Woman in store trying out laptops

The 10 Most Important Things to Look for in a Laptop

Decisions, Decisions

Are you in the market for a new laptop? If you are, there a number of things you should keep in mind before you hand over your hard-earned cash. The worst thing you can do is pay for a laptop that isn’t quite up to the standards you want.

But how can you make sure the laptop you want to buy is of adequate quality? There are actually a lot of things to keep in mind, so it's important to do your research before shopping.

SSD Over Hard Drives

Perhaps the most important thing to keep an eye out for today is whether a laptop has a hard drive or an SSD. If a laptop has a standard hard drive, you can expect it to offer slow performance and slow boot times.

As you use a normal hard drive for longer, the performance of it will start to decrease as more files are written on to it. This is because a hard drive uses a moving part, similarly to a record player, to read data. If there’s more information, files get spread out on the disk, and it takes longer for the hard drive to find the right information.

An SSD is a type of storage that includes no moving parts. It uses semiconductor chips to hold memory; when electricity is passed through the chips, data can be read. An SSD is far faster than a hard drive and boot times are much quicker.

Screen Size And Resolution

Always keep an eye on the screen size and resolution of the laptop you are buying. It’s good to have a reasonably sized display, but if it is too big, you may have trouble carrying it around.

When buying a laptop, always think about how you plan to use it. If you plan to carry it around outside a lot, you will want a small display. Alternatively, if you only plan to use a laptop at home, having a bigger display has no drawbacks.

You should also consider the screen resolution. If you are on a tight budget, finding a high quality display might be hard. This may be a sacrifice you will have to take in order to pay less.

If you have more money at your disposal, consider looking for a display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 or higher. Anything lower and you will really notice the poor quality.

Available RAM/Memory

RAM, otherwise known as the memory, is another important hardware component that can change the performance of your laptop drastically. The less RAM you have, the fewer tasks your laptop can do simultaneously before it starts to slow down.

These days, you should always opt for at least 4GB of RAM. If you can afford it, try to go for 8GB. With 8GB of RAM, you will be free to browse the internet, watch movies and use software without any major hiccups.

Know What Processor You’re Getting

The processor in your laptop will determine what types of programs your laptop can run and how efficiently it can run them.

If you only plan to use your laptop for browsing the internet, you will not need to worry about this too much. However, if you care about performance during video playback or while using software on your laptop, you should go for an Intel i3, i5, or i7. You could also go for Ryzen mobile chips, which, despite the name, are designed for laptops.

You should always avoid Celeron processors. These days Celerons are ultra low powered chips designed to give you longer battery life but at the cost of massive performance drops.

If you are really tight on budget, consider purchasing a second hand laptop unless you’re happy with only being able to browse the web and run basic software.

Keyboard Quality

It can be hard to determine the keyboard quality for new laptops unless you see them in person.

It’s worth doing the extra research to find out whether you like the build quality of each laptop keyboard you are considering to buy. However, because the quality and experience can vary massively.

To find out more about a laptop’s keyboard quality, you could either visit your local PC retailer to get an in-person experience, or you could find customer reviews online.


The trackpad is another piece of technology that is important to double check. Is the trackpad going to provide accurate mouse tracking?

Are there any issues with the performance of a trackpad or do the trackpad buttons ever stick? These are questions you can often answer by looking through customer reviews online.

Available USB Ports And Connectivity

Keep an eye on the available USB ports and other ports on any laptop you want to buy. How many USB slots will you need when using your laptop? If it is just a mouse you want to plug in, you will be fine with any laptop you can get your hands on.

However, if you want to plug in a mouse, a USB drive, a pair of headphones and connect your smartphone, you will need to double check that the laptop you’re looking at has the right connectivity.


If you use Bluetooth speakers or like to connect your laptop to other Bluetooth devices, you should double check that the laptop you are looking at actually has Bluetooth connectivity.

It may be surprising, but a lot of laptops do not have Bluetooth enabled. You can always find a Bluetooth USB dongle if you cannot find a suitable laptop with Bluetooth built in, but then you will need to factor in the available USB ports if one has to be used up by such a device 24/7.

Battery Life

Are you going to be using your laptop off charge a lot? If so, you should put a lot of research into the battery life of your laptop. Typically, laptops with larger, higher quality displays will eat battery faster, so you will need to find that balance between display quality and battery.

Sometimes, some laptops just have poor battery life. Once again, looking at customer reviews can go a long way to find out more about a laptop’s battery life.

Overall Build Quality

Finally, you should pay close attention to the build quality of your laptop. The durability of the laptop you purchase should reflect the kind of lifestyle you have. If you travel a lot, for instance, you will want something that can take a drop or two. If you want a laptop for home, build quality may not matter as much.

Make sure to keep everything we have mentioned in mind when buying a new laptop. Remember, there are lots of options, so you will be able to find one that suits your needs.