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A Detailed Guide To Buying A Laptop

A laptop is versatile enough to do all your work, and compact enough to take with you wherever you go – all in all, it is the perfect tool to play games while on the road or at home, or do some serious school, college or office work. Nowadays, smartphones and tablets have become excessively popular tools for gameplay and doing work, but let’s face it – no tab or smartphone can provide the efficiency, speed, quality and graphics of gaming required by a pro gamer, or the performance level required by a man working on his office project. The main question that arises here is, which model of laptop should you go for? The market is full of laptops that come in a variety of prices, features, and sizes; hence making a proper choice is definitely a tough endeavour.

Let us now figure out which model to get based on some of the steps given below. Read on to find out more.

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Choose an OS Platform: Windows, Chrome OS or Mac

Choosing an OS platform is very difficult, and more so if you have no idea about the differences between Windows PCs and Macs. But our guide here will assist you to ascertain all the weaknesses and strengths of each platform and make your choice accordingly. All laptops in the market come with any one of the three operating systems – Chrome OS, Windows and Mac OS X. Let us now look at the details of each OS and then we can decide which one to go for.

Chrome OS

This OS is only available Chromebook Models such as the 100S Chromebook from Lenovo. This OS from Google is quite secure and quite simple to use, but the options and features are limited. The Chrome OS’ user interface has been designed in parity with the Windows OS, along with an additional applications menu, the ability to drag windows all over the screen, and a desktop. The primary app to be used on this OS is the Google Chrome browser, which is also available on Windows platforms as well. The only drawback of the OS is the absence of offline apps.

Windows 10

The Windows platform is supposedly the most flexible line of operating systems. This is a vastly used OS on almost all laptops in the market. The latest version, the Windows 10, is a far more improved version of the Windows 7 or 8, which allows users to switch between desktop and tablet modes. An all new revamped and redesigned Start Menu has also been provided, which comes with the Cortana voice assistant and live tiles.

Apple OS X El Capitan / Mac OS X

The Apple laptops, popularly known as MacBooks come with the preinstalled version of the Mac OS X El Capital. The functions are quite similar to the ones provided by Windows 10. There is a slight difference in the interface of this OS, where the MS taskbar and Start menu are replaced with an Apple apps dock.

Image Credit: shopping.indiatimes.com
Image Credit: shopping.indiatimes.com

2-in-1 or single function: what do you require?

Nowadays, the PC market is full of laptops that are termed as 2-in-1 models. These usually mean the devices that function both as a detachable tablet, and a clam shell laptop – depending on the nature of your usage. The two varieties of 2-in-1 models are flexible laptops which have 360-degree bending hinges, and detachable models where the screen can be completely detached from the keyboard. These 2-in-1 systems are efficient to serve any one purpose of the user, so multi-tasking is out of the question. But then again, it depends upon your usage. So choose accordingly.

Size does matter: choosing the size that matters

The main thing that people usually consider when buying laptops is the size of the device. Before everything else, the size factor is something that is everyone’s concern. Let’s look at the various sizes of laptops available nowadays. Read on to find out more.

  • 11” to 12”: – These models are perhaps the lightest and thinnest models available in the market. These only weigh around two to three pounds, and can be carried around quite easily.
  • 13” to 14”: – These models are well balanced models, which are both high in utility and portability. These weigh around 4 pounds or under.
  • 15”: – These are the most popular and mostly used models. These weigh around 4 to 6 pounds, and provide the perfect mix of large screen and high functionality, but only if you don’t carry it around with you wherever you go.
  • 17” to 18”: – If you are in the habit of keeping your laptop on your desk for the entire day on a daily basis, then these models are perfect for you. They provide a wonderfully high processing power and are perfect for gaming and other serious work like programming, etc.

Checking the touchpad and keyboard specs

The highest priced laptop or a laptop from a reputed brand does not mean a thing if the keyboard and the touchpad are not ergonomic and do not function properly. If you are in the habit of using your computer to do a lot of work, then you need to ensure that the keyboard fitted to the laptop provides proper vertical travel, ample space between all the keys, and suitable tactile feedback. You also need to make sure that the laptop you buy comes with an accurately working touchpad which provides a stable cursor and properly responds to all your multitouch gestures. In case of a business laptop, getting one with an adequately sized pointing stick may be a smart idea. This stick helps to navigate all around your desktop and would not have lift even a single finger.

Choose all your specifications properly

Choosing a notebook with the best features such as hard drive, processor, graphics chip, RAM, etc is always the right way to go. Don’t waste your money on a pricey laptop that does not provide you will all the features you need. But, how to choose these features?

CPU: – The CPU is the heart, soul ad brain of your laptop, and without a high performance processor, your laptop is simply useless. Hence, it is a wise move to go for a CPU like the AMD A Series, Intel Core i5 / i7, etc. AMD E Series is also a very good option if you want high performance. Other options include Intel Atom, Intel Celeron, Core m5 / m7 and many others.

RAM: – A laptop with at least 4 GB of RAM is your best bet. The higher you go, the better will be the performance of your device. Going for a 2 GB model is simply waste of time.

Hard Drive: – A laptop with a high capacity hard drive is a perfect choice for all who love to play games, like to watch movies, or simply do some office related work. A laptop with low storage memory is nothing better than a flash drive. 500 GB is the preferable capacity you should go for.

Graphics Card: – The graphics card is the life and blood of any gaming laptop. Any amateur or pro level gamer who buys his or her laptop for the purpose of playing high end games should pay special attention to the graphics card included with a laptop. High end games cannot be run on in built chips, hence going for external models from AMD, Nvidia or ATI is a smart move.

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