Top Tips for Buying a New Laptop

Choosing a new laptop is a daunting task given the number of options and the seemingly complex terminology. This article demystifies it a little to make your life easier! 

Top Tips for Buying a New Laptop

Whether or not you know your RAM, SD or HD or other PC terms, searching the market and finding the right laptop for your budget and needs is a confusing job. The good news is that once you know where to look, the modern PC market is rich with choice. From cheap laptops through to higher-spec options, there is something for every budget and person.

This article gives some practical tips to choose your perfect laptop!

Smooth operator

The operating system is the interface you will see every time you turn on your laptop. Most laptop users already have a preference. But in case you need a reminder, or you fancy a change, here is a quick overview.

The choice of major operating systems comes down to Windows, MacOS, Chrome OS and Linux. Each has its own pros and cons. Windows is the most common and includes collaboration and productivity tools within the Office 365 suite. Laptops for sale with Windows are also more widely available than those with the other operating systems.

Some users find Mac devices easier to navigate than Windows. This is because the MacOS is so closely in line with the hardware that runs it. If you are already an iPhone or iPad user, a Mac can make sense. Especially as you can easily transfer your pictures and other data to your new laptop with iCloud.

Chrome OS is a simple operating system built around the Chrome web browser. It means that Chromebooks can run on minimal computing power. This achieves the dual goals of optimizing battery life and minimizing the price of the device. The downsides of the Chrome OS are that it will not run other applications such as Office tools. It also doesn't have an abundance of power to run games or highly demanding software.

Linux offers a flexible OS that is usable on most devices. However, like Chrome OS, it does not run Office apps or other popular productivity tools.

Powering your choice

Figuring out how much CPU power you need may sound a bit technical. But opting for the highest-grade processor possible within your budget is a wise move. Intel’s processors use ascending numbers coinciding with their power levels, which makes it a little simpler to understand.

Do consider though that the more power a laptop has, the quicker it will drain its battery. For light work such as checking emails or reading a contract during a short domestic flight, lighter weight, flexible devices are perfect for long battery life. For more demanding users that develop software, manage databases, or need to multitask on several applications at the same time, you will need more computing power.

Don’t dodge the RAM!

RAM is the memory that your PC uses to hold data while it is processed. Running out of RAM means your computer is maxed out and you will not be able to work on anything else. While this is easy enough to fix with a re-boot, it can get annoying if you need multiple functions running at the same time. To avoid this, look for a device with around 8GB of RAM. More is better, but for carrying out most reasonable tasks on a Windows machine this is a good guide.

Make a shortlist

Once you have done some research and narrowed your potential choices down to a more manageable list, now is the time to do a little more due diligence on those models. Search for some reviews with more detail.

User reviews provide a good real-life perspective, while expert reviews can go into more detail about functionality and technical aspects such as having an Artix 7 fpga board. If possible, test the model in a store to see if you like the feel of the keyboard, trackpad, and screen resolution. Test the touchscreen to see if you would get on well with that. Also don’t forget to look for little details like how hot it gets in your lap, and whether you like the overall build.

You also want the color and shape to be a good fit for you or your business. A cheap outer shell may not portray your firm the way you would like for instance. Functionality is important, but aesthetics can be too.

All these tests are important, because although laptops are not as commonly used as smartphones because of their size, they are still an important component of many peoples’ lives. Ultimately you can read spec sheets all day long, but you need to be comfortable with your choice.

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