Buying a laptop within your budget along with all the features you want isn’t an easy job. There are hundreds of laptops available in the market, and the option is literally endless. If you search online or visit a brick and mortar retail store, they are likely to bombard you with technical specifications that aren’t easy to understand for a layman. So, how do you choose a laptop that will have everything you need? To make sure there is no nasty surprise after the purchase, here’s our guide to zero in on the features you really need for a perfect laptop.
1. Think How You Want To Use The Laptop
Ask yourself how you will need to use the laptop. You can divide the usage into the following three
Heavy use: You will do multi-tasking, video or photo editing, or programming type of tasks. In this case, you have to purchase one with a faster processer, high-capacity RAM, high-resolution graphics card, and larger disk space.
Average use: You will do tasks like document and excel sheet preparation, streaming videos, and playing music. An average RAM, Storage, and processor will do fine in this regard.
Light use: email handling, social networking, online transactions, browsing the web – for this type of task, a laptop with basic configuration should serve the purpose.
2. Decide Whether Portability Is Important
Every piece, such as disk drives, DVD or Bluray drive, etc., adds to the laptop’s weight and size. So, you should think of what you really need and what’s not! Typically, laptops can be divided into three categories based on weight
6 lbs. or above: Laptops with 6 lbs weight are power-horses. They provide a large screen and faster processing speed. This is ideal for professionals and gamers who hardly move the laptop from their desks.
4–5 lbs. This is the middle range and provides a balance between the machine’s portability and power. Laptops in this range are most suitable for people who sometimes work from the airport and coffee shops.
3 lbs. or less: Sleek laptops. These are great for frequent travelers and students who carry out basic tasks like documentation, office reporting, email handing, and web surfing.
3. Select The Storage And Processor And Memory
Though hard disk drive is still popular, SSD (Solid State Drive) controls the internal storage market. If you pick up HDD, you will get more space at the cost of extra weight and noise in the laptop. If SSD is chosen, there will be no noise, and the laptop weight will be lighter. You should choose SSD if you plan to use the laptop for COMPLETELY professional use.
Processor, along with system memory (RAM), is the brain of your laptop. The stronger the processor and RAM, the faster your device will give you the desired output. Two popular processor brands are Intel and AMD. You can pick up any good processor offered by them. For RAM, you should choose at least 4 GB for basic computing. If you are into video/ image editing or programming, you should have at least 8 GB of RAM.
4. Know The Operating System
The three most popular operating systems in the market are Windows, OS X, and Chrome OS. Operating systems are the heart of any computer, and you would interact with your laptop’s programs and hardware through it. It would help if you bought a laptop with an operating system you are familiar with and match best with your laptop buying purpose. For example, if security and user experience is a matter of concern for you, you can purchase OS X from Apple. If you mostly do web surfing and use cloud-based programs for different activities, Chrome OS could be an excellent option. If you are an average user with a plan to use lots of third-party software and a less costly laptop, windows based systems could be a good choice.
5. Mark The Screen Size
Typically, laptop screen size ranges from 11 inches to 17 inches. Larger screen size is used for video and image editing, watching movies, gaming, and another power job where you need to have lots of space on the screen. If you aren’t in any of that categories, an 11 to 13-inch screen size would be perfect for you. Please note that the more the screen size, the more it adds to the laptop’s weight and space and thereby reduce portability.
6. Choose The Resolution
Another important feature to consider is the resolution. The higher the resolution is, the better the quality of the image/video is. There are many resolution options available in the market, such as HD, HD+, Retina Display, Quad HD and HD+, 4k Ultra HD, etc. Average quality laptops offer HD and Full HD resolution of 1366×768 pixels to 1920×1080 pixels. The extremely high pixel density provides sharp and crispy detail of what you see on the screen, which is best for professional graphics and web design works and watching high-definition movies, and playing games.
7. Make Sure The Right Look And Feel
You are likely to use your laptop every single day as long as it is with you. So, the appearance and user experience of the laptop should be right for you. Before purchasing a laptop, try to learn more about it by physically handling it. Make sure the clasps and hinges are hardy enough to withstand regular use. Check the lid whether it’s operating smoothly. Stroke a few keys on the keyboard to know whether you are comfortable to type on a layout. Make sure the trackpad and mouse buttons are functioning as smoothly as you like them.
It is essential to understand the differences in different laptops’ configuration before buying the one you need. Say, for example, if you want to do animation work on your laptop, look check out the best laptops for animation available in the market right now. Similarly, if you are a stock trader, you can find the best laptop for stock traders. So, understand your needs well and find the best laptop as per your requirements and budget before making the final purchase decision.