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Laptop on a budget ? Here is how to get the most out of your purchase

1. Laptop budget JT
(Photo: Freepik)
Let us be frank, buying a laptop is not an easy everyday purchase.

A laptop is usually an investment — something that is meant to last for a long time, all the while being able to serve its purpose flawlessly based on your requirements.اضافة اعلان

However, the recent semiconductor shortage has made it increasingly expensive to find lucrative deals on laptops, especially when looking at higher-end variations and models.

Fret not; below are recommendations on selecting the right laptop for your needs, all the while ensuring that your wallet stays well intact.

What makes a laptop ‘budget friendly’?

We used to set JD350 as the upper limit for a low-cost laptop. However, the laptops available for under JD350 have grown weaker over time.

Right now, a cheap laptop is anything under JD500. But, selections will be relatively restricted if you spend less than JD500, and there is a significant possibility that you will not be completely satisfied with the experience.

If you give yourself some wiggle allowance, closer to JD500, it will be a lot simpler to choose something that you will be pleased with and will last you a long time.

The obvious question: Should one simply get a Chromebook?

The majority of people would be content with a Chromebook, a laptop that runs Google’s Chrome OS. Previously, the Chrome web browser and a few extras were included, but Chrome OS now includes the ability to run Android apps from the Google Play Store, Linux software, and certain games.

Most of what you do on a laptop — email, web surfing, streaming video, social networking, and shopping — is done through a browser. So, if you want to spend less than JD350 and get a prettier computer that feels more responsive than a cheap Windows laptop for the same price, a Chromebook is a good option.

The downsides of the Chromebook are space and the capability to locally-install Windows-only software on the laptop for work or education. The same could be said about Photoshop or video games, but if you are spending JD350 on a laptop, installing extensive-use applications is probably not what you are looking for.

Specifications to keep an eye out for

Basic is the name of the game, especially with a price tag of JD350 or less. In general, persevere until you discover a good CPU. Intel’s Core processors are currently in their 12th generation, so ideally, you want one from the last couple of generations; otherwise, you are getting old stock.

You will probably have to spend more than JD350, but we recommend going with an Intel Core i5. For under JD350, the cheaper Core i3 variant is difficult to beat. Skip anything with an Intel Pentium, Celeron, Atom, or M3 processor.

Instead of an AMD Athlon, opt for an AMD Ryzen 4000-series CPU. Chip manufacturers release new chip models at least once a year, if not more.

Running Windows 11, you will need 16GB of RAM, which will be difficult to get unless you spend JD500 or more, which is why we recommend saving up for a Core i5/16GB laptop that will operate faster and last longer. If you cannot, at least acquire 8GB of RAM.

If you do get low on RAM, look for a laptop that allows you to crawl inside and install extra RAM later on — this is possible with many lower-end laptops and gaming laptops.

If the laptop RAM is classified as “onboard,” it is most certainly soldered down and cannot be upgraded later.

Storage does not require much nitpicking. In any case, most users these days keep everything in the cloud. Purchase a solid-state drive (SSD) rather than a spinning platter drive (HDD). Size-wise, 256GB SSD is excellent, while 512GB SSD is preferable but difficult to obtain.

Only accept 128GB if you really must or if you mostly utilize online storage. We recommend going for more RAM over more storage if it comes down to it.

Like with RAM, budget laptops may occasionally be opened up so that a bigger storage disk can be installed later if necessary.

Cost-saving tactics

Be wary of holiday “doorbuster” offers that seem too good to be true. They are frequently outdated and underpowered. A JD100–150 fire sale laptop may have outlived its usefulness by the time the following month comes around.

Displays are often where PC manufacturers save money on low-cost laptops. Look for a 1,920x1,080 display resolution, often known as Full HD. I have already discussed what CPUs to look for, but I would avoid anything with a low-power ARM processor — unless it’s in a Chromebook.

We could be persuaded to buy a laptop with a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip, but those are often used in laptops with always-on mobile data connections and are therefore more expensive.

Avoid middle-men: Amazon or shopping in other countries and handling the delivery on your end may prove to be a more affordable option than outright purchasing from physical stores within the Kingdom.

Additionally, be on the lookout for refurbished models; while not new, refurbished laptops are usually a good way to secure some above-the-budget laptops at your price point, provided that the official manufacturer did these refurbishments.

By using these simple tips and doing your research, you will have a laptop within your budget range in no time.

Remember, mapping out your priorities in terms of utility is key. Identify what the laptop is going to be used for and budget accordingly. In the end, for simple emails and basic internet browsing, a Chromebook, in most cases, will suffice.


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