How to Choose the Best Laptop for Your Needs
While everyone loves getting their hands on a brand new laptop, the shopping and decision-making process beforehand can be completely overwhelming. Laptops each have so many specs, and most of us have no idea what any of them mean. What is important to prioritize and what can we afford to spend less on? This guide gives you the ins and outs of choosing a new laptop to make finding the best one for you a breeze and give you confidence in your final purchasing decision.
When choosing a laptop, it’s important to think about how your plan to use it. If you’re a serious gamer, there are specific laptops just for gaming that offer features just to improve your gaming experience. Maybe you plan to use your laptop primarily for surfing the web and watching streaming channels online. You may need a laptop for school or work, complete with a good camera for virtual classes or live streaming conferences and virtual meetings.
Some people are very particular about their Operating System of choice and won’t even consider choosing something else. The three main contenders at this time are Mac, Windows, and Chrome. Chromebooks tend to be the least expensive of the bunch, but you primarily need to be hooked up to WiFi to get the most out of them. Macbooks have a user-friendly interface and come with Siri, but are also quite pricey. Windows-based computers are available in a wide range of prices, and some even offer touchscreens.
If you truly plan to bring your laptop with you everywhere, a smaller, lighter weight model will most likely be important for you. In this case, you can probably make do with a laptop measuring 11 to 13 inches. If you are mostly going to keep your laptop at home, a larger laptop (15 to 18 inches) can be considered.
Memory and Storage
Don’t go below 4GB of RAM when choosing your laptop. You will definitely be sorry. Ideally, aim for 8GB of RAM. As for hard drive storage, 500GB of storage is best, but you can get away with less if you choose to mostly store your files on a cloud. You probably shouldn’t go below 120GB of storage.
The CPU acts like the computer’s brain, so you want it to function well for minimal frustration on your part during computer use. An Intel Core i5 CPU is a good choice for most people. The Intel Core i7 CPU is a step up if you can afford it.
A display with a higher resolution will result in images looking sharper and better than one with a lower resolution. For a Full HD display, choose one that has 1080 x 1920 resolution (also known as 1080p). There are laptops with higher resolutions available if you can afford it, but most people will be happy with 1080 x 1920.
Particularly if you are taking your laptop with you to classes or even the coffee shop, a good battery life is going to be of major importance to you. Look for one that offers at least 7 to 8 hours of battery life, enough to get you through a typical school day. Keep in mind that depending on how you’re using your computer, battery life may drain more quickly. If your laptop will primarily be sitting on your desk at home, you can afford to have a lower battery life since you’ll probably mostly keep it plugged in anyway.
Keyboard and Trackpad
The keyboard should feel comfortable to type on, especially if you’re intending to use it for school or work where you will most likely spend a lot of time typing up documents and reports. Laptop keyboards can be more cramped than desktop computer keyboards due to size constraints. You should get good tactile feedback and a travel distance of 1 to 2mm on your keyboard of choice. Some people like backlit keyboards for typing in the dark. Additionally, check out the trackpad to ensure that it is responsive and comfortable to use.
Though picking the best laptop can be tricky. By understanding your needs and the above features, you will have an easier time picking the best laptop for you!