Are you ready to start the process of buying a new laptop? With so many devices available, and more coming out each month, it’s quite difficult to filter out what’s important, and what’s more-or-less a gimmick.
In this article, we’ll go through seven important factors you should consider when choosing your new laptop.
One of the best features of a laptop is its ability to slip into a laptop bag and travel the world with you. If you are concerned with portability, you’re best bet is to look at laptops with a smaller screen size and thin, lightweight design. These types of laptops are often marketed as Ultrabooks, so look out for that word.
Or, more specifically, go for a device with a screen between 12 and 13.3 inches, and a weight of less that 1.5kg.
RAM (random access memory) is key to computer performance, especially if you do lots of multitasking on your laptop – e.g. edit photos, write word docs, and browse the web all at once. The more RAM you have, the faster your laptop will be able to access data, and the more applications you can run smoothly at any one time. 4GB of RAM is the minimum. If you use lots of high-power software, look for 8GB or more.
3. Screen Quality
If you’re like most of us, you’ll probably be staring into your laptop screen for hours everyday. So make sure you opt for a laptop with a screen that’s easy on the eyes. Glossier screens tend to reflect surrounding light, so keep that in mind. Also note that touch screen laptops will have a glossy screen, so weigh up the pros and cons.
Depending on how you will use your laptop, screen resolution will also be important. 1920×1080 is a full HD screen. This will give you great image quality and plenty of room to keep your windows in view.
Lastly, when it comes to exploring laptop screen options, it’s a good idea to head into a computer store and check them out in person. Tech specs don’t always give a clear idea of the actual user experience.
4. Battery Life
Again, if portability is important to you (even if that means transporting your laptop from your desk to your bed!), battery life is something worth considering. The reality of a laptop’s battery life is often quite different to what it says on the box. Variables such as screen brightness and the types of programs you run will affect how long the battery lasts.
Instead of focusing on the number of hours the manufacturer quotes, look at the rating of the battery in Watt-hours (Wh) or milliamp-hours (mAh). The bigger the number, the longer the battery will last.
Think of the CPU (central processing unit) as the heart of your laptop. When it comes to CPU, you can’t get much better than Intel’s Core-based range. New laptops will most likely contain Core i3, Core i5, or Core i7.
- You will find Core i3 in entry-level laptops.
- You will find Core i5 in the majority of mid-range laptops.
- You will find Core i7 in higher-end laptops. While Core i7 offers the best performance, it can cause quite a bit of heat to emanate from the bottom of the device. Keep this in mind if you plan to use your laptop, well, on your lap.
Not only will you need to consider the amount of storage, but also the type of storage. Back in the day, hard disk drives were the favourite. With slimmer, lighter laptops in fashion, hard drives are not as popular. Instead, many laptop owners are opting for solid state drives, which are faster, quieter, and you guessed it, more expensive.
If you’re not sure whether you should go for a hard disk or solid state drive, you might find our blog post Hard Disk Drive vs Solid State Drive: What’s the Difference? a good place to start.
7. USB 3.0 Ports
USB 3.0 ports are a must-have on a new laptop if you want to plug in and use peripheral devices, such as external hard drives, mouse, and keyboards. Some new devices don’t include USB 3.0 ports, including the new Macbook Pros. Keep this in mind before you go ahead and purchase.
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