Buying a laptop (or any type of computer) is like buying a car; there are so many models and sizes that it’s easy to get confused about which one is best. Start by considering your needs, this will help you identify the right one for you. Laptops range from high-end, top-of-the- notch to budget-friendly, bare minimum, machines. As always, a happy medium is the best bet, unless you have or don’t have the means to go for either end of the spectrum. For simplicity’s sake, we will focus on a regular home/office laptop. The following is a list of the most important features to consider:
- The Processor (CPU)- This is the brains of your laptop, where your programs are run, so you want to make sure your laptop houses an efficient processor. Intel offers some of the best of the market. Although an i3 processor is suitable, you’re better off with an i5 for speed and capacity. Dual core is sufficient for everyday computing.
- Hard Drive- You have the choice between a solid state drive (SSD) or a mechanical hard drive. Basically, SSDs are faster and more durable but have less storage capacity and are more expensive. Hard drives are not as fast and durable, but cost less and have more storage space. If you need the storage and not the speed, go with the hard drive. If you don’t need storage, but need a faster laptop, go with an SSD. If you do opt for a hard drive, choosing one with at least 7200rpm will give you more speed.
- RAM memory- RAM is for you to run several applications simultaneously. It boosts your laptops multi-tasking capacity. Make sure you have at least 4GB RAM, and if you can afford to spend a little more, go with 8GB.
There are many other features to consider, such as portability and size, screen quality and keyboard, but those are things that are better determined by you, the buyer. We recommend a hands-on try at a laptop, rather than buying online. This way you can get a feel for how the keyboard feels, how heavy the laptop is, etc. And don’t forget to check the battery-life. You’ll want one that lasts at least 8 hours (a whole work day). Happy hunting!