How to Buy PC Laptops and Netbooks That Stand the Test of Time

Like if this guide is helpful
How to Buy PC Laptops and Netbooks That Stand the Test of Time

While most people hope that the electronic devices they buy, including PC laptops and netbooks, never need to be replaced, the truth is that technology is changing so quickly that this is an impossible dream. The best anyone can hope for is to purchase a device that uses the newest technology available, so that they do not need to replace it too quickly. Though it may be tempting to buy a lower-priced model, these models usually involve older technologies, lower resolutions, and less powerful processors, which means the buyers may need to replace these cheaper items sooner.

When shopping for PC laptops and netbooks, prospective buyers should look for models that can be upgraded, as this can significantly prolong the device's lifespan. Buyers should purchase the fastest, most powerful PC laptop or netbook they can afford and then upgrade as larger capacity hard drives are introduced and larger memory chips are made available. There are several factors to consider when shopping for PC laptops and netbooks, including laptop type, processor speed and type, battery life, and more. Using this information helps individuals purchase PC laptops and netbooks that, as much as possible, stand the test of time.

Laptop/Netbook Type

The first decision prospective buyers need to make is which type of laptop or netbook to purchase. There are several different classifications of laptops and netbooks, each with its own pros and cons, and each of which is ideal for specific situations. Those who want full computing power should opt for a more powerful laptop, while those who just want the computer for browsing the Internet and typing emails can get away with a less powerful netbook.

Type of Laptop



Thin, lightweight

Desktop replacement laptops

More powerful than other classes of laptops, larger screens

Gaming laptops

Improved graphics, larger screens


Lightweight, long battery life, affordable

Before making a purchasing decision, prospective buyers should learn both the advantages and disadvantages of each type of laptop so they know which ones are best for their needs. For example, the ultrabooks are thin and extremely lightweight; however, they also lack the ports usually found on other types of laptops and may not have the bells and whistles that other laptops have.

Processor Speed

One of the first specifications prospective buyers should look at is the processor speed of the PC laptop or netbook. The processor speed determines how many programs can run at the same time as well as how quickly commands from both the operating system and any open programs are processed. Most individuals who only use their laptop or netbook for surfing the Web, word processing, and bookkeeping purposes find that a basic processor provides all the power they need; however, as programs get more advanced, the processing power they require increases.

By definition, netbooks are designed to allow individuals access to the Internet. They can also handle other basic computer tasks such as word processing, but they are not designed to handle anything too intense, such as graphic design or video editing. As such, their processors are usually less powerful than those found in PC laptops, but they can still provide users with years of service.

Processor Types

When comparing processor types, prospective buyers may notice that there are several different brands of processors, the main two being AMD and Intel. There are some computer users who prefer one brand over the other; however, both processors provide quality processing power, which means buyers should consider PC laptops and netbooks with either processor before making a purchasing decision. The difficulty in comparing devices with different brands of processors is that there is never an equal comparison. For example, there is not an Intel processor that corresponds in performance specifications to every AMD processor and vice versa.

Screen Size

Screen sizes on PC laptops and netbooks vary greatly. Laptops come in a wide range of sizes, from smaller, compact models to larger models that are a bit heavier and more cumbersome. Netbooks, on the other hand, tend to be smaller and lighter so they are easier to transport. Which size an individual chooses depends on a number of factors, such as how he or she plans to use the device most of the time and whether he or she plans to travel extensively with the laptop or netbook. Those who plan to take their laptop or netbook everywhere with them may want to opt for a smaller, more compact model to make it easier to carry it around.

Those who plan to use their laptop or netbook both at home and on the go can also purchase a second monitor for use at home. This allows them to have a larger screen, which is usually easier to read and work on, while still giving them the portability of a laptop.

Battery Life

Another important factor to consider when shopping for both laptops and netbooks is the battery life. Oftentimes, individuals may have the opportunity to work with the device plugged in while on the go or at least recharge it while traveling, but having a laptop or netbook with a battery that does not last defeats the purpose of having a laptop or netbook. When comparing battery life among various brands, it is important to look for models that have longer battery life; however, it is also important to remember that the times provided are typically greater than the actual battery life the user experiences when using the device.

Individuals may also want to look into whether or not the laptop or netbook they are considering purchasing has a more powerful battery that can be purchased separately. If a more powerful battery is available, it would allow users to make a determination based solely on the other specifications.


Memory is another important consideration when shopping for a laptop or netbook. Individuals know when they are using a device with insufficient memory because the device is slow and it takes a while for actions to occur. A spinning wheel or hourglass is a common sight on a laptop or netbook that does not have enough memory. Prospective buyers should consider models that have a minimum of 4 GB of RAM, but may want to opt for more or consider upgrading as programs start requiring more memory.

Shopping for PC Laptops and Netbooks

Prospective buyers can shop for PC laptops and netbooks at local stores, including electronics, office supply, and some department stores; however, the variety of devices is often somewhat limited at these types of stores. This is because there are hundreds of different models and local stores do not have enough space to display and sell all of them. For the best possible selection, prospective buyers should turn to the Internet. The sheer number of online sites that offer PC laptops and netbooks ensures that prospective buyers can find exactly what they are looking for.

Buyers should be sure to check out the selection on eBay before making a purchasing decision. The site lists products from thousands of sellers, which means hundreds of different products can also be purchased on the site.

Buying PC Laptops and Netbooks on eBay

If you are ready to take a look at the listings for PC laptops and netbooks on eBay, go to the site's homepage and type that phrase into the search box. If you know which brand of laptop or netbook you are looking for, you could add that information into the search box as well. For example, if you want a Dell laptop, search on that phrase to narrow your results down by brand. You can also use the filters on the search results page to narrow the results down by screen size, processor type, memory, and price.

Before making a purchasing decision, buyers should read through each listing carefully to determine the exact specifications of the laptop or netbook being sold. Buyers should also determine whether the device can be upgraded in the future if needed. Finally, prospective buyers should review the seller's return policy to determine whether the laptop or netbook be returned if the buyer is not happy with it.


Though no computer can last forever due to the ever-changing technologies, individuals can purchase laptops, netbooks, and other computers that can be used for many years without needing replacement or upgrade. In addition to shopping for PC laptops and netbooks featuring the latest and greatest technologies, prospective buyers should choose brands they know to be reliable so they do not experience issues with the computer's performance before it is time to upgrade.

While there are other specifications with which some individuals may need to concern themselves, the features listed above are the most commonly considered factors, as well as the most important factors, for comparing different makes and models of laptops and netbooks. Taking the time to determine which features are most desirable allows prospective buyers to narrow down the plethora of laptops and netbooks on the market and focus on the models that can best suit their needs. Using this information, prospective buyers can find the perfect PC laptop or netbook on eBay.

Have something to share, create your own guide... Write a guide
Explore more guides