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Looking to Buy a Laptop?

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I'm super tech savvy. I'm up to date on computers and electronics. In the past year, I've had used/owned 3 tablets (Transformer, iPad, Galaxy Tab) and 3 laptops (Macbook Pro, Macbook Air, and Samsung Series Class 3) and 2 cell phones (iPhone 4/4S). Laptop is/was one of my favorite gadget/electronics to play with. Tablet has surpassed that in the past year.

I have used at least 7 laptops in the past 3-4 years. I'm pretty up to date to all of them when it comes to upgrading from a core 2 duo to an Intel i5 to an Intel i7 (Sandy Bridge). First off, I'm a HUGE Intel fan when it comes to laptop processors, they are simply better and faster (slightly expensive but it pays off).

So what do I personally look for when it comes to buying a laptop?
The most important thing I look for in a laptop is the processor, whether it is a i3, AMD dual core, i5, or i7. The reason this is important is because processors cannot be changed (well you can but you have to know what you're doing). This is good for the build it yourself computer ( / I usually tend to take the TOP of the line processor and keep the rest at the same. I then look for the resolution/screen size. I prefer the best resolution possible (1920 x 1080p), currently not much "regular" laptops have this resolution but I prefer a higher resolution laptop (the higher the better).

What about MEMORY or Hard Drive?
I basically look at this as the least most important parts of the laptop, not because they are not important but they are upgradable (well most are). Its super easy to replace Memory or hard drive now a days. You just have to look underneath you laptop to see where everything is. You don't have to take out every screw to your laptop to do so. DDR3 memory (which most laptop currently uses now) are dirty cheap. You can get a 8GB for less than $25 after rebate. If you want to upgrade an hard drive, I definitely suggest a SSD. The two brands I like is OCZ Vertex 3 and Corsair Force 3 Series which is essentially the same. Corsair > OCZ IMO. FYI...NOT ALL laptops have removable hard drive or memory slot. I would definitely recommend doing some research before upgrading.

Improving the speeds to your laptop
There are certain ways to improve the speed to your laptop. The easiest/bestest way to improve the speed to your laptop is to upgrade the memory and hard drive. Anything under 2GB Memory should definitely be upgraded to at least a 4GB depending on the apps you use on your computer. For hard drive, the standard speed to a typically hard drive is usually at 5400RPM some even at 4200RPM. If you love your laptop and plan to keep it for a while, I'd suggest getting an SSD to definitely boost up performance. However, if you're talking short term, then getting a 7200RPM hard drive should be just fine. For those who are confused on what RPM is, its revolutions per minute, the higher the RPM is the faster your computer tend to be. There are drives that goes 10000RPM. Keep in mind more revolutions per minute = more battery use (it won't make a HUGE difference, I'd say 5 min - 20 min difference). Another way to speed up your laptop is by re-installing your operating system to get rid of all that junk programs that is/was installed on your computer in the past. There are plenty of other ways to tweak Windows to make it faster by disabling certain features that you'll never use, etc.

Some basic knowledge of laptop:
The smaller the laptop is the more expensive it is (excludes netbook).
Usually the best deals are the laptops in the 15.6-inch (which is HUGE IMO).
Ultrabooks is the trendy laptops of 2012. These include MacBook Air, Asus Zenbooks, + much more. (keep in mind trendy = expensive).

So what laptop suites me the most? (Prices based on the deals I see weekly/monthly)
Intel i3 processor, 4GB DDR3 Memory, 320GB-500GB HD for about $349-$400 range

The basic user (surf the web, Facebook, word doc) should be satisfied with an i3 laptop.

Intel i5 processor, 4GB-6GB DDR3 Memory, 320GB-750GB HD for about $449-$500 range

An i5 laptop are for those users who use many programs and tabs open in the background. i5 could also be for basic gaming with a Intel integrated video card like WOW or Starcraft. An AMD/NVIDIA video card will definitely be recommended if you play games Battlefield 3 and Crysis 2.

Intel i7 processor, 4GB-8GB DDR3 Memory, 500GB-750GB for about $650-$750

An i7 laptop is mainly for hardcore gamers, graphic/video designers, and people who use multiple operating system at one time.

If you need any recommendations on laptops, tablets or any electronics. You could feel free to send me a PM and I'll try to get back to you asap.

TOTOOO posted Jan 31, 2012
encorez the most important for

encorez (rep: 10k) posted Jan 31, 2012


Thanks so much for the information. It really helps to understand before we buy!

grandma5 (rep: 57.8k) posted Feb 04, 2012


Before you buy the most important things

1. How will it be used? If its internet shopping top of the line processor and high resolution monitor are a complete waste of money.

2. What is my budget? Know how much you have to spend and focus the money on key areas. Don't add a blue tooth option and extra battery if your #1 use is to watch Netflix. Use that money on the video card and RAM.

3. Where will I use it?
Do you work on the go doing light tasks? Netbook. Are you in an office doing spread sheet and presentations for clients - higher end laptop. Are you just using it for gaming? - get a job!

I recommend knowing more about yourself than the technology. Know how it will be used, how much money, what you will do, how much travel. THEN look to see which key aspects of technology are critical to meeting your needs.

I bought 1 laptop for myself in the last 3 years. I knew what I needed and wanted so I didn't have to buy a dozen new gadgets. I have helped dozens of employees, friends, family buy tablets, netbooks, laptops, desktops, smart phones, etc.. I focus on their critical needs then tie it to the technology that best meets their needs on their budget.

johng333 (rep: 38.3k) posted Feb 08, 2012