There’s no doubt that a laptop is a genius invention: it gives you all the power and performance of a desktop computer while being light and thin enough for you to carry it everywhere. If you’re planning to buy your first laptop, or if your old one needs an upgrade, we have made a list of what we think is important and should be given top priority before selecting a laptop. You dont have to take our word for it but be rest assured, a good laptop goes a long way in improving your everyday activities – both work and play related
1. Pick the right operating system
Generally, every laptop you can buy today runs on one of three operating systems: Windows
, Mac, and Chrome OS. and picking the right one for you can be a lot of work especially if you have little or no experience with other OSes.
- Windows, especially its latest version, Windows 10, is the most versatile one. It comes on all kinds of laptops, from affordable to professional ones, and lets you do a whole variety of tasks with the help of an endless choice of software. All round user experience has also been improved to make it suitable for both play and work.
- Apple OS X can only be found on Apple’s MacBooks, and although it feels slightly different to work in OS X, especially if you’ve only worked with Windows before, it is still a pleasure to work with, both functionally and visually.
- Chrome OS is designed by Google and is mainly offered with inexpensive laptops. Chrome OS is aimed at online use, which is why you may struggle with finding the right offline apps. Google is also planning to add the ability to run Android apps, which would suddenly make this platform a lot more useful for a lot of users.
2. Choose the right size and type
2-in-1 PC laptops are becoming popular with each new generation thank to huge improvements in the power consumption of modern CPUs. 2-in-1 PCs generally come in two types – detachable PCs, where the screen can be detached to serve as a standalone tablet ie Surface Book 4 and laptops with display that can be rotated 360 degrees.
2-in-1s serve some purpose better than traditional clamshell laptops.
There is also the issue of size to consider, which is why picking the suitable size can become quite a challenge. We can divide all modern laptops into four size categories:
- 11-12 inches: these are the lightest and thinnest laptops, perfect for carrying around, but not packing too much power
- 13-14 inches: these laptops are a combination of portability and functionality, especially if you manage to find one under 2 kg
- 15 inches: this laptop size is the most popular and for a reason: although they are not as easy to carry around every day, they feel exactly like a desktop PC in terms of usability
- 17-18 inches: it’s true that it’s better to leave this laptop on your desk and not take it with you, but the combination of power, battery life and usability will let you perform even the most demanding tasks.
3. Check the general user experience.
Your new laptop can have hundreds of advanced feature and be the best engineering achievement of all time, but if you don’t like working on it, all these features don’t mean anything. When you’ve already chose your model, go and try to do some work on it. Pay special attention to the keyboard and touchpad: in order for you to enjoy your new laptop the touchpad and the keyboard should work flawlessly. Glitches, inaccurate or delayed response are a signal that it’s best to look for another model. A laptop with a poor battery life defeats the sole purpose of a laptop entirely. so pay attention to the battery life of your new laptop especially if you are using it away from an outlet. To get more info about how the laptop performs, read third party review of the laptop from more than one source.
4. Which specs do you need?
This is where most people gets confused. Every laptop description you’ll come across will contain a lot of information that may not make sense at first, but how to know which ones matter for you? Here is a quick guide to the most notable ones:
- CPU is a place where most processes in your laptop happen. CPU is responsible for performance, so the better the CPU in a particular model is, the more it will perform. However, if you’re looking for an affordable everyday laptop, you may find that even the basic CPU will be good enough for you. If you want good performance without breaking the bank, then an intel Core i3/i5 or an AMD A series CPU will suffice. If you want more performance, then an Intel Core i7 CPU is your best bet.Note that not all Core i3/i5/i7 are equal. Core i series with model numbers ending in U signifies that the CPU uses ultra low voltage which can improve battery life at the expense of performance. On the other hand, model numbers ending in M, HQ, MQ, K are performance models and will perform well enough when you need it.
- RAM works together with CPU and ensures smooth performance. Many affordable laptops now come with 2GB of RAM, but if you’re planning to play games or do some other demanding tasks, make sure your new laptop has between 4 and 8 GB of RAM.
- Hard drive is even more important than the speed of your CPU as it’s responsible for storing your personal files, as well as program files, installs, and your operating system wil have to boot from it. A mechanical HDD can surfie if for everyday task. But is better to get a laptp with a Solid State Drive because you will experience differences of night and day magnitude whn using a laptop with an SSD.
- Displays in laptops differ according to size and pixel count. The more pixels your laptop has, the more data you can fit in one screen and the better it will all look. Of course, if you’re not a graphics designer or an avid gamer, you can be perfectly happy with a standard desktop size and resolution, but if you want more and can afford it, find a laptop with at least 1920×1080, or full HD display – trust us, you’ll enjoy it.
- Graphics cards is only important if you are planing on playing games with your laptop or creating 3D objects or doing high-res video editing. An integrated graphics chip (one that shares system memory) is fine fine for playing videos and surfing the web and other non tasking activities. If you have any of the above needs, though, a discrete graphics processor from AMD or Nvidia is essential. As with CPUs, there are both high- and low-end graphics chips. For gaming it is better to go with an Nvidia 850M or better to be able to play high graphical games at medium settings and a good frame rate.