So, you need a new laptop. Easy enough, right? You know you need a computer and you need it to be portable, how hard could it be to find the right laptop?
Well, shopping for a laptop, or any computer, for that matter, is much more complicated than it appears. To start with, there are about 50 different laptop brands on the market. And within each of those brands are a variety of models in all shapes and sizes.
Even if you have a good idea of what you want, finding it can be difficult and confusing. With that in mind, it’s helpful to have as many of the details hammered out as possible before you hit the stores.
In doing so, you can more effectively narrow down your options and find the right laptop for you – and we’re here to help you do it! To learn which details you need to consider in your hunt for the perfect laptop, all you have to do is keep reading.
The first step in finding your ideal laptop is to determine your budget. As much as we’d all love to be able to shop without thinking about money, that’s just not an option for most people.
Luckily, there are laptops made to fit every budget. So whether you’re able to spend $200 or $2,000, you’ll have plenty of options.
The only thing to keep in mind is that budget laptops typically don’t come equipped with the same capabilities and features as those at a more “standard” price. If you’re working with a tight budget, you might not be able to use demanding applications such as editing software or video games.
As you create your budget, remember that a laptop is an investment.
Yes, it’s expensive upfront, but you’ll be using it for the next several years. And, as with any purchase, you get what you pay for. Budget laptops simply aren’t built to last as long as more expensive options.
2. Operating System
Though there are many lesser-known operating systems in existence, the main two are macOS and Windows. The vast majority of laptops on the market fall into one of these two classifications, so unless you already have a specific operating system in mind, it’s best to focus on learning about Mac and Windows.
If you’ve ever used both, you know how surprisingly different these operating systems are. Switching to a Mac computer after years of using Windows comes with a rather steep learning curve and vice versa.
Let’s talk about Windows first. This is by far the most popular operating system, meaning you have the most options to choose from if you want a Windows computer.
Because of its superior software compatibility, Windows is the preferred OS of most gamers. That said, Windows computers are far more prone to viruses and malware than Macs.
Apple’s macOS isn’t as friendly for gamers, but it does offer powerful creative functions such as top-of-the-line video and music editing. Mac computers are also able to communicate easily with other Apple devices, making them a great option for those who already use an iPhone or iPad.
Whether you’re trying to find the right gaming laptop or one designed with travel in mind, your device is going to be portable. After all, the whole point of a laptop is that it’s a computer that rests in your lap.
Though all laptops are portable, they still come in a variety of sizes, which is an important factor to consider.
Now, you can absolutely find an ultra-thin, ultra-light laptop capable of some pretty amazing things. But the smaller the computer, the fewer components. This is why gaming laptops are often the bulkiest, heaviest options on the market.
If your primary uses for your computer include simple tasks like creating documents, streaming videos, and making calls, you can get away with buying a much small computer without noticing a dip in performance.
Speaking of your laptop’s performance, we need to go over a few of the main components inside the system itself. The first, and most important, is the CPU, as it acts as the brain of your computer.
The processor you choose can make or break your experience with your new computer, but it can be hard to understand which options best suit your needs.
To make it easier to find the right Dell laptop or Macbook, it’s helpful to sort processors by their capabilities. All CPUs fall into one of three basic categories: entry-level, mid-range, and high-end.
Entry-level CPUs are designed for those who want the benefits of a laptop without breaking the bank. They can handle everyday tasks without difficulty.
Next up are the mid-range CPUs. These are a bit more powerful, capable of executing heavier tasks such as light photo editing and playing low-spec video games.
Those looking for a computer that can breeze through hardcore gaming, professional video editing, and other rigorous tasks will need a high-end CPU. These are the most expensive on the market but can handle any task you can throw at them.
Next to the CPU, your system memory, or RAM, is the most significant component. As with choosing a CPU, you need to think about how you plan to use your laptop, including the types of applications and tasks you need to perform.
This is especially true if you’re a gamer. Video games have a required minimum RAM they need to run. For example, if your favorite video game requires 16 GB of RAM and your computer only has 8, you’ll find it impossible to play.
Having 16 GB of RAM is ideal for users who need their computer for anything beyond document creation and internet browsing. That said, you can find high-end gaming laptops from www.lenovo.com and other brands with 32 or even 64 GB of memory!
Unlike a desktop computer, your laptop is likely going to run off battery power more often than not. Because of that, battery life is crucial when you’re trying to figure out how to find the right laptop.
If you need a laptop for business travel, for instance, you want your battery to last as long as possible. The most efficient business travelers know that there’s nothing worse than searching for an available airport outlet during a layover!
On the flip side, if you’ll be using your laptop primarily for gaming in your own home, battery life might be further down your priority list than RAM or graphics.
7. Screen Quality
No matter what laptop you buy, it’s going to be capable of excellent image quality. The question is – how important are things like resolution, panel quality, and touch screen technology to you?
The most common screen quality with budget laptops, for example, is 720p. Though this still looks great, it’s not as high-quality as 1080p or 1440p resolution. If you’re a video editor or gamer, the right resolution is a game-changer.
8. Available Ports
Although you can buy hubs that connect to your laptop and offer additional ports, it’s better to choose a laptop that has everything you need without the need for accessories. It seems that the more advanced laptops become, the fewer ports they have, so be sure to check the available ports before you buy.
All modern laptops come equipped with one USB 3.0 port, but USB Type-C, USB 2.0, ethernet ports, and HDMI ports aren’t quite as common.
In addition, depending on the tasks you need to complete, you might need SD card slots, 3.5 mm audio jacks, or a port to plug in your microphone.
It’s no secret that laptops aren’t known for their superior sound quality. Most laptops come with small speakers that aren’t capable of producing the full-bodied sounds music lovers expect.
Buying a set of headphones or speakers to go with your laptop is always an option, but if you want good audio quality, you need to look for a laptop that comes with speakers from third-party companies.
Find the Right Laptop to Get the Most Out of Your Technology
Every laptop is an incredible piece of technology, but no two users have identical wants and needs. And the great thing about modern technology is there’s something for everyone!
By using this guide, you’ll be able to sift through the virtually endless options and find the right laptop with ease.
Then, whether you’re an artist, a traveling salesman, a student, a gamer, or anything in between, all that’s left is to purchase your new computer and enjoy.
Once you have the perfect laptop in mind, take a look at our blog! We have articles on all things tech to help you get even more out of your technology.