Laptops. There’s just so many of them. But what’s the best laptop for you? Is it a business notebook, a powerful gaming laptop or a Chromebook?
Whether you’re loyal to Windows, a Mac fan, or willing to try something new, you should know what to look for in getting yourself a laptop. Windows and Mac both have a wide selection of laptops for different needs, so you can find the model that’s the best for you.
Buying a laptop is far from easy. From size to connectivity options to different types of storage, the process is overwhelming. Do you need something light enough to take with you to class, yet powerful enough to handle multimedia tasks? Are you on a tight budget? If your head is spinning, don’t worry, we can help steer you in the right direction.
8 Major Considerations When Buying A Laptop
Budgeting on the amount of money you want to spend on your new laptop is the first step. Different people have different purchasing power, for example, a student who is looking for a study laptop will probably be looking to use less amount of money than someone who is earning a salary and looking for a laptop that they can carry around for work. Either way, they can both get a decent laptop, but they have to set a budget that they can work with.
When it comes to laptops, size matters. Depending on what you plan to be doing with your laptop, you’ll want to make sure you pick the size that’s the right fit for you.
Laptops sizes tend to start at 11.6-inches and go all the way up to 17.3 inches. Most brands and OEMS like HP, Dell, ASUS and Acer tend to offer three display sizes – 13.3-inch, 15.6-inch and 17.3-inches. However, some vendors do sell laptops that fall outside these sizes including 11.6-inches, 12.5-inches and 14-inches.
Whatever kind of tasks you are handling with your laptop, you need a quality screen, that is comfortable to look at and use.
These days, touchscreens are very common and they can make some tasks easier than others. Unfortunately, they can also add a glossiness to the display which is sometimes undesirable. Glossy screens lead to reflections. If you want to see everything on the screen at once or use multiple programs side-by-side, you should get a laptop with a 1920 x 1080-pixel resolution (full HD) screen.
For long typing sessions, you’ll need to get a laptop that has a comfortable keyboard. When typing, you don’t want a keyboard with keys that keep sticking in, you want a comfortable keyboard with full-sized keys that respond fast. You want a keyboard that has a comfortable layout with full-sized keys and some space around the arrow keys. The keys should have adequate travel on the downstroke and snappy responsiveness when you let them go.
Processing Power (CPU)
It’s hard to go past any of Intel’s Core-based CPUs when buying a laptop. A CPU is the main part of a laptop and it defines your machines’ processing speed, whether you’re pressing a key or opening a file, the processor is what that executes the command.
An Intel Core Processor offer the best performance when it comes to multitasking and multimedia tasks. Core i3-based notebooks are generally found in entry-level systems, while Core i5 makes up the majority of mainstream computers. Core i7-based systems are for those of you who want the best performance from your laptop.
RAM is important because it allows you to work with more information at the same time. But how much do you need?
Whether on a tight budget, you need a laptop with at least a 4 GB RAM and above. RAM allows more than one application to run at the same time. The heavier the task, the larger the RAM. If you’re a power-user, 16GB is the way to go. Meanwhile, gamers should look at dialing things upwards all the way to 32GB if they want the best experience.
Hard Disk Drive (HDD) is basically the storage system for your laptop where all your documents, image, videos and other system files are kept. A Solid State Drive (SSD) is the best as it offers more speed than a hard drive. It offers a lot more speed than a hard drive, runs silently, and can be installed in a form factor that doesn’t add too much to the weight and bulk of a laptop. As a result of these clear benefits, most OEMs have embraced SSD storage as the standard for laptops.
Manufacturer-quoted battery life is almost never indicative of what the real-world experience of using a laptop is like. There are simply too many variables that affect battery life. There is the screen brightness, the screen resolution, the number of applications you have running in the background plus whether or not you actively remain connected to Wi Fi networks or Bluetooth devices.