What to Look for When Buying a Laptop

In this fast-paced technological era, owning a laptop is not negotiable anymore – it is a must-have for many. Laptops come with different specifications in size, number of ports, screen quality with some having touch screens such as Lenovo. All these promise some degree of performance ranging from low to high.

Even if you may not consider yourself tech savvy, below is a rundown of what you should look out for when purchasing a good laptop.

1. Portability

If you need a device that is not bulky while you are on the move, then a laptop whose screen measures 12.5 to 15 inches with a weight not exceeding 1.5kg is right for you. If you intend to use the laptop for desk work mostly, a 17 to 18 inches will suffice and these can weigh as heavy as 6kg.

2. Quality of the keyboard

The keys of the keyboard should be full-sized and have adequate space around each of them. Go for keyboards that are backlit for better viewing particularly in poorly lit places. Ensure that the distance a pressed key goes down (vertical travel) is at least 1 to 2 mm. A keyboard with a nub between the keys with letter G and H is an added advantage for uninterrupted navigation from the home keys.

3. The Central Processing Unit (CPU):

This is the device whose role is to carry out all the functions of the laptop. The faster the CPU, the faster programs will run. This means that Core i5 processors offer better CPU performance than Core i3. However, both processors can handle the basic functions of displaying videos online, emails and playing music. For video encoding and other engineering applications Core i7 is best.

4. Storage Drive

A laptop with a solid state drive (SSDs) functions faster than a hard drive (HDDs) by 300%. SSDs have much quicker data access, better reliability and a reduced power consumption than HDDs. SSDs have storage capacity of 16 GB up to 512GB – significantly less than HDDs. HDDs are slower than their counterparts but have a storage capacity of 160 GB to 2 TB and above. HDDs are still the most popular storage.

5. Battery

Whereas some high-end laptops have a battery life of as much as 12 hours, the life of your battery will still depend on the programs that you will run on your laptop. Battery life that can afford 8 hours of endurance is ideal.

6. Quality of the Screen

This is the part of your laptop that you will be looking at for a long time. Therefore, image clarity is paramount. A pixel resolution of 1920 x 1080 (full HD) is preferred as it gives you a high resolution and has enough space to multitask across applications. Higher resolutions than this (like 3200 x 1800) are sharper but damage the life of the battery since they utilize more power.

7. USB Ports

Purchase a laptop with ports which will come in handy when doing external backups of your files or connecting chargers and other devices like an external mouse, keyboard or DVD drive.

8. The Random Access Memory (RAM)

A computer memory of at least 4GB will allow for various applications to operate simultaneously, in addition to accommodating more data especially graphics and 3D gaming. Nonetheless, 8GB or higher would be best.

9. Rugged Build

Some laptops can withstand weather elements like rain while others like military laptops are designed to withstand challenging situations such as vibrations. Therefore, ascertain how much a laptop can weather prior to paying for it.

Unless you want to please the laptop vendor, purchasing a laptop with zero knowledge of its specifications is costlier in the long run. But armed with the right knowledge, you will only have one factor to consider: your budget. Your budget will be the deciding factor of the features you will compromise on while at the same time, offer you a commendable user experience.

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