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Guide on How to Choose a Laptop

Choosing a laptop is a fascinating and important activity. You should not be guided only by the name of the manufacturer or the design of the device. To understand how to choose a laptop, you need to know what you want, whether size and weight are important to you, whether you are going to use the laptop constantly for work, or you need it only at home to watch TV shows or to play Roulette online games. Will you be carrying it around a lot or will it stay in one place all the time? Do you need a long battery life?

Selection Parameters

Screen Diagonal

The most popular and universal solution is 15.6 inches (1 inch = 2.54 cm). The bigger the laptop screen, the better the image is seen. However, an increase in screen diagonal increases the weight of the laptop, which negatively affects the ease of its transportation. Therefore, it is preferable to buy a laptop with a large screen for home use.

If you have to carry a laptop quite often, you should pay attention to compact laptops. The smaller the laptop, the smaller the screen. But less than 11.6” is not very convenient to use.

A notebook with a screen of more than 14 “to work on the road is not as comfortable and constantly carries as uncomfortable.

If laptop weight is important to you, then it is recommended to choose among ultrabooks – the price range here is from medium to maximum. As a rule, reduced weight and thickness seriously increase the price. The less you want to carry heavy things, the more you have to pay for this comfort. The optimal screen size in such devices can be considered 13.3”. The bodies of the thinnest laptops used aluminum and even carbon fiber!

Screen Resolution

It is important to consider the quality of a broadcast picture, which is characterized by screen resolution in pixels. It is specified as a matrix, where the first number indicates the number of pixels horizontally, the second – vertically. The more pixels, the better picture quality. There are brief designations for popular resolutions: FullHD – 1920×1080, 4K – 3840×2160. The more pixels on the screen – the clearer the picture you see. But in addition to the higher cost of clear screens, they also reduce the battery life of the laptop, because the video card has a heavy load. The best option is Full HD 1920×1080 pixels, which gives you a clear picture without compromising performance and battery life.

The Laptop Processor

It is responsible for the level of performance in tasks not transferred to the graphics card (not related to 3D graphics) and battery life (battery life). Focus on the brand (AMD or Intel), the presence of integrated graphics, the number of cores, and clock speed. For media playback and simple games will be enough for the processors of the Intel Pentium / AMD A6-A8 series, but if you choose the older Intel Core i3, i5 / AMD Ryzen 3-5, the notebook experience will be much more comfortable and enjoyable.

The Graphics Card 

It is responsible for graphics output and processing. The memory capacity of the graphics card varies from 512 MB to 8 GB, depending on the complexity of the tasks. Choose a graphics card with sufficient memory so that beautiful images do not cause games to “freeze”.

Graphics cards may be discrete or built-in. Built-in graphics cards consume less power and increase battery life. For the media, the video card is not critical and it will be quite enough. If you want to work with complex graphics without problems, choose models with a discrete graphics card. It consists of a separate graphics processor and has its own memory. Such a solution is relevant for gaming laptops. The most in-demand energy-efficient “cold” graphics cards are from Intel and Nvidia, but there are good economical options from AMD.

For modern games, the most important component is the graphics card. The better the graphics card is, the more details you see in the game world, the picture will be smoother and smoother. This will help you to immerse yourself more in the virtual world. Gaming graphics cards are considered NVidia GTX1050-GTX1080 series. In the name of simple logic, the first two numbers are the generation, the last two – talk about performance. The higher the number, the more frames per second will be able to calculate the graphics card. But do not forget about the amount of built-in video memory in the card – in the model of the same series there can be different volumes. This affects how many prepared textures will fit in the memory of the video card without resorting to the “slow” RAM of the laptop.

Games use different amounts of video memory depending on the game itself and the settings. The more memory your graphics card has, the more games will maintain a comfortable frame rate. If you are planning to connect virtual reality glasses, you should consider a video card not lower than the GTX1060.

The processor plays an important role here and in most cases, the Intel Core i5-8300H / i5-7300HQ will be the best option to help the graphics card to reach its full potential. For more performance in other tasks, you can choose Intel Core i7-8700H / i7-7700HQ. For more battery life (not for gaming), the energy-efficient Intel Core i5-8250U / i7-8550U will do.

The more RAM the better. Less than 8GB in gaming laptops do not occur, 16GB is optimal, 32GB is a great reserve for the future. Typically, in gaming laptops, RAM can be added later if needed.

Storage for Gaming Laptops

Today’s games take up to 100GB and that’s not the limit. Therefore, the best option would be a pair of SSD+HDD. You can save a little money when buying and choose only an SSD (at least 256GB). And later, if necessary, connect a larger capacity HDD. Gaming laptops in the vast majority have the ability to install a second drive.

It should be noted that under a good load (which gives modern games) graphics cards and processors consume a lot of electricity and generate a lot of heat. Therefore, for maximum performance it is better to play on a laptop plugged in. And for the removal of heat in the gaming laptops are used heat pipes and sophisticated ventilation systems. Thus, the chips can run at maximum loads without overheating, and please us with a beautiful picture. This fact has left its mark on the appearance of gaming laptops – large slots ducts, which designers play up in many different ways. The size and weight of gaming laptops are larger than usual – that’s the price for superior performance.

The amount of RAM 

This is important for running multiple applications at the same time or handling a lot of data at the same time. The more RAM, the more the laptop will “keep in mind”. The basic volume in a modern laptop is 4GB, 8GB can be considered comfortable, and 12-16GB in media tasks can be considered a good reserve for the future. To watch videos, work in a few programs and run a browser with dozens of tabs is quite enough 8GB of RAM. An avid gamer will need at least 16GB of “RAM”, which will allow him to fully appreciate the advantages of modern games.

Hard Drive Type and Capacity 

The greater the volume of the hard drive, the more different information you can store on your laptop. The hard drive comes in two types:

  • HDD – recording by means of a magnetic head. HDD is noisy and uses quite a lot of power The easiest disk to store data – HDD. This is a classic type of storage. The minimum size now starts from 500GB. This volume will be quite enough for everyday tasks. There are also often disks with a capacity of 1000GB, and there are even 2000GB. Drives of this type are available, but they are much slower than the modern SSD, which, although expensive, but every year is becoming more affordable;
  • SSD – there are no moving parts, the work is based on the mechanism of the flash drive. SDD is more expensive but works 3-10 times faster. SSDs are smaller, lighter, less afraid of shock, more energy-efficient, and completely silent. They come in sizes from 120-128GB. This is the minimum size at which you can place the necessary operating system files, programs, and personal files. For fans of music and especially movies, it is better to look at laptops with SSD sizes from 256GB and larger.

For those who like to “sit on two chairs”, when you want both fast SSD and HDD volume for affordable money – there are laptops with two SSD and HDD drives. The operating system, programs, and often necessary data can be stored on SSD and the archives and media files on HDD.

Case

The most original solution – laptop-transformers, which allow you to use both in the usual position and as a tablet. If the laptop is an integral part of your image, pay attention to ultrabooks.

Battery Capacity

Here everything is simple: the more this indicator is, the longer the laptop will work without charging the battery. If your plans include work with power-consuming programs, do not forget to choose a model with a large battery capacity.

Interface

The most popular ports:

  • wi-fi – wireless module to connect to the Internet,
  • LAN – connection to the local network,
  • 3G – mobile Internet.

Bluetooth is available in most laptops. Almost all models have card readers. Almost everywhere there is a 3.5mm headset output, usually combined in one port as in smartphones. For ports and interfaces,it is better to think in advance what you really need to pay attention to their presence when buying.

Additional Options

For gaming laptops, the cooling system is important, because in case of overheating the processor, saving itself from breakage, reduces the frequency and shuts down some of the cores. This can lead to a significant drop in performance. To effectively solve the issue of cooling allows laptop stands. Power supplies allow you to be truly mobile and recharge your laptop wherever you are. And laptop bags will make them easy to transport.

And What Else Should You Look at When Choosing a Laptop?

 

  • A laptop without an operating system and application programs is practically useless. And if a set of application programs is an individual choice of each, then the operating system is needed absolutely for any laptop. Before buying, check what operating system is installed, whether it suits you.
  • Keyboard. If you type a lot on the laptop – be sure to try the keys. They should press clearly and easily, you should be comfortable working with the keyboard.
  • The number pad on the keyboard (NumPad). If you need to work with numbers a lot, the number block will be very useful to you, but it is present on laptops with a diagonal of not less than 15.6”. That is, for him you will have to sacrifice compactness.
  • Form factor. There are laptops with a touch screen and transformers. This usually adds a little weight and thickness to the laptop, but there are additional scenarios for using the laptop, which can be very useful.
  • Weight. Modern laptops, for the most part, weigh about 2 pounds or less. The lightest ones even weigh less than a kilogram! And gaming can not yet boast of such lightness, although they are also rapidly losing weight and trying to get closer to the cherished 2 kg.
  • The last, but not an unimportant factor – beauty! The laptop is a device that will always be with you. You must like it and deliver aesthetic pleasure.

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