How to buy a laptop
Choosing the right laptop often depends on individual needs. Here are some aspects to keep in mind when picking your next computer.
Operating System: A laptop’s operating system (OS) is its interface and software platform.. The most popular operating system is Microsoft Windows 10, which is found on essentially any new laptop that isn’t a MacBook or a Chromebook.
Apple’s computers run on its macOS software, which allows for tighter integration across other Apple products and services.
Chrome OS is the newest operating system on the market, but it’s already extremely popular. Chrome OS is a minimal operating system designed to work best with an internet connection. And of course, since it’s Google’s software, it comes with all of the search giant’s popular apps like Gmail and Google Docs built in.
Chrome OS loses a lot of its appeal without an internet connection, but you can download files for offline use and install apps from the Google Play Store.
Specs: The internal hardware of the laptop is often called the “specs” of the computer and will dictate how well the device performs various tasks. The processor (CPU) dictates the raw power of the device, while the memory (RAM) allows the computer to complete multiple tasks at once.
A graphics card (GPU) allows the computer to effectively render video and 3-D graphics. Many computers have an integrated GPU, which shares RAM with the overall system. Dedicated graphics cards come with their own RAM, which adds to the computer’s ability to process complex tasks.
Displays are measured in pixel density, with full 1080p being the standard. Some laptops offer 4K displays for even more clarity, while others offer brighter screens and enhanced color accuracy.
All of the components of the computer work together to determine the laptop’s battery life. For example, a dedicated graphics card needs more power than an integrated one, and a 4K display will also draw more power than a 1080p screen.
Both of these features could result in lower overall battery life. But it’s not just the hardware alone; battery life is all about how efficiently the system can handle the way everything works together. In general, it’s a good idea to look for a laptop that offers at least a full 8-hours on a single charge.
Size: Laptop sizes are determined by measuring the screen diagonally. These days, most laptops come in 13-inch and 15-inch varieties, though you might be able to find a 17-inch model once in a while. Laptops with 13-inch screens are usually considered to be the most portable, but they sometimes lack the power of bigger models.