So, you decided to buy and spent about $ 1000 on a new laptop. Here are the first five steps we suggest you take to protect yourself from unpleasant surprises and make sure you get the most out of your laptop.
Unpacking a new device is always a moment of anticipation when you want to quickly test your purchase. However, if you open new boxes with devices sent for reviews (as we do) every few days, then this feeling will soon disappear. However, the average consumer buys a new laptop every 5-6 years.
There are a number of procedures that we have developed after reviewing a large number of devices over the past decade. We want to share some of the steps because we believe they can help you get the most out of your shopping potential. Here are the five main things we think should be done first.
1. Check for physical defects
Do not underestimate the importance of this step, it is better to double check every detail and make sure that everything works as it should. We’ve seen new devices with scratches, dents, problem screens, loud coolers, broken speakers, bad keys, broken touchpads, missing AC adapters, and overly squeaky hinges. Some models, like the Razer Blade Stealth, may have more problems than others. Identifying physical defects early increases your chances of a successful return or exchange, so this is the number one step you should take after your purchase.
2. Check for updates
We are not talking about Windows updates, as we understand that sometimes users abandon new Microsoft features. Instead, we’re talking about manufacturer-specific updates tailored to your model. Like new video games, recently released PCs can sometimes have one or two issues that require software adjustments. In particular, Dell is renowned for its frequent software and BIOS updates for the XPS and Latitude families.
3. Check out the preloaded apps
In addition to standard programs from Windows, more and more manufacturers are installing specialized software designed to improve performance, control fans, LED lighting, display, audio and other laptop settings. This is especially true for gaming laptops, where applications such as Alienware Command Center, HP Omen Command Center, Asus Armory Crate, Razer Synapse, or MSI Dragon Center are designed to control all the additional system capabilities. Some gaming laptops completely override the default power-saving, balanced and high-performance Windows settings with their own set of unique performance profiles.
If you want to take full advantage of the performance and functionality of your new laptop, you should learn all the intricacies of the software, even if its interface is not the most user-friendly and easy to understand. If the installed applications are not related to performance or hardware features, then you can safely remove them.
4. Calibrate the display
This step is especially important for video editors, artists, and multimedia users. More often than not, laptops are not very well calibrated initially. Cheaper laptop families such as the HP Pavilion, HP Envy, Lenovo Ideapad, Asus VivoBook, or Dell Inpsiron will almost always have less accurate colors and cooler grayscale than the more expensive alternatives such as the Specter, Yoga or XPS. However, some laptops may come with high quality panels capable of displaying up to 90% of the sRGB range, but they will be so poorly calibrated that you never know how accurate their colors can be.In most cases, you will need to perform your own calibration to fully enjoy the color gamut of your laptop.
Naturally, not everyone has X-Rite colorimeters for calibration. Therefore, the best option would be to apply a calibrated ICC or ICM profile specifically for your laptop model. Such files can be found on this site, in the reviews of the respective devices in the “Display” section. Please note that some laptops, such as the Razer Blade 15 or Gigabyte Aero 15, come pre-calibrated by the manufacturer, so no calibration is required.
5. Register your new purchase online
Some manufacturers require device registration if you need official online support. Companies like MSI or Asus can offer additional sign-up incentives like 3-6 month warranty extensions or bonus gigabytes of cloud storage at no additional cost. However, based on the fact that this step usually involves submitting the serial number of the laptop, such registration may affect your chances of returning the product to a third-party retailer.
If there are other steps you would add to this list, such as removing viruses or reading the manual, feel free to share your opinion below.