A Laptop Buying Guide For A Beginner

If you are looking for a laptop buying guide for a beginner then you have come to the right place.

Here you will find all of the basics that you need to know to be a well informed buyer...

The first thing that you need to think about is what kind of laptop brand that you want. Are you looking for something affordable like a Dell or a HP.

Or are you willing to spend a little more on quality such as a Sony or a Thinkpad.

Whatever you want to do, be sure to find out all of the information about the laptop company that you're going to buy from.

After that, find out which laptop is best for you. You can do this by reading the reviews on this site and other sites on the web. Each laptop brand has many different laptops for you to choose from.

Some are designed for those who have business needs. And then there are some who are designed for the everyday user.

Finding out which laptop is designed for you is a very important second step.

Once you have a pretty good idea on which laptop you may want, now is the time to customize that laptop to suit your needs. There are many parts to a laptop, but only some of the parts you really need to worry about...


This is the most important upgrade you'll want to make with your laptop. Memory is where all of your applications get stored in. Nothing will slow your laptop down more than having a small amount of memory.

By getting the largest amount of memory that you can, you will dramatically increase the lifespan of your laptop.

It is recommended that you get at least 1GB of memory. However, this is one of the few laptop parts that you can upgrade after you buy it initially. So if you currently own a laptop with a low amount of memory, you can easily upgrade laptop memory at a later time.


The next laptop part that you should take a look at is the processor. When you open a program, the processor and memory are working hand in hand to help put that application on the screen.

It is important to buy a quality processor when you first get your laptop. Because unlike the memory, you can't go back and upgrade this part later.

They are constantly coming up with new processors. They even have Core Duo processors out now. This means that there are kind of like two mini processors that work together to run your programs.

If you are a multitasker you should probably get one of these.

Processor speeds are measured in what is called gigahertz (GHz) but don't put too much emphasis on how many GHz the processor you are getting has. Simply look at what is available to purchase and get the fastest processor that your budget can afford.

Understand that it isn't the end the world if you don't get the fastest processor. But it will certainly help your programs run faster.

Hard Drive

Your hard drive is what stores all your files and folders onto your laptop. It is important to have plenty of hard drive space, especially if you plan on having lots of music and video on your laptop.

However, you can hold plenty of your files on USB flash drives among other things.

So it isn't too important to you buy the biggest hard drive on the planet. It is recommended that you get a nice size hard drive. Perhaps 60GB or 80GB. But once again, if you don't get a big hard drive it isn't the end of the world..

Laptop Screen

Your laptop screen is pretty self explanatory. It is really important in the satisfaction that you will have with your laptop.

Laptop screens usually come in 14 inch, 15 inch, and 17 inch. Choosing which laptop screen size is kind of like saying what kind of laptop that you want.

With a 14 inch laptop, you are saying that you want a laptop that is very portable.

With a 15 inch laptop, you are saying that you want a laptop that is versatile and affordable.

And with a 17 inch laptop, you are saying that you want a desktop replacement. You want this laptop to replace your old desktop, and have the ability to go where ever you want with it.

I always recommend that you get the highest quality laptop screen that they have available. Laptop screens really depend on the laptop brand that you purchase from.

Sony laptops have some of the highest quality laptop screens in the world. You know you are going to get a bright, clear picture when you purchase a Sony.

Some other laptop brands aren't as well known for their screens. That is why it is very important that you get the best screen that is available to you.

After all, this is the part of the laptop that you're going to be looking at the most!

Video Card

The video card is a very overlooked portion of your laptop. It is in charge of running all of your videos and pictures on your screen.

It kind of works hand and hand with your processor and memory. Video cards even come with their own memory to help make things run smoother.

If you plan on watching a lot of video on your laptop, don't completely ignore the video card. NVIDIA and other name brands are extremely high quality. You would be amazed at how good video looks if you have one of these video cards.

But once again, just take a look at what is available to you. If video isn't that important to you, then of course don't worry much about the video card. But understand that the video card is very important if you are interested in watching a lot of video on your laptop.

Disc Drive

But this drive is certainly one of the most versatile auctions that you have with your laptop. You can get a CD drive, CD burner, DVD drive, DVD burner, or no disc drive at all!

Thinkpad laptops are known for giving you the option of not getting a disc drive.

Why would you want to do this?

If you really want a portable laptop, and you plan on all of your software being downloaded from the Internet than not having a discharge is a good option. It helps keep the size and weight of your laptop down.

For most people though, it is a good idea to get a good disc drive of some sort.

If you get a CD burner, this allows you to make CDs that you can play in your car or stereo.

If you get a DVD burner, this allows you to make DVDs that you can watch in your DVD player.

Also if you decide to get a burner, you can put files and folders from your laptop onto a CD or DVD. This is a great idea if you plan on having a lot of programs on your laptop.

Also, Windows Vista requires that you at least have a DVD player in your laptop. So if you plan on keeping your laptop for a long time, having at least a DVD drive is probably a good idea.

Laptop Battery

The battery is an extremely important part of your laptop. It is what makes your laptop run when it isn't plugged into the wall.

Think about what you will be using your laptop for before purchasing a laptop battery. Do you plan on using your laptop anywhere and everywhere?

If so, getting a quality laptop battery is for you. Laptop batteries are measures in how many cells they have. You can get a 4 cell, 9 cell, even a 12 cell.

The bigger number of cells that your laptop battery is, the longer your laptop will be able to run while it is not plugged into the wall.

Understand that if two different laptops have the same laptop battery, they may not necessarily run for the exact amount of time. There are many factors on how long your laptop will run.

Also know that you can always purchase a laptop battery later. In fact, it might be cheaper to purchase a battery from somewhere other then where you purchased your laptop.

There are many sites out there such as eBay that sell batteries at steep discounts


Purchasing a laptop isn't as difficult as it may seem. If you have any questions though, don't be afraid to contact me. I will be more then happy to answer any questions that you may have.

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