Guide to Buying the Right Laptop
There is no doubt that the most popular gadgets today are smartphones and tablets. Smartphones and tablets mainly because they are portable and technology made them essentially on par with conventional computers regarding functions. But despite all these benefits, smartphones and tablets sometimes just do not have what it takes to get the job done efficiently and appropriately. In here comes the Laptop, which is seemingly decreasing in popularity these days, but remains unmatched when speaking of functionality, performance, and entertainment value. And when one opts to purchase Laptop, it is best to be sure that what he is choosing is the right one for him.
Knowing the Device Specifications of Laptop
The most significant differences between various laptops are their specifications or specs. Specs mean the CPU, RAM, hard drive, and other details that make up the computer.
The central processing unit, or the CPU, is considered the brain of the Laptop or computer. It is the primary electronic circuitry that performs the input instructions of the computer’s program. If one is just an average computer user, meaning he mostly just browses the web, or just performs basic office functions, he may consider the AMD E-Series or Intel Pentium CPUs. They are quite inexpensive, can perform basic Laptop functions decently, but regarded as low-performance. For more serious computer users, the Core M CPU is recommended, or better yet, the Intel Core Series (i3, i5, and i7). These CPUs can handle advanced office works efficiently, but it is more appropriate for multimedia artists and gamers because of its first-rate performance.
The next specs consideration in buying a Laptop is the Random Access Memory or RAM. RAM basically is a form of data storage in computers. It permits data to be written and read almost at the same time, thereby hastening the information processing. In the old days a computer with a 2 gigabyte RAM is considered a well performing device. But nowadays, this kind of RAM is considered below average. Due to the increasing RAM requirements of many computer software nowadays, it is safe to get a 4 gigabyte RAM at the least. However, for power users and computer gamers, usually 4 gigabytes is not enough so they should look for an 8 gigabyte or higher RAM.
Another essential part of a Laptop is the hard disk drive, or simply hard drive. Hard drives utilize rotating platters with magnetic material to store and retrieve data for the computer. Usually, the common buyers only look at the memory or storage capacity of the hard drive when buying a Laptop. Memory is not the case because buying a faster hard drive is better than buying a larger one. One kind of the best hard drives runs at 7200 rpm, but a 5400 unit is a decent buy. As for its storage capacity, casual users can go for a 320-gigabyte unit without worrying about running out of space. On the other hand, gamers, multimedia designers, and other power users should not take less than 500 gigabytes of ram. The bigger memory is to ensure adequate storage space for software, save files, and media contents.
Of course, when buying a Laptop, one should not forget about the display. The quality of display a computer can offer can estimate by looking at its pixel count. As a rule of thumb, a computer with more pixels will give sharper images. Additionally, higher pixels mean more visual contents can fit on the computer monitor. The most popular machines on the market come with a 1366 x 768 resolution. But if one given the chance, he should pick a higher pixel count like 1600 x 900 or a 2560 x 1600 screen for a better multimedia experience.
The last basic specification of a Laptop one should look out for is the graphics processing unit. It is sometimes also called visual processing unit or simply graphics chip. The GPU is an electronic circuit that alters memory to enhance image production output to a display. For most devices, the graphics chip is integrated, or shares the memory with the computer system and intended for primary users. But for gamers, video editors, photographers and the like, a discrete graphics processor should provide better display and playback quality.
Choosing the Right Size
Laptops come in different dimensions and weight to suit the needs and wants of the user. Every size has its own pros and cons so one should carefully decide and balance its benefits to its disadvantage.
The thinnest and lightest portable Laptop only measure 11 to 12 inches and weigh just under 3.5 pounds. It is best for people who travel frequently but not recommended for those who mainly use the Laptop for office works. This is because the keyboard here is a bit cramped, making typing generally problematic.
A 13 or 14 inch, 4.5 pound Laptop is probably the most balanced one in terms of usability and portability. It fits easily on the lap and provides adequate screen size and properly sized keyboard. It is not as handy as an 11 inch computer but it is not too hard to carry around either.
The next Laptop size is a 15 inch one. This is the most common size among all computers because it is usually cheaper. It provides wider screens and better resolution but carrying it around is a little harder because of its large size and 6.5 pound weight.
Lastly, laptops also come in 17 or 18 inch screens. This is not a portable computer and is best left at home or in a workplace. Because of its size, packing it with processing power is usually common to provide the ultimate virtual experience. Professional gamers and multimedia artists are the most frequent users of this computer size.
Minding the Battery Life
When laptops are first made, its creators first thought of portability. There is no use in owning one when it requires being chained to a power outlet all the time. Even when it is just moving from the office to the conference room, or from the bedroom to the couch, there is no denying that the longer the battery life is, the more usable that Laptop is.
Generally, it is recommended that batteries have at least 4 hours of life before running out of charge. But for highly mobile individuals, it is recommended to go for computers that have at least 6 hours of power to avoid work interruption. Additionally, when one is always away from a power source, an extra battery may come in handy.