You Deserve a Pandemic Present: Here’s How to Buy a New Laptop This Black Friday

Opened laptop, cell phone, cup of coffee and pen on wooden table

Have you been thinking about buying a new laptop? Maybe you haven’t, but you’ve noticed a few sweet deals on laptops that are difficult to resist. Either way, it’s crucial to note that there’s a right and a wrong way to buy a new laptop.

The wrong way involves rushing out to the store to buy the most affordable, fastest-shipping option. The right way requires a little thought, some research, and reading the rest of this article.

Why Buy a Laptop?

There are several reasons why you might want to buy a new laptop. Even if you currently own a laptop that works perfectly fine, you could benefit from upgrading to a newer model.

Technological advancement is inevitable. Since the Industrial Era, the human race has quickly picked up the pace of widespread technological innovation and integration. About a decade ago, smartphones were emerging onto the market.

Nowadays, you can hardly find a person that doesn’t own and rely on one. Ten-year-old desktop and laptop computers can hardly function with today’s web browsers, applications, and data-heavy updates.

Your current devices will likely follow suit, sooner rather than later. Upgrading to a new laptop now could save you the hassle of having to purchase an emergency one later in the year.

A laptop computer is a handy device for work, schooling, and entertainment. If your smartphone ever takes an unexpected dive into the toilet, your laptop can keep you connected as you await repairs. Besides, it’s nice to treat yourself to nice things.

Things to Consider When Buying a Laptop

Before you start opening tabs in your browser to look for laptops, you may want to take a couple of minutes to think about what you’re looking for from a laptop. If you only care about having a simple computer, you might be happy with any option.

But if you’re prepared to secure the best deal and the best possible laptop, you’ll want to consider your future laptop’s:

  • Screen Size
  • Display Resolution
  • CPU
  • RAM
  • GPU
  • Battery Life
  • Weight
  • Durability
  • Price

This may seem like quite a lot to mull over, but a well-bought laptop could last up to five years. Should you choose to invest in this purchase, you’re bound to be rewarded with a hard-working computer that is satisfyingly capable.

Before you do anything else, you may want to decide on a general laptop screen size range. Doing so can help you begin narrowing down your potential future laptops.

Screen Size

Laptop screens vary in size. The smallest laptops typically have screens that measure out to between 11 and 13 inches. Larger laptop models have screens that are 15 to 17 inches. 

This measurement is procured by measuring the diagonal length of the screen. Wider, longer laptop screens are generally easier to read. However, they can also add weight to the laptop body and decrease battery life.

The more screen your laptop needs to illuminate, the faster the battery will drain. A reasonable middle ground is a 13 to 15-inch screen with exceptional resolution.

Display Resolution

The standard screen resolution for most personal computers is 1366 x 768. This doesn’t tend to pose many problems, but it’s not nearly as crisp as a screen that can display 1920 x 1080 pixels. 4K laptops can express 3840 x 2160 pixels.

The ideal resolution and screen quality can be a preference issue rather than a need problem unless you have vision impairments. Compact laptops with small screens can be challenging to read and may cause eye strain over time.


Your device’s CPU allows it to function properly. It is the brain that both receives and sends electric signals that tell a device what to do and when to do it.

A central processing unit (CPU) is partially what determines how quickly and effectively your laptop functions. Older laptops that struggle to load programs or webpages may be suffering from outdated CPUs.

Modern CPUs are fantastically capable. Those with plenty of gigabytes and cores can handle complex applications like machine learning or hardcore video game playing. A larger CPU may also translate to more internal storage space.


While the CPU may be the laptop’s brain (and smartphone, for that matter), its RAM is a little bit like the circulatory system. It has also been likened to short-term memory. The primary purpose of RAM is to help your laptop run smoothly.

In short, more RAM equals faster processing speeds. Feeling furious with your current laptop’s snail-like pace? Be sure to invest in a laptop that comes with between 8GB and 16GB of RAM.


A computer’s graphics card is also known as its graphics processing unit (GPU). This handy component is responsible for rendering the complex graphics on your laptop screen. If you plan on doing some gaming, you’ll want to ramp up your GPU.

GPU can also make a significant difference in your streaming experience. Individuals planning on using their new computer to work on digital media may benefit from a bigger, better GPU, allowing them to see more detail in their work.

More GPU, like RAM, also often equates to faster processing speeds and smoother rendering.

Battery Life

If you’ve ever been minutes away from a project only to have your laptop shut down and die, you likely understand how frustrating short battery life can be. Poor owner maintenance and low-quality batteries can make for a dead laptop.

Your new laptop should be able to withstand hours of off-outlet work and usage, especially if you plan on taking it out and about with you. Otherwise, you’ll be tied to your nearest outlet for as long as you own your laptop. That’s desktop territory.


Heavy laptops can be the bane of your existence when you need to tote that laptop to and fro. If you plan to plant your laptop on a work desk at home and never take it out of the house, this category may not affect you.

But if you’re buying a new laptop for work reasons, you might want to make sure that you’re choosing a lightweight model. The average laptop weighs about five pounds, so you may want to look for something that falls just below this mark.


Some laptops are built to last. They can withstand accidental falls, moisture damage, and overcharging. Others are frail, dainty little things that seem to shatter as soon as you look at them.

If you’re prone to clumsy behavior and accidents, you may want to spend the extra money on a super durable laptop that can survive its time in your care. Of course, if you don’t plan on traveling with your laptop, a glass one could suffice.


Laptops can be quite pricey, especially those that come jam-packed with impressive components. Gaming and performance laptops tend to be the most expensive types because of their superior processing speeds and graphics.

You’ll need to consider your future laptop’s price and compare that cost against your personal budget. Of course, you could always choose to take a look at some sweet deals to save some time and money.

Laptops sales often garner some of the best results, so don’t be afraid to use coupons or wait for massive sales events.

How to Shop for a Laptop

Shopping for a laptop is a relatively straightforward affair. You’ll want to attack using a tried-and-true five-step process. To find the optimal laptop, you’ll want to:

  1. Consider Your Needs
  2. Consider Your Wants
  3. Set a Budget
  4. Search, Sort, and Filter
  5. Stay Notified

How do these tasks end in you celebrating a successful laptop purchase? Let’s jump right into these five steps and find out.

Consider Your Needs

If you’ve been thinking of replacing your current laptop with a newer model, there are probably a few experiences that led to this moment. Your laptop might work very slowly or have faulty keys and components. It may not even power on.

Take this moment, right now, to think about how you would use a new laptop if one magically appeared in front of you. Would you surf the web? Would you play some video games?

Maybe you’d spend the whole evening snuggled in your bed, watching Netflix and Hulu until you happily fall asleep. Even better, maybe you’d take the opportunity to get some remote work done.

No matter how you’d like to use a new laptop, your answer to this question will reveal a lot about your future laptop. Gaming laptops are designed to handle graphically complex applications while also processing multiple applications simultaneously.

Standard budget-friendly laptops are ideal for web browsing and occasional video streaming. And if you’re serious about media editing and consumption or remote work, a high-performance laptop could be the perfect medium between the two.

Consider Your Wants

Now that you know the type of laptop you need (gaming, performance, casual), you can consider what you really want from your laptop. You may need it to process spreadsheets from home or attend Zoom meetings.

But what do you want to do? In some ways, the answer to this question may be very similar to the answer you gave about your laptop needs. You may need a new laptop for competitive gaming. But you may also want your laptop to have stellar audio.

Or perhaps you need a laptop that can handle long hours of photo and video editing, but you’d also like to kick back and stream Korean soap operas. You can think of your wants as a secondary category that goes alongside the first one.

Once you’ve delved into gamer, casual, and performance laptops, you can use your subcategory to refine your search results and locate the best option. But you’ll need to ensure you can afford that laptop.

Set a Budget

Setting a budget isn’t challenging, though it’s not the most exciting chore. If you don’t know how to set a budget, there’s never been a better time to learn how. Doing so can help you manage your finances more effectively and save money.

When you know the kind of laptop you need, and you’ve recognized the features you want, it’s time to set a budget for your new device. The average laptop costs about $700. With a little strategy and smart saving, you could score one for far less.

Search, Sort, and Filter

Armed with your budget, needs, and wants, you can now begin your foray into the wide market of laptops. Don’t worry–Most online stores offer sort and filter functions to make browsing easy.

Be sure to take advantage of these functions by selecting your chosen features, price point, or brand. You may feel relieved to see the potential results number drop from more than 1,000 to five. 

Of course, your ideal laptop may be sold out or currently unavailable. But there’s a solution to this problem as well.

Stay Notified

If you have your eye on a particular laptop model, but it’s currently sold out, you may want to opt-in for email alerts and notifications from the manufacturer or seller. This could help you snatch up your laptop when it’s back in stock.

You could also choose to sign up for various store newsletters and coupon emails. This could keep you aware of emerging deals and sales, ensuring you get the best possible deal on your new laptop.

Buy a New Laptop Today

Why should you buy a new laptop? Only you can answer that question. However, even if a new laptop hasn’t been on your mind, it might be wise to shop now and enjoy it later.

You’ll want to consider several specifications and features before making your purchase. But with the right attitude and the help of the information in this guide, you could find the ideal laptop today.

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