Assuming that you are buying a new laptop under 1500$ from Top Probe’s Review for personal needs, then it is safe to say that you barely have any idea how to choose one, especially when it comes to understanding the technical details of the laptop, right? This is understandable, especially when you have already set up a budget in buying one. It is not because you can’t find one – there are endless options and they are even hardly advertised. What’s worse is that you don’t understand a single thing from its technical specification.
If you only have less than $800 or $1500 to spend on buying a new laptop, it is best to ensure yourself you are armed with the right information so that you don’t end up buying a laptop that you don’t even like in the first place.
Tip 1 – If you don’t have to, just don’t do it.
This may seem counterintuitive, but here’s something that you need to keep in mind – you are investing in a laptop. You will be using it to do a lot of important things and you will be putting it under stress, whether this is internally or externally. The only way you need to make sure that it is able to handle all the responsibilities well is that you pay for its value. For example, you cannot buy a new Apple MacBook without shelling out from your pocket at least $1,299.
If you are able to afford something good, buy it. When your laptop of choice is still serving you really well for many years, the upfront cost will be worth it.
Tip 2 – Consider getting a Chromebook.
If you are truly sure that you have to stick with the budget you have planned, ask yourself what you are going to use the laptop for. If you want to use the laptop to play modern games, run Excel, or Photoshop, skip to the next tip.
If you are only using the laptop mostly for basic entertainment and web browsing like streaming videos from Netflix, then you are better off buying a Chromebook. At best, these machines are better built, they run faster, not to mention cheaper compared to the affordable Windows-powered counterparts. Chromebook is a machine run by Google.
Why this is the case is because of its Chrome OS operating system. This is a stretched out variant of the browser Google Chrome. This is a laptop designed to work mostly on what you are going to do with the web. This is why they are cheaper because it lowers down the production costs.
For many people, this is mostly enough. What most people do these days are accessing their social media accounts, word processing, and emails which are all doable with Chrome.
The best among them right now is Chromebook 13 by Dell, but for a brand name like that, it is relatively pricey at $430. Other brands support Play Store and if this is what you want, you have the Acer Chromebook R11, which is priced at a very reasonable value. However, you have to make do with its 11 inches monitor size – which is too small for most users.
If you want a touch screen, go for the Acer Chromebook 13, considered to be a decent alternative to the ones mentioned above. But either way, when it comes to Chromebooks, find one that has at least 4GB RAM, latest Intel processor and a 802.11ac WiFi. A Celeron chip is mostly acceptable, the higher end processor chip Intel Core is great yet way overkill, while the ARM or Rockchip chip processor is usually too weak.
Tip 3 – Keep in mind that you are making compromises somewhere.
Now that you have understood the warnings and you have already decided on going full-fledged Windows-powered laptop is enough for you, it is also time that you set your expectations rightly.
When you choose a cheap Windows laptop, it will be all about compromises. If you want it fast, which is never as fast as you think it is, it may have a meager battery life. If it comes with a nice display, it may have compromised the keyboard. Only a couple of them are lightweight, thin or small, which the common ones are 14 inches or 15 inches display. A lot of them are even filled with pre-installed “bloatware” that you are highly never going to use.
This may be an unfortunate situation, but companies aren’t making laptops for the purpose of charity. For those under a budget, you can’t really get your hands on the good as you need to search for those that are good enough.
Tip 4 – Search out for the specs.
At this part, you may have already lost the confidence to get your hands on a good and affordable laptop, it is not over yet. You need to go through the specs as well.
First of all, the usual displays that you will find have resolution of 1366 x 768. This is not sharp if you set it by modern standards, and it can be very difficult to fit in multiple windows of information onscreen. If you are lucky, a 1080p or 1920×1080 panel will be more pleasing. No need to go higher than that.
Instead of a TN display, go look for the IPS one instead, if possible. They are usually easier and more colourful to read when presented at wider angles. However, they are not easy to find affordable or well within your budget.
Don’t worry so much over a touch screen. Such a feature is nice, but you can perfectly use Windows 10 without it and any touch-enabled screens are more compromised than the usual. It is quite difficult to look for 2-in-1 machines that are well within this price range.
Make sure that you aim for an Intel Core i5 processor. You don’t need to get too technical with this as this is already strong enough to do most of what you need to do with your laptop. If you are not planning on playing some games, a Core i3 is prefect, too.