What to consider when buying a laptop

What to consider when buying a laptop

buying a laptop

With the right device, becoming a tech-savvy multitasker is easy!

Being a mom these days means wearing many hats – sometimes all at once! It isn’t easy being a Domestic Goddess and a Corporate Climber simultaneously. Keeping a beautiful home, looking after a busy family, and shining bright in the workplace is a lot for any woman to juggle.

And while we have the advantage of technology on our side (unlike our mothers and grandmothers), it seems like using a million apps a day and having a smartphone permanently clamped between our ear and shoulder only makes things harder. Right?

Well, maybe not. It’s all about knowing what you need, keeping it simple, and ensuring that the way you use technology will complement, enhance, and streamline your busy lifestyle – not over-complicate it.

Buying the right device for YOU

We live in a mobile world, and while our smartphones are becoming smarter and more capable with every upgrade, their small size, relatively low processing power and lack of storage mean no one can survive on a smartphone alone! Tablets are pretty chic, we’ll admit, but the same processing and storage issues persist. It’s no surprise, then, that the laptop is still the world’s favourite device. It’s easy to carry around and comes with enough processing power and features to make short work of anything you throw at it, from designing your kids’ birthday invites to nailing that massive pitch with a picture-perfect PowerPoint presentation.

If you’re in the market for a new laptop (but don’t have the budget for some of the eye-watering prices of those ultra-premium brand names), we’re loving ASUS’s new offerings. The ASUS ZenBook 3 and the ASUS VivoBook both pack crystal-clear displays and serious functionality into a sleek, portable and affordable little package. And can we talk about battery life for a moment? The Zenbook boasts up to 10 hours of battery life, while the Vivobook literally charges 60% of the battery in 49 minutes. Gone are the days of being attached to a plug point!

Know your price point

Be realistic about your tech budget – and stick to it! Flashy accessories and cutting-edge features you may never use can drive laptop prices sky-high, so make sure you do your research about the features you need, and how much they’ll cost you, before just reaching for the prettiest model on the shelves of your local tech store. Once you’ve narrowed your choices to a few different laptops you like, sites like Pricecheck.co.za make it a breeze to hunt down specials and compare pricing at a range of different retailers.

Laptop: check. Now what?

Here’s the fun part – transforming your brand-new device into your own personal powerhouse of efficiency and convenience. Your laptop isn’t really ready to go – or truly yours – until you do some tweaking.

  • Run all your Windows updates.
  • Adjust your display scaling and other display-related preferences.
  • Configure your Microsoft assistant, Cortana, or turn it off completely.
  • Install your web browser of choice. Chrome is usually the preferred browser in terms of compatibility.
  • Set up keyboard shortcuts for all your favourite apps and general functionality. How do you do this? Windows Support has outlined all these quick shorts
  • Copy over all your files, or sync them to your new laptop via the cloud. Cloud? Ok, let’s just start
  • Personalise your desktop theme. Pinterest is a good place to browse for this. Or you could download one of our ‘quotes to live by’ and save it as an inspiring desktop wallpaper.

Once you go through these steps and spend a few days working on your new device, we guarantee it’ll feel like home and fit like a glove.

Internet… get surfing!

What good is a new laptop if you’re still on that snail-speed internet line you’ve been using for years? Now’s the perfect time to shop around and install the lightning-fast connection you’ve always dreamed of (and, no doubt, the kids have been nagging you for). Just remember to make sure any contract you sign up for has the speeds, data bundles, and extras you need so you’ll be using it happily into the future. After all, a family of four Netflix junkies isn’t going to get far with a 10GB monthly allowance.

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Get in touch with a few different providers to compare packages and quotes, and don’t forget to look at customer reviews on each provider if you’re still not sure. Mybroadband.co.za is a good place to browse for expert opinions and interactive forums where you can ask questions and receive intelligent responses. And if you simply must have the Rolls-Royce of internet connections in your home, find out whether fibre is available in your area.

Wireless what?

Having a great laptop means you can work (or upload that killer selfie) from the office, from home, from a café, or almost anywhere else for that matter. You can even create your own personal mobile hotspot with your smartphone for instant internet access anywhere, anytime. But be warned – connecting to unfamiliar networks on the go comes with risks to your privacy. You never know who might be watching.

That’s why a digital mom who’s constantly on the go should ensure that cybersecurity is a top priority. Make sure your antivirus and anti-malware software is always up to date, and always be extra-cautious at public Wi-Fi hotspots. Avoid using high-risk websites when out in public (for example, don’t do online banking or shopping), and for ultimate protection you might even consider a VPN (Virtual Private Network). You’ll effectively be using a ‘private tunnel’ that encrypts all your data as it passes through the network. This can help to prevent cybercriminals — likely lurking online — from intercepting your data.

The bottom line

Technology is there to help – not to make things even more complicated than modern life already has. With the right tools, at the right price, and boasting all the right features, you’re all set to become a multitasking expert in no time!

Joni van der Merwe

About Joni van der Merwe

Digital editor I’m getting married in 2018 and I think it’s the perfect time to focus on my relationship with not only my fiance but my friends, family and colleagues too. I want to nurture and cherish the people I love by being more understanding and present in their lives.

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