Best laptop for me to purchase

The question of what is the best laptop for purchase is a very hard one, and how can the author claim to be able to answer it for everyone?

What I can do is offer an observation I have made: most laptops are never moved. I have seen very, very few people ever carrying their laptop around. If you are one of these people, then the following article does not apply.

For the rest, who purchase a laptop, the laptop is basically a desktop replacement, for a number of possible causes. Whatever the causes are, the choice for a desktop replacement laptop is not a very hard one to make.

The first choice to make before purchasing a laptop is screen size. A typical screen size for a desktop replacement is 17" (17.3 for current wide-aspect displays). Should you need to carry the laptop around (college or work, perhaps), then the recommended screen size reduces to 15" (15.4", etc).


A 17" laptop usually comes with a "fullsize" keyboard, that is, one with a numberpad.


Other options of a laptop are no longer critical. Features to pick are:

An Intel Core i7 processor. An i5 model is an older one, and performs poorer.

8GB of RAM or more.


The rest of "features" are not at all critical. What is critical, however, is to try out the laptop in a store. There are some details of a laptop which can never be tried thru a web page. They are: how glossy the screen is, and whether it is a problem with ambient illumination. How they keyboard was made, and whether it feels cheap. How comfortable the keyboard is to your hands. How heavy the laptop is. And so on.


The next question is where to purchase the laptop. I do not recommend purchasing online. I only recommend an in-person purchase from a few select local retail stores. The only two stores which I recommend for laptop purchase is Costco and Best Buy.

One thing you will find when going to a store is the very limited selection of 17" laptops available. Currently, Best Buy has only three models to choose from in the store. This is not a bad thing, it is just something to keep in mind. Do not settle on a laptop online, because it might not be available in a local store.

Costco offers a very interesting warranty and extended service plan to its members. They basically have a no-questions-asked return policy, even after you have used the laptop for some time.

Best Buy offers extended warranty plans, and Geek Squad service plan.

I recommend a local store because of the extended warranty, and because of service plan offers. Get both, as well as accidental coverage, if one is offered. Although many say that this is a waste of money, and a source of easy income for the store (it is...), laptops are simply too unreliable, and are too damage-prone. Things break, and accidental damage happens to laptops quite frequent, in my observation.


When using the laptop, I actually always recommend the use of external monitor, keyboard, and a mouse. This does basically convert the laptop into a desktop. But I have found that the built-in hardware is simply inferior, and damage-prone when used. For example, all external keyboards are more comfortable than the built-in keyboard of the laptop.


A note about warranties and service plans. Most extended warranties offered by a store go into effect only after the manufacturer's service / warranty plan ends. Keep this in mind, because for the duration of the manufacturer's service you effectively cannot use the extended warranty you have purchased. This comes into effect if the manufacturer's warranty is poor in terms offered. Herein is the only remaining differentiator between the different computer manufacturers -- all laptops are basically the same, it is only the support available which matters. This is why I only recommend one of the few US laptop manufacturers left. I have found out the hard way that it takes too much time, effort, and money to have something fixed by an overseas Asian computer manufacturer.

Also, if you are getting an extended warranty, then three years is better than one.

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Page last modified 05-Feb-17 20:40:55 EST
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