below you find a table with some laptop assorted laptop choices from Amazon.com. Pick one as your best laptop deal.

Photo Title Price Buy
Dell XPS 13 9380, XPS9380-7011SLV-PUS, 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8565U, 13.3" 4K Ultra HD (3840x2160), 8GB 2133MHz, 512 SSD, Intel UHD Graphics 620 $989.99
Newest 2020 Dell XPS 13 9380 Laptop, 13.3" 4K UHD Touchscreen Display, 8th Gen Intel Quad-Core i7-8565U, 16GB DDR4 256GB SSD, Thunderbolt Fingerprint Backlit KB MaxxAudio Win 10 + ePark Wireless Mouse
Dell XPS 15 laptop 15.6", 4K UHD InfinityEdge Touch, 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 4GB GDDR5, 1TB SSD storage, 16GB RAM, XPS7590-7565SLV-PUS $1,591.90
Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14" Laptop, 14.0" FHD (1920 x 1080) Display, AMD Ryzen 5 3500U Processor, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD, AMD Radeon Vega 8 Graphics, Narrow Bezel, Windows 10, 81W0003QUS, Abyss Blue $413.99
Lenovo Ideapad L340 Gaming Laptop, 15.6 Inch FHD (1920 X 1080) IPS Display, Intel Core i5-9300H Processor, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 512GB Nvme SSD, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650, Windows 10, 81LK00HDUS, Black $675.69
Lenovo Flex 5 14" 2-in-1 Laptop, 14.0" FHD (1920 x 1080) Touch Display, AMD Ryzen 5 4500U Processor, 16GB DDR4, 256GB SSD, AMD Radeon Graphics, Digital Pen Included, Win 10, 81X20005US, Graphite Grey $736.66
HP EliteBook 840 G3 14" Anti-Glare HD Business Laptop (Intel Core i5-6300U, 8GB DDR4, 256GB SSD) Fingerprint, Backlit, DP, VGA, Type-C, CAN/US Keyboard, Windows 10 Pro Downgradeable Window 7 Pro $440.01
2020 HP ELITEBOOK X360 830 G6 2-in-1 13.3" IPS Touchscreen FHD (1920x1080) Business Laptop (Intel Quad-Core i5-8265U, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD) Backlit, FP, Wi-Fi 6, Thunderbolt, IST HDMI Cable, Win 10 Pro $1,149.99

A word about the operating system

A word to the operation system, as I mentioned this is not an article to argue with macOS or Windows. Windows 10 offers Microsoft Hello; this is a nice gimmick to unlock Windows 10 with your face (Face ID). Some models also are equipped with a fingerprint reader. It’s nice to have. Look in the specification if the laptop supports Microsoft Hello.

Takeaway

So what is my best laptop deal? 

  1. What is my budget? 
  2. For what do I need my laptop? Will I use it at home, or is it my travel companion? The answer will narrow down screen size and weight. 
  3. Equipment? Remember at least 8GB memory and 256GB hard drive size.

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