You’ve decided that it’s time for a new laptop. It’s probably tempting to jump online and order one, or run to the store and pick one out, but there are a few things you should consider before taking that plunge. The first thing you should do is decide what you’ll be primarily doing with your new laptop.

 

The Student

There are two main factors to balance when selecting a laptop for a high school or college student: cost and convenience. Most college freshmen don’t have a huge budget for their computer, but it’s nonetheless a key purchase before starting out.

 
Students need to be able to take their laptops with them. Stick with models that are 13″ or smaller, and weigh no more than 4 pounds.

 

Right Laptop for Your Needs

 
Focus on the basics, including at least 4 GB of RAM, and a minimum 250 GB Hard Drive, and an up-to-date version of Microsoft Office. Some courses of study, such as film, photography, and design, require much more advanced specs. Consult with the institution or instructor to see if they offer any detailed recommendations. Check out Lenovo laptop deals and look for a model that fits your needs.

 

The Traveling Business Professional

Professionals who travel often will agree that at the top of their list of needs regarding a laptop is portability. No one wants to lug a 10 pound laptop around airport terminals all day. But portability is one of a laundry list of features business professionals should look for. You’ll also want adequate memory and hard drive space to install all the necessary programs and software you need to run your business effectively. Keep the weight under 5 pounds, and don’t settle for anything less than 6 GB of RAM and a 500 GB hard drive.

 
In addition to weight concerns, traveling professionals absolutely must have adequate security features to keep their documents and files safe. In addition to investing in reputable anti-virus software, look for laptop models that include security features built-in to the device, such as fingerprint scanners. Check with your employer to see if they have any requirements, or if they are willing to supply you with a laptop.

 

The Gamer

In the past, most gamers geared their PC purchases toward desktop models, due to their ease of adaptability and customization. Desktop PCs were easier to keep up as games constantly evolved, but laptops are quickly becoming a viable choice for these users.

 
While you’re shopping for a new computer gaming laptop, look for at least 8GB of RAM and a 320GB hard drive. The faster the processor, the better! Gamers should also gravitate toward larger screens to fully experience the graphics of games. A higher pixel count is a plus. Make sure the device has a great sound setup as well.

 

The Multimedia Pro

Video and photo editing software are must-haves for multimedia professionals. The processor speed is extremely important, as well as solid graphics and audio quality. Aim for a high-resolution display (1920×1080 is a good start), which will be great for editing, and as much hard drive space as possible.

 
We can’t stress the hard drive space issue enough. Photos and videos, along with editing software, notoriously use a significant amount of memory. Go with a model that has the most memory you can find, or opt to add more yourself, if you’re able to do so. Similar to the gamer specs, aim for at least 8 GB of RAM, but up the hard drive to 500 GB.

 
Serious videographers and photographers will likely want to invest in extra storage, such as cloud-based options and external hard drives.

 

The Casual User

If you plan to use your new laptop for basic everyday functions like browsing the Internet, sending emails, and updating social networking accounts, the hard drive space will not pose as much of an issue. A laptop with 4 GB of RAM and a 250 GB hard drive should do the trick.

 
If you’re aiming to find a laptop that’s extremely mobile, go with the lighter, smaller options. If it’s primarily going to be staying at home, that may not be as much of an issue.

 
At the end of the day, you are the one who will be using this new laptop. Keep in mind that laptops are a bit more expensive to upgrade than regular desktop computers, so put some thought into it, consider these guidelines, and choose one that you’re completely happy with.