Must Know Before buying a laptop

The cold freezing holiday season is right around the corner, it’s when everyone stays at home to find shelter from this blistering freezing cold, and so many are looking to buy new electronic devices to keep them occupied, or even to buy them as presents, and one of the best seller items during holidays are laptops!

There are many things you should consider before buying a laptop, they vary from specifications and performance of the laptop, but the most important thing to consider first is what exactly are you using it for, because rather than looking for the laptop with the biggest numbers on it’s label when you walk into a computer store; realizing after buying it that you don’t need that laptop because it’s simply useless as you are only utilizing 15% of it or so, wasting alot of money. Sometimes the complete opposite can happen, where you look for the best looking laptop and then realize it’s not capable of performing to your needs, there are 3 main things that you must to know before buying a laptop, these are:

 

1) Hardware Specs when buying a laptop

 

RAM, processor, drive size and type, graphics card, optical drive, battery life, and weight of the laptop, those are most important specs that you should be looking into

RAM – is basically how much information/instrcutions your laptop can process at the same time, if you have low RAM your PC will be really slow when you have alot of programs open because it can’t keep up with the pressure on it, and if you have too much RAM your battery will die with couple hours, as every single bit of RAM feeds heavily on the memory, think of it as the muscle of the computer, how many commands it can take and endure at the same time, so usually, usually 4GB of RAM is more than good enough for the average user, for browsing, doing assignments, photo editing and listening to music here and there, alot of people never go over 3.5GB of RAM so to speak, don’t take anymore than 6GB unless you are a heavy user, and want to open intensively demanding programs simultaneously, otherwise it’s good for the average joe, if you’re a heavy gamer then you should be looking to take 8GB or more which will be good for you

Processor – is basically the brain of the computer, it communicates with the motherboard and interacts with other components processing many instructions between hardware and memory systems, the better the processor the faster it executes the commands, meaning the faster you’re laptop will be, you would want to take Intel i3 processor if you are just looking to browse around and very lightly tread on your computer, i5 processor is more than good enough for the average joe with it’s quad core (some are dual), but in general it will be good for video editing, light gaming, photo editing etc, and i7 intel processor of course for the heavy users, but generally, you’d want the best processor in the market to make things work as fast as possible, so my advice is to go for i7.

Drive type and size – is basically the amount of information you can store in your laptop at the same time, and the type of it determines how fast your PC boots up, how fast it shuts down and how fast data is transferred, which is why you need to know that the type of it is more important than the size of it, an SSD (Solid Slate Drive) can make your PC launch and ready to use within 4 seconds, where as a typical hard drive will take the normal 15-30 second cycle.

Graphic card – the graphic card determines how much resolution your laptop screen can run (460p, 720p, 1080p), when buying a laptop look at it’s graphics card and look it up in www.game-debate.com and then decide whether to buy it or not, and DO NOT be fooled by the Graphics card memory, these days they will put you a terrible graphics card with lots of memory that it simply CANNOT utilise because it lacks short of performance, what matters is the card model. A 512mb GeForce 9600GT is surprisingly x2 as fast as a 1gb 9500GT & four times faster than a 9400GT! in addition to that, using 512mb or 1GB of graphics card is more than enough for the average joe to view HD.

Optical drive – make sure you pay attention to this, if you want to buy movies and new generation games then you would want to make sure it’s Blu ray, if you but the a DVD only optical drive then you can’t play most new games or watch alot of new movies.

Battery life – Don’t forget to check how long the battery can survive WHILE being used on balanced performance, the amount of time a battery can survive is also dependent on the RAM so keep that in mind.

Weight of the laptop – the weight of the laptop is really important, especially if you are a women, not being sexist, but some laptops are insanely heavy! make sure you lift the laptop before buying it or you will be troubled for eternity! it sure does make a difference because the weight of it affects it’s portability, also a downfall if you travel alot, you’d want a nice slim and light one unless it’s only for home use and will be moved from a room to another which is perfectly fine.

 

2) Software

 

Mac or Windows, it doesn’t really matter, the only applicable difference nowadays is the sync’ing with your phone which is made much easier and very convenient for data transfer between devices, so if you have an iphone go for Apple, or if you have an android then go for Windows 8.

Also it’s good to keep in mind buying a laptop from a known worldwide brand like HP or SONY or ACER etc, I personally prefer HP because they have the recovery system if your PC fails to boot, do a quick research on brands and fault rates in each one before deciding 100% on which laptop to buy

 

3) Laptop Design

 

 when buying a laptop, make sure you look at it’s materialistic design rather than it’s looks, because like the old saying says, looks can be deceiving! look for anything that says stainless, or scratch resistance materials, because the last thing you want is scratches on your new beloved laptop!

Also you must know that the keyboard material can differs significantly from a laptop to another, so keep an eye for that and the position of the touch pad, sometimes it’s place in a different unorthodox position and that might be really annoying for some people (including me)

however, if you don’t need a new laptop, why don’t you consider upgrading yours? sometimes upgrading to windows 8 or reinstalling windows 7/vista and replacing hardware like RAM or hard drive into solid slate drive is ALL you need for your laptop to run 5x times faster with better performance like new!

(+) Reference: