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Important factors to consider when buying a Laptop

Updated on August 8, 2014

Buying a new product is always a difficult task, regardless of what the product is. I modern life computers are of great importance and portable computers are getting a lot of interest. Whether it is business or personal interest or educational purpose, a good laptop is a very useful tool. Buying a good laptop computer suiting the need of the individual and paying a legitimate price could become a problem, because there are a lot of varieties available of different prices and capabilities in the market. That is why it is important to consider some useful factors while buying a laptop so that it can turn to be a good investment meeting the demands of the consumer.

There are three categories of laptop computers available in the market now:

  1. Ultraportable
  2. Medium Weight
  3. Desktop Replacement

Depending on the level of working power, it increases gradually from No. 1 to No. 3. It depends on the consumers to decide which one suits for them according to the level of they are willing to do with the product. For the people who require more portability and are interested in doing some basic typing and browsing mainly for business purposes, Ultraportable laptops are most suited for them. For those who seek a balance between portability and higher level of work including some gaming, software use and entertainment, No. 2 is the right choice for them. Lastly for those who are mainly going to use the laptop at home for extreme gaming, 3D/2D graphics design and so on and are not likely to carry their computer often, Desktop Replacement laptops are perfect for them. I, myself is a 2nd category consumer.

Other than these there are few more things to consider before choosing the right laptop as price varies on the portability and configuration of the machine. Here are few basic factors for consideration:

Screen:

Screen is not something of major importance but a good quality screen is always good for better view. Smaller screens are good for high portability. 14in to 16in are better for most of the work. For higher resolution works 17in or higher screens are good. Most of the computers are now consist of Retina display. Glossy or Matte depends on the consumer choice.

Processor:

Processor is the heart of the computer, so it is always wise to go for the latest one with higher speed which is available in the market. Higher the number of cores in the processor the better the performance of the computer is.

High performance:

Intel Core i7 now is in 3rd generation and also comes with discrete graphics processing unit (GPU) is the best for getting the most out of the computer.

Mainstream performance:

Intel Core i5 and i3 are good for mainstream performance and both are now 3rd generation processor. Core i3 is a bit cheaper. Also AMD A8 is capable of getting the job done.

Low performance + Power saver:

Intel Atom and AMD C series and AMD E series are mainly built for basic jobs and saving power. These are good for high portability and longer battery life.

RAM (random access memory):

RAM is very important factor while choosing a laptop. More RAM gives the ability to do more work simultaneously. For image and video editing and 3D gaming sufficient RSM is necessary. Getting a laptop with high amount of RAM is always a good approach.

512MB – 1GB:

Fine for normal basic tasks like typing and running general applications. Web browsing may suffer some problems as well as new software.

2GB:

Lowest entry level. Normal office works and basic internet surfing can be done but tasks might slow down occasionally.

4GB:

Optimal level for image and video editing and 3D gaming. Most of the tasks will get done smoothly.

8GB:

Recommended level. All tasks will be done smoothly including 3D/2D graphics designing and 3D gaming.

Discrete and Integrated graphics:

Processors now come with integrated graphics allowing the users to accomplish tasks like normal video watching and low quality gaming. But for higher quality graphic designing, image and video editing and 3D gaming, dedicated graphics is mandatory. Usually 512MB to 1GB of video memory gets most of the job done, but higher is always better.

Connectivity:

Ports:

It is necessary to have sufficient ports on a laptop for various purposes. Additional ports allow greater connectivity. At least two USB port is essential, four is even better. Now USB 3.0 ports are available, so it would be better to get a laptop with USB 3.0 ports since these ports are lot faster than USB 2.0 ports.

For connecting external monitors or TV, HDMI or mini Display Port is required. So it would be a good idea for those want to watch HD movies and do 3D gaming. Most of the new model laptops now come with WLAN adaptor, yet having an Ethernet port might prove useful.

WLAN & Bluetooth:

WLAN adaptors are now a fundamental part of a laptop. Wi-Fi connection is now the most used medium of internet connection almost everywhere. So making sure that the machine has one WLAN adaptor installed is necessary.

Bluetooth adaptor is not something of major interest but having one will provide another way of connectivity allowing phones and tablets to connect and transfer files easily. It also allows the use of a phone as an internet modem. So this is very useful where Wi-Fi or cable internet connection is not available particularly helpful for travellers.

HDD (hard disk drive):

Having a spacious HDD is always a good idea. While buying a laptop at least with 256 GB HDD should be bought. More storage is better. Ultraportable and Medium weight laptops consist of up to 1 TB HDD.

Having DVD drive of Blue-ray drive is a plus point which is less available in ultraportable laptops. Blue-ray drives are expensive, so for now DVD drives are the most popular.

Battery & Sound:

For those who travel a lot, long battery life is essential for them. Typical batteries are of between 2000 mAh to 6000 mAh, higher the better. Batteries with more cells are likely to last longer. Extra batteries may be bought depending on the user.

Sound system for a laptop is neither of superior quality nor is something of major interest. Built-in laptop speakers do not provide superior sound quality. It is better to have a stereo-headphone to use with the computer.

All these are the basic things to keep in mind while buying a new laptop. There are various types and brands of laptop computers available in the market now and it is hard to determine which one to choose suiting the needs best. I hope these information comes to aid while shopping a new machine.

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    • Ceres Schwarz profile image

      Ceres Schwarz 3 years ago

      Good hub on the factors to consider when buying a laptop. These are all very important things to consider for all those that are planning to buy a laptop. With so many different kinds of laptops out there with different brands, it can be really difficult to decide on which laptop to purchase. All this should help those that are having a hard time deciding on their laptop of choice.

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