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Ask Bongani

Ask Bongani: is a cheap laptop worth it?

If you’re looking to buy a cheap laptop, you should consider the specs and why you bought that laptop, writes BONGANI SITHOLE

Q: Is a cheap laptop a waste of money?

A: When considering buying a laptop, you should consider its purpose? There are different reasons you might have for buying a laptop, be it gaming, work, school, editing videos and pictures, or running extensive software for analytics and the like. With every reason to get a laptop, different capabilities and specifications become important.

A cheap laptop could be cheap because it has entry-level specifications. This will allow it to perform basic tasks and store documents. It wouldn’t be regarded as a waste of money unless it is so poorly specced that it is barely usable. For example, a laptop with only 4GB of RAM may be so slow merely to open a file, that it becomes frustrating to use.

When looking into buying a new laptop consider the following specifications:

  • GPU( Graphics Processing Unit)
  • Size
  • Battery Life
  • Operating system (OS)
  • Screen resolution/display quality
  • Memory and storage
  • Processor

An example of entry-level laptop specifications would be; 2.4GHz Netburst (Celeron and Pentium 4) CPU, 256MB RAM, 40GB storage. 16MB graphics controller, and HD display. However, this would be barely usable. Rather invest a little more, and aim at a minimum 256GB hard drive and 8GB RAM.

These specifications determine the performance of the laptop and in most cases, a cheap laptop is an entry-level laptop, and the cheaper it is the lower the specs. Beware the race to the bottom, where lower cost at all costs in fact becomes a waste of money.

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