Technology has come a long way over the years. Now, you can buy the latest laptops that balance performance with portability and power. You can use them to stream Netflix series, play games, or remain connected when travelling.
This ultimate guide to buying a laptop will help you find the perfect laptop. It takes a close look at the most important features that need to be considered.
How Would You Use the Laptop?
The first thing that you need to think about is how you would be using the laptop. Light users require a laptop to surf the web, pay their bills online, share digital photos over social media, and stay connected.
Average users tend to stream and store movies and music, and complete tasks like document creation and spreadsheet.
On the other hand, demanding users multitask between multiple programs and tabs, and require sophisticated software to work on photo editing, graphics, and video production.
Thus, demanding users have to invest in a more powerful laptop as compared to other users.
1. Operating Systems
Diving deeper into the features that must be considered when in the market for a laptop, one has to first take a look at the operating systems available. The laptop cannot operate without an operating system.
It manages all the hardware and software. Without the operate system, it would be impossible to interact with the programs and laptop in general visually. The following operating systems are the most popular choice.
- Mac OS: Mac computers exclusively run on Mac OS. It boasts an easy-to-use and elegant interface which complements the sleek aesthetics of the Mac. The operating system is known for experiencing fewer issues with malware and viruses. But, MacBooks can be quite pricy.
- Windows: Windows has become extremely popular. It is designed to offer an intuitive touch-screen interface. However, there are plenty of traditional options available which are just as good. There are many Windows enabled apps that you can use. It is more on the affordable side.
- Chrome OS: If you are looking for a simple, secure, and speedy operating system, Chromebook is perfect fit for you. It tends to update every six weeks automatically.
2. Screen Features
Next, you also need to consider the screen features offered by the laptop. Touch-screen laptops provide an impeccable navigating experience. They are designed to be more intuitive.
You can simply tap onto icons, hold, and drag to move them, pinch to zoom, swipe to scroll, and more. It functions just like a tablet or smartphone, but is more powerful.
Screen features are currently available for most Windows laptops and a few Chromebooks. When looking at screen features, you also need to determine the screen size and display type that you desire. Laptop screen sizes are available from 11 to 17 inches.
Larger screens are better for video editing, streaming movies, and gaming. Besides the screen size, it is important that you select the right display technologies as different technologies yield different brightness levels and colours.
The processor of the laptop functions as its brain. It works in combination with the power of the processor and the system memory to determine the complexity of the software.
The majority of laptops either have an AMD or Intel processor. Keep in mind that there tend to be variances in processor classes. Laptops which are designed to offer exceptional battery life make use of an ultra low-voltage processor.
However, it ends up sacrificing the processing speed. If you are interested in gaming or heavy graphics work, select a laptop that has a dedicated video memory and graphics card. A laptop that has separate resources for graphics works a lot faster.
A) Intel Processors
B) AMD Processors
AMD offers a wide range of advanced processors which seamlessly carry out every task. AMD Ryzen Mobile Processors (Radeon Vega Graphics): These processors are simply the best whether for work or play.
They allow you to multitask and provide an amazing battery life along with stunning visuals that keep you hooked. The following options are available.
- Ryzen 3: It is efficient and responsive. Works to maximize the battery life while offering performance for office tasks, school, and entertainment.
- Ryzen 5: It provides all-around multimedia performance for e-sports gaming, light video editing, and streaming 4K videos.
- Ryzen 7: The ultimate processor for carrying out intensive tasks, including running demanding applications, editing videos, and playing the latest games.
RAM (Random Access Memory) is crucial as it allows the processor to tackle various tasks at the same time. For basic computing, a minimum of 2GB is vital.
However, it is recommended to opt for 8GB RAM if you require advanced photo editing. Many laptops come pre-installed with 4GB to 8GB RAM. There are some which have up to 64GB.
5. Internal Storage
When it comes to laptops, the weight and thickness of the laptop, as well as heat and noise generated, can be concern.
Hence, laptops require a more hybrid drive which combines a solid state drive with a hard drive for faster, lighter, quieter, and cooler experience.
6. Battery Life
The battery life of the laptop is something that you cannot afford to ignore. The last thing you need is to be glued to the power outlet. Battery life ranges from just a few hours up to twelve hours and more.
You can always opt for laptop enhances to increase processing power or the resolution. However, it will cause the battery to drain more quickly.
7. Ports & Connectivity
To stay connected to the internet and other devices, laptops offer several options. The latest laptops offer 802.11 wireless networking standards and Bluetooth capabilities.
Thus, you can easily sync speakers, your smartphone, and other portable devices. To connect the laptop to cameras, TVs, and other devices, you should look out for the following ports.
- USB Type-A: It connects to MP3 players, smartphones, gaming controllers, external drives, and other accessories.
- USB Type-C: It offers versatile power and blazing speeds. The connectors have identical ends which allow users to plug right-side up or upside down.
- Thunderbolt: It provides ultra-high bandwidth for lighting fast data transfers.
- Media-Card Slots: Allow you to transfer photos from your camcorder or digital camera.
- HDMI: Connect display HD media or projector to your flat-screen TV.
Which Laptop Should You Buy?
- Gaming Laptops: These laptops are designed to provide high-performance for gaming and boast beefed-up features and boosted powers.
Containing advanced graphics cards and processors for faster and smoother game play, they even have larger screen sizes and enhanced speakers.
However, it is important to keep in mind that these resource-intensive features can cause the laptop to heat up quickly and drain battery.
- 2-in-1 Laptops: These laptops offer maximum versatility by combining the capabilities of a go-anywhere tablet and powerful laptop.
Their lightweight and portable design makes them perfect for travelling. You can use them for playing games, browsing the web, reading e-books, watching movies, and more.