There is a wide range of different laptops available nowadays with a variety of different features, and in a selection of price ranges that run the gauntlet. Choosing a laptop can be a difficult task, and knowing where to begin can be challenging. Ultimately, you need to ensure that you get the best value possible and that you find a laptop that will meet your unique user requirements.
As every laptop user is different, taking the time to consider how you will use your new machine is the first step towards selecting your ideal laptop. Perhaps you will be using your laptop for general browsing, email, and social media. Or maybe, you are a graphic designer or gamer who requires high performance and a hefty amount of RAM to run sophisticated software. On the other hand, you may travel a lot for work and need a lightweight, portable laptop with excellent battery life, and a durable build to boot.
Taking the time to assess your needs will ensure that you’ll make a well-informed purchasing decision, and that you’ll be more likely to choose a model that’s perfectly suited to your needs.
Let’s take a look at a few simple tips to help you choose the right laptop for your personal user requirements.
Most laptop users can be defined simply as a “Windows user” or a “Mac user”. However, in recent years Chrome OS has also entered the fray, and it comes with its own set of advantages including an unmatched boot up speed, which may make a Chromebook perfect for you.
Knowing what your preferred OS can help guide you in a particular direction when it comes to weighing up your options. Of course, buying a new laptop may also be the perfect time to try a new system. Be sure to examine each OS in detail to ensure you choose one that fits your needs, and be especially attentive to the changes in OS if you’re moving from a Windows to a Mac or to a Chromebook and vice versa.
While there are many different styles, shapes, and sizes of laptops on the market, generally they fall under one of three categories; “traditional laptops”, “gaming laptops”, or “2-in-1 laptops”, also known as hybrids. The latter generally has a detachable or flippable screen that can serve as a tablet, and they have more flexibility in terms of screen position when they are attached to their keyboards.
For some users, hybrids can be a great choice and offer a much-needed level of flexibility. For others, however, they can be ineffective and cumbersome. Consider your personal needs when making your decision about the type of laptop you’d like to invest in, to ensure you make the right call.
Some users require their laptops to be portable, while others generally have them set up in the same place with little to no movement. Naturally, the more portable you require your laptop to be, the smaller you may want your device to be, meaning that you will likely need to make some sacrifices when it comes to the size of your screen.
On the other hand, the larger the size of your screen, the more powerful (and weighty) your machine is likely to be, although this is not a hard and fast rule. This size-to-power ratio can be clearly observed in gaming laptops, however, which are usually fitted with over 8GB of RAM and GPUs.
Another thing that must be considered is what on-board ports you’d like your laptop to be equipped with. For instance, a lot of gaming laptops and laptops with 15” displays, are likely to have a full-sized HDMI port and even an SD card reader built in. If you’re working with monitors, projectors, or even with cameras, having these ports built into your device can be greatly beneficial over having to carry around handfuls of USB-C adaptors.
While technically all laptops are portable, some are easier to travel with than others, so it’s important to find the right balance between portability and performance for your user requirements.
While looking for a new laptop can be daunting, if you keep the points discussed above in mind during the research phase of your purchase, you can make this purchase process much easier.
Understanding your needs from the outset will give you an idea of the base requirements that you’re looking for from your perfect machine. Be sure to also consider moving to a machine with the latest generation processor to future-proof your purchase so that this laptop will last you a little longer.
Getting a more modern machine fitted with an SSD over a traditional HDD, will ensure that your new laptop stands the test of time and that you won’t be back to buy another laptop for a while.
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