Laptop computers may be a staple for doing business, but if you want a new one, you’ll need to do more than just click and ship. Not all models are the same, and different computers are made for different functions. Before you buy your laptop, you’ll first want to figure out what you’re using it for and exactly what you need. Once your needs are defined, you can get down to business. Here are some factors to consider before committing to your next computer. 

How much does it weigh? 

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If you’re traveling a lot for work, you aren’t going to want a pack mule to carry your laptop. New advances in technology are allowing for lighter models than in years past. Ultra thin notebooks are made for maximum comfort while schlepping around. Several models are equipped with plenty of memory and strong battery life, so you can take it everywhere without having it kill your back, and it could perform even better than your old model. 

How much memory do you need?

Storage space can significantly increase the price of your laptop. While it may seem like a no-brainer to choose a smaller sized hard drive to save a few bucks, you should weigh your options first. For example, if you’re using your laptop to store and present high resolution presentations and other files, you’ll want a computer with more memory. Opting for the cheaper model may cost you operating speed and efficiency, and you’ll likely have to invest in additional storage. 

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Which optional features should you consider?

Many new models of laptops feature touch screens, additional battery life, personalized outer casings, and other optional features. If you want to make sure you never pick up someone else’s laptop after a meeting, you may want to consider personalizing your laptop’s appearance. If you make a lot of presentations on the road, opting for extra battery life may save you from constantly having to orient your laptop toward an outlet. Think about special features and solutions that they may offer. 

Can you get a deal?

Some manufacturers offer corporate discounts, so check with your company to see if there are any available before you start your search. If you work for a smaller company, or if you are self employed, look around on the internet for deals and coupons. There are several reputable websites that connect people with legitimate deals and special offers. Find out if there are any savings available before shopping. Since computers wear out, you’re bound to need a new one at some point. If you plot your course from the get go and do a little bit of background research, you can find a quality, affordable laptop that meets all of your needs.

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Alaina Brandenburger is a freelance writer living in Denver. Her work can be found at