Things You Might Consider in Buying a New Computer

Released:

August 13, 2015

A lot of folks has been asking about which laptop to buy. Some prefer a brand over others, some prefer a touchscreen than plain screens, some even don't understand the numbers on the store shelves.

 
You need one that suit your needs and your budget.Choosing the right laptop for you saves money. You may not want to regret a big and bulky laptop containing a powerful processor and video card if you will just carry it around and use it for internet and documents.

 

Here are some guidelines that you may consider in choosing a right machine for you.

 

 

Size

 

Size does matter. The size of the laptop mostly determines the internal components, overall power and capabilities.

 

If you carry your laptop most of the time, then smaller, thinner, and lighter ones will benefit you. Internet notebooks or netbooks has screen sizes of 8” - 10” and are usually small and thin, easy to carry and easily fits in pouch. Most devices at this range has limitedprocessing capabilities but uses least battery power. It is ideal internet browsing, music, video playback, documents processing and casual gaming.

 

Extremely thin and light laptops, called ultrabooks usually has screen sizes of 11” - 13. Some ultrabooks are enclosed in a very light and flexible casing making them durable and featherweight while consumer grade ones are mostly plastic or metal which is a bit heavier. Nevertheless, ultrabooks are made for portability while housing a considerable amount of processing power on par with mainstream laptops.

 

Some thicker mainstream laptops has 13” - 15” screens. It aims to balance portability, battery consumption and processing power. It is balanced to be used for on table and portable enough to be easily carried, to home and office for example.

 

Most high-end, mainstreamlaptops are even powerful enough to run the latest games on medium to high settings and HD video editing easily so it is suited for gamers. It is also generally good for multitasking.

 

Multimedia and gaming notebooks / laptops that have 15” screens and above are also known as “desktop replacement”. It houses powerful components and cooling system, making them extremely powerful and unusually heavy. As the name implies, it is used mainly for gaming, studios, video editing, and scientific studies and experiments. Some laptops has even has extended screens. Laptops in these categories are expensive.

 

 

Processor

 

Processors process instructions that drives a computer.A faster and more powerful processor is required for more complex, multitasking applications such as video and photo editing, engineering, and gaming, while less powerful processors are used for everyday computing such as encoding, emails, and internet.

 

If you are aiming for processors from Intel, an entry-level Core i5 is the rule of the thumb for general computing, documents and gaming (given a decent video card).

 

Latest Intel Atom, Celeron, and Pentium brands are made for everyday tasks. Most of them have the same speed as the Core series but with some advanced features disabled to minimize cost. They can have many cores, but not as powerful as mainstream processors. Theses processors are great power savers so choose this if you want long battery run time on a single charge.

 

Mainstream Intel Core (i3, i5, i7) processors are used in general, multimedia and gaming tasks.It has a range of clock speeds and core numbers, and draws power considerably higher. If you prefer battery saving or doing office tasks, choose lower clock speeds (or the ultra low voltage ones with the “U” affix on the number, such as i5-xxxxU series), while gamers might choose higher clock speeds with more cores.

 

Laptop sizes are general indicators of components inside it but is not always the rule. There are bigger laptops which has downgraded parts aimed at low-income markets

 

To summarize, higher numbers (of the same generation) means greater performance, at a greater cost.

 

 

Storage

 

There are two common laptop storage: hard disk drives (HDD) and solid-state drives (SSD). Hard disk drives have higher capacity and cheaper than SSDs, but has moving parts that are prone to shock. SSDs does not have moving parts making them way faster than traditional HDDs. They are more expensive and is only commercially available up to 256Gb.

 

If you work and type on-road, SSD is a better option because won't damage your data while moving, unlike HDD. It is common with ultrabooks, ultraportables, and tablets. Choose HDD if you prefer storage (games, music, videos), and working on a table.

 

 

Video

 

Graphics or video cards generates and processes images to display. Modern Intel and AMD processors have great integrated video cards.

 

Integrated video cards draw far less battery power than dedicated video cards. This is used for less complex-graphic related tasks commonly found in everyday computing.

 

Laptops with dedicatedvideo cards has more graphics processing power used for extreme gaming, physics, science, and video editing. It generates a lot of heat and paired with good cooling system.

 

If you are not a gaming fan or a studio ownerand always on the road relying on portability, battery efficiency with less heat, go for integrated ones.

 

As a general rule, AMD has powerful graphics processor than Intel ones of the same generation, though Intel processors are more powerful, power efficient and runs cooler than AMD.

 

 

Display

 

We stare at out laptops for hours so it is important to choose what is best for our eyes. Glossy screens tendto have more glares than matte screens. If you watch movies a lot, glossy screens will be better because images are crisper. If you read a lot, matte is the best choice to avoid eye strain because it does not reflect much light, some of which are paperlike

 

Touchscreens reflect a lot of light and you may not want it if you constantly do field works.

 

 

Memory

 

Random Access Memory (RAM), or simply memory stores data that are actively used by the computer. The general rule when buying is that the more RAM is present in your computer, the more responsive and multitasking it is based on your preference

 

To give you an idea,today's standard is 2Gb to 4Gb for everyday general computing and simple multitasking. For multimedia tasks and gaming, we recommend 8Gb and above.

 

Windows 8.1 runs on 1Gb RAM but may not be sufficient on more demanding common tasks,

 

 

Ports

 

At least one USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 is the standard. An HDMI and SD card reader are necessary too. Other ports, such as Display Port, older VGA port and other expansion slots are optional at cost of weight.

 

 

Optical Drive

 

Optical drive requires big space and is heavy. Transferring to removable drives are easier and more efficient, so we opt not to include this on your list.

 

If you see yourself in a job of burning disc a lot for storage or sharing, this option might help you.

 

 

Battery

 

Laptops are essential with its battery. As a general rule, a laptop that has a higher battery capacity has more battery cells and bring more laptop runtime versus a laptop with less cell with the same specifications. Higher-end laptops tend to draw more power having less runtime.

 

You can look for reviews of the laptop you want to buy for actual battery benchmarks.

 

 

Brand

 

This is the ultimate question. Different makers have different flaws and reputations ranging from quality to customer service. There may have better names than one, but it is better to look for a review of a particular model of laptop you are eyeing. This will ensure of good quality laptop.  They also post some better laptop alternatives on their revies.

 

 

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact us!

 

 

Read More:

 

http://blog.laptopmag.com/laptop-buying-guide

 

http://www.cnet.com/topics/laptops/buying-guide/

 

http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/buying-advice/laptop/

 

www.pcworld.idg.com.au/article/556585/top-10-things-consider-when-buying...