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The Best Laptop Deals: How to Buy Durable, Portable, Professional and Gaming Laptop

Updated on July 2, 2016
amuno profile image

Alfred is a long-time teacher and computer enthusiast who works with and troubleshoots a wide range of computing devices.

The best laptop deals depend very much on what or whom you want to buy the laptop for. Before you fork out your money, consider whether it is to be a gaming laptop, a budget laptop, portable laptop or a laptop for the professional. You should also consider the laptop battery life, its durability and of course warranty.

It is not easy to pinpoint what exactly the best laptop to buy is, but with a little know how and caution, you could actually pick one that lasts for more than what you bargained for.

The death of the desktop computer means that the rise to popularity of laptops, tablets, phablets and smartphones will continue for the foreseeable future.

Much as some foresee doom for laptops too, we are likely to see it weather the storm and continue as a choice for both home and professionals users.

Google Chromebooks are popular budget laptops for those spending most of their time online
Google Chromebooks are popular budget laptops for those spending most of their time online | Source

Laptop Buying Guide

Before forking out money for some pricey laptop, you need to be aware what you are getting into and how to steer clear of trouble. Your hard earned money should be worth some value.

1: Laptop Durability

A durable laptop is worth every coin you throw for it. What is the point for a CAD designer purchasing an expensive laptop when it chokes during intensive tasks?

There are interesting findings in regards to what brand and mix of computer can stand the test of time.

Just a few years back, AMD processors were notorious for overheating after lengthy use. Overheating was even made worse when a separate nVidia graphics chip, also made by AMD, was added into the mix! It so happened that a combination of AMD CPU and nVidia graphics chips in one laptop was disaster waiting to happen, especially after one year of intensive use.

Some HP laptops from the last decade were assembled with such parts and which worked well for the first year or two and then became unmanagable. Surprisingly the death of such laptop computers happened after they ran out of warranty!

Faulty Dell laptop computers have also flooded the market, particularly those in third world countries. Whether it is because its ranks have been infiltrated by cloned Dell brands from China or because of some other reason, one needs to be careful and must make research and/or purchase one from a genuine Dell distributor.

For best laptop deals, Toshiba, Asus and Lenovo brands have proven longevity and are reliable for more than two years of regular use.

2: Budget Laptop

Budget laptops are inexpensive and go for much less than $600. They should be able to deliver more than your everyday computing tasks like word processing, basic gaming, watching movies and of course playing lots of mp3 files. Buy a budget laptop if you are a student, or want to use it in the office.

AMD developed an integration of CPU and graphics processor chips in the name of Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) in order to reduce the cost of producing lower end and budget friendly laptops.

On the other hand are Google Chromebooks whose cost continue lowering. Unlike the other brands of laptops which make use of more power, Google Chromebooks run online based light weight operating system called Chrome OS, and operate with a minimum of resources.

A number of budget laptops include:

  • Toshiba Satellite L to Z series
  • Lenovo IdeaPads
  • Asus D series
  • Acer Chromebooks
  • HP Chromebooks

3: Laptop Portability

A growing number of professional users are shelving desktops in the office for laptop computers. Travelers too prefer light luggage and portable laptops become a priority in their backpacks.

Netbook computers became popular in 2007 with the launch of Asus Eee PC and they were immediate winners with mobile users. Designed specifically for the mobile market, netbooks fit in lighter luggage and seemed just right.

Sample ultrabook laptop
Sample ultrabook laptop | Source

In 2011, Intel unveiled the concept of Ivy Bridge based Ultrabook laptops which were faster and more powerful than Atom netbooks. Ultrabooks are extremely thin but boast considerable processor power than the Atom could ever handle.

If you are therefore looking for thinner and lighter laptop computers with slightly better muscle and power, then the Ultrabook line of laptops is for you.

Ultrabooks should suffice for much more than just surfing: Newer and better brand ultrabooks offer great graphics and processing power.

4: Gaming Laptop

A gamers' laptop consumes more than its fare share of laptop resources. Your laptop for games must have all the right components if it is to perform to expectations.

The right processor and heavy duty graphics chips will make or break the gaming experience. Intel’s current Ivy Bridge processor chip, Intel’s High Definition and NVidia GTX line of graphics chips are excellent choices when selecting the right specs for a gaming laptop.

5: Laptop For Professionals

If you are a photo and video guru who is looking for a laptop with razor sharp images and videos, the ultrabook, atom based proceesors and APUs may not be the laptop to buy! The same goes for the engineer that needs more juice in CAD rendering and processing.

You need to buy a laptop that can stand hours of rigorous activity, produce spectacular images and still remain calm.

Instead of the thin laptops you will probably need the high end Macbook Pro which boasts of ultra sharp display from AMDs nVidia Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) or Intel’s High Definition graphics chip.

For Windows, Acer is taking the lead by offering some of the best heavy duty laptop computers in ultrabook form factor.

Heavy duty Acer S7 line of ultrabooks
Heavy duty Acer S7 line of ultrabooks | Source

The Macbook Pro laptop from Apple runs Intel’s quad core Ivy Bridge processor and is top of the range for such a thin laptop.

Macbook Pro uses Solid State Drive with just over 512GB or 1Tb of space and one surely needs additional storage devices in order to accomplish hours of video assignments.

A power-horse Macbook Pro; a laptop for professionals
A power-horse Macbook Pro; a laptop for professionals | Source

6: Laptop Battery Life

Whatever your budget, always go for the best out of your laptop battery. Some laptops promise over nine hours of use but few actually hit that mark.

As far as I know, Apple offers substantial laptop battery life, which remain consistent for more than two years. Most batteries in the market will last for three hours at most and their value run down to less hours in under two years.

Ultimately though, personal indulgence will help ensure your battery lasts for many months.

Maximize the battery life of your laptop by reducing screen brightness, disconnecting USB devices and turning off wireless and Bluetooth if not using them.

7: Laptop Warranty

An overly extended warranty is what every shopper aims for. But we all know that extended warranties don't come cheap. No wonder most companies give a year or two of return to shop warranty.

When buying a laptop, ensure you understand the clause printed on receipts or warranty cards. There is always the confusion between part and service warranty and it is always wise to inquire from the dealer what you are agreeing to.

As it stands, service warranty may deny you part replacement in-case parts of your computer decide to sleep a little early!

What laptop brand suits you best?

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    • amuno profile image

      Alfred Amuno 5 years ago from Kampala

      Good for you eHealer. You should be one out of a handful that can keep PCs running for that long. PCs today are notorious for breaking down when you least expect, and especially if they are from some popular brands like I noted. You get the feeling that there is so much cloning in the industry. It is worse in parts of the world like mine.

    • eHealer profile image

      Deborah 5 years ago from Las Vegas

      Amuno, another great hub. Yes, I get the warranty, but only on the computers I take out of the house. Ikeep them alive, I have a notebook that I've had since 2005, it is one of 5 laptops. And I a new desktop, and a desktop from 2006, only used for graphics and design programs. Thanks of the interesting Hub.