Are you an IT buff or a professional who constantly needs to access emails and documents on the go? If it is so, then you are definitely in need of a good laptop. Nowadays laptop has almost become a portable accessory and selecting a good one can be a difficult task to a person having no knowledge about what to look for in a laptop. You might just end up buying a laptop which not at all meets your requirements or is beyond your requirements due to which you might end up spending more.
Hence, I would like to discuss about the important points that should be considered while zeroing on for a particular laptop.
In today’s market, laptops are available in different sizes and specifications and size is not the only factor to look for while buying a laptop. You need to consider all other aspects such as performance, storage, memory, keyboard layout etc.
First you need to decide on about how and where you would be using it. A small laptop would be beneficial for a person who just wants to access email on the go. And if you intend not to travel much with your laptop, you can go for a slightly heavier laptop having the desired specifications. If you want a high performance laptop with lesser weight you might just have to shell out a bit extra.
There are some important factors which you need to consider before buying a laptop:
CPU is the most important criteria you need to consider, higher the CPU speed better would be the performance. There are lot of processors available in the market ranging from the low performance Intel Atom processors to High performance Core i7 processors. AMD is yet another manufacturer which has a range of processors from low performance Sempron processors to high performance FX and Phenom processors. AMD processors are known to heat up more than the Intel processors but come at a lower price. So an IT student would need a high end laptop such as an Core i5 or i7 processor while a business person while can use a Atom processor which would be sufficient.
The amount of installed memory should also be considered. More the memory better would be the performance and the number of applications which can be run simultaneously. Now-a-days memory in laptops range from 1GB to 8GB, a laptop with memory of even 2-3GB would deliver good performance.
For gamers and graphic designers, video memory should be considered. There are two types of video memories available in the market: one with a dedicated graphic card and the other with an integrated graphic card which tends to share memory. Dedicated graphic card must be considered for better performance.
Hard Disk Capacity
Hard drive is the main storage where the data gets stored actually, laptops hard drive space ranges from 320 GB to as high as 1TB. So if you intend to carry those extra movies, songs and high–end games go for at least a 320 GB hard drive.
The optical drive can also be checked for. Now-a-days, DVD read writer is quite common and available with all type of laptops. Consider going for a laptop which offers a Blue ray supporting optical drive. Blue ray is the latest technology and is to stay for future too. Some Netbooks do not feature an Optical drive!
Laptop screen sizes ranges from 10 inch to 17 inch; high-end users and individual dealing with graphics and designing should consider going for a laptop with a wider screen. An individual who wants to use the laptop for viewing videos or playing games should also go for a larger screen size. However, someone who just needs to browse the Internet and use small applications on the go can go for a small screen size. It must be remembered that larger screen will suck up more battery!
Weight is a very important factor. A laptop having a weight of 2 – 2.5 kg should be good. A laptop much lighter i.e. below 2 kgs would be more expensive. A person who intends to move a lot with the laptop should consider going for a lighter laptop though.
Laptop batteries are available as Lithium-ion 6 cell or 9 cell batteries. An ideal battery should at least give a 6 hour backup depending upon the usage pattern. Also, an ideal battery has a life of atleast 2 years. Ofcourse, there is no doubt that Battery strength would be more beneficial to a person using the laptop outdoors.
Ports and Keyboard
A good laptop should also have at least 3 USB ports, HDMI slot for connecting your TV with the laptop, a card reader for quick data exchange, Bluetooth connectivity for wireless data transmission, a VGA connector, Ethernet for getting connected to local area network or to the modem, headphone and a microphone jack, a RJ 45 for connecting the phone line and also an expansion port for connecting your docking station. Keyboards on Laptops come with or without the Number pad; you must check your comfort before buying a laptop without the Number pad. Backlit keyboards are good for working in dark environments as the back light can be turned on when we need it.
Operating System and Softwares
Also check out for the Operating system, it can be DOS or Windows. Windows operating systems are being supplied with most of the laptops. In case not, you’ll have to shell out extra bucks for purchasing a latest OS, for example Windows 7 Home Premium should be an ideal choice for most home users. Some laptops come pre-installed with softwares like the Ebook Reader, Antivirus softwares and more. You may opt for those in case you don’t want o waste your time in setting it up.
Final words of Caution..
Remember that only some of the components on the laptop are upgradable while others are permanent. So take your time and pick what you need.
Some of the good brands that offer Laptops are DELL, HP, Acer, Compaq, Sony, Toshiba, etc. DELL offers the customers to customize the Laptops as per their requirements, while HP is known to offer very good after-sales service. A Toshiba Laptop is known for its strength and durability, while Sony Laptops are known to look stunning. Acer Laptops offer the best deals in a small budget.
After saying all this, we hope we have made it a little easier for you to find your perfect laptop. Good luck with your purchase!!