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Laptop Buying Guide & Deals

Interesting Facts on Laptops

person working on laptop in coffeeshop

Laptops are portable computers. They are very convenient and are used in a variety of settings -- from the office to the classroom, for gaming, designing, and more. They’re one of the first things we open in the morning and one of the last things we close at night. We’d struggle to live without our laptop, which makes purchasing a laptop one of the most important purchases you can make. To find the best deals for the latest laptops, Out of Milk app will help you find discounts at local electronic stores near you.

Types of Laptops

Looking to purchase a laptop? Due to their portability, they are a very popular choice, especially for busy lifestyles. This guide shows you what general categories are helpful and important to consider when shopping around for a new computer and are trying to distinguish between what you mmight need or may not need -- and also explain the difference between all of the different laptop types.

Type of Laptop Use Examples
Student Laptop Designed for writinga nd rsearhing papers and connecting to WiFi anytime and everywhere. They are the perfect blend of functionality and portability, useable but small enough to carry in a purse. MacBook Air
Asus Chromebook
Acer Aspire Switch 11
Home Laptop A laptop that does the basical like surfing the web, Skyping, or updating your social media. A home laptop should be porttable enough to take throughout the house, and a super small screen is not recommended. Asus T100
Multi-touch Notebook Computer
Business Laptop This is your office computer packed into a portable punch. This sort of laptop should be capable of transforming into an poffice set-up, complete with keyboards, screens, and mice, often with a docking station. Its the middle between desktop and laptop, merging the two worlds and processing power. HP ZBook, 
GS60 Ghost-003
Gaming Laptop Ideal for playing video games, gaming laptops allow for an interactive experience, with super high-resolution graphics and state-of-the-art sound quality. These laptops need the latest in video technology, a fast processor, and maximum memory. And it all needs to be relatively transportable. Origin PC Eon-15-X
Razor Blade (2015, QHD+) Lenovo Y50 Touch 4K
Creative Laptop Perfect for creative endeavors of all kinds: making music, movies, design/artwork, and more. Creative laptops can handle all of the software and files (though you'll want to be sure to have a lot of storage) for all of your projects. MacBook Pro with Retina
HP ZBook 15
Ultra-portable Laptop Thin and light, ultrabooks or the ultra-portable laptops are designed for transport and quick use. They are great for those who need to be constantly connected, always work on the go, for those who travel very often and need to stay on top of their emails. These types of laptops are feather light and easily fit into a purse. Chromebook
Dell Latitude
Lenovo IdeaPad

How to Shop for a Laptop

laptop store display

There are various things to consider when shopping for a new laptop. With all of the specs and ever-changing new technology, finding one that suits your versatile needs can be tricky. Here are some tips and things that should be considered.

  1. Determine which operating system you like.

    Are you more into Apple, Windows, or do you prefer something web-based like the Chromebool. Windows laptops are some of the most popular kinds of laptops and they are compatible with the most number of programs. The Apple or Macintosh operating system (OS) is high quality but relatively expensive. It is great if you have other Apple products and you enjoy a seamless sync. A newer form of OS is built from Google technology, where all your data is stored on a cloud and access to your data is usually only possible with the internet.

  2. What is your main use for the laptop?

    Uses and purposes help you decide how big your laptop needs to be. It will also help you determine the sort of power (memory, graphics, diskspace) you will need. If you plan on taking your laptop with you everywhere, then a smaller, portable and lighter laptop should do the trick. However, home laptops can be as bulky as ever -- even heavier than some desktop computers.

  3. Choose a size.

    There are three general laptop size classifications. The smallest are 11-13 inch screens, which are very light and ideal for people like sudents who move around a lot and prefer to keep their computers around. The middle group is 14-16 inch screens and they are quite versatile. Small enough to pick up and go and large enough to do pretty much anything. The largest screen size classification are 17 inches or higher. Considered desktop laptops, these computers are heavy -- but they are great for gaming, editing, and handling large data.

  4. Aesthetics matter. Ergonomics do too.

    It’s easy to dismiss aesthetics as a superficial criteria for choosing a laptop, but, considering that "under the hood" most laptops are pretty similar--composed of the same CPUs, hard drives, RAM, etc--aesthetics is a differentiating factor. In a way, a laptop can be an extension of your personality. Be sure to also consider the size and feel of the keyboard, especially if you are in the market for a smaller sized laptop. Try out the mouse and trackpad as well, and make sure that they are to your liking and you feel comfortable navigating through your files, documents, pages, etc.

When to Find the Best Laptop Deals

  • Back-to-School Sales: From August to September, laptop prices, like the prices for all other school supplies, plummet. So from the last month of summer vacation to the first month of the school year, you’ll find the best laptops at their cheapest prices of the year.

  • November Bargains: Black Friday is known for bargains, and those bargains include slashed rates on laptops. It’s the beginning of the holiday season, and you can probably expect to see those “one-day-only” sales extend through the month. Some laptops cost under $200.

  • Inventory Clearing in April: Every April, you can expect a drop in laptop prices because that’s when manufacturers put out their new models, meaning stores need to clear their inventory. You just have to be okay with buying last year’s model at a budget-friendly price.

  • Monday, Monday, Monday: Need a laptop quickly? Mondays will be your best bet to find one on the cheap because that’s when manufacturers announce their rebates, which can give you money back on your purchase. Always check with the clerk on possible rebates that may have come out that morning.

Must Have Laptop Accessories

keyboard and mouse

After you have spent some money a new laptop computer, it is also important to make sure that you have the right tech wear and accessories to accompany it. Here are a laptop accessories that we suggest you definitely add to your cart, before you hit the checkout.

  • Laptop Bag: It’s just a safe and comfortable way to carry your laptop when you’re on the go.

  • USB Flash Drive: An easy way to move data from computer to computer. It’s great for sharing files between colleagues or fellow students. Flash drives are generally cheap and come in a range of sizes.

  • Cooling Pad: Some laptops, especially gaming laptops, have a tendency to run hot, and this heat could cause potentially damaging effects on the laptop, and a cooling stand is an easy way to keep the laptop’s internal temperature in check.

  • External Hard Drive: You should always back up your files. This device makes you make sure that your data files will be kept safe.

  • Wireless Mouse: Chances are that with a laptop, you'll miss the precision of a normal computer mouse and a wireless mouse, or even a USB mouse, is the perfect solution.

What are the best budget laptops?

Looking for a laptop that costs under $300? Here are some of our top picks that you can find at a local electronics retailer near you.

  • Asus Chromebook Flip
  • Acer Chromebook
  • HP Stream
  • Dell Chromebook
  • Lenovo Thinkpad 11e Chromebook

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