When computers first arrived on the scene, they were a commodity that only a select few could afford. Over time, as technology has improved, they have become cheaper, with laptops as a cheaper alternative to your desktop system. The computer system has increased our productivity, allowing us to work wherever and whenever. However, with the vast array of brands and models, it has created a great deal of confusion for the average user to know what’s best for them to invest in.
When buying a laptop, there are several things that the buyer should keep in mind. These things will ensure that the buyer gets the best laptop for their needs and wants. Laptops can be purchased from a number of different electronic and department stores, but I’m pretty sure you already have some idea of where you attend to acquire yours.
It’s very important that you think about all the various tasks that you intend to do on the laptop, once you purchase it. If your intentions are to surfing the internet and use one or two online services from time to time, then you may find that it’s more cost effective to go with a single core system. However, if you intend on carrying out heavy video editing, then you will fare much better with a high performance multimedia rig.
The processor is basically the brain of the system. Laptop processors typically run at less power, which means they are not as fast; this is because laptops are run off batteries. In addition to them using less energy, they must also be sufficiently cooled, in order to prevent them from overheating. This is done by applying both fans and heat sinks to the unit. Your decision to purchase a laptop with either a fast or moderately fast processor, should be based on what you intend to do on the laptop.
The next thing for you to consider is the price. There may be a number of cool features that you would like to have in your laptop. However, if you lack the funds, to have say, a high performance graphics card, then you may be better off seeking a viable alternative.
4. Additional Ports and Hardware
Additional hardware components and ports, add more girth and weight to the laptop, this leads to manufacturers being very selective in what ports and hardware components they include in their model ranges. Most netbooks and Ultra-books do not come with optical drives; however they do allow the end user to add an external CD-ROM drive to them. USB ports are very important for virtually anyone that uses a computer system, but as the buyer, you should think about the number of peripherals that you intend to connect to the device, as this will help you determine how many ports to go for. VGA, HDMI and DVI ports are essential for those who intend to use dual display setups or projectors.
Some brands come with great software packages, while others offer better warranty deals. For example, a Sony Vaio may be more costly than a Dell laptop, despite the fact that they have identical specifications. The reason why this is is because Sony laptops come with a heap of applications, which ultimately saves the user a lot of money, months or years down the line.
However, if you already own all the software packages that you will ever need, it may make better sense for you to go with the cheaper brand. Acer systems tend to be fairly cheap, but come with a number of enhancements, like big hard drives or large amounts of RAM, making them highly competitive.
6. Hard Drive
When looking at the hard drives, you need to pay attention to speed and capacity space. Most people want a laptop with the largest hard drive, so that they can save large amounts of videos, photos and songs on them. However, capacity isn’t the only thing that you should think about when looking at different hard drives. Speed is another thing you should consider, as you want to ensure you are able to access said data, in as little time as possible.
Manufacturers use RPMs to measure the speed of a hard drive, this metric simply refers to the speed in which the spindle rotates. Basically, the more RPMs, the faster it is.
Random access memory (RAM) is the temporary storage space for a computer system, used primarily for carrying out tasks. The more RAM in the laptop, the more tasks it will be able to do, without lag. The best thing about RAM is that it is highly upgradable, so if you need more, just go out and get some, at very affordable rates. What’s most important when purchasing a laptop is the maximum RAM capacity! Motherboards have a limited number of memory slots, thus, you should think about this, before buying anything.
Uchenna Ani-Okoye is a former IT Manager who now runs his own computer support website http://www.compuchenna.co.uk