Getting a new laptop

A laptop, coffee cup, sunglasses and notebook on a wooden table with hands hovering over the keyboard

A reflection on some things that I have learnt in the process of purchasing a new laptop.

Laptops are an absolute necessity at university and I am finding myself in need of a new one without knowing a lot about buying tech.

I decided at the end of last semester that it was time to retire my five-year-old laptop, largely because it has been struggling with software and doing random things and the risk of losing all my work is far too great. I always feel guilty purchasing new things, especially tech which has had do little progress toward being environmentally conscious, so I have decided to buy second-hand.

I find some of the technical jargon used to sell laptops really confronting, so the first thing I have learnt is…

Deciphering the random letters and numbers

Okay so from my research, the most important variables for me were RAM, processing power and functionality (e.g. touch screen). When it comes to RAM, it is measured in gigabytes and refers to the short-term storage capacity for your computer – basically more RAM is better for faster performance particularly if you run large software programs like Adobe.

Processing power largely relies on the Central Processing Unit (CPU) which pretty much runs the whole gig. Brands such as Intel and AMD are leading the CPU market.

Finally, 2 in 1 capacities are something that I would enjoy as a university student, not as a must but as a desire. The ability to use a touch pen to take notes appeals to the traditionalist side of me which loves a good mind map.

So, all in all, a top end laptop with Intel Core i9 and 16GB of RAM might be the best on the market but is definitely not the cheapest.

Affordability

This is where buying second-hand has come in really useful. I can buy a really high performing laptop for less than what it is available for online or instore. Some people even buy laptops brand new and don’t even open them. But of course, there are dangers of trickery as well…

Being safe

It is important to make sure the person you are buying from is trustworthy which of course is easier said than done. I often check whether they are selling a lot of other tech on their profile. If you are using marketplace then I have learnt that there are certain insurances regarding selling misleading products however seeking legal help is probably best advised in that situation! You should also make sure to be careful of viruses, ensure a factory reset has been completed and if you’re not 100% sure, maybe check in with a techy friend like I did!

Tagged in what messes with your head, shopping, technology