Has your old laptop finally died? Or maybe it is super slow and on its last legs? You may be wondering which laptop to buy to replace it. We have been in the business of fixing and refurbishing computers for over eight years, so we know a thing or two about selecting the right laptop.
One question that comes up when shopping for a new laptop is simply: which laptop to buy? There are so many choices. Let’s get into a few things to keep in mind and offer a few suggestions based on our years of experience.
Does refurbished or new matter?
When trying to figure out which laptop to buy you will probably come across a variety of models, both new and refurbished. Can you trust a refurbished laptop? Or should you buy new? We discuss this topic in great detail here, but when buying a refurbished laptop you should look for one that comes with the following extras:
- At least a 6-month or longer warranty
- Excellent in-person tech support
- New parts and upgrades
- New battery and charger
- Fresh install of the latest OS
As long the refurbished laptop that you are considering comes with these few things, that will make the question of which laptop to buy much easier.
Our verdict is that as long as you get a solid warranty and make sure everything meets your standards, a refurbished laptop can be better than a new one for the same price or less.
Figuring out how much power you need
When trying to figure out which laptop to buy, you need to ask yourself: what am I going to use this machine for? A laptop used for video editing and graphic design is going to have higher requirements than if you are just browsing the internet and checking your Facebook.
If you are just planning to use your laptop for getting online and watching some Youtube, you don’t need very much. You also want to make sure your laptop isn’t slow. Making sure your laptop has at least the following specs will ensure that you have a good experience:
- At least a dual-core processor
- At least 4GB of ram
- At least Windows 8.1 or newer
- Preferably an SSD if the budget allows
Which laptop to buy if I want to play games?
What if you need a laptop for gaming? Then you will need a lot of power. But what do you actually look for? One super useful website that we love to use here at TVH Computers is “Can You Run It.” This site tells you the minimum and the recommended requirements for specific games. Look up a few of your favorite games and you can see what kind of specs you need to run it.
Go ahead and visit “Can You Run It” and search for a particular game. This is generally what you can expect to see:
As we can see, this site is really handy if you are trying to figure out what kind of specs to look for when asking which laptop to buy. Play around with a few different games and you can come up with some good ideas for what kind of power you need.
If you want to game, you are going to need a gaming laptop. A few good models that come to mind are such legends as the Asus ROG, the Acer Nitro, or some models from Gigabyte or MSI. Alienware is also a classic name in the gaming space. Although they tend to offer lower specs for more money; they are very pretty.
Which laptop to buy for students?
This is a question I hear all the time at the shop. Students need a mix of portability and power. It also helps if the laptop you are buying fits within your budget. So which laptop to buy for students?
Option 1: a MacBook Pro. This is great if your student wants the problem-free performance of an Apple computer. A refurbished MacBook Pro can save you a lot of money over buying a new one. Make sure to buy one that is newer than 2012 and you are set. A refurbished Macbook Pro is a great choice for a student.
Option 2: a Dell Latitude. I love Dell Latitudes. They last forever, run great, are super sturdy, and are super easy to repair. What more could you ask for? Dell Latitudes offer a great mix of performance and value. They are perfect for students
Option 3: A Lenovo ThinkPad. ThinkPads are just like Dell Latitudes if you ask me, but maybe a little more premium. We still see ThinkPads from 15 years ago coming into our shop for routine maintenance. What other laptop can go so long? One complaint that I hear from students is that they LOOK old–even new ones. You can’t please everyone, but the thick rugged design makes up for it by being extremely durable.
Need help figuring out which laptop to buy?
We’ve seen it all here at TVH Computers, and one thing we have learned is that some laptops are definitely better than others. If you need help buying your next laptop, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Not only do we stock a wide selection of laptops, but we can also make suggestions for models, and software, and we are always here to provide more helpful tips.