Although picking a laptop is not the most significant decision you’ll ever make in your life or a life-determining choice like when looking to buy a house; you’ll realize it was a critical decision when you end up picking a lousy laptop which makes you keep on cursing every time it does not perform as you would have expected.
What makes matters worse is that there are myriad options in terms of the available brands and models of laptops available to buy. They come in different sizes, prices, and features with each brand promising you that their laptop is the best deal for your hard-earned money.
So what criteria should you use when shopping for a laptop? What makes one laptop better than the other even when they have the same price? Does the size of a laptop matter? Between a Windows laptop and a Mac, which is better? We have all the answers here. This is the ultimate guide you’ll ever need when looking for the factors to consider when buying a laptop.
- Pick A Platform: Do you want Windows, Mac, or Something Else like Chrome OS?
This is one of the most important things to consider when looking for a laptop. It helps you to narrow down your selection in order to be in an excellent position to consider the other factors that follow. However, it is not an easy decision, especially if you are not familiar with the platforms.
Each one of them has its own cons and disadvantages, and it all comes down to your personal preference and the features that are most important to you. Most of the laptops nowadays come with a pre-installed OS, and if it’s a MacBook, it’ll have the latest version of macOS. Generally, all Apple products will have a Mac OS, while Windows can be found in many different types of laptops from different models. Chrome OS is reserved by default to Chromebooks, manufactured by Google, and based on the company’s Chrome browser.
- The Size Of The Laptop Screen
Yes, when it comes to laptops screen actually matters. The baseline of the screen size to go for will depend on your intended purpose of the laptop. You see, unlike RAM and ROM, which can be upgraded (we’ll talk about that in a minute), the laptop size is permanent.
There are various sizes available for you to choose from. Generally, the sizes range between 11.6 inches to 17.3 inches. So how do you know the size that is perfect for you?
It all boils down to what you want to do with your laptop or what you will be doing with it most of the time. Are you a diehard movie fan who prefers watching Netflix from the comfort of your bed on a big laptop screen? Are you a seasoned gamer who likes to see every minute detail of the characters in the game? Then you definitely need to go for the big-sized screens. If you are going to use the laptop for business meetings and you’ll frequently be traveling with the laptop, then you want something that will easily fit in your traveling bag. I’d recommend you consider choosing a smaller laptop or at least the medium-sized.
- Pick Your Specs
This is perhaps the most important of all and requires a little technical knowledge. Some of the things to consider include; RAM, processor, hard drive, graphics card, touch screen, ports, and connectivity. However, these specs can be confusing even to computer geeks, so don’t feel at a loss when you don’t grasp all of them. I’ll provide you with a quick overview of the most important ones below.
- The Processor (CPU)
This is the brain of the laptop tasked with handling all the processing activities. Most of the laptops available in the market today have Intel’s Core-based CPUs, with the popular ones being Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7. The higher the number, the higher the processing performance, and consequently the price. So again, this will depend on your intended use of the laptop. You don’t want to spend a fortune to buy a laptop with Core i7 while you just want to use it to read emails and watch Netflix.
In a nutshell, this is the working memory of the computer. It is the one that determines how many applications you can comfortably run at the same time or play a memory-intensive game without lagging. There are low budget laptops of 4 GB RAM or even 2 GB and below. The size of the RAM goes hand in hand with the price. If you are going to be running multiple applications simultaneously or that require a lot of memory like, for example, simulators or other huge applications, then you would want to choose a larger size of RAM. However, it’s important to note that like we mentioned earlier, RAMs can be upgraded later. Generally, they are just chips that can be pulled out of your laptop and replaced with another one if the need arises later.
Here, were are talking about the clarity of your screen and how sharp images displayed there will be. Apart from the overall size of the laptop, the display size matters. You probably have heard about full HD displays or 4K. It’s all about the number of pixels measured diagonally on the screen. The higher the number of pixels, the higher the resolution, and hence the better the display. Most available sizes include; 1366 x 768, 1920 x 1080 (full HD), 2560 x 1600, 3200 x 1800 and 3840 x 2160 (4K). The downside of increased resolution is the power consumption factor, which you definitely need to put in mind if battery life is an issue for you.
- Graphics Chip
This is mainly a concern to high-end users like gamers, people creating 3-D objects, or running advanced simulators as well as video editors.
Other key specs to consider include; the availability of all the ports you’ll require, connectivity features such as Bluetooth, 4G support, wifi, etc.
- Check Battery Life
Battery life is one of the most overlooked features in laptops and yet very vital. One reason why you buy a laptop instead of a desktop computer is the ability to carry it everywhere you want. All this is made possible by the battery inside the laptop. So it’s definitely important that you consider how long the laptop can operate without being connected to a power source.
- Consider The Brand
The brand has a great impact on the laptop you choose. There is a saying that a product is as good as the brand behind it. I’d highly recommend you do simple research on the brands to see which ones are more reputable. You’ll also want to go for a brand that offers excellent customer support so that if anything comes up later, you can resolve it quickly.
- Decide On Your Budget
Now that you’ve known what key factors to consider, you can comfortably evaluate your budget and decide which laptop fits your budget. You also don’t have to spill a huge amount of money on a laptop, assuming it will deliver all you want. You now know what to consider. I trust you’ll make an informed judgment next time you go shopping for a new laptop.