I’ve never learned so much from buying a laptop than I did when I purchased an HP Envy Notebook. The HP Envy that I selected came with a keyboard that passed my personal comfort test (one of my number-one qualifications in a computer – the keys have to feel just right, so that I can blindly fly through whatever I am typing). It also came with a backlit keyboard, which is surprisingly helpful at the oddest times. It has Windows 10, and is outfitted with ‘apps,’ Cortana that I never use, and Beats audio.
However, I learned a lot from this particular shopping experience and will not buy another notebook if I can’t help it. I’d like to share my thoughts with you on what I will keep in mind the next time I shop for a new laptop:
1. Having No DVD Drive is an Inconvenience
Notebooks are not for me because I need a DVD drive. I know that the world has become increasingly digital, and we have the ability to download everything…but trading in a laptop DVD drive/burner for a few extra ounces of weight was a poor decision on my part. I can’t tell you how many times I just wanted to pop in a DVD to watch a movie, or exercise to Hip Hop Abs in my hotel room. I also cursed this decision whenever I wanted to play a music CD.
So, one of the worst decisions about my last laptop purchase was overlooking the importance of a DVD drive. In the end, it got to be so annoying that I’ve started toting around a portable DVD drive, which wound up weighing more than just having a laptop with a DVD drive.
2. Notebook Batteries Pose Another Inconvenience
Notebooks are a pain in the you-know-what when you need to change the battery. I’m not sure if this is true with all notebooks, but when I needed a new laptop battery, I had to bring it in to a computer repair shop. I’m used to searching online for the best-priced battery and popping it in myself. There is no designated battery compartment on the HP Envy that I have. So, unless you have the knowledge, experience, and ability to remove the bottom and not break other things inside, then you’ll need professional assistance to change the battery on a notebook, which costs more money…if you don’t have a warranty.
3. Proceed with Caution when Considering a Floor Model
Saving money is important, but think hard about purchasing a used floor model. I kicked myself many times for allowing myself to become hypnotized by the expensive, original price of the heavily marked-down floor model that I bought because I thought I was getting an ‘excellent deal.’ But in reality, if you plan on using your laptop frequently and for business purposes – you probably don’t want a laptop that has been running non-stop for days, weeks, and months on end with hundreds of random people pounding on the keys and futzing with the features.
I have no idea what has been done to the laptop I now own and how much baggage it comes with. In the back of my head, it made me think it contributed to the overall slowness of the laptop. But, if you want to save money on a laptop for a light user, or for the kids to play on…then I think reduced-priced floor models make a decent choice.
4. Warranties are Your Best Friend
Always get some sort of warranty. In this day and age, a product warranty is a lifesaver. I’ve gone through many electronics without having to rely on free repair and/or replacement. However, I’ve also had a lot of mishaps with the past couple of PCs and laptops that pushes me even more to spring for warranties every time I buy something. When I purchased the last warranty, the sales guys told me, “At the very least, take it in to get a new battery towards the end of the warranty.” It just so happened that I really did need a new battery (as soon as I unplugged the laptop, it would completely shut down), so I was grateful to have the cost of my battery and service reimbursed to me through my warranty, which was all a very painless process. I purchased my warranty outside of Staples, and it was through Squaretrade.
In conclusion, I hope manufacturers continue to make laptops with DVD drives, and models that don’t make us depend on computer specialists when you want to do something simple…like change the battery. I know one thing…I will be conducting a great deal of research for my next purchase. The keyboard on this laptop is experiencing a lot of hiccups. The ‘e’ key sticks. The ‘s’ key repeats. And, on occasion, the keyboard completely shuts down or malfunctions in some odd way. Is this part of the ‘floor model’ curse?
Do you have any computer tips to share?