You could simply head over to Orphan Laptops or your favorite online retail store and type in any laptop and filter by price, size as well as customer ratings. That’s one way of going about it, but laptops are not cheap, and you will want the best bang for your buck. In this read, we are going to make things a little bit easier for you by listing some of the most important things to consider when purchasing a new or used laptop.
The Operating System
Do you prefer the Mac, Windows or Chrome OS? There is no right answer, and it’s often best to stick to what you know.
Windows is undoubtedly the most popular platform, thus giving you the broadest range of laptops to pick from. Mac OS is exclusive to Mac Books and Mac Book Pros which are also popular devices that are easy to use. However, they tend to lie on the expensive end of the spectrum, and just like the Chrome variants, there is no much variety.
Most laptops have screen sizes that lie between 11-17 inches. If you do not travel much, a 15-inch variant is ideal, but if you plan to use the device on the go, then consider picking a 13 or 14-inch model such as the Dell XPS family as it will give the best balance between portability and screen space. For kids, a 12-inch model will be the best and only go for a 17-inch laptop if it is going to sit on your desk most of the time.
If you can afford it, get a laptop with a resolution of at least 1080p. This is sometimes called Full HD resolution which is 1920 by 1080 screen resolution. This amount of pixels makes reading web pages easier and even stack two windows beside each other for multitasking.
There are three primary things to consider when it comes to laptop performance: The RAM, processor and graphics card. If you are into gaming or run intensive applications, you should especially be keen on the gigabytes in the graphics.
Mid and high-end laptops pack core i3, i5, i7 or the lastest i9 processors. Generally, the higher the number, the better the performance you can expect from the machine.
Unless you are doing a lot of video or photo editing or similar machine taxing tasks, a device with a core i3 or i5 will serve you pretty well. Some cheaper laptops come with a Celeron or Pentium processor, but unless you plan to use the system for light and basic tasks, or you are on a tight budget, you should get an i3 laptop at the minimum.
When it comes to RAM, most laptops will pack a 4, 8 or 16 gigs. Unless your needs are modest, 8 Gigabytes of RAM would be the sweet spot. For video editing and rendering, it is best to go for a 16GB model, but you should not worry much as RAM is one of the easiest components to upgrade in a computer.
As for the storage, you have two options to pick from; Hard Disk Drives and Solid-State Drives. SSDs are faster, more power efficient and more durable than their counterpart, and so, you can expect a laptop with an SSD to be more expensive. If you can afford it, look for a device with a 256 or 512 GB solid state drive storage.
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