The average retail price for a Windows laptop is about $600, but PC manufacturers are building laptops that cost even thousands of dollars more than that -- hoping you'll fall for premium features you might not need. Photo by terrenceistheman.
Laptop Magazine reminds us to buy a laptop based on our needs, not on what the laptop can do.
Most PC vendors seem to think that, if they just pop a faster CPU or discrete graphics card into the same cheap chassis, they can jack up the price and consumers will gladly pay it. However, a plastic laptop with a stiff keyboard that starts at $400 still looks and feels cheap after you add a Core i7 CPU and increase the price to $800.
I like White Castle as much as anyone, but I'm not going to pay $25 for a slider with Kobe beef inside. I don't care if the meat costs $300 a pound.
Reconsider if you really need a discrete graphics card (if you're only playing casual games, a laptop with an integrated graphics card will be just fine) or a touchscreen (if the laptop isn't a 2-in-1, you probably don't). And don't pay a premium for an ultrathin laptop if you'll have to trade performance or usability as a result:
Laptops like Lenovo's LaVie Z and the LG Gram 14 make you pay a hefty premium for their lightweight chassis, but both suffer from poor battery life and uncomfortable keyboards. Other ultraportables are so thin that they don't have room for a full-size USB port, like the MacBook, or trade a full-size SD Card slot for a microSD slot.
The article linked below points out features that are worth splurging more on, for most people: things like an SSD, high-resolution display and a better build quality and keyboard.
The main thing, though, is to focus on the features that will give you a better computing experience every day.