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The 4 Rules You MUST Apply When Buying A Windows Laptop

The 4 Rules You MUST Apply When Buying A Windows Laptop

Buying A New Windows Laptop Is An Investment…

…the idea is this will be your engine of mobile productivity for the next 3 plus years. So you want to make all the right decisions and invest wisely.

This is one of the big three questions that techies continually get asked: –

Windows Laptop - Techie Questions

Buying A New Laptop

Let’s start by asking ourselves, do we need a laptop?

This really feeds into rule 1: what are you going to use your computer to do?

  • Your use cases will define the form factor of the computer you choose. Filter from here.
  • If the answer is work from home only then why not look at a desktop. These are still more robust and allow for hardware upgrades easier than a laptop.
  • If you are only interested in email, some documentation, web surfing, video conferencing on the go then a tablet or tablet / laptop hybrid night be for you.
  • If you are mobile then screen-size, weight and battery life are all issues for you.
  • If you work with graphics intensive applications e.g. video post processing then you will probably want a computer with GPU (graphics card).
  • If you are mobile but perform keyboard intensive work then you need to find a laptop with a keyboard that works for you.

These feed into rule 2: try to go hands on with whatever you want to buy.

  • UX and how the keyboard feels or the screen looks is subjective.
  • Go to a store that allows you to try different models without too much of a hard sell.
  • Keep in mind what your uses cases are for the computer and if need be ask a salesperson to let you see a movie or go to your most used web app.

Rule 3: Only consider Windows 8.1 not Windows 8.

  • Windows 8 is great but why force yourself to do more Windows Updates than you have to?
  • Windows 8.1 was the last major update for Windows (akin to a Service Pack) and it carried with it vast improvements.
  • When you buy a Windows 8.1 computer you are insuring that not only is the OS in a newer state but also the hardware is at least as new as the OS.
  • There will still be Updates but these will be hotfixes and security patches and it should be a relatively speedy process (when I unboxed my new Windows 8 laptop, it took over 200 updates to get me to Windows 8.1 and the process was not seamless).

Rule 4: Touch.

  • The touch vs non-touch debate deserves a post all of its own (a work in progress, stay tuned) but suffice it to say that touch enabled Windows 8.1 will rock your world.
  • If you don’t go for touch then this is the next best reason to opt for Windows 8.1 as the improvements for mouse / keyboard oriented work are seriously good.
  • Since getting my touch enabled laptop, I have not needed to use a mouse once.
    I let my fingers do the working…
Windows 8.1 Touch: Let your fingers do the working

Windows 8.1 Touch: Let your fingers do the wOrking (thanks to Yellow Pages)

The Warptest POV

At the end of the day the rules above are a tried and tested guide for making objective choices. Choices that don’t factor in brand loyalty or prejudice, online reviews or the experience of your friends. All of these are valid factors but involve subjective evaluation.

The bottom line is actually the bottom line, start with a budget and work from there and keep in mind you are investing in your productivity.

If you have anything to add or a question then hit the comments and I’ll be certain to reply.


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