In recent years, we’ve seen laptops get smaller, sleeker and faster, and today, there are literally hundreds of things to consider when you’re buying a laptop. Will it be loud enough to blast your music, do you need a dual core processor, should you get one that doubles as a tablet, and do you really need a touchscreen? Every well-known brand has a ton of options, and each laptop description is overflowing with technical jargon that’s practically another language for “non-techies.” Add to that you’re about to spend some serious money on something you don’t entirely understand; it can be a bit daunting. So, we’re here to make the process easier, let’s break it down.
What Do You Want Your Laptop For?
Determining what you’ll need your laptop for is the first step. Will yours primarily be for Netflix, web browsing and the occasional Word document? Or are you going to use coding programs or designing tools like Photoshop? How graphically rich do you want your gaming screen to appear, or how loud do you need the speakers to be? This first step in the buying process is crucial and will help you prioritize the features you need.
Do You Want a 2-in-1 Laptop?
These days, more and more laptops fall into the category of ‘2-in-1s’, so you can now easily transition from the traditional clamshell mode to tablet mode, stand mode, and tent mode. 2-in-1s can be convenient for watching movies or just surfing the web on the go. For many people, this isn’t a necessary feature, but if you travel a lot, it can definitely come in handy.
Is HD Important to You?
Rule of thumb – the lower the pixels, the grainier the images. Budget laptops are likely to have a screen resolution of 1366 x 768, which undoubtedly affects the clarity of every app. A minimum of 1920 x 1080 is what you should opt for. However, if your laptop will be used for designing and other tasks that deem graphics important – choose a laptop with full HD options. Keep in mind that most laptops these days have touchscreens – if it’s a 2-in-1, it definitely does – so bear in mind it could have a glossy screen that can make it reflective under certain lights.
CPU and RAM Deconstructed
Depending on the intensity of your use, it’s important to understand the different options available. CPU and RAM are important factors. The CPU is the heart and brain of the computer, while the RAM is part of the hardware that stores temporary data – depending on the amount of RAM it makes accessing files much quicker. So if you’re just using Microsoft Office, checking emails and browsing online, 4GB of RAM will be plenty, and we recommend choosing an Intel Core i5 CPU. For gaming or editing media files you’ll need at least 8GB RAM. But, if you’re dealing with HD video and high-tech gaming, consider choosing 16GB for less lag time and frustration, and opt for an Intel Core i7 – it will be worth it!
Brand Actually Matters
The brand and what it stands for matters when it comes to technical support and whether service is provided efficiently and effectively. The standings fluctuate every year, however; Samsung, HP, and Apple stand strong in the list.
Don’t Compromise on Battery Life
A laptop with a bad battery life pretty much takes away from the whole purpose of it – portability. If you have to keep recharging your laptop multiple times a day, you aren’t using anything different than a desktop, are you? A laptop bought for office use at the desk will have different battery life requirements from that being used for out-of-office meetings and watching movies anywhere you want. A minimum of 6 to 8 hours of battery life is recommended for the latter. It’s also important to know that a laptop with a touch screen will use much more battery – 2 to 3 hours on average.
Prioritize your requirements, choose your specifications carefully, and make the smart choice to buy a laptop and earn Cash Back at the same time!