Points To Consider While Buying A Laptop
Laptops are convenient devices for their portable yet powerful nature.
Laptops have become an integral part of our lives. The laptop market gets flooded with new laptops with high-end features every year and the older ones tend to get obsolete.
What to Look for in a Good Laptop?
When you buy laptops, decide what you would be mainly using them for.
- Will the laptop be used for web browsing, email, social media usage, etc.? This is lightweight usage.
- Will you be using it for streaming media, for work, for programming, and for collaboration? This is a workhorse system.
- Will you be using the laptop for graphics editing, or for high-end gaming? This needs a heavy-duty system.
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Choosing According to Usage
If you want a laptop for light use – for web surfing, social media, and email – you can make do with an entry-level Intel Core i3 processor and 2 or 4GB RAM, with around 250 to 500 GB HDD. You can also choose less expensive Apple MAC systems. A Chromebook with the lightweight Chrome OS, some basic applications installed on the system, and access to other apps in the cloud can be an ideal choice. A 12 to 14-inches screen would be adequate.
For workhorse laptops that you also want to use as entertainment units, watching streaming media and lower-end gaming, you can choose systems with Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processors with a standard GPU. You do need a lot of storage for your applications and faster processing speed; so look for 1TB HDD and 4GB to 8GB of RAM.
For heavy-duty gaming laptops, you need high-end Apple Mac systems or Windows systems with Intel Core i7 7th Generation processors, with high-end GPUs and high-capacity graphics memory cards. Look for systems with 8GB and above DDR4 RAM and a hybrid storage system. These systems will have a smaller capacity (256GB or 500GB) SSD storage for applications that need blazing-fast data access and a 1TB SATA HDD for storing files and other applications.
Other Points to Consider While Buying Laptops
You are buying a machine that you want to use for some years down the line. So look for a good configuration, battery life, portability, and performance. You already looked at the processor, GPU, RAM, and storage requirements based on usage. Other factors to look for include:
- Build quality
- Battery life
- Other features like connectivity options and ports
A laptop is meant for rough use; you will be keeping it in your laptop bags or backpacks, you will be pulling it out to use it in different environments like your home, your office, in coffee shops, in camping sites, while hiking, and so on. You don’t want a fragile unit that will come off at the hinges after the first few uses. Check the laptop to build strength, the durability of the material used — whether metal or plastic.
- Open and shut the laptop a few times. See if the hinges are tough, yet work smoothly
- The construction material should be tough and should not crack at the first light tap against a hard surface
- Check the keyboard and touchpad for durability and ergonomic layout
- The display screen should be constructed of tough glass
- If it is a touchscreen, it should be scratch and stain resistant
Battery life depends on many factors apart from battery capacity. If you use the laptop for gaming or other demanding applications, if you use a touchscreen display, if you buy low-end laptops – all these can lower battery life.
Test the system yourself or if you buy a laptop online, read reviews. Don’t just take the manufacturer’s assurance of “12 hours of continuous backup”. Ensure that you will get at least 5 to 7 hours of backup for your workhorse systems and more than 8 hours if you intend the system to meet more demanding usage.
Remember that longer battery life can affect the form factor of the laptop and can make it heavier.
- If you want a touchscreen laptop, look for systems that are a clam-shell model or bendable – you can swivel them around 360 degrees
- You also get detachable 2-in-2 systems, but these function more as a tablet than a laptop and will reduce your battery backup time
- If you want a traditional screen and not a touch display, your battery will last longer
- In laptops, 12 to 14-inches screens are ideal for reduced weight and stylish looks, with compact form and portability
- Choose 15-inches and above size screens, if you will be using it for work, graphics or video editing or gaming etc. This will affect the form factor, make the laptop less sleek and weigh more, affecting portability
- Buy models with tough-glass screens and backlit LED systems for wider viewing, clear display even in bright settings, and richer colors
Look for at least two USB ports – one USB 3.0 and one USB 3.1. Bluetooth and Wifi capabilities HDMI connectivity, SSD Card slots, and other such connectivity features are more or less standard now in the more expensive models.