There are many laptops bought in Kenya every day for work, school and recreational activities.
Most of the people buying do not know what to look for when they walk into laptop stores. Most of the time, laptops are bought because of their colour, price and brand. As much as the aesthetics and budget play a major role in the purchase, there are many more things you should be looking for to make sure that the laptop you are buying will be functional. Durability is also key to avoid trips to the repair center or constantly buying add-ons and hardware.
There are a wide variety of sizes, prices and features and making the right choice could be a challenge. At the end of this article, sales people will not be able to mislead to you about laptop features anymore. You will be able to make an informed choice on your own.
1. Chose the right operating system for you: Windows, Mac OS or Chrome.
Windows operating system are cheaper and are easier to use because most Kenyans are used to this kind of operating system. Windows also accommodates upgrades and customizations.
MacBooks come with a MacOS operating system and according to many MacBook users, the operating system is secure, reliable and very advanced. You are also less likely to get a virus with a MacOS because most viruses are designed to target Windows.
Chrome, on the other hand, is found in many HP, Asus , Samsung, Acer and Dell. ChromeBooks are perfect if you need a device to use the internet, check emails and use social media sites. They are inexpensive, highly portable, and they offer good battery life.
2. Chose the right size.
The size depends on whether the laptop will be left stationery in one location or you will need to carry it throughout the week to school or to work. The heavier the laptop the worst it is for your back health. You need to have a light laptop to ensure that your back is not strained.
- 11 to 12 inches: The thinnest and lightest laptops have around 11- to 12-inch screens and weigh between 1kg to 1.5 kg.
- 13 to 14 inches: Provides fantastic balance of portability and usability and weigh about 1.8kg.
- 15 inches: This is the most common laptop size in Kenya today. They have big screens but they are very may be unfavorable for people who carry laptops every day because they weigh about 2kg to 2.9 kg.
- 17 to 18 inches: If your laptop stays on your desk all day every day, a 17- or 18-inch system could provide you with the kind of processing power you need to play high-end games or do workstation-level productivity.
3. Processor (Central Processing Unit)
This is the brain of the computer and the processor has a huge influence on performance depending on what you want to do with the laptop.
- Intel Core i5: This is the most common processor in laptops now. They are the best combination of price and performance. The ones ending with U ( Core i5-7200U ) are the most common.
- Intel Core i7: This is the latest and offers the best high-end performance for gaming rigs and workstations.They are perfect for people who carry out heavy processing jobs on their machines.
- Intel Core i3: This is one of the earlier processors that was there before the introduction of the fast Core i5. The loading time and performance will be slower compared to the Core i5.
Most laptops under KES 25,000 come with RAM of 2GB. This is very little space that could easily make your computer slow, hang, or unexpectedly shut down. More RAM means that you can add a few programs without the risk of slowing down the laptop. The recommended RAM is 4GB or more.
5. Refurbished vs New laptops
Many people buy electronics from stores on Moi Avenue, Kenyatta Avenue or Luthuli Avenue because they are cheaper compared to the licensed distributors like Text Book Centre and Bright Technologies. Have you ever asked yourself why some of these laptops are very cheap? The reason behind the price is the fact that most of the laptops are refurbished.
A refurbished laptop is a device that has either been returned to the retailer or manufacturer for a refund by a customer. The computer may have had a slight defect or simply not met a customer’s expectations. Before a laptop can be resold, any defective components are repaired or replaced with new parts. This means that they do not come with the original specs.
Now that you know what to look out for, where do you buy your laptop from?
6. Buy from licensed distributors.
Licensed distributors in Kenya always give a branded warranty for any laptop bought from their shop. Warranties may range from six months to 2 years. In the instance that your laptop has issues, you can always bring it back and they guarantee that it will be fixed. Other unlicensed shops may sell laptops, but cannot give a guarantee from HP, Lenovo, Dell or others that if your laptop has issues it will be fixed. These shops may have their own technicians separate from the manufacturer.
What do you look for when buying laptops?