Buying Guide: Things to Look for When Buying a Laptop!

latop-buying-guideBy Haris Sheikh

Laptop is becoming a thing of office commodity than rather a necessity and it is one of the most important things for professionals who need to be connected with people around them. The good news is that the computer industry of Pakistan has grown exponentially and we have more products and computers especially laptops than ever before.

With a large variety of laptops in the market buying the right one can be a tiring and daunting task. Before you start-off you should know what exactly you be looking for to keep yourself on the right track. Ok so to start with, keep these three simple rules in mind when you head to the market

Three Simple Rules of Buying a Laptop under a Budget:

  1. Design is Not Always the King – Don’t let design and shinny surface distract you.
  2. Never Ask Too Much – Buy what you need and not what you want.
  3. Save Some Money to Buy Laptop Accessories – It is always wise to save some money on a laptop to buy accessories such as laptop bag, cooling pad and optical mouse.

Here is What Exactly You Should Be Looking for

Screen Size

It is crucial to have the right screen size of your laptop because you will of course look stupid closing-in to the screen of your laptop because you can’t read a thing. An 11.6-inch screen would be ideal for students because it is an average display size and you will get plenty of charge time for laptops with such screen sizes. You can also go for a 13-inch screen for better viewing, which is considered as a mid-size screen.

A 13-inch screen is not the best screen size for graphic designers, engineers or office professionals but it is a rather average size on which you can work all day comfortably. Go for a 15 or 17 inch screen if you have a good budget as these are mainstream sizes. A laptop with a 15-inch screen has an average weight and is ideal for people who usually carry it between office and home.

Processor

AMD and Intel are two major (or probably only options in Pakistan) processors manufacturing companies. Although AMD is popularly infamous for heating up PCs but it certainly has some advantages over Intel. You will find some laptops running on AMD processors but most new laptops in Pakistan come with Intel processors which leave us with it as the only option.

If you have a fair budget I recommend you buying a used laptop rather than a new one because most new laptops come with an Intel i3 or higher processor starts with a price tag of PKR.40,000 and above. You can still find some used laptops running on Intel core2duo processors but I suggest that you look for dual-core so that you can enjoy Microsoft Vista and new software updates.

Fortunately, there are still many people who aren’t ready to switch to i3 or higher processors and you can still find new notebooks and laptops running on Pentium and Celeron processors.

Samsung and Dell are two good brands to follow which manufacture new laptops running on Pentium or Pentium Atom probably 1.5-1.8GHz processors, and they usually have 320GB hard drives and 15-inch LED screen.

Features

Once you have narrowed down to a laptop that attracts you, look for its features such as add-ons like hard drive, battery time and keyboard. The storage space of 500GB is considered as standard hard drive storage size and it will keep you relieved for years before you run out of space.

A brand new laptop can easily give you battery time of up to 2-hours or more but a used laptop can give you up to 90-minutes of battery time or less. Replacing the battery of the laptop with a new one is also a good idea which will give a boost of backup to your laptop.

Next check the keyword and its simplicity. Some laptops have their English keywords aligned to left which is not a good thing especially for people who types a lot. Having a keyword not aligned in the center of the screen will cause you discomfort in typing as your right hand will bend to left – make sure it is aligned centered. Secondly, some small laptops don’t have a separate numeric keypad but rather top numeric keys alone.

Depending upon your typing habits, find a keyword that works best for you and size of your hand.

Add-ons

I love looking for add-ons because they really ease your work on laptop. A laptop should have a DVD-RW, at least three USB ports, HDMI outlet, 3.5mm audio outlet, a microphone, webcam and everything else you find in it.

But for older laptops and mini notebooks you won’t find a DVD-RW or a webcam because of their small size and low prize – depending upon your usage and preferences you can go for laptops with fewer features to fit your budget. Some free gifts also add some attraction to a product and things such as a free cooling pad and bag make a good deal.

Verdict

Keep aforementioned three simple rules in mind when you visit a laptop store and look for these features and specs. Buying a laptop is no rocket science but it does require some knowledge about computers and you should know what exactly you should be looking for.

Author is a freelancer, and the co-founder and managing editor of www.ZindagiMag.com – A complete online Pakistan lifestyle magazine where he discusses everything tech and what’s happening in Pakistan. Follow him at http://www.facebook.com/zindagimag to get latest updates.


  • Uzair Farooqi

    fazul post hai yeh. Sirf budget laptops buy krnay k lie hai

  • Wasique

    i this guide is old one…. because this is era of windows 7 & 8. and he is suggesting to buy pentium laptops… mean which have about 64mb agp card which is not recommended..

  • Smarty

    Wah g wah kya guide hai, people often gets confused between technical details which author didnt mention like catche memory, bus speed, ata or sata, dedicated graphics memory… This is eye to eye kind of guide :D

    • Smarty

      i mean people often get confused :p

  • Shoaib

    Somewhat baseless and funny “A brand new laptop can easily give you battery time of up to 2-hours or more but a used laptop can give you up to 90-minutes of battery time or less”

  • Syed Muzamil Hasan Zaidi

    So I’m just interested to know, how drunk was the author AND the editor who approved this post?

    I can negate EVERY single thing the author “recommends”. Its like a tech-blonde, writing an article for other tech-blondes. How can Pro Pakistani POSSIBLY print this cr*p? What credibility is left after a tech blog writes an article SO bad it can very well be called a technological disaster. Honestly, depression ho rahee hai ye parh kar. Rona aa raha hai.

    • aamir7

      It’s a shame that I am laughing on your comment. Iaughing on myself actually.

      Your feedback is well noted.

    • Baghi

      Muzamil Sb, aey tussi baba adam dy zamany dy ho????

    • Baghi

      Sorry, Haris Sheikh Sb, aey tussi baba adam dy zamany dy ho???? Ya feir is laii k “Sheikh” ho???

  • Bilal Hussain

    ye article prh k pta chlta he k author non-technical he or inme se hi koi thka hoa laptop rkhta he. ya phr ye post 5yrs old he :D
    wese istrah k laptops khredne wale logon ko na itni english ati he or na wo artical readers hote hen. author is zmane me logo ko dual ko core or core2duo lene ka kehra he jese is zmane me ksi ko blak mobile lene ka bolo :P

    • Zulqarnain Nizamani

      5 year old post h mere khayal mn ,

  • aasim

    i have bought dell 3521 laptop with 1.9 core i3 3rd gen ., 500 gb, 4gb ddr3 …it has 6 cell battery . with bag total about 45 k.. hav installed win8 64bit . running smoothly every thing .. ..have mp cam also .. pretty decent and sober in design way.. it has crystal display .. had driver issue . but now evry thing is working good . i would like to advise . do not buy laptops with dedicated agp cards . built in graphics is good .. can run 1080 p video easily..

  • guest

    Wow….nice screen size allocations; 11″ for students, 14 – 17″ for Office work and then from that i can guess if not wrong 21″ for executives…hainaaaaa??

  • Uzair Farooqi

    Plz yeh post remove krden Aamir bhai. Its spoiling propakistani blog

  • Well Wisher

    I have Exact one word for this “Cr*p”.

  • mursaleen

    Mjy to ye article path k lgta hai k kisi ne dekhe bgair ksi purani website se copy paste kia hai

  • Eli Ehsan

    Bhai ki Technology Mall main Dukaan toh nae?

  • Saqib Sarwar

    poor post…………..

  • Fazooooooooooooollllllllllllllllllll and old

  • Author ne bas back link k liye post kar di

  • Shahid Saleem

    When I want a laptop, I look for main things: full-size keyboard (no numeric keypad, I am not a chartered accountant thank you very much), and compatibility with Linux. That means (for example) no Nvidia Optimus chipset because it does not do good support for Linux (they added it only two months ago). These days even Intel 4000 graphics is good enough for most tasks.

    For RAM my recommendation is to install as much ram as you can afford & it will take. 16GB is not cheap for laptop (2x8gb = 14000) but completely worth it if you use a laptop for weeks or months without rebooting, ie. hibernate or sleep mode. Display I don’t care about, as long as it is good and at least 1440×900. 1920×1080 is unfortunately not very common on cheaper 15″ laptops.

    Really, SSD, high display resolution etc etc are all not as important as lots of RAM and a good keyboard.

  • Ahmad Ali Nasir

    Completely worthless post..

  • Hasan

    Thanks for such an important article.