We spend a lot of time on our laptops, especially with the ongoing pandemic.
When it comes to buying a laptop or any device, people get confused because they are spoilt for choices. Friends may give you recommendations but you may still feel like you need to know more before buying one. The laptop you buy should meet all your needs and serve you for the longest time possible. The following is a list of things to consider when buying a laptop
When you decided you want to buy a laptop, you had a figure in mind. This is the amount of money your willing to spend. The price of a laptop is determined by the features it has. Laptops with high-end specifications are more expensive than those with simple features. If the features you are looking for do not match your budget, you may have to settle for a laptop with low-end features or you can buy a used laptop.
There is a specific reason why you are buying the laptop, maybe you need one for school or for work. Depending on what you are planning to use the laptop for, there are different types of laptops to choose from. If you are a person who travels a lot on business trips and carries out a lot of presentations, you need a laptop that has a combination of good performance, portability, decent battery life, and a reasonable price. A good Laptop type for you is an ultrabook like the Lenovo Thinkpad X1 carbon. A person interested in gaming might go for gaming laptops that can handle intense performance and have the best cooling systems. A good example is the Alienware laptop. If you are planning to use it for entertainment and browsing purposes, you may want to buy a laptop with a good display and large storage. A good example is the Macbook Pro
The screen size of most laptops is either 13 inches or 15 inches, although there are also laptops with a screen size of 11 inches, 14 inches, and 17 inches. Laptops with smaller screen sizes are often fitted with low-performance hardware as their main focus is portability while larger screen sizes have high-performance specifications and stand-alone graphics cards. If portability is a big issue for you, go with the small screen size because larger screen sizes are often bulky. For entertainment purposes like watching movies and browsing, get a laptop with a screen size of 15 inches and above.
RAM( Random Access Memory) allows the laptop to load programs and make them run. It is a very important hardware component and no computer can even boot without it. In fact, if you try turning on a computer with no RAM module you will hear it beeping and nothing will display. The bigger the size of the RAM the better the performance of the laptop. A laptop with a bigger RAM size can run more programs concurrently and switch between them easily. Bigger RAM size also helps if you are going to use the laptop to load heavy programs like Video editing software, CAD( Computer-Aided Design) Softwares, and high-end gaming. The generation of the RAM also matters with the newer versions like the DDR5 having better transfer rates, data rates, and bandwidth than the earlier versions. Transfer rates, data rates, and bandwidth affect how fast the RAM is able to load programs.
Storage is affected mainly by the use of the laptop. It is up to you to find out how big you want your storage to be. There are two storage types you can choose from
1.HDD(Hard Disk Drive)
This is the traditional spinning drive found in most laptops. They offer large storage spaces and are cheaper compared to SSDs. The problem with HDDs is that they are susceptible to failure and are slower than SSDs.
2. SSD(Solid-State Drive)
SSDs are very fast, they are the new generation drives can load programs and copy data at high speeds. They also help your computer boot faster during startup and run silently. The problem with them is that they are more expensive and offer limited space than HDDs.
The CPU(Central Processing Unit), commonly just called a processor, is the brain of any computer. It processes input and gives out a meaningful output. The speed at which a CPU can process data is called the clock speed and is measured in MHz or GHz. CPUs with higher clock speeds are faster than those with lower clock speeds. Choosing the type and version of the CPU you need is very crucial.
There are two types of processors currently being manufactured:
- Intel Processors(Manufactured by Intel)
This is the most popular known processor. In-terms of performance, Low-end Intel Processors include the Intel Atom, Intel Celeron, and Pentium and High-end Intel Processors include the Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, and Core i9. Intel processors offer higher single-core performance with less number of cores than their competitors AMD. Click on the link below to find out how each Intel version performs.
2. AMD Processors( Manufactured by American Micro Devices)
They offer lower single-core performance but have more cores than Intel hence they are better at multi-tasking. They are also generally cheaper than Intel Processors. Click on the link below to find out how each AMD version performs.
This is measured in terms of resolution, for example, FHD and 4K. Laptops with better display qualities are more expensive. Gamers are more interested in this because it directly affects gaming quality. Displays with high refresh rates also have better display qualities. The Refresh rate is the measure of how many times an image is refreshed on your screen and it is measured in Hz, for example, a display with a refresh rate of 144hz is better than one with a refresh rate of 60hz
It is measured in Watts per hour(Wh). The higher the number of watts per hour the longer the laptop will last. Laptops with less demanding hardware features and display quality tend to have a battery life but it is not always this way. Battery life is also affected by the OS installed, User Programs, and display brightness.