my faceChris Foley is a computer programming enthusiast. He loves exploring new programming languages and crafting nice solutions. He lives in Glasgow, Scotland and works as a software developer.

How to Choose a Laptop

Choosing a laptop is a minefield of options. However, if you have any special requirements then you probably already know what they are. Games need graphics cards. Virtual machines need memory. Large datasets require storage. Working all day in a coffee shop requires battery life.

The truth is, for most people, any laptop in the store will be fine. All laptops surf the web and edit documents. They all store photos, music and videos and they all compile and run code.

You should check out how the keyboard and mouse feel, and how the screen looks. You should glance at the battery life and see if you can lift the laptop in one hand comfortably. Beyond this, generally, a more expensive laptop with higher specs and better hardware will be more pleasurable to use and wont need to be replaced as quickly.

Choose a laptop you can afford to replace

A few years ago, I was working as a freelance programmer. One day my laptop broke and repairing it was beyond my skill set. Every day without a laptop would have been a day I was not earning. I needed a replacement and could not afford to wait.

This could happen to anyone, even you. Luckily for me, I had planned for this eventuality so I was able to buy a similar machine that evening. I was up and running the next day.

An important question to ask when buying a new laptop is "Could I replace this laptop if I had to?". Laptops are vulnerable to being dropped, stolen and left on trains, as well as developing technical faults. If you need your computer for your livelihood or your studies then it's important to be able to replace it following a catastrophe.

25 October 2017