Technology moves incredibly quickly these days. What may have been state-of-the-art 2-3 years ago is now standard, and what was standard 2-3 years ago may now be approaching obsolescence. Innovative technologies make their way onto the market all the time and standards change. If you’re looking for a new laptop it can get quite confusing knowing what’s what. To help you choose the right one we’ve put together a guide about what to consider.
Laptops are getting smaller, far closer to the screen size of a typical tablet, but some people still prefer the larger model. Cost is the main deciding factor, but some users need a larger screen. It all depends on what your laptop’s intended use is. If you travel a lot and take your laptop with you – for example, you work on the go – a smaller screen may be better. If you work in a static environment such as around the home, a larger screen is easier to read and offers more space for multitasking.
The 2-in-1 Laptop
Some people prefer 2-in-1 for the portability. These are more like tablets but with a keyboard to use as a regular laptop. If you require tablet functions – like a touchscreen – then consider this type. Otherwise, a standard notebook type will suffice. Remember that touch screens require more power than a standard laptop so battery life and charging times may want to be considered. There are choices to the 2-in-1 models though. Some fold all the way back and are more like laptops that becomes a tablet, whereas the detachable keyboard types are more often tablets that become laptops. Although this isn’t a hard rule.
Hard Disk Choices
3-5 years ago, the choice was simple, it simply depended on how large a hard disk you could afford. Now, there is another choice to consider – a solid-state hard disk. This type promises superior speed and processing power, a cooler running laptop, and extended battery life. Before you leap to this choice understand that for the same price you will get a solid state hard disk with a smaller amount of memory and may need an external drive for your large files. Solid state drives are expensive although heavy users may find the trade-off worth the cost.
More RAM and Disk Space Means Energy Efficiency
A laptop is always a better choice compared to desktops in terms of energy efficiency. A laptop needs charging once or twice a day at the most when running at optimum efficiency. A desktop needs a constant source of power for the tower unit, all its peripherals, and the monitor. Choosing a solid-state disk is one way to improve energy efficiency, but it pays to check the energy efficiency of any electrical product and make it a buying point. Laptops with more RAM and larger hard disks run more efficiently because of the greater space, meaning a lower likelihood of the fan kicking in.
The Operating System
There used to be just two choices: Windows or MacOS with Windows offering a greater range of hardware options. The MacOS is an Apple operating system available only on Apple products. Today though, there is a third choice in ChromeOS. This is a Google operating system developed as a cost-saving platform for their branded Chromebooks. It bares similarities to the recognisable Windows, but has stripped back features to make it easier to use. Some people like its simplicity while others are drawn purely to the budget. Schools prefer this as it’s harder to install damaging software.
What about the Hardware Specs?
There are a wide range of processors with different levels of processing power, but the three most common are Intel Core i3, i5, and i7. An i5 is a good all-rounder, but you can get cheaper options like the i3 if you’re only really online browsing and writing word documents.. i7 processors are for those who use intense software for things like video editing. Most retailers will show comparable performance or draw parallels between these.