My Tech Tradie Newcastle Onsite Computer Repairs

What to look for in a laptop

I am looking at getting a Laptop for Christmas. Up until now I have always had a desktop computer so I have no idea when it comes to laptops. What should I be looking for?

Jessica, Maryland

Hi Jessica,

Generally the first thing you need to decide is how you are going to be using it.

If you are going to be taking it everywhere you go you probably want to look at ultra-books. If you are going to use it mainly as a replacement for you desktop with some occasional browsing from the lounge then a conventional laptop would do.

Ultra books are very light laptops, often with an extremely long battery life. The trade-off is they often use a slower processor to get the longer battery life.

The next major point to look at is the warranty. Laptops are extremely expensive to repair; they are also more prone to wear and tear. In your laptop you have a giant printed circuit board, when you pick it up this can bend slightly and cause smalls cracks in the solder joints. Over years this can lead to premature failure. Often, going for an extended warranty is a good idea.

You also want to know what type of warranty you are getting. A lot of retailers such as Harvey Norman and Domayne will give you a 12 month manufacturer warranty and the extended warranty will be supplied by the retailer. This means if it breaks in the first 12 months the manufacturer will repair it, however after those 12 months it is up to the retailer.

We often find that when it comes to the retailer doing the repair it takes longer to do and you are without your laptop for longer. If possible, stick with a manufacturer warranty and stick with a manufacturer you know. For our business customers we generally stick with HP. They are the only company that offers repairs of their equipment out of Newcastle. Every other manufacturer relies on contractors. This is only for their business equipment though.

If you recognise the name of the manufacture you should be right.

Look at the build quality. Pick up the laptop, does it feel sturdy in your hands. If it feels cheap and bends in your hands avoid it. Over time the plastic is going to stress, parts are going to break and probably not be covered by warranty.

You want to trust that your laptop isn’t going to fall apart in your hands, especially if you are carrying it around with you.

Go and have a look at a few places, Touch, pickup and have a play with a range of laptops. Probably the best two places to look at around Newcastle are Officeworks and JB Hi-fi. They offer a good range of laptops at a reasonable price