Choose the Right Laptop That Fits Your Needs
Edited by Michael J., Lynn, TJIFILL, Eng
For a Laptop seeker, it is easy to get overwhelmed by the enormous amount of Laptop models and brands in the market today. It doesn't help that laptops do not offer as much room for upgrade as desktop computers do. As a result, you may end up sailing into an ocean to look for that perfect pearl that is able to keep its nacreous glitter throughout the test of time. In other words, the task is far from easy, especially if you don't know where and how to find what you're looking for.
However, taking the easy route is one thing you should avoid when trying to choose the right Laptop. While this endeavor doesn't require you to exert a herculean effort, it doesn't mean you should slack off either. You can either exert enough effort now or spend a lot of energy regretting and perhaps repairing in the future.
This article will not necessarily help you find the best Laptop out there. However, it may help guide you in choosing the best Laptop to fit your needs. In the end, that's all that matters.
- 1Identify in which category of Laptop users you belong.Naturally, the first step to finding the right Laptop that fits your needs is decisively identifying what your computing needs are. A Laptop user can generally be categorized based on these needs. Computers are built to be capable of performing a plethora of functions. It is essential that you single out the functions that you are going to use on a consistent basis, and focus on finding the Laptop that provides them at the best value. By doing this, you will be able to narrow your choices and steer clear of spending extra money on features that have minimal impact on your regular Laptop use.
Listed below are three general categories of Laptop users:Advertisement
- Office User. If you use a Laptop mostly to perform office-related functions such as typing documents, creating spreadsheets and handling e-mails, then you can be categorized as an office user. An office user also does average web browsing, usually for checking social media accounts and researching. An office user is not into computer games, or can just be contented with infrequently playing Facebook games or any browser-based games. Because an office user only has basic computing needs, he or she rarely runs more than two different applications at the same time.
- Multitasking User. As the title implies, the multitasking user loves to perform different computing functions concurrently. If you are someone who likes to open many tabs in a web browser on top of a Microsoft Word document you are creating, and a minimized window of the NBA 2k14 video game, then you fit the mold of a multitasking user. A multitasking user can perform every function an office user can, but normally runs a wider range of applications. Depending on the situation and on his or her mood, a multitasking user could perform functions such as casual image editing, playing mid-level computer games, and watching movies, among others.
- Multimedia User. When a multitasking user has above average inclination towards editing videos, creating 3D animations and playing high-end games, he or she can be categorized as a multimedia user. This type of user usually interacts with graphic-intensive tasks, so he or she is particularly meticulous with both aesthetics and performance. If you are someone who loves to work with applications like Adobe Premiere Pro and 3DS Max, or play games such as Crysis 3 on ultra-high video settings, then you definitely belong to this class of users.
- 2Identify the ideal Laptop tech specifications for the Laptop user category where you belong.Refer to the succeeding subsections to accomplish this step.Advertisement
- 3Shop for prospective laptops.With the ideal Laptop specifications in mind, go to a reputable computer store, either physically or through the Web, and find laptops that fit the specifications you have in hand. Try to pick at least five Laptop models that satisfy your specifications criteria and list their brands and model names before proceeding to the next step.
- 4Read user reviews about your prospects.A Laptop is quite an investment, so the last thing you would want to do is to let impulse dictate your buying decision. You have to diligently do your homework and research on each of your prospective laptops in order to acquire essential information that does not usually reflect on the tech specifications label. Go to tech reviews websites and forums, and gather as much information as you can from users who have had first-hand experience on using the Laptop in question. No Laptop specs label will include information on how a Laptop overheats and shuts down upon prolonged use. This is the kind of information that you can only get from legitimate user accounts. Here are some reputable websites for Laptop reviews: CNET, Tomshardware, PC Advisor, and PC World.
- 5Try the Laptop out.You can only determine if the keyboard feels good or if the display is as crisp as advertised by actually trying out the Laptop. While this may not be possible in all instances, especially if you intend to buy a Laptop online, it is essential to know that whenever possible, you should not neglect this step.
Ideal Laptop Specifications for an Office User
- 1Processor:Intel i3 or AMD Phenom II X2. These processor types provide dual-core processing that is more than enough for non CPU-intensive work like creating office documents and web surfing. New generation models of these processor types could even provide enough power to handle average CPU-intensive tasks like converting videos and playing mainstream video games at low or medium video settings. Therefore, these CPUs allow an office user to perform his or her expected day-to-day functions and run his or her regular applications, but also provide room for the office user to test the waters of a multitasking user without getting drowned.Advertisement
- 2RAM:4 Gigabytes DDR3. While 2 GB of system memory could suffice, a 4 GB one provides ample space for good measure.
- 3Hard Disk Storage:500 Gigabytes. It pays to have a good amount of storage space for archiving documents, spreadsheets and other files as they pile up over time. Regular hard disks usually come in two speed options: 7200 rpm and 5400 rpm. RPM stands for rotation per minute which is basically a measure of the spin speed of the mechanical platters inside the hard disk drive. While the 7200 rpm is of course theoretically faster, an office user wouldn't probably notice the difference between it and the 5400 rpm. So, if given the option, an office user should choose the 5400 rpm, as it is the more economical choice.
- 4Screen:13-inch or 15-inch LED. Choosing a Laptop screen size depends on how many inches of display the user is willing to sacrifice for portability. With modern laptops, smaller screen size usually means lesser weight and larger screen size means more weight. However, there are always exceptions, especially with the emergence of "ultrabooks" �" a type of Laptop that comes in 13-inch or 14-inch dimensions, but is relatively slimmer and lighter than the regular laptops with the same screen sizes. Convention has it that office users usually choose a size between 13 and 15 inches, as these provide better viewing convenience and wider keyboard area.
Ideal Laptop Specifications for a Multitasking User
- 1Processor:New Generation Intel i5 or AMD's Phenom II X6 and A10 APU. Any of Intel's Sandy or Ivy Bridge i5 processors that have a clock rate of at least 2 Ghz will qualify as a good CPU for a multitasking user. An i5 processor has four cores thus, could provide twice the computing power of an i3 processor. Aside from speed, the new generation i5 processors also have improved integrated graphics. This means that a multitasking user can concurrently run his or her extensive array of applications and can also play some mainstream video games at low to medium settings without needing a dedicated graphics card. If the user is willing to sacrifice a little bit of performance and efficiency for budget, AMD's A10 processor provides a sound and affordable alternative for Intel's i5.Advertisement
- 2RAM:8 Gigabytes DDR3 Dual Channel (2 x 4 GB). A multitasking user could easily chomp memory space with the nature by which he or she runs applications and the nature of the applications themselves. Eight Gigabytes of memory is a healthy amount of space to handle massive amount of opened tabs in a web browser on top of a running image-editing software and an instance of a Battlefield 3 video game.
- 3Hard Disk Storage:1 Terabyte. With great number of applications comes great need for storage. A multitasking user could easily fill up 200 GB worth of storage space with system and application data alone. That leaves the user roughly about 250 GB of space for storing and archiving office or personal files such as documents, media files, etc. if he or she were to use a 500-gigabyte hard disk. That is a shallow storage well considering the multitasking user's knack for doing and storing a little bit of everything. A terabyte provides enough ceiling to accommodate a multitasking user's file storage tendencies.
- 4Screen:15-inch or 17-inch LED. A type of user that works or plays with anything that appeals to the sense of sight usually needs a big enough screen for satisfaction.Advertisement
Questions and Answers
Help in choosing the right 2 in 1 device... $ 3k max?
I need someone to work through with me choosing the right 2 in 1 laptop.... . Right now my options are the xps 13 2 in 1 , yoga 900 and surface book... but I am open to many other options. . But I need some personal help...maybe I'm missing something or there is a better option:. . Things that are important:. Weight: I am a thin framed petite 5ft 1" and I would be carrying this device with me everywhere outside too... . Backlit keyboard. . battery. . Power (what it can handle - I'm not a gamer but I do run software and multitask a lot... having several programs and chrome tabs open etc and I work on websites. . Writing options: being able to use a stylus pen is important as I annotate, sign and take notes often (however depending on the strength of other areas I may give this up...). . Ports: SD card, USB, something for skyping and a display port . . Storage and RAM ( the more the merrier). . Windows 10 (simply because I don't want the compatibility stress with apps ad I'm running office to do a lot of my work). . Hope this info helps.. would like a reply as soon as you can (like in a weeks time. While the article tells me how to shop.. I still come up with too many options.. I'm running out of time and once I buy this device I will not be able to return it so easily.. so I need to be sure I'm making the right choice... it will be mine for the next 4 years ...or more... I really need a human's advice... not just an article review... I have tried: Reading article laptop reviews watching videos reading up and specs asking friends (who are just as lost on this as I am). I think it was caused by: Lack of knowledge/ understanding the multiple options... anxious about making the right decision
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Categories : Tech
Recent edits by: TJIFILL, Lynn, Michael J.