Buying a new laptop is not something you do very often. The good news is there is an abundance of choices depending on your budget and your requirements for your new machine. The bad news is that your search for a new laptop will feel like a daunting task without a bit of homework and preparation.

If you are not a tech expert or haven’t kept up to date with the latest developments in technology, it can seem like you’re at a real disadvantage. But with a bit of research, you will be fine. This article gives you a head start with figuring out precisely the best laptop for your budget and needs.

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post.

Make it a buyers’ market

Buying a new laptop is absolutely a buyer’s market. From the biggest brands to smaller start-ups and cheaper alternatives, there is a laptop out there to suit anybody.

The trick is to equip yourself with the proper knowledge to make the most informed decision.

First, decide on your budget. With so much choice, there is no need to overstretch what you can realistically afford. Decent laptops are available from around $500 upwards, so really, the choice is yours depending on what you need your laptop to be able to do.

It is better to consider the specification you need rather than looking at the price. This is because buying a much higher specification than you need can create an unwanted downside for your laptop. This can include a much larger size than you would have liked or heavier weight than you would find practical to commute with on a regular basis.

Either way, from professional gaming laptops through to more general cheaper options, there are specifications to suit every budget and requirement.

buying a new gaming laptop

Consider the CPU

Cutting through the terminology is another part of the process. The CPU is the central processing unit of your device and is what makes your computer run and processes the graphics that you see on the screen.

For most laptop users, a mid-range processor is more than adequate to carry out most expected functions of the device. Only serious gamers, graphic designers or those running programmes such as Auto CAD need to consider higher-spec CPUs.

working from home laptop

How to approach your choice

It is very easy to become bamboozled with the amount of choice on the laptop market when buying a new laptop. To cut through this, make your search about you, not about the laptops you’re looking at.

Start by making a list of the most common things that you use your laptop for. Once you know this, it is easier to figure out which specification and brand will be best for you.

Games with high graphic demands are some of the most challenging functionalities for laptops. So, if you play this type of game regularly, you will want to consider a specific gaming PC. If your usage is much lighter, you work from home doing admin work (or blogging), and you plan to check email, work in cloud applications, or browse the web, you can opt for a much lighter spec.

Consider portability

How often do you carry your laptop around? If rarely, you can afford to go for a higher spec which results in a bulkier and heavier device.

If you travel to and from work or need your laptop to be portable for meetings and demonstrations, you want to go for a lighter spec. Alternatively, a mid-range device can offer the best of both worlds and is lightweight enough to be portable but robust enough to be able to carry out more demanding tasks.

buying a new laptop for commuters

Make your search fun

Buying a new laptop is like buying a car; it’s an exciting purchase. Figuring out precisely what you want and which model you like can be a lot of fun.

The trick is not to be daunted or overwhelmed by the amount of choice and the technical terms likely to be thrown at you by an over-enthusiastic salesman. I’d always recommend going online to search for the ideal laptop for you, and then if you’re still not sure, go into the store to have a look and feel at the ones that caught your eye.

Be rigorous in your search, and make sure you sleep on the decision before going ahead with your purchase. Your laptop is a big part of modern life, so when buying a new laptop, take your time, do your research and get it right!