10 Things to Look for When Buying a Laptop


Security Features

We keep mountains of personal information on our computers. There's always a risk when storing information digitally and on the Internet, but laptops elevate that risk by being much easier to steal than desktop machines. Some laptops, specifically those aimed at business and enterprise users, are built with these concerns in mind. For example, fingerprint scanners are found on plenty of business PCs and require users to pass a scan before logging into the operating system.

Many laptops also include Kensington security slots. Security cables are attached to these slots to bolt a laptop to a table or kiosk. Ever look at laptops at a store like Best Buy? Then you've probably seen one of these in action. Durability is another factor when it comes to security: To ensure no data loss happens due to a butterfingers moment, Panasonic sells ToughBook laptops designed to survive a nasty drop onto unforgiving concrete.

Laptop security features can help protect you, but never assume they'll keep your data safe from determined crooks. Being careful with your laptop is the best way to protect it. And that brings us to our final tip: choosing a warranty and judging laptop release cycles to know when to buy.