When picking out a laptop, the first thing people tend to notice is that not all laptops are created equal. With so many models to choose from and so many technical terms to attempt to understand, it’s no wonder people have trouble deciding what to buy. However, the process need not be so complicated, and once you determine a few key things, the choice becomes clear.
Choosing the OS for your Laptop
The first thing to do is decide which operating system is right for you. Windows is a mid priced OS for which most software is developed and which has the most backward compatibility of any of the three most commercially available operating systems. It’s a good all-around choice, especially if you want control over all possible settings on your computer, including traditionally automated functions. If you’re a software developer, programmer, gamer, or just a tech junkie, this is the choice for you.
If you need a computer for work or school and not much else, and you’re not too tech savvy, then a Mac is what you should pick. Macs rarely get viruses and automatically handle most functions; and while the software available is more limited compared to other companies, it’s by far the most user-friendly.
Is Chromebook Ideal For You?
The third choice would be a Chromebook, which runs the Chrome OS, a lightweight operating system which is secure and easy to use but faces the most limitations. There are plenty of apps and programs available, but many are inferior to their counterparts. However, if you just need a laptop for browsing the web, using social media, and the like, this is the perfect choice for you. It’s the efficient, easy to use, and by far the cheapest option on the market.
Traditional or 2-in-1 Laptop?
Next, decide if you want a two-in-one or a regular laptop. If you want a combination laptop and tablet, the former is perfect for you. A tablet laptop can be useful for artists or people who prefer to have less electronic clutter in their lives. However, if you’re looking for raw processing power, you’re likely to do better with a regular old laptop.
Note that a laptop with a touchscreen is not considered a two-in-one, as 2-in-1’s have keyboards that either detach or can be folded around, in addition to having a tablet mode which alters the OS appearance and performance slightly.
Next is the size. It’s important to remember that size often accompanies weight, so a larger screen means a heavier laptop more often than not. You’ll find yourself choosing from a range of 11 to 18 inches, make your decision depending on how much processing power you need versus how far you have to carry it on a regular basis.
What of the CPU?
As for the specs of each laptop, you’ll want to choose a CPU from the i3 to i7 series, as these are by far the fastest processors around, as well as the most common. If you want to play games, be sure to pay attention to the GPU, as the model will determine what generation of games you can run.
If you’re not much of a gamer, don’t worry about the GPU since integrated graphics should suit you just fine. If you’re the type of person who loves to download as much as possible, go for a terabyte of data at least; if you’re more into efficiency and like to keep a tidy desktop, free of clutter, go for at most 500 gigabytes of data.
Never go lower than 4gb of RAM, even if given the option, it’s a tad more expensive but any less, and you’ll scarcely be able to run the simplest of programs and your loading times will be outrageous. Last but not least, check the battery life, retailers will almost always tell you that you’ll get at least six hours on a full charge, but be sure to check third party reviews, as the merchant will likely exaggerate the longevity.