Laptop computers had come a long way since when they were first introduced in the late 20th century. Most people understand how easy it is to slip the laptop into a bag after working or playing with it.

Laptop computer
A Laptop computer
Source: HP store.

In buying tech gadgets, there is always a point of a dilemma, especially for the tech-savvy; where there is a need to strike a balance between performance and pricing. Not everyone may have the kind of funds that billionaire-playboy-superhero Tony Stark (Marvel’s TM fictional character) has for getting any kind of gadget he wants. This article (the first in a series) is a sort of quick guide for choosing the right laptop for students, maintaining a balance between price and performance. In this series, we’ll be looking at basic features to look out for before making a choice so as to get the best out of your money.

DONT MISS: Laptop Buying Guide: Things to Look for in Your Next Computer (2018)

Let’s get started already.

Below are some of the most important aspects of a laptop computer that you need to look at before choosing.

  1. Screen

One of the first things that you see when you look at a computer is the screen. The screen is where you view what you’re working on. Hence, it is vital that you select a laptop with the right screen qualities. Some of these qualities are:

  • Screen Size

First, the size of the laptop screen is very important if you are going to be spending time with the device. Laptop screen sizes vary; some are 11-inches long diagonally, others are 12.5-inches, 13-inches, 14-inches, 15.6-inches (very common). Whichever screen size you decide to go with, understand that the larger the screen, the heavier the laptop.

Recommendation: For school work, go for a laptop with a minimum screen size of 13-inches.

  • Display resolution

The screen resolution is

Laptop computer
A Laptop computer
Source: HP store.

The number of pixels spread horizontally and vertically over your screen. An example is a 1366 x 768 display resolution; this means that there are one thousand three hundred and sixty-six pixels horizontally, and seven hundred and sixty-eight pixels vertically. While most budget laptops come with this particular resolution, more expensive laptops come with at least full HD or 1080p displays (1920 x 1080 resolution). Other resolutions include 2560 x 1600, 3200 x 1800 and so on. For school work, the former – 1366 x 768 would suffice.

NOTE: The higher the screen resolution, the sharper the screen and the more quickly your battery is drained, and vice-versa.

  • Touch Screen vs. Standard Screen

It is common for modern laptops to come with a touch-sensitive display, albeit this comes at an extra cost. Depending on what you need to do with your laptop, you can get either one; however, a standard screen will be enough for most school works.

  1. Battery Life

Do you want a laptop that can last for an average of 8 hours on use or one that goes off after only 30 minutes? In recent times, laptop battery technology has continued to improve, with average battery usage going past the 3-hour mark. Before making your final choice on a laptop, make sure that you know how long it lasts on battery power. A laptop that can last for a minimum of 7 hours should be your target if you are the type of person who moves everywhere with a laptop.

  1. Keyboard and Touchpad

Your preferred laptop needs to come with a good keyboard and touchpad; you cannot compromise on these. When I say “good,” I mean that the keyboard should be at least very comfortable to work with, especially if you’re going to be working on the laptop for long hours. The keyboard needs to be one with enough spacing between the keys.

Laptop Keyboard
Laptop Keyboard and Touchpad

The touchpad also needs to be one with pinpoint accuracy, and one that responds well to multitouch gestures. Modern laptops come with standard keyboards, in contrast with older laptops that are shipped with full-sized keyboards (keyboards with an extra numerical panel).

I’ll stop here for now, in the next article we’ll take a look at some of the other factors you need to check before getting a laptop. So for now, it’s Ciao from me.

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