Must-Have Features for Your Perfect Laptop

May 7th 2016

Almost all modern laptops have processors capable of handling the range of software required by most users, so focus on battery life and associated weight, getting the right screen size and making sure the storage is up to scratch. Your ideal laptop depends on what you want to use it for, but considering these features helps you make the right choice for your needs.

Battery Basics

A longer battery life is generally better when you're working out and about, but it usually comes with a price in terms of added size and weight. Remember that quoted battery life is usually calculated using light usage with a dimmed screen, ideal conditions that you're unlikely to experience with regular use, so bank on getting an hour or two less. If you plan to keep the laptop plugged in most of the time, battery life won't be an issue, but otherwise, it's key to being able to use the machine in a range of situations.

Screen Size

Common screen sizes are 13, 15 and 17 inches, measured from the bottom corner to the opposite top corner on the diagonal. Each of these offers its own benefits, and it's your choice which size best meets your needs. Smaller screens offer great portability, but they may not be appropriate for watching video or doing detailed work. Large screens are more prone to breaking in transit, but they often come in higher resolutions that are easier on the eyes when working or watching movies.

Hard Drive Heaven

While low-end laptops still come with spinning hard disc drives, solid state drives are faster and less vulnerable to damage from bumps as you transport your laptop. If there is a choice between the two and you can afford the SSD option, it's likely the better selection unless you need a huge amount of storage.

Memory Mania

When choosing between laptops, if you note that many specs on two different models are the same but one option has more RAM, go for the bigger number every time. Upgrading RAM is usually possible, but it's best to get the most you can up front, as every piece of software that you load on the computer uses RAM, and the less there is, the more delays you experience while programs compete for resources.

Conclusion

Computing on the go is a great idea, but if you've never had a laptop before, you might not know exactly how to choose the machine that matches your needs. Modern laptops have all kinds of key features; choose the ones that suit your needs as a basis for picking the right make and model when you get ready to shop.

Sources

HowStuffWorks.com "10 things to look for when buying a laptop" http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/gadgets/high-tech-gadgets/10-things-to-look-for-when-buying-laptop.htm
MoneyCrashers.com "What to look for when buying a laptop computer – specs explained" http://www.moneycrashers.com/the-most-essential-specs-to-look-for-in-a-laptop/
PCMag.com "How to buy a laptop" http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2356822,00.asp

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