Did you know that most people make at least one of these 16 laptop buying mistakes.
This ends up either costing them money upfront or it forces them to spend more money because they have to upgrade too soon.
I’ve definitely been guilty of some of these in the past, so I put together this article to help you avoid the most common laptop buying mistakes.
1. 2-IN-1 Is Not A Laptop:
Thinking of a two-in-one as a laptop. In some cases it’s actually true, like with the Samsung Book Pro 360, but in other cases, you’re essentially buying a tablet with a keyboard attachment. Now in my experience the two-in-one laptops that i’ve used haven’t been as good as laptops in that same price range and they haven’t been as good as the tablets that i already own.
So you really need to make sure that you want that hybrid touch screen functionality, because for the most part, if you’re looking at laptops at that same price point, you’re gonna be giving up on something. Maybe it’s processing power and maybe it’s the quality of the display, but something has to give because of the additional costs the manufacturer has to put into the two-in-one.
One that I’m guilty of and that’s overlooking portability when 17-inch laptops came out, I immediately got one after seeing it at the store.If you see my main workstation, you know that I like a lot of desktop real estate and I couldn’t wait to use the 17-inch display.
Well guess what? It was so heavy and cumbersome to bring with me that I never used it.It just stayed at home where, of course, I was going to use it when I have my main workstation available.So think about where you’ll be using your laptop and then consider whether small and light is or isn’t more important than a bigger machine.
When people shop for laptops, the majority of the time, what they’re doing is simply comparing a list of specs, and this isn’t only true for online shoppers.
The next time you’re at a store and you see someone looking at a laptop, watch them, and you’ll see that they are basically going from one-to-one taking a look at the display and then just reading the specs sheets.
They don’t type on the keyboard, they don’t use the trackpad, they don’t play around with the brightness on a display and they don’t even pick it up to see how heavy it is.
They’re about to spend some serious cash on a device they plan on using for the next bunch of years and they don’t even try it before they buy it..
Now you know that not every person has access to every laptop that they are considering, but i’d recommend that if you can, try a similar model, and maybe with the same keyboard and trackpad just to give yourself a sense of the ergonomics speaking of spending money.
4.Overpaying For A Laptop:
Overpaying for a laptop, look this happens with every product, If a laptop is more expensive because of a feature that you’re going to use and that’s going to provide you with value, then by all means invest in it, but if you’re just spending more money on a laptop that costs more because that laptop is better, then that could be a waste of money.
5.Buying The Cheapest Laptop:
Now at the other end of the spectrum is buying the absolute cheapest laptop. if it’s a budget laptop and it serves your needs now and in the future, go for it, but if you’re saving 100 or 150 bucks now only to have to replace it in two years by spending 1200 bucks, you actually end up spending more money.
If you read any of my M1 Mac Book Air articles, you know that I do recommend that one even though it’s an entry-level model, but that’s because i think for the majority of users, the performance-to-price ratio is very high and most people don’t need more power than the M1 Mac Book Air offers.
Not considering the port. You need to look at what type of ports a laptop offers, how many of them they are and where they’re located. Does the laptop charge via USB-C or do you need a dedicated power adapter that you have to remember to bring with you? Is there a Thunderbolt port for faster connectivity or does it have an SD card slots so you don’t need to remember to bring a dedicated card reader?
Think about what you plan on doing with the laptop and then what types of adapters or hubs you’ll need to bring with you for your workflow.
Accessories are great, but you do lose some of that portability and convenience of using a laptop.
The next mistake that laptop buyers make has to do with storage. So first, I want you to think about how much internal storage you need and you can look at your current laptop to see how much you’re using. Then I want you to consider whether the laptop you’re buying is upgradable or not.
I think the M1 MacBooks are a great buy, especially now, but they’re not upgradable. So what you buy now is what you’ll have forever. Now some other laptops allow you to upgrade the SSD and RAM so you can make a smaller investment upfront, and then later on, when you have more money, you can upgrade.
You can always supplement internal storage with an external SSD but you want to make sure that you’ve had enough internal storage for all your apps, now and for as long as you plan on using that laptop.
8. Obsessed With One Spec:
Becoming obsessed with one spec. Manufacturers have become absolute marketing ninjas and they do an excellent job at making the buyers think that they need the latest and greatest feature.
They get it in your head you can’t live without this one thing and then get you to spend more money than you actually need to. So since we just talked about port, a simple example would be a Thunderbolt/USB 4 port.
Yes it offers higher maximum transfer speed. And yes, it will allow you to use more powerful accessories like absurdly fast external SSD’s, but you should only spend money on this feature if you actually plan on using it, otherwise you’re just wasting money.
9. Not Buying Enough Power:
We’re all on a budget. Well, at least most of us are, and we’re always looking for a good deal, but if the laptop you buy doesn’t serve your needs now or in the near future, then you are just throwing away money. I get this question a lot, like can i do XYZ, whatever it is, video editing, photo editing whatever it may be on whatever laptop.
The issue is that most recent laptops can do all of those things, you can edit 4k video even on pretty basic laptops using proxies. But I want you to think about time and money. if it takes me twice as long to edit a video because i have to transcode all the footage or because i can’t smoothly scrub the timeline or it takes forever for effects to apply, how many hours am i wasting by saving a few hundred bucks upfront? Then multiply that by every video you’re ever going to edit on that laptop and you’ll see it add up real quick.
I’m only using video editing as an example, but I want you to apply this to your needs.
10. Size Doesn’t Matter:
Now I want you to look specifically at the size of the display. Depending on what you’re using your laptop for, if you get a laptop that’s too small, It may be so frustrating to use that even though you can bring it with you, you don’t end up working on it. so make sure that you get a display that works for what you need, and at the same time, try to minimize the weight by looking at thin and ultra thin options if portability is a priority.
if you’re already bringing a tablet with you, this lets you get by with a smaller display on your laptop because you essentially have a portable dual display setup.
11. Forgetting The Future:
Not thinking about the future and only buying for now. Now this is a double-edged sword because I don’t fully buy into it, see what I did there? the whole concept of future-proofing, but there are levels there. When you put together your requirements, think about what you need now and what you think you’ll need for the lifetime of the device.
Now this isn’t the same for every buyer because you might get a new laptop every 3 years, 5 years or 10 years, but whatever that cycle looks like for you, make sure that you get a machine that serves you well for that long.
12. Not Watching Reviews:
Not watching reviews.Now there are a ton of reviews so find someone who you trust and see what they have to say about the laptop that you’re thinking of buying. And don’t watch just one, watch a few of them.
It doesn’t mean that you have to come to the same conclusion as the reviewer, but if this is something that they take seriously, they should give you a balanced perspective and it may cover some aspects that you didn’t think to consider.
The next couple of mistakes have to do with the displays. The first one might just be a personal pet peeve, but i do not like glossy displays. They initially look really nice at the store, but then when it comes to actually using them in real life situations, i always get frustrated. Now this is where using the laptop at the store for a few minutes can really help you get a sense of what you can expect. .
14. High Resolution:
Believing that they absolutely need a very high resolution display.
It’s true. a nice 4k display looks amazing, but you really need one on a laptop? If you do, cool get one, but otherwise, you’re paying a premium and your battery life will suffer.
15. Brand Loyalty:
All the time buyers that are blindly brand loyal. Now I completely understand that there’s some familiarity involved and assuming that you had a positive experience with a brand, there is some trust that’s built there, but this shouldn’t come at the cost of you doing your research.
What if this brand made great laptops at a great value five years ago, but now it’s over priced? Or maybe there’s another brand that’s putting out some amazing products and you’re missing out because you’ve limited your research to one brand? Take your time, look at the pros and cons of a few different brands, and then get the one that works best for you.
16. Other People’s Needs:
One that I see all the time and it just makes me shake my head. Now I’m talking about people who buy a laptop based on other people’s needs.
When you’re either watching a review or accepting a recommendation from someone, make sure that they’re addressing your specific needs. There are some amazingly powerful gaming laptops out there, but if you need portability more than you need power, then it’s not the right fit. Just because a laptop has better features doesn’t mean that it’s a better value for your needs.
What’s right for someone else might not be right for you. So please do your best to make an informed decision based on what you actually need.
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