How Do I Build a Custom Laptop?

You don’t need a screwdriver or soldering iron to “build” a custom laptop. Far from it. With Lenovo, you can have a system constructed to meet your exact specifications.

Lenovo’s custom configuration options make it easy to order the laptop of your dreams – the best processor, most RAM, a top-rated graphics card, and so on. Or you can assemble a stripped-down system as a way of saving money and only paying for features you feel you’ll truly need.

Whether you’re shopping for a new laptop for business use, PC gaming, schoolwork or whatever else, a custom laptop gives you ultimate flexibility.

Can I configure my own laptop?

Nearly every laptop manufacturer offers the ability to configure new systems with specific processors, displays, hard drives, and more. Building a custom laptop is a great option when available preconfigured models lack certain features or functions. So, is the "Buy Now" or "Customize and Buy" approach better for you? As usual, it depends.

Benefits of preconfigured vs. customized laptops

When deciding between preconfigured and custom laptops, consider these two critical questions:

  • How much do you value the additional features and upgrades that can be added to a custom system? If you’re a hands-on hardware user and focused on the latest specs, building a custom laptop may be the better option.
  • How quickly do you need your new laptop? If you need your new system as soon as possible, then the faster process of buying a preconfigured, ready to ship laptop may be your best path.

Still not sure? Keep reading.

The differences between store-bought and custom laptops

Preconfigured laptops (whether purchased in a retail store or shipped to you by Lenovo) are built in bulk with specifications designed to fit a variety of the most popular uses and applications. You can start using a preconfigured laptop as soon as the next package delivery truck arrives.

Custom laptops are built on the same frames and with the same underlying technology as pre-built models. However, they can be ordered with optional processors, displays, hard drives, and so on -- even a different operating system, if one is available. Each system is assembled (some popular combinations might be pre-assembled) and shipped out within a few days or weeks, depending on the selected components.

How do I order a custom-built laptop online?

The process of ordering a custom laptop varies by manufacturer. Typically, you start by finding the brand and model type that's right for you, say, a thin-and-light model or a high-powered workstation.

From there, Lenovo marks its customizable models with messages such as “Build your own” and buttons that say “Customize.” Preconfigured models are sometimes identified as “Ready to ship” and their ordering buttons say simply “Add to Cart.” Lenovo also maintains easy-to-use lists of all customizable laptops and sale-priced customizable laptops.

The configurator tool lists all the customizable parts and prices. These lists will vary based on the selected product, as not every part of every system is configurable.

Here are some of the most popular configuration categories:

  • Processor: Select a faster CPU for higher performance, or a slower one that meets your basic needs and can cut costs.
  • Operating system: Even if there’s just one OS listed, sometimes you can choose between "Home" and "Pro" versions.
  • Display: Keep the standard Full HD display or move up to higher resolution Quad HD or Ultra HD screen.
  • Memory: If you’re a big multi-tasker, add RAM (or different variations of it) so you can run more programs simultaneously.
  • Storage: Retain the standard magnetic hard disk drive (HDD) or upgrade to a lighter, faster-booting solid-state drive (SSD).
  • Graphics: The standard graphics card often can be upgraded for better gaming performance or demanding video editing tasks.

Additional customization options include fingerprint readers and facial recognition tools, security software, special cameras, keyboards, batteries, colors, and more.

There are several advantages to ordering a custom laptop with a carefully selected set of preferred specifications. You get exactly what you want and can tailor the system to how you'll use it. Disadvantages to building a custom laptop – and these are relative, since not everyone will consider them drawbacks – relate mostly to the additional cost of some upgrades and the time it might take to receive your new system. Although modern supply chain logistics make the manufacturing process faster than ever, custom laptops inevitably take time to assemble and ship, delaying the instant gratification that comes with buying off-the-shelf.

Have more questions? Our Small Business Team is here to help. Talk to a LenovoPRO business solutions expert at 1-866-426-0911.