The top 10 things to consider when buying a new laptop.
If portability is your main concern, then you need to consider a notebook that has a small-ish screen and a light weight. Any laptop marketed as an Ultrabook should fit your bill here, as they are designed to be slim and light. More to the point, though, look for a laptop with a screen that’s 12.5-13.3 inches in size, and a weight that is from 1-1.5kg.
- Screen quality.
You’ll be staring at your laptop for many hours every day, so you want to make sure you get a screen that is comfortable to look at. Many laptops these days also have touchscreens, which means they are glossy. Glossy screens lead to reflections, so consider a laptop that doesn’t have a touchscreen.
- Keyboard quality.
For long typing sessions, you must get a laptop that has a comfortable keyboard. You don’t want to get a keyboard that packs in every key under the sun (think keyboards that have squished in number pads) because that can translate to a poor overall user experience when hunting for keys like the arrows.
Your laptop is only as good as the company that stands behind it. Accurate and timely technical support is paramount, which is why Laptop Mag evaluates every major brand in our annual Tech Support Showdown. This past year Apple came in first place, followed by HP and Samsung. This past year Apple came in first place, followed by Microsoft and Samsung. – See more at: http://www.laptopmag.com/articles/laptop-buying-guide#sthash.nDnADvro.dpuf
You need 4GB of RAM or more to get the best out of your system. More RAM allows for more applications to be run at the same time, and for more data to be quickly accessible by the system at any one time, which comes in handy for tasks such as editing photos.
- Storage space.
Hard drives used to be all the rage, but these days they are mostly out of favour, especially for thin and light laptops. This is because they can be slow, somewhat bulky, and produce noticeable heat and noise. A solid state drive (SSD), on the other hand, offers a lot more speed than a hard drive, runs silently, and can be installed in a form factor that doesn’t add too much to the weight and bulk of a laptop.
- Battery life.
Look at the rating of the battery in Watt-hours (Wh) or milliamp-hours (mAh). The larger these figures are, the longer the battery can last. For a 13.3in Ultrabook, for example, a battery with a rating from 44Wh to 50Wh will give you the best results.
- Wireless networking and Bluetooth
This is something that can be often overlooked when buying a laptop, but considering that most laptops rely on an Internet connection for the majority of their tasks, it’s an extremely important feature. At the very least, you need a laptop that has a dual-band Wi-Fi adapter. This will allow you to use the laptop with a dual-band router’s 5GHz network, allowing it to work quicker and perhaps segregating it from other devices on your network that use the 2.4GHz network.
- Full-sized SD card.
Why would you want a full-sized SD card? Well, if you’re a photographer and you quickly want to get photos off the camera and onto your laptop, the SD card slot is the best way to do so. Many modern cameras come with Wi-Fi to facilitate transfers from the camera, but that’s still a fiddly process. Some SD card slots are better than others, too. Look for one in which the card can sit all the way in, rather than a slot that makes the card stick halfway out.
- USB 3.0.
You shouldn’t get a laptop without a USB 3.0 port, and you should look for a laptop that has at least a couple of these ports. This is for obvious reasons such as plugging in an external hard drive to back up your laptop’s data, or for when you want to plug in a conventional mouse or a fancy keyboard.