Buy a Laptop the Smart Way

Buying a laptop is not as easy as buying a new pair of jeans. Where important information — such as comfort and quality — can be felt in the fitting room as you strike a few poses in those gorgeous jeans, one has to analyse many aspects of a laptop to find out the same information. “How can a pair of jeans be compared to a laptop? ” you may ask. The answer is simple. Just as a pair of good jeans can become a staple in your wardrobe, a goov guard gas geyser d laptop will make your personal/business life complete if it can fulfil the purposes you require from it. Both are very personal items that must offer a first-rate design, worthy comfort and high-quality, all making for a superior experience.

Regrettably, if you are not familiar with the very technical terminology, gathering the information is not so easy because “This laptop comes with a 3. 6 GHz Intel Pentium 4, 1 GB RAM, 80 GB Hard drive, 17 inch monitor — all weighting in at 5. 5kgs” means nothing to you. So, not only will we look at points to consider when deciding on a laptop, we will dissect each point to understand what they mean and why they are so important.

The first step, before you even step into an electronic store or begin surfing one online, is to identify what sized laptop you are looking for. This includes the physical dimensions and the weight. Laptops range from less than 1kg to just over 6kgs! If you plan on transporting your laptop around on business trips/to and from varsity, something lighter will much better serve that purpose. If you are looking for a laptop for your home for use in different rooms, a larger “desktop replacement” will be perfect for you. There are different categories of laptops, classified according to weight. Below is some information on the weight, screen size, pros and cons of the different categories to help you differentiate between them.

Desktop replacement — > 5kg; 15 – 17″ screen; Large screen, portable, almost all features of desktop pc; Not for extensive travel, must be placed on surface (too heavy on lap)
Once you have decided on what sized laptop will suit your needs, it will be necessary to look at and compare the technical specifications and some general aspects of different models that fit into your size category.

Hard drive — The hard drive is the physical space on the laptop measured in gigabytes. Laptop hard drives range in size from 30GB to 200GB and run at speeds of 4200, 5400 or 7200 rpm. 40GB is a standard size for a laptop and normal processes will not require much more. If, however, you handle large graphics or a large amount of files, you will need 80GB or more! Something to consider is the fact that some laptops have pre-installed software programmes which take up space so double check with the dealer how much space you will actually have for your own personal use. You can always buy an external hard drive if you need more space for storage and media-burning.

RAM — Random Access Memory allows laptop programmes to run quickly and smoothly. There is nothing more irritating than a laptop that takes ages to start up and is slow in general! Adding RAM is an easy way to boost your laptop’s performance. 2GB or more is a recommended RAM size as it will allow for many programmes to run simultaneously and is good for gaming, graphics work, video editing and general speed increase, giving your laptop the flexibility it needs. However, it is important to remember that 32-bit operating systems only recognise up to 3GB of RAM, while you will need a 64-bit system to take full advantage of 4GB or more.

CPU — The Central Processing Unit (i. e. Intel Core 2) is the heart of your laptop and is measured in Megahertz (MHz) or Gigahertz (GHz). It runs your laptop at a certain speed, performing tasks and running calculations. The higher the speed of the processor, the faster it will perform. Many laptops now have “Dual” or “Quad” processors to achieve maximum performance. Unless you will be running intense games, a 2GHz chip is plenty big enough.

Connections — Laptops may be equipped with many ports or very few. It is important to make sure that what you get in your laptop will fulfil your needs. Some connections to look out for include; USB ports (mice, memory sticks), Wi-Fi card (wireless internet), modem (dial up internet connection), VGA ports (monitors, projectors), Bluetooth, FireWire (large video files, data) and specific ports needed to connect specific equipment to your laptop that you are sure to be using.

Battery life — Determine whether or not your laptop will be plugged in most of the time or if it will rely mainly on the battery life. Certain factors, such as a large screen, drain battery life but keep in mind that the bigger the battery, the more weight it adds to your laptop. Batteries range from 4-cell types to the superlong-life 12-cell types. The bigger batteries may stick out from your laptop in potentially awkward positions though. Besides from the number of cells, the battery’s capacity (mAh rating) is also important. A higher mAh rating is better — typical batteries have one of between 2000mAh and 6000mAh.

Typing essentials — While comparing technical specifications, compare the comfort and ease of use the laptop. Do a few simple typing exercises and pay attention as to where the keys are situated. Make sure that the placement and size of keys fit your hand size and your style of typing. Another aspect to try out is the touchpad or pointing stick. If you are not planning on travelling with a mouse, test the touchpad/pointing stick for comfort and responsiveness.

Accessories — Some laptops come with certain accessories included. You may want to buy extra accessories. Check the availability of these. Some accessories to consider are a mouse, an extra battery, an external hard drive and a laptop bag.

Once you have shopped around, read some reviews and online forums to investigate any problems of a particular model. If you do your homework, you will get the best possible deal and you will not regret an uninformed, spontaneous decision.

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