COLUMN: With Christmas looming, here’s a beginners guide to buying laptops

This has become a mobile generation.

By Jennifer Griffiths, of Chips Computers
Monday, 14th December 2015, 2:32 pm
Buying a laptop
Buying a laptop

What was once limited to the home and office can now be done in a restaurant, an airport, on a train, or even sitting in the park while the kids play.

We have become very dependent on having mobility as well as speed to accommodate us in our tasks.

This is why understanding portable technology is very crucial when you go to purchase it.

Most people go in technically blind to what they are buying.

They see what seems to be a price they can afford and the device looks the way they want it to, and that’s that.

Six months down the road they are wishing they had done some homework before buying.

The processor is something that is very much over looked when people purchase a laptop. Most people look at the size of the hard drive and how much memory is in it.

The truth is, the processor plays a very key role in your laptop’s ability to do tasks. In the Intel range, the processors start out with Celeron, then the Pentium, i3, i5, and i7. The higher you go, the faster.

Also, keep in mind that processors in laptops are slower than those in desktops. So, when you go to make your purchase be sure to tell the sales person what you intend to use it for. This way they can guide you on what will be able to do what you want it to, without you getting stressed out.

If you are doing photo editing, video editing, or anything that is graphics related; be sure to ask about this. Most laptops only have minimal graphics.

If you require a dedicated graphics for such tasks, be sure to ask someone and do some homework on it as well.

If the sales person does not know, don’t buy it till they find out for certain or you could have no end of problems.

There is such a thing as overkill. A lot of people will try to sell you a laptop with more bells and whistles than you actually need. If you are going to use your laptop for checking emails, booking holidays, Facebook and things of this nature, you don’t need an i5 processor to do it. You can think along the lines of a Celeron/Pentium with a 500 GB to 1 TB hard drive, and 4GB of memory. Whereas a gamer would need to have higher end processors, graphics, and more memory. It is very important that you get what you need, but to also know what you do not need to avoid paying more than you have to.

If this sounds a little much to take in, consult your IT professional and have them explain it to you.

Most are glad to help you to understand and to even guide you in your purchase.

- Chips Computers are based on Heywood Street in Brimington, Chesterfield. They can be contacted via 01246 200214 or online at or