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Buying A Laptop For Dummies

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You'll probably want at least 1-2 TB of local storage space if you're a gamer, photographer, or video editor. If you need a laptop for browsing the web and watching YouTube, you can get away with as little as 32 GB.

4. SSD: These days, you want to buy a laptop with a solid-state drive (SSD), not a hard disk drive (HDD). SSDs are 4-5x faster and are much less likely to be damaged or corrupted. They are commonplace in modern laptops. Although slightly more expensive than HDDs, SDDs are well worth it, and they only keep getting better with developments like NVMe SSDs.

Other college majors that require power-intensive laptops include anything data-analysis heavy, including business, sociology, data science and engineering. Adequate RAM is essential for these disciplines and you should aim for at least 16GB. Check if you can upgrade RAM before you buy, since you can do this later, too. SSD storage should be your second priority, followed by an adequate CPU. The more you can afford, the better. Particularly if you plan on running Spotify, YouTube, your messenger app and everything else at once, you need a laptop that can handle the workload.

For editing photos and videos, having a CPU and GPU that can handle the workload is essential. CPUs for video editing are commonly referred to as H-Series for both AMD and Intel and provide additional performance benefits over standard U-Series CPUs. In terms of GPU, particularly for video, we recommend getting a laptop with as high a clock speed and as much VRAM as your budget can muster. Make sure to check any system requirements for the apps you want to run, and your CPU/GPU is above the minimum requirements!

When it comes to RAM and storage, check to see if the laptop you want to buy allows you to upgrade your RAM. This could give the option to upgrade down the road and squeeze extra life out of your gaming laptop. The gold standard for RAM these days for laptop gaming is 16GB.

For storage, particularly for modern games, more is better. You should opt for a gaming laptop with 250GB or greater for an SSD since modern games are becoming increasingly large (some are 50GB+ for a single game)! You can always keep more games on the cloud, but it can be annoying having to redownload games every time you want to play them.

Getting a comfortable gaming headset is important when buying a laptop for gaming, too. Besides the obviously important sound quality, you should look for a gaming headset with good sound isolation/noise cancelling, material quality, mic quality/adjustability, and surround sound capability.

A good consideration as well is perhaps pairing your laptop purchase with a docking station. That way, you can hook up your laptop to external monitors when you get home and enjoy your ample screen space for your code editor and all the windows you open while squashing bugs. Also, if your laptop of choice lacks ports, the docking station allows you to connect all your favorite computer accessories and peripherals.

Like selecting a laptop for programming, business laptops come down to your personal preferences. You can focus on the niceties that suit you such as light weight, durability and long battery life. Additionally, you should make sure your laptop has good security features, such as a fingerprint reader or facial recognition to keep sensitive work data secure.

Depending on your line of work, a special ruggedized laptop may be the best call for you. These laptops are specifically built to endure drops, dings and unfavorable environmental conditions and meet MIL-SPEC standards for their chassis and keyboards.

To make sure you always have your important files backed up, we advise buying an external hard drive. That way, you can back up all your files not only on the cloud but also within your drive. Data redundancy is very important no matter your profession!

Last but certainly not least, securing your laptop is important. There are several laptop security accessories you can consider,


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