Laptop Buying Guide
Laptop Buying Guide - How to Buy the Right Laptop
Are you thinking of buying a laptop? The most prevalent question that every person has in his mind before buying a laptop is –How to buy the right laptop? Welcome to our laptop buying guide where we have made efforts to help anyone who aims to buy a new laptop.
We all have preliminary knowledge of what laptop is; however detailed technical specifications are sometimes hard to understand. There are different brands of laptops giving different configurations; hence it might create a confusion in your mind.
It is tough to decide the best laptop for you not only because of brands, models and arrays of specifications, but also because users of laptops vary. The user may be a child or a college student or an adult. The college student will need more battery life laptop so that it can last whole day for all the classes and for chatting with his/her friends. The child may need laptop for school homework or playing some games.
Though you are familiar with the features of a laptop, the guide mentions them for those who need to know.
How Does Laptop Size Matter?
Laptop size does matter when you are planning to buy a laptop. The size of the screen of the laptop depicts the size of laptop. The screen sizes vary according to the portability and use. The size varies from 7 inches to 12.1 inches screen for Netbooks and 10.6 inches to 20.1 inches for laptops. The most popular screen sized laptop used is one having 15.4 inches screen size. It’s a burden to carry 17 inches laptop while travelling. Hence size must be considered as the first factor before buying a laptop. You have to find the appropriate size for you keeping in mind the portability and usability features.
How Will You Decide the Right Size of Laptop for You?
Before going further, answer some questions:
- Why do you need a laptop?
- Do you need it to carry your data with you for meetings?
- Do you want it for conducting classes or training?
- Or you want it to replace your desktop so that you can take it from one room to another at home?
- Do you travel a lot and want to surf the web and send e-mails?
The purpose of use of the laptop can be used to determine its size.
Laptops or notebooks are popularly categorized into four types-
- Tablet PC- It is the smallest among Netbooks and its size is just as much as a notepad. It weighs roughly 3 pounds. The largest size in Netbooks is 10.2 inches.
- Ultraportable Notebooks - These notebooks have maximum screen size of 13.3 inches. Their thickness is less than 1.3 inches and weight is usually less than 4 pounds.
- Thin or Slim Laptops - The laptops with screen size 11 to 13 inches and thickness 1 to 1.4 inches are thin or slim laptops. This is the mid-sized laptop with normal weight 5 to 7 pounds.
- Laptops to Replace Desktops - The laptops having screen size largest from 13.3 inches to 17 inches are all purpose laptops. The standard thickness of these types of laptops is more than 1.5 inches. These laptops can replace your desktop and weigh more than 7 pounds.
After taking into consideration your use and the need to carry the laptop with you, by now you must have decided the right size of laptop for you. Let us now know about the specifications of the laptop.
How Can Technical Specifications Vary?
Technical specifications are of utmost importance while buying a laptop. The notebook or laptop you buy must be capable of performing tasks according to your needs. You may need a laptop to browse through the web and exchange emails or you may need a laptop for presenting tutorials or showing videos. The task may be different for each user. As the task varies the technical specifications may also vary completely in each case.
How Are the Specifications Given?
Specifications can be easily read by the technical savvy person but other users are still not conscious of the technical capacities of their laptops. Hard drive, RAM memory and the processor are the most important specifications to be considered when you buy a laptop.
- Hard Drive - Hard drive is the capacity of your laptop to store the data. 80GB hard drive is the best specification for a laptop. If you plan to buy a notebook, you use only 20GB to 30GB of it for your regular tasks. But if you plan to buy a laptop for performing tasks which use large files as graphics or images, then you must take a laptop with capacity 50 to 80GB or higher. Sometimes you can add an external drive later if you require more data to be stored. Notebooks or laptops come along with some software programs that are already installed when you buy them. They may not provide you sufficient space to accommodate your personal data. Hence check with the dealer to know about the actual capacity of the hard disk.
- RAM Memory - RAM memory is that which your laptop uses when it runs an operating system and other applications. Usually it is recommended for Windows XP and Mac OS- X. The RAM must be minimum 256MB. 128 MB RAM is used by the computer to run other operating systems in Windows or Mac. If you want to work on Windows Vista operating system then the required RAM is 1 Gig or more. Along with a good RAM memory, it is beneficial to have new Core 2 duo or Athlon 64 X2 processor. If you use visual graphics and lot of gaming, then video RAM should be considered. You must check the video memory before buying a laptop.
- Processor and Its Speed - The processor is called as the brain of the computer or laptop. It helps to process the information in a sequential manner. The higher the number, the higher the pseed of the Intel processor. A Pentium-4 processor can be bought if you can afford it. It is expensive but very fast and possesses a long battery life. You can also choose Mobile Intel Celeron. Speed enhances the performance of your computer and its ability to process the data and perform tasks as efficiently as you need - tasks like downloading heavy files or watching videos or maybe browsing the web. The latest models of processors have 3.6GHz speed. The rotational speed of the hard disk has also to be checked as it affects the performance of the computer. Notebook with hard disk spinning speed 5,400rpm is much faster than a notebook with spinning speed 4,500rpm. The faster the hard disk spinning speed, higher is the performance of the notebook or laptop.
- CD –RW Drives - To play your CD on your laptop, you need to install a CD-ROM. You also need to install a CD-RW to burn your CD’s if you want the laptop to copy the data from CD’s to the system. Several notebooks or laptops can use external drives for storing data or to burn CD’s.
To summarize, notebooks and tablets are easy to carry and good for power point presentations but do not have all features of a laptop.
Laptops are slightly heavy, all purpose and easy to carry computers with more battery life and added features.
Updated on : 18 July 2011 6:37 AM