Here are some general guidelines that you should keep in mind when buying a laptop.
Laptops are compact enough to pack in a suitcase and take anywhere, and versatile enough to handle demanding tasks.
With so many options available, and with the technical language with which they are offered on various occasions, it can be quite confusing and difficult to filter what is important or not when considering what laptop should be purchased.
In this article we will present a series of tips that can help you buy a laptop that is according to your needs.
The processor is one of the most important components, because it is the brain of the laptop. Whether you’re pressing a key or opening a file, the processor is what executes the command.
The processor is directly related to the budget that is allocated to acquire a computer, being the categories of low-end, mid-range and high-end.
The laptops entry-level are designed for simple tasks. They are capable of surfing the internet, making video calls, creating documents, and streaming videos. Your target audience comprises students and casual users.
The laptops mid-range offer a good compromise between budget and performance. If you’re looking for the best value for your money, choosing a mid-tier laptop can be a great idea.
They are equipped with a processor capable of editing light graphics and videos, and allow you to do different activities at the same time with great fluidity. They are intended for college students, teachers, and office workers.
The laptops high-end are designed for heavier tasks, which include, among others, the creation of content and playing video games in good definition. They are intended for video editors, designers, and game players.
The portal Your Trusted Technician drew up a graph where you can see what processors you should look for for the type of laptop you need:
These different processors offer a certain number of cores, which depending on their number could process more actions. But in general, for tasks such as browsing the web or making a document, a dual-core processor is recommended.
A laptop with a screen size between 12 and 14 inches is ideal for those who work primarily on emails, presentations, and spreadsheets.
Those who regularly edit photos and videos or play PC games should consider a 15-inch model that has a hardware more powerful, such as a dedicated graphics chip for creating multimedia content and games.
Choose a laptop with a 3: 2 aspect ratio screen. You will get more vertical screen space and you can view documents or web pages with less scrolling.
Choose an in-plane switching (IPS) display with decent color quality and great viewing angles.
Screens have gotten sharper over the years. A Full-HD display (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) is recommended, which is found in most of the laptops conventional.
Your viewing experience is also affected by whether the screen is matte or glossy. The former reduces glare and reflection, but a bright screen produces sharper, better-looking images.
Also, consider the brightness. A screen with 300 nits and a higher brightness level is recommended, although a dimmer screen consumes less power.
With the rise of video conferencing, webcams have become a major factor.
The 720p camera on most newer laptops is more than adequate. When purchasing an external webcam, a higher-end one may have a privacy cover that physically blocks the view of the webcam. Others may have an additional infrared camera that unlocks the computer through facial recognition.
The images you see on a laptop screen are produced by a graphics chip. This is integrated as part of the processor (the CPU) or a separate dedicated chip.
A dedicated graphics chip offers better performance and is a must have for those who play games or produce digital content. Gaming company Nvidia recently updated all of its GeForce mobile graphics chips, so there are plenty of updated options for any budget for gamers.
Memory and storage
System memory or RAM affects the responsiveness of a computer and the number of applications that can be run at the same time.
8GB of RAM should be sufficient for most users. Those who edit photos or videos will need more. With regard to the storage unit, there are two types of hard disk.
HDD hard drives are the most common and cheapest. The thinner the discs, the better the recording will be; and how much the faster they rotate, the faster the data is transmitted, both when reading them and when writing them. Typically, the speed of hard drives is usually 5,400 or 7,200 rpm (revolutions per minute). Depending on the range of the computer, they can offer anywhere from 512GB of storage to 10TB (1TB equals 1000GB).
For its part, SSD hard drives are more efficient and faster than HDD drives; however, they are more expensive. Another advantage they have over HDDs is that they are not fragmented, that is, they do not slow down or take up unnecessary space. Depending on the range of the computer, they can offer between 256GB of storage and 4TB.
The manufacturer’s battery life estimates are based on a specific set of tests. Your mileage will vary based on use. Most thin and light 13- or 14-inch laptops offer seven to eight hours of uptime, while larger or gaming models will offer much less.
Having a large set of ports can be a great advantage. A laptop has multiple connectivity ports on each side.
The most important of all is the USB port. These are responsible for transferring data between devices. They can also serve as charging points for devices like smartphones.
All modern laptops come with at least one USB 3.0 port (usually blue or turquoise in color), while pricier devices offer USB 3.1 and USB Type-C or Thunderbolt 3 access, providing more connectivity options.
Although most laptops come with Wi-Fi-enabled features that allow you to access the internet without using cables, they generally have a port. ethernet that allows internet connection through a cable of this type direct to the router.
Regarding the video outputs, it is more common today than the laptops have a built-in HDMI port, which is used to transfer video and audio signals between your laptop and other devices, such as TV monitors, other laptops, digital cameras, etc.
In addition, other ports may also be available, such as 3.5mm audio and SD card slots. Lightweight computers might sacrifice some of these ports for more portability, but adapters are also available that would fix this problem. (I)