How to pick a laptop that is most suitable to your needs among myriad of models and best-buy offers? They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, features, and prices, so choosing the right one can really be a brainer. Laptops are becoming increasingly popular, along with smartphones and tablets, because they are easy enough to be carried, but also versatile and powerful enough to run various demanding programs. When on the road, a laptop is the best tool for games and work. So, no need to worry, because all you need to do is follow these few simple steps, and you will find the right laptop in no time.
There are three platforms for you to choose among – Windows, Mac OS X, and Chrome OS. This is actually a personal preference, so if you are not familiar with these platforms, you can find and read a quick overview of each of them. Get informed on their strengths and weaknesses, and choose the right one.
Have you decided how portable you need your laptop to be? Are you going to use it outside your home or office frequently? These are the laptop size categories:
- 11-12 inches – With 11-12 inch screens and weighing up to 3.5 pounds, they are the lightest and smallest of them all.
- 13-14 inches – The best balance of usability and portability.
- 15 inches – They usually weigh up to 6.5 pounds and are the most popular size. Opt for a 15-inch screener if you do not plan to carry it around that often.
- 17-18 inches – This one should stay indoors. These are powerful laptops that you can use for running top-notch programs.
- 2-in-1 – The extra category. Devices that can switch between tablet and traditional clamshell mode. They offer much lower performance than traditional clamshell laptops.
Take your focus away from the exterior, because it is the interior that matters. A machine is only as good as the computer parts it is made of. For example, Lenovo parts are always a good choice. Let us look at the essential components:
CPU – it of high importance for a computer’s performance, considered its ‘brains’. The most popular CPUs today are: AMD A Series, AMD E Series, Intel Core i3/i5/i7, Intel Core m3/m5/m7, and Intel Atom.
RAM – Some cheaper laptops go with 2GB RAM (random-access memory), which is not enough. A 4GB RAM is an average, while 8GB would be perfect for your laptop to be fast and faultless.
Storage drive – There are two types of storage drives to choose from: HDD (hard disk drive) and SSD (solid state drive). SSDs are three times faster, more secure, but cost a bit more.
Graphics card – A valuable and important element for gamers, graphic designers, and video editors. If you have a need for a strong graphics card, opt for an Nvidia or AMD high-end graphic cards.
DVD/BluRay Drive– All movies and software today are pretty much downloadable. However, if you really need to read/write disks (and do not have a built-in disk drive), you can buy an external one.
When it comes to battery, if you are buying a larger laptop that will be plugged in most of the time, you do not have to worry about battery life. Otherwise, choose a laptop with 8+ battery life.
In the end, everything depends on how much you have to spend, doesn’t it? These are the laptop price ranges, and what you can get for it.
- $150 – $250 – Slow processors, minimal storage, low-end system. Suitable for kids’ use or as a secondary computer.
- $300 – $600 – For 600 dollars, you can get a fairly good laptop, with a 500GB hard drive, 4-8GB RAM, and an Inter Core i5/AMD A8 CPU. Cons: short battery life, no SSD drive, and no full-HD display.
- $600 – $900 – Laptops in these price ranges include full-HD displays and SSD storages, and premium design features, like metal finishes.
- Above $900 – Basically, you can get everything you need when the price is not a problem. Fast processors, high-resolution screens, and powerful graphics. For $2500, you can get premium gaming and high-end workstation machines.
The brand is also what you should pay attention to when purchasing a laptop, because it is as good as the company that produces it. Some of the best laptops are made by Apple, HP, Samsung, Lenovo, and Asus. Check for performance, design and value reviews online, and see what kind of customer support the manufacturer offers.