Top 10 things to look out for when buying your next laptop

There are several key laptop specs which you should be aware of when hunting for a new portable PC or Mac

Friday, 11 December, 2020

One of the joys of the modern age is the sheer diversity of computing hardware on the market.

Need an affordable computer for uni? Buy a Chromebook. Want a high-end gaming rig? Build your own PC. Need a space-efficient setup? Invest in an all-in-one computer.

There are Macs for creatives and fashionistas, Windows 10-powered PCs for entrepreneurs and office workers, and Linux machines for free thinkers and amateur coders.

And then there are laptops, straddling many of these categories while also representing something quite different.

In the lap’ of the Gods

Despite the double-fisted assault of tablet computers (which were widely predicted to herald their demise), laptops remain essential tools for millions of people.

This year, they’ve allowed us to work from home, while desktop devices in the nation’s workplaces have simply gathered dust.

And while laptops are often plug-and-play devices, choosing one still requires an understanding of key laptop specs and an appreciation of what it’ll be tasked with.

With almost half of UK laptops manufactured by either HP or Acer, you might assume choice is fairly limited.

Yet these two firms offer a spectrum of different products, while other manufacturers with a significant UK market share include Apple, Lenovo, Dell, Samsung and Microsoft.

Whether you’re buying a sophisticated Surface Pro or an affordable Aspire, these are ten key laptop specs to consider:

Of course, there are other attributes to look at on a laptop’s spec sheet. Tendonitis or RSI sufferers may want longer key throws, and graphic designers might require a 4K screen.

However, for most people, the above factors should determine whether a laptop that suits your budget also suits your requirements.

Neil Cumins author picture


Neil is our resident tech expert. He's written guides on loads of broadband head-scratchers and is determined to solve all your technology problems!