Laptop Buying Guide 2018: top 7 things to consider (Part 2)

Laptop computer
A Laptop computer Source: HP store.

Continuing from where I left off, we’re going to look at some of the other factors which you need to consider before parting with your money for a laptop. In case you missed my previous part of Laptop Buying Guide for 2018, just go HERE.

4. Processor (CPU and Graphics Chip)

Every computing device needs a processor (no fuss about that). However, the price of the device determines the type of CPU or vice-versa. In mainstream computing, there are two main players when it comes to CPUs: Intel and AMD. While processors from each party have their pros and cons; Intel chips are noted for their performance and low battery consumption while AMD processors are less expensive.

5. Memory size (RAM)

The RAM (Random Access Memory) is the memory space your computer uses to store currently running programs and their resources. It is a fact that the more RAM a computer has, the more applications it can run concurrently – multitasking.

RAM chips on a board
RAM chips on a board

When going for a laptop, consider selecting one that has at least 4GB of RAM. While other laptops can ship with 8GB, 12GB, or even 16GB of RAM, you may not need that if you’re not into serious computer work.

6. Storage Drive

SSD vs HDD
SSD vs HDD

Storage drives for computers are generally divided into two categories: Hard Disk Drives (HDD) which use magnetic moving parts, and Solid State Drives or SSDs with no moving parts. While former is more ubiquitous than the latter, they are much slower. SSDs are more expensive but they are much faster than HDDs. To put this into perspective, a 128GB SSD can be sold for the price as a 1TB HDD.

So, the point here is that when thinking of the type of storage drive for your laptop, SSDs make your system more faster but they add an extra cost; while HDDs are less expensive but slower.

7. Ports and Connectivity Options

There is always a need to use peripheral devices such as printers; hence, the need for your laptop to have ports for interfacing. Almost every laptop comes with at least one USB port, but the more ports the better for you. An HDMI port, Bluetooth, and WiFi connectivity are also essentials for modern laptops, so don’t compromise on these.

8. Brand

Although this is not a technical factor, it is nonetheless necessary to include. Most of the best laptops out there are made by well-known brands. Also, there are brands that are known for certain aspects of a computer: some produce laptops with durable hardware, others offer great software/hardware combo not found on others, etc. Besides these, the availability of after-sales support and warranty by the manufacturer is something peculiar to brands. So, before you finally decide, try to see if the laptop manufacturer is a reliable one.

9. Built-In DVD Drive

The availability of a built-in optical drive in your laptop may not be a deal breaker in this present age. This is because almost every digital file (videos, music, photos, and software) which you can think about are available on the Internet and can be downloaded. However, if you really need a DVD drive, you should ensure that it is one with fast read and write speeds.

10. Pricing

Finally, for all the good specs and features on a computer, you still need to check your pocket. This means that in choosing a good laptop there is always room for compromises unless you have a large budget.

While you can get less expensive laptops for around $150 to $250, the mid-range laptops can go for $300 to $700, while the high-end ones start from around $700. In essence whatever your budget is there is almost always a laptop for you [just search deeper].

Conclusion

Although there are several other factors to look at before picking a laptop, the ones discussed in this article and its prequel are some of the most important to consider.

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