In this time of technology, having a laptop can come in handy for both personal and business use. So we understand that you would want to get your hands on one as soon as possible because who doesn’t see that getting the latest equipment will help them double or even triple their productivity in these modern times.
If you’re in the market for a new laptop, you’d be forgiven for feeling a little confused at all of the options. There are a huge amount of choices nowadays. The good news is that you don’t have to look at every single spec in detail because by translating your needs into questions (such as) what is this computer needed for? What type of lifestyle do I lead? What space do I have available to store or carry around my computer etc.. will allow you to quickly narrow down your options and answer those questions will allow you to figure out which ones suit your lifestyle the most and then finally find one that best fits the bill.
Consider both portability and power
Laptops are a kind of compromise between portability and power. They all draw their lines in different places, some more expensive and larger than others due to the amount of power they need or want. However, the speed and capability of a computer can be affected by where it draws that line too.
Laptops are smaller today than before, but that didn’t happen on its own. Previously most laptops were bulky and heavy due to the large batteries required for sufficient battery life and ample processing power. Today, decent processors and graphics cards slip into graceful laptop chassis. Still, if you want a laptop capable of gaming or video editing, it’s going to have to carry around some weight—specifically 5 pounds or more.
When deciding on a laptop, you should take your screen size into account. This is usually the first specification listed with each laptop. A larger screen means that you’ll have more space for apps, spreadsheets, or even video games such as Minecraft! A smaller screen might be easier to transport in your bag, which could come in handy when you’re commuting to work on the subway. Typically, displays range from around 11″ (screen diagonal) to about 17″.
Pick an operating system
Your choices for a laptop operating system are Windows, macOS, and Chrome OS, and they’re all speedy, stable, secure, and reliable. Each OS has its pros and cons and it’s hard to definitively rank them in any objective way. In the end, most people usually stick with what they already understand which can make picking a new laptop easier.
Windows remains the most popular operating system on desktop computers. This also means that it is the biggest target for malware and viruses, so make sure you have a strong security system in place (the built-in protections should be enough for most users). As many different manufacturers make Windows devices, there will be a greater selection available to choose from—more standard models and options that serve both as laptops and tablets.
Apple’s macOS is a more stable and secure operating system with an array of advanced features for the business user, such as security tools and the ability to play media content in-house. It’s ideal for mobile professionals who require access to e-mail on the go and are not a fan of clunky Windows laptops.
The Chrome OS is an operating system, or OS for short. A computer’s OS is the program that manages all the others. Chrome OS is essentially just Google’s web browser, so you shouldn’t expect to find Microsoft Office or Adobe Photoshop on a Chromebook, as these are not applications that exist in the browser space. Not having to maintain various programs at once means you get to enjoy a streamlined user experience with your Chrome OS laptop – one that puts performance and usability front and center.
Here’s a quick overview of the top three operating systems, but you’ll find in-depth descriptions of each below. Unless you’ve never ever had a laptop before chances are, you’re already familiar with one of these. If you’re thinking about switching to something else, try a test drive on your friend’s or family member’s laptop and see if it feels more comfortable for you.
Microsoft, Apple, and Google all make laptops to help display their operating systems (from $1,299/£1,249/$999/£999). macOS is available on the MacBook Pro, Windows 10 can be used on the Surface Laptop and Chrome OS is available on the PixelBook Go. These machines should give you an idea of what each platform can do.
Select your specs
While scrolling through laptops at your local store, don’t worry too much about reading all of the specifications—because some are very similar. You can tell which ones are more powerful than others with a quick glance at the price tag; generally speaking, pricier models come with higher power capabilities. Still, it pays to have a better understanding of what exactly those specs mean so you can make an informed decision.
The brain of a computer, the CPU is responsible for all the calculations that take place within your laptop and determines how capable it can be at handling tasks. Seeing as anything more than a few generations old will only have one or two cores, you should consider upgrading to a more powerful CPU that has a higher clock speed. This measurement describes how quickly data can travel through each core and will help to determine how fast applications load while also increasing your overall processing power – think of it as doubling or quadrupling your laptop’s mental faculties.
The quality of a CPU is often described using brand-specific labels, like Intel’s i3 (low end), i5 (mid-range), and i7(high end). For you, however, what really matters is the generation. In other words, currently, you’ll have to decide between a 10th and 9th generation chip. The former performs better without being as power-hungry thanks to its improved architecture. But it’s important that CPU manufacturers release new generations because each generation is more efficient and offers more performance than those released before it. And it’s for that reason that you see laptop manufacturers updating their prices after each generation of CPUs is released. That way they can keep up with the latest trends!
Another important specification is the RAM, which essentially controls how much your laptop can think about at any given time. More RAM means more support for high-quality audio, video playback, larger photos, multiple open applications, and so on. Basically, RAM allows you to have a lot more going on without forcing your machine to come to a grinding halt. Although some laptops may be advertised as having a specific amount of RAM installed into them, it’s worth checking whether they’re actually using that onboard memory or not because many manufacturers actually sell the same machines with slightly different specifications depending on country (different bandwidth quotas in Europe/Asia, etc), so this is also something to watch out for if you’re buying internationally!
There are a few other specs to consider.
It’s important to note that the hard drive size on a laptop indicates the amount of space it provides for files and applications. If you’re hoping to keep your videos, photos, and music on your own hard drive (as opposed to storing them online or in the cloud), make sure your laptop can handle all that data with room enough to spare so as not to leave you out of space. Also pay attention to the number of input and output ports a computer has if you plan on connecting it to things like external hard drives or wired speakers because if there aren’t enough of those ports, you might need to purchase an additional multi-adapter.
Don’t forget the price and hands-on appeal
The one big factor in your decision you haven’t really talked about just yet is price. This is another way to narrow down your choices. If you’re on a budget, this will be the easiest way for you to make a selection. Consider the older models that have since been superseded by something newer and more advanced. For even more savings, look for refurbished laptops that don’t come anything close to being considered outdated or outdated at all! This will be an excellent option if you know you won’t be challenging your laptop with heavy multimodal processing which undoubtedly taxes heavily on any computer’s hardware!
Two final tips:
When researching laptops, read independent reviews by technology outlets and then physically test out sample models in stores. This will help you get a sense of which devices are the most impressive on the market at the moment, before deciding to make your purchase via an online retailer.