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Global Computer Shortage – Staples Laptop Buying Guide

This document provides some suggestions for buying a laptop computer from Staples at a time when there is a limited global supply of computers stemming from a shortage in chips and also the increased demand due to the continued work-from-home conditions.

Why Staples?

Purchasing from smaller local retailers like Staples can be more convenient and preferred over big-box retailers or massive online vendors like Amazon. A purchase from Staples, either in-store or online, ensures that a return could be easier if necessary. This buying guide is tailored to those who would prefer shopping with Staples.

Mid-Range Laptop Computers ($500 to $600)

This buying guide is focused on mid-range laptop computers in the $500 to $600 price range. The following specifications would be typical in that price range.

  • Display Size – 15.6 Inches. A 15.6″ display provides a large display, but not too large. Laptop computers with 17-inch displays are bigger, bulkier, and generally more expensive.
  • Memory – 8GB. A minimum of 8GB would be preferred to have a fast and more responsive computer.
  • Processor – Core i5. Intel has three common processors referred to as the Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7. The Core i5 is the mid-range processor that has good speed, but also a more economical price than the Core i7. The Core i3 could feel a bit sluggish depending on the task.
  • Solid State Drive. It is important to purchase a computer that has a solid state drive instead of an older spinning mechanical hard drive. The specifications are described below.
  • Storage – 256GB SSD. For most people’s computing needs, having a 256GB solid state drive (SSD) should be sufficient to store typical documents and a few hundred photos. Collections of videos, photos, or other large files could be placed on an external SSD. If one plans to work with thousands of photos and videos, and prefers to have those stored on the computer, then a 512GB or larger SSD would be helpful.

The above specifications describe the features of a typical mid-range laptop computer.

Possible Choices

Below are some possible laptop choices that meet the above criteria, and are not sold out at the time of writing this buying guide. Some of the laptop computers listed have smaller screens or other specifications that don’t meet the above criteria, but may be of interest anyway.

  • Asus VivoBook 15 F512JA-PH54-BAC 15.6″ Ultrabook Laptop, Intel i5, 12GB Memory, 256GB SSD (Price: Now $500, Normally $600). [View on Staples.com]
  • HP 15-dw3065st 15.6″ Notebook, Intel i5, 8GB Memory, 256GB SSD. (Price: Now $490, Normally $590). [View on Staples.com]
  • Lenovo IdeaPad 3 17IIL05 17.3″ Notebook, Intel i3, 8GB Memory, 256GB SSD, Windows 10, White (81WF000TUS). (Price: Now $380, Normally $540) [View on Staples.com] NOTE: This computer has a 17.3″ display which makes the computer a bit larger for portability, but perhaps desirable for some people.
  • Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14ITL05 14″ Notebook, Intel i5, 12GB Memory, 512GB SSD, Windows 10 (82HS0003US). (Price: Now $630, Normally $770) [View on Staples.com] NOTE: This computer has 512GB of storage instead of 256GB. The screen size is 14-inches instead of 15.6 and the memory is 12GB. So, generally a better computer for not much more money.
  • Microsoft Go 10.5″ Touch-Screen Tablet, WiFi, 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC, Windows 10 Home S-Home, Platinum (STV00001). (Price: $400). [View on Staples.com] NOTE: This computer has only 64GB of internal storage. The main benefit of this system is that it is a very portable tablet computer that can have a keyboard attached. The screen is 5-inches smaller than the other computers listed here. Because it runs the “S” version of Windows, it may be more secure if left in S-mode.

How To Choose

As you visit the Staples.com website to look at the specification and features for these laptops, there may be some feature you are looking for. Such as having a keyboard that lights up when the room is dark, allowing you to type in low light. Or, perhaps you want a high quality webcam. Think through details like this for making your purchase decision.

By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer and tech consultant in Iowa City. He is also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. Learn more at AboutGregJohnson.com

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