When To Buy A New Laptop
Do you have a laptop which uses a hard drive? These are now effectively clunky old bits of storage technology, and hard disks have long been superseded by solid-state drives (abbreviated to SSD) as the latter are so much faster. Moving from a laptop with a hard drive to an SSD, you will notice a world of difference in terms of overall performance across everything you do.
when to buy a new laptop
Perhaps one of the most obvious ways of telling that you need a new laptop is when the big sales days roll around, and you have a seriously itchy mouse-trigger-finger hovering over the buy button on a notebook with a particularly hefty discount.
The longevity of a computer is a key concern for consumers. For a desktop PC, the answer is more complex, because it offers greater ability to customize the components than a laptop does. For most desktop PCs, you can expect a minimum three-year lifespan.
If your desktop or notebook takes an extraordinary amount of time to boot up or shut down, it could be an indication that your computer is on its last legs. It could also be that too many applications are set to load automatically and run in the background of the operating system whenever you start your computer.
Usually, this type of issue is a starting point to diagnose what is going wrong with the machine. The simple fix might be having fewer programs auto-load in the background when you start the computer.
A laptop should generally last between three and five years, depending on your usage and the quality of the product. Many laptops come with a one-year warranty, while other companies offer additional years of coverage with paid plans. Of course, these laptops should continue to work even after the warranties expire, especially if they are well protected and treated properly.
Our team has years of experience covering and researching laptops and has figured out the best times to get great deals. Below, we break down the best times to shop for a laptop and what to look for when choosing one.
The end of July through the middle of August is one of the best time periods of the year for laptop deals. Students of all ages are getting ready to go back to school, and this is the time when retailers try their best to cater to their needs.
Those looking for a deal on a particular laptop model can try to avoid the time crunch and stock issues associated with holiday deals by setting an alert or keeping a browser page open to make sure you know exactly when the product goes on sale.
Once again, this is a great time to use a price tracker to make sure the deals you are seeing actually represent a big discount. It's a good idea to check out the pricing of laptops during Prime Day even if you are not planning to immediately jump on a deal, as they can give you an idea of what to expect during the imminent back-to-school rush.
When shopping for a laptop, it's also helpful to have a sense of when new models are released. Many manufacturers like Lenovo, HP, Acer, and Dell debut new laptops at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in early January.
These new releases typically start to hit the retail shelves by February through April, which means that there are some steep discounts on the previous year's models. The Computex show in June is another time of year when laptop makers like Asus and MSI unveil new devices.
Apple's MacBook launch cycle varies greatly from year to year. But in recent years, it's launched laptops in the spring, summer, and fall. during March and May, the summer in July, and the fall in October and November. Microsoft and Google tend to announce new products, including their respective Surface and Pixelbook laptops, in October.
Buying a laptop around the time that new ones are announced has its pros and cons. For those who don't need the latest and greatest tech, it can be a great time to score discounts on older models as retailers clear out inventory to account for new releases.
Operating System: A laptop's operating system (OS) is its interface and software platform.. The most popular operating system is Microsoft Windows 10, which is found on essentially any new laptop that isn't a MacBook or a Chromebook.
Specs: The internal hardware of the laptop is often called the "specs" of the computer and will dictate how well the device performs various tasks. The processor (CPU) dictates the raw power of the device, while the memory (RAM) allows the computer to complete multiple tasks at once.
All of the components of the computer work together to determine the laptop's battery life. For example, a dedicated graphics card needs more power than an integrated one, and a 4K display will also draw more power than a 1080p screen.
Both of these features could result in lower overall battery life. But it's not just the hardware alone; battery life is all about how efficiently the system can handle the way everything works together. In general, it's a good idea to look for a laptop that offers at least a full 8-hours on a single charge.
Size: Laptop sizes are determined by measuring the screen diagonally. These days, most laptops come in 13-inch and 15-inch varieties, though you might be able to find a 17-inch model once in a while. Laptops with 13-inch screens are usually considered to be the most portable, but they sometimes lack the power of bigger models.
Buying a laptop is an exercise in confusion. Even if you know what everything means and know exactly what you want, finding it can be difficult. Heck, just navigating the manufacturers' websites to locate the model you want is frustrating.
Not all laptops include the ports you depend on. Many modern laptops, like our favorite Dell XPS 13, only have Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C ports. If you need USB-A or an SD card reader, make sure your chosen laptop has those specific ports before buying, or budget for an adapter.
Why buy a 15-inch laptop? Well, they're not only larger than the best 13- or 14-inch laptops, but they're also often much more powerful. They don't always need to be big and clunky, either. After hundreds of hours of testing time with the best 15-inch laptops, here's our list of the greatest you can buy.
Finding the best laptop for college students is no easy task. In addition to offering snappy performance for note-taking and applications, the machines need to be highly portable and reasonably priced. Using our best laptop picks, we rounded up five machines that are great for college students.
If this seems like a good fit for your busy life, we have the best 14-inch laptops you should check out, beginning with the excellent all-rounder Apple MacBook Pro 14. The brand-new machine has some of the best performance and battery life around to go with an excellent display. We also have picks for gaming, extra power, and affordability, so there should be something for everyone.
Whether you are just browsing the web, need to type a research paper, work on video production, or play some of the best PC games, it's all best done on a laptop. So how do you know what to look for in a laptop? Well, we've put together this laptop buying guide to help answer that question for you.
The most flexible operating system, Windows 11, runs on more laptop models than Chrome OS or macOS. Windows notebooks range in price from under $150 to several thousand dollars and offer a wide array of features from touch screens to fingerprint readers to dual graphics chips. Windows 11, the latest version of Microsoft's flagship operating system, provides a number of improvements over Windows 10, including the revised interface, the new Microsoft Store, handy features like Snap View.
Since its launch in October 2021, Windows 11 has also added a host of improvements, including Focus Sessions and a Do Not Disturb mode. The 22H2 update also came with notable performance and battery optimization enhancements. Windows 11 laptops are great for students, researchers, and business users, and they're still the only gaming laptops anyone should consider.
All MacBooks come with Apple's latest desktop operating system, macOS Ventura. Overall, the operating system offers similar functionality to Windows 11, but with a different take on the interface that substitutes an apps dock at the bottom of the screen for Microsoft's Start menu and taskbar. Instead of the Cortana digital assistant, Mac users get Siri. They can also perform transactions with Apple Pay, take calls or texts from their phones, and unlock their laptops with an Apple Watch.
However, macOS isn't made for touch, because no MacBook comes with a touch screen. While Apple did bring iPad apps to its laptops starting with macOS Big Sur (iPad and iPadOS apps can run natively on M1 and M2 Macs), you have to rely on a touchpad or mouse to navigate them. Ventura also brought Apple's Stage Manager for handling multitasking, which is a useful feature, although it can take time to adjust to it.
Found on inexpensive Chromebooks such as the Samsung Chromebook 3. Google's OS is simple and secure, but more limited than Windows or macOS. The user interface looks a lot like Windows with an application menu, a desktop, and the ability to drag windows around, but the primary focus is still the Chrome browser. While newer Chromebooks, like the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook can run Android apps, they still aren't always optimized for use in a laptop form factor.
If you need a device to surf the Web and check email, navigate social networks and chat online, Chromebooks are highly portable and tend to offer good battery life at low prices. They are also extremely popular with schools, parents, and increasingly businesses because they are hard to infect with malware. For educational use, they offer something closer to a full laptop experience and are more functional than most tablets. If you need a Chromebook, look for one with at least 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. A screen with a 1920 x 1080 resolution is preferred and you can now find 4K and OLED models, like the aforementioned IdeaPad Duet 5. 041b061a72