10 common laptop buying mistakes you can easily avoid

Ask not what you can do for your laptop – ask what your laptop can do for you. Reversing the famous line from JFK’s speech makes the exact attitude one should have while buying a laptop. Anyone who has a few notebooks knows the pros and cons of buying these machines. Like the trouble of carrying around a heavy 17 inch screen or the unavoidable disappointment of streaming Netflix movies on an 11-inch screen. Luckily there are numerous options for every lifestyle and different purposes. Here is a list of most common mistakes people make when buying a laptop. Also if anyone wants to build their own PC, there are PC parts buying guides available.

10 common laptop buying mistakes you can easily avoid

#1 out of 10 Mistakes: Buying the low-priced available model

It is easier to buy a model that is the most inexpensive, but chances are it won’t have the durability and features that one might need.

If you need a quad-core processor but in efforts to buy a cheaper laptop you buy dual-core. Now if it will not run many applications at a time that means it does not cater to your need. Now the only solution to this problem is buying a new quad-core processor.

Make a list of features that you want. Cross-check your demand with the specification sheets and instead of buying an inexpensive laptop buy the one that will best serve you.

#2 out of 10 Mistakes: Paying too much

Don’t pay too much for something that you don’t even need. For example in 2016 MacBook launched the models with Touch Bar.  People bought the models out of mere excitement without considering whether they need this feature, or would they even like it.

#3 out of 10 Mistakes: Buying a laptop “for today”

The idea behind this is you should buy computer keeping you future in mind. Not where you are today but where you will be in few years’ time, unless you are a tech fanatic and can afford every new upgrade. The best way to understand this idea is when college students buy a laptop. Instead of buying a laptop that will help them with their current interests they should buy one keeping in mind where they want to see themselves doing their first jobs. In this way they will buy a laptop capable of performing in a professional setting.

This is also applicable when talking about ‘buying the inexpensive model available’ for example, Microsoft Surface Laptop is of $1000 with 4GB RAM and 128GB hard drive. Buying this might not help in the long run as its hard drive would run out of space and might not handle numerous applications very well.

#4 out of 10 Mistakes: Ignoring ports and compatibility

A lot of different ports are needed for a lot of different uses. Like if you need a card reader, or you have an old external hard drive with USB 2.0 ports. Say you need three USB ports, or you might not even need the type-C ports on laptops. If you are an Apple user then Thunderbolt 3 might be a must have to do your work. So when buying, take the stock of ports you will need and know the protocol they use. This way you will also be able to include the cost of extra adapters if needed.

#5 out of 10 Mistakes: Opting for the highest available resolution

A device promising 4K display looks tempting but it might not be a right choice. Many laptops still have to control scaling anything over 200 pixels per inch. Windows applications reduce dimensions in pixel size, so high resolution laptops display smaller menus every now and then. When there are more pixels on screen they reduce the size of everything on visual display.

Brighter backlight is needed to initiate all the pixels for high resolution, this effects the battery life. MacBook Pro with retina is designed for a pixel dense panel and can manage a long battery life. But many 4K notebooks do not have such durability and provide an extra hour or two of battery by dropping to 1080p.

#6 out of 10 Mistakes: Not trying before buying

It is always best to use before you buy a laptop. Big stores like Apple, Best Buy and Microsoft stores allow users to use and check the keyboard, software interface and other mechanisms that significantly differ in each laptop.

Some features are best checked by using first for example the reflectiveness of sleek screen in daylight, the responsiveness of touchpad. So you get a hands on experience before buying it. It is not always necessary to buy from a retail store, but one should buy from an online store that has the best exchange and return policy.

#7 out of 10 Mistakes: Thinking size doesn’t matter

A bigger display means more space and better view but it will be difficult to carry. But a laptop with less than 13 inches would mean crowded keyboard and trackpad.

Size depends on how you want to use your system. If you do not take it with you everywhere then a 15.6 inch model would be good for you. But if you have to carry it around opt for a 13.3 or 14 inch screen.

Also consider how you want to carry it around and how much space you would want it to take. You can also go for tablets they are extremely comfortable and take as little space as possible.

#8 out of 10 Mistakes: Becoming obsessed with one specification

Looking at only one specification is not good when buying a laptop. Like looking for bigger RAM to have a faster laptop. Unless you need to run some serious software for work you don’t need a RAM more than 8GB. So do not get infatuated by one feature like RAM or resolution, or processor speed. Buy one that caters to all in a balance and also in your budget.

#9 out of 10 Mistakes : Choosing an ultrabook when you need something bigger

Ultrabooks , due to their lightweight , small sizes and in some cases affordable prices become the best choice but they are not for everyone.  They have very little storage and do not have a large high resolution screen. So a professional who needs Office 365 for his work won’t need a MacOS platform and vice versa. So always consider your personal situation and need before choosing to buy an ultrabook.

#10 out of 10 Mistakes: Assuming a 2-in-1 is the same as a laptop


Thinking that laptops and tablets are one and the same thing is entirely wrong. There are many things you can do with a tablet but there are also tasks that a laptop can do better and faster. Multitasking, fast browsing, and using complex applications these can easily be done by using a laptop.

Bottom Line

Buying a laptop is difficult but one can find the tools that may help. These Reviews at Digital Trends are a good start. They will take you through every feature of a notebook and how it performs in hands-on testing, from display quality to performance. They evaluate everything including display, user interface and overall design. A little research on internet can save from the trouble of buying a laptop at the wrong price from the wrong place.

To comment on this article and other 01Technology Magazine content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *