6 Points To Consider Before Buying A Laptop
Many people rely on a good quality laptop for their work and leisure activities. There is a lot of choice when considering the multiple options, so it can be challenging to decide which laptop to buy when looking for a new one. Without focusing on any brands in particular, this article looks at some things you should consider.
1. What do you want to use it for?
Before considering any components, it’s important to think about what you want to use your new laptop for. For example, if you still have your main laptop but are looking for something portable that can be used for travelling, then a Chromebook could be the answer. In fact, a Chromebook can be used for most things these days.
However, they do have the significant disadvantage of needing to be connected to the internet the whole time and you are restricted as to what you can install on them. This is the reason they are only suitable as secondary laptops rather than being your main one. If you are looking for your primary laptop, then there are many brands available, but the focus here is on components.
2. Processor (CPU)
The CPU is probably the most important component of a laptop because it is difficult to replace or upgrade. Therefore, you want to choose one that will last as long as you want to keep the laptop for. There are also various brands to choose from, but many people still like the reliability of Intel.
If you are choosing Intel, then it’s likely to be a choice between i3, i5 or i7. The truth is those processors are all good, and it merely comes down to individual use. Price is going to play a part here, and the i7 processor can be pricey. Therefore, the i5 is the best choice for most people, i3 is better for lighter users and i7 is only worth the cost for those that need incredibly high performance from their device.
3. HDD or SSD?
Some years ago, it was essential to have a lot of storage space available on your device. However, that is no longer the case due to the emergence of cloud storage and affordable portable storage devices. There are mainly two different types of hard drives available: hard disk drives (HDDs) and solid-state drives (SSDs).
The HDDs are your traditional hard drives that usually have high storage capacity, but the technology is older and more vulnerable to break. The alternative, SSDs, are more expensive meaning they tend to come in lower storage capacities, but they are fast and less susceptible to break. Therefore, it’s a choice between storage space and speed.
4. Graphics cards
Another important consideration when buying a new laptop is the graphics card. Again, there are two main choices here of either having a stand-alone card or an integrated one. Regarding performance, most people probably won’t notice the difference, and stand-alone graphics cards are usually for gamers.
The main difference is that a stand-alone graphics card reserves memory until it is needed. In contrast, the integrated card is using memory the whole time as part of the normal operations of your device. Therefore, an incredibly demanding game may struggle if it doesn’t have dedicated memory at its disposal.
5. Optical drive
DVD drives have been phased out from laptops to a large extent, but no one has really noticed. If you still have a computer with a DVD drive, think about how often you actually use it. The reality is that normally you will have no use for it. This is because software is usually downloaded today, and files are typically saved on a hard drive or via cloud storage.
Even when it’s necessary to take a file somewhere, things like USB storage have replaced DVDs. Therefore, it’s probably not worth buying a laptop with an optical drive. If there was a rare occurrence where you did need that functionality, then you have the option of connecting an external one via a USB port.
6. Random Access Memory (RAM)
RAM is another consideration for your next laptop. It’s worth pointing out that it is the most accessible computer component to upgrade, so you can purchase just enough RAM to begin with and upgrade as you see fit. Unlike the other items in this list, it’s not likely to have a significant bearing on price.
Again, different factors come into play here, such as the operating system you want to run and your general use of the device. Your current laptop should stand as a decent benchmark to decide how much RAM you need. It’s relatively easy to see how much RAM you are using on your current system, which may determine how much you need for your typical use.
Buying a new laptop can be a challenging process due to the choice available. Even when not focused on comparing different brands, different components also need to be evaluated. Remember that the hard drive and RAM can usually be upgraded and changed. Therefore, the processor and graphics card are the more significant decisions.