Wednesday, September 02, 2015

7 Features To Consider When Buying A Laptop

How many hours a day do you spend on the computer?

Probably plenty.

And that means that you spend hours a day staring at a screen.

That means that the resolution of that screen matters. Screen resolution can be described as the number of pixels making up a display. The more pixels on the display, the higher the resolution. Higher resolutions have all kinds of advantages, namely:

So your computer is on the fritz, eh? 10 years old, full of viruses, slower than molasses in January, and you're lucky if it even turns on? Yes. Might be time for a new machine.

So, you go to the store? And what do you see? About 50 different laptops, all different in size, form factors, price, and brand.

How do you choose one? Follow this handy guide to figure it out.

Size - When it comes to laptops, you can buy them in several different sizes. The smallest laptops come in at only 10.6" and the largest laptops can be over 20" in screen size! Obviously, if you travel a lot, or plan to move your laptop around, a smaller size is more convenient. If you plan to use your laptop primarily in your home or on a desk, a larger laptop might be a better choice.

Weight - Tied into size, obviously, the larger the laptop, the more it is going to weigh, as a general rule. Again, if you're traveling with it, a lighter laptop is the much better option - it's easier to take in and out of a bag, and puts less of a burden on your back. They also tend to cost a little more. Heavier laptops are cheaper, but a bigger pain in the butt to move!

Processor - This is the brain of your computer. Picking a good one is essential to your computer experience. The better the processor, the more you can do with your computer now, and in the future. There are two primary processor brands on the market - Intel and AMD. Intel tends to receive the better ratings across the board, using less energy and performing calculations more quickly and more intelligently than the competition. AMD is good bang for your buck. If you're looking at Intel Processors, stick with their I-Series, I3, I5, and I7. If you're purchasing an AMD, try to aim for either their A6, A8, or FX processors.

RAM - If your processor is the brain, the RAM is it's desk space. The more RAM you have, the more programs you can have open and running on your computer, and the larger those programs can be. When buying a new laptop, try to aim for at least 4GB of RAM, if not 8GB.

Hard Drive - This is where you store your stuff. Documents, movies, and pictures all sit here. So do game files, program files, and music files. The larger your hard drive, the more stuff you can store. There are two kinds of hard drives on the market - HDD's, which are mechanical spinning disks, and SSD's, which are slim, light computer chips. HDD's offer more storage for a lower price, but are slower, SSD's are faster and less susceptible to damage but cost more and offer less storage for the money.

Screen Resolution - In an earlier post, I mentioned screen resolution and it's importance. Basically, laptops come with one of three kinds of screens, High Definition, Full HD, or Ultra HD. The higher your screen resolution, the better your picture - simple as that. Take in to account how often you're going to be looking at your screen each day. The more hours you spend on your PC, and the more you use it for, the better the screen you should splurge for.

Optical Drive - Something to consider when PC shopping nowadays is whether the computer has an optical drive or doesn't. Most PC's nowadays are foregoing the feature in order to create more room for batteries or other components. Furthermore, smaller, thinner laptops just don't have the space for them. Consider whether you actually need an optical drive, and don't be surprised if you have to make sacrifices on other preferences to get one on your new laptop.

By E. Washcoviak

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