The time had come to buy a new laptop to replace the one that was stolen and it was a process that I was both looking forward to while also dreading the process. Trying to find the perfect laptop within a certain budget can be a challenging task especially with the available selection of manufacturers, makes and models.
Selecting the ideal laptop is a balance between speed, features, price and weight. I wanted a lighter laptop since I tote mine around with me 3-4 days a week but I did not want to sacrifice a good screen or speed. Unfortunately the lighter and faster the laptop becomes the higher the price tag goes. I knew to find the best laptop for my needs and budget would require a balancing act between what I wanted and what I could afford.
To get started I created a list of all the features that I would have in my ideal laptop. These included:
- Lightweight (under five pounds)
- Larger screen or small screen with excellent resolution
- Thin – under 1” thick
- Long battery life
- Numeric keypad
- Backlit keyboard
- Fast processor
- 4GB RAM (at least) but preferably 6-8GB
- Limited bloatware (excess software that comes installed on the PC or laptop)
- Quick boot time along with quick wake time from sleep mode
- SSD drive (new type of hard drive that allows for faster drive access)
If I was to select a laptop with all of these features I would have passed my budget by $300 to $600 depending on the laptop I selected. After learning this I decided to go back to my list to try and narrow down my features to what I need and then see what I could add from my ideal feature list.
After I re-evaluated my needs the new feature list was reduced down to lightweight, good screen, decent amount of memory and within my budget. With this information in hand I started searching the Internet to try and narrow down my selection to a few machines that I fall into my criteria.
After a lot of searching (and I mean a lot!) I finally narrowed down my selection to a specific laptop with a couple backups – just in case. The next step in my new laptop adventure was to visit a couple of stores to look at and touch, feel, lift and type on my potential laptop. After looking around for about an hour I had finally come to a decision on my laptop…my choice? Come back for the review on my newest and favorite laptop I have owned in the next installment in my saga of replacing a stolen laptop.