The best way to start your search for a new laptop is to familiarise yourself with what functions you need it to do. Put more simply – if you know what you expect of the machine, it becomes easier to find the right laptop. A laptop’s functionality will guide whether or not you need a high, medium, or low-performance machine.
If you feel uncertain, here is a quick guide to help you decide:
If you mainly use your laptop for social networking, paying accounts, emailing, and word processing, you are a low-intensity user. A basic entry-level machine will be perfect for you.
You are a regular user if you do the above and stream music and videos, work in Office programmes and watch movies. A medium-level laptop will be suitable for your needs.
If you do video editing, animation and run several programs simultaneously, you will benefit from a high-capacity machine.
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The hardware matters
The rise of the popularity of the laptop over the traditional desktop computer is as a direct result of a need for convenience. The ability to carry your workstation around with you has taken remote working and flexibility to a previously unknown high point. But choosing the proper hardware is a decision that will affect the user experience for as long as the laptop is in your possession. What does hardware mean, exactly? Simple – everything that is not a programme installed on the machine is hardware. Software refers to programmes that you install.
If you can, you should try to test out a computer in a store environment to get a real-life feel for the operation of the laptop. You should check how sturdy the assembly of the unit is, whether the keyboard feels comfortable, how heavy the unit is, in case you have to move around a lot while working with it.
What is a 2-in-1 laptop?
When you are narrowing down your options, the form and function of the laptop should be a huge consideration.
Modern laptop manufacturers are cracking down on weight and bulk, and this consideration can make a massive difference to how you experience your new purchase.
Compared to the bulky and inconvenient size of a traditional computer, modern laptops are light and portable, often with a larger screen and better power, thanks to enormous progress that has been made in technology, allowing laptops to be lighter, but larger, without being clumsy.
2-in-1 laptops can convert into various shapes, with some of them offering touchscreens or flexible screens, allowing the user to adapt the form of the machine to the job at hand. Think a full computer for working, but an inverted A-frame for watching movies, or a tablet configuration for portability. The options are truly endless.
What is your preferred operating system?
In general, laptops are sold with their operating systems preinstalled. The operating system is the computer’s heartbeat and is the system according to which everything runs. Most operating systems are of comparable quality and choosing which one you want to use comes down to what you prefer.
Most commercially available laptops for sale will have Windows preinstalled. It is popular as it is easy to use, integrates well with other systems, and has a high security rating, alongside many apps designed to increase productivity and collaboration.
A screen can make or break the laptop experience, and one of the first things you need to decide is whether you want a screen with touchscreen capability or a regular one. Touchscreens are becoming more prevalent in most fabricates, except in Mac.
The size of the screen also matters. 11-17 inches is the most common size range, and you need to weigh up the benefits and drawbacks of each size before you decide. A larger screen tends to add to the bulk of the unit, although some of the higher-end laptops have managed to combine a larger size with low weigh, thanks to advances in technology.
How to expand your system
You don’t have to stick to the laptop in its original state. USB ports can be expanded upon with an expander, and once these are in place, you can add keyboards, headphones, phone chargers, and anything you need to run from a USB port.
Most computer stores will stock an array of adapters and extenders. Still, if you can find a laptop with these units integrated into the original build, you can do everything you need without relying on extra added peripheral clutter taking up space.