How do I choose the right laptop for my needs?
What specs does my laptop need? What makes a laptop good?
Maybe you aren’t too familiar with computers and technology. It’s understandable, in this day and age everything is digitized. Our mail, communication, banking, you name it. We have no choice but to adapt with the changing of times. A laptop is essential for anyone in this world. But how does someone with little technological expertise pick the right laptop? Whats a good laptop for my needs?
For school-work the most your going to need to do is some word processing to write essays, designing slide-shows with a Power Point software, internet research, and so forth. Luckily a very basic laptop will be able to handle all the above. You don’t need a fancy graphics card or blazing fast CPU to accomplish school-work.
Look for a decent processor. Any of the Intel i3 or i5 processors are great for a school students laptop. They are fast enough to multitask yet not expensive. Look for at least 4GB of RAM in your laptop, this will allow you to multitask. You can have multiple windows open when researching the internet, typing your essay in Word, and listening to iTunes all at the same time. The more RAM you have, the more your able to multitask essentially. Anything over 4GB won’t hurt, but for basic schoolwork and internet browsing it would be overkill.
Something like this would also work well for just an at home ‘family’ computer used for basic web surfing and office applications.
Gaming and Performance
If your looking for a laptop that plays games you will obviously need a more expensive and powerful machine. Just about every component will need to be more powerful. Your processor should be either an Intel i5 and i7 (with i5’s more common in laptops) – the 2nd generation Sandy Bridge processors are a great choice.
When looking at RAM, you will want at least 6GB, with 8GB being the best choice. The next most important component that sets gaming laptops apart are its graphics card. Most normal laptops have integrated graphics, due to the simple fact that fitting a big bulky graphics card into a laptop isn’t really doable. But some gaming laptops have custom graphics cards made just for laptops.
These aren’t the most powerful, but they will still get the job done. Look for a a card that has good ratings and is paired with a good processor and plenty of RAM.
The graphics card, RAM, and processor will also help with graphic intensive programs. This includes video editing and 3D editing, and even 2D image editing
The Bottom Line
Laptop prices have dropped significantly for what you can get. The same laptop you can get today for $500 was $1500 4 years ago. Most “budget” laptops priced between $400 and $700 will get you through your basic schooling and web browsing needs with some added fun (AIM, older games, etc) – while a more expensive midline laptop at $800 – $1200 will get you generally a more powerful CPU, RAM, and sometimes a graphics card. The higher line $1300 – $2000 laptops are novelties in their own and you would be much better off getting a desktop if your trying to get that much performance in a laptop. Stick in between $400 and $1200 when buying a laptop and go no higher.
If your not sure what your going to be doing with your laptop or you might need a powerful one in a year, just opt in for a mid-range one that will last. Remember: A good CPU, at LEAST 4GB of RAM, and if your gaming an actual graphics card (not integrated graphics)
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