In a technology-driven age where devices more powerful and compact dominate the field of play, laptops continue to be exception. Though smartphones and tablets are the flavor now, laptops have become irreplaceable. The combination of portability and power have made them the go-to device for any kind of task.
If you are looking for a laptop to meet your needs, but don’t know which one to go for, this comprehensive laptops buying guide can help you make an informed decision:
Surfing the web, transferring files, checking emails, social networking and MS office.
Storing files, streaming music and videos, multitasking with simple applications, playing games and surfing the web.
High-end gaming, 3D animation, photo editing and video production, playing HD and Blu-ray videos with ease.
Netbook is a category of small, lightweight and inexpensive laptops which are extremely portable. These computers feature smaller screens and keyboards. The computing power of netbooks are limited when compared to full-size laptops.
An Ultrabook is a sleek and slim laptop that has powerful configurations similar to a high-end computer. These devices offer good performance and are reasonably portable. The longer battery life, along with good design make it an ideal choice for frequent travelers.
This is the standard laptop that everyone knows. Notebooks come with configurations that range from mid-level to high-level. They are built to perform a lot of different tasks and come as a complete package.
Hybrid laptops serve a dual purpose. They have detachable screens which can be used separately as tablets. These touchscreen laptops combine all the good features of tablets and netbooks to deliver a power-packed performance.
Developed by Microsoft Corporation, Windows is the most popular Operating System which is compatible with most software available.
1 Wide usage
2 Compatible with most hardware and software
3 Customizable User Interface
4 Support for third-party programs
Windows is the standard OS in a lot of computers. They are easy-to-use and offer an addictive user interface replete with graphic icons. The latest version, Windows 10 is more elegant and offers a simpler interface compared to the previous versions.
Apple’s proprietary OS, the Mac OS X is the biggest competitor of Windows. Designed specifically for the Mac hardware, some key features set it apart.
1 Smooth User Interface
2 UNIX based coding for more security
3 Fewer virus and malware attacks
4 Quick launch of applications
The main drawback of the Mac OS X is that they are available only for Apple computers. There are also no huge availability of third-party software for the Mac.
The Chrome OS is exclusively available on Chromebooks and runs custom apps available with ease. Unlike other platforms, Chrome OS is meant to support cloud-based programs and specific applications.
1 Fast boot-up rates
2 Less prone to hacks
3 Good way to support MS Office
Though it is really simple to launch and use a Chrome OS, there are some downsides to it too. The main problem is when you try to work offline. This is because Chromebooks are designed primarily for online use. Also, non-availability of many applications and third-party software will restrict your options.
Linux is a free open-source software which in many ways is similar to other operating systems. It is more popular among developers, since its coding is open for public view and can be modified easily. Linus, as an operating system is very stable, less vulnerable to attacks and does not have many glitches.
Disk Operating System or DOS was the first widely used operating system for personal computers. The whole OS operates on command lines. DOS is lightweight and runs on all computers (even the smallest ones). Because of its smaller size, DOS boots up faster than any other operating system.
The basic type is the usual clamshell laptops you see every day. They can carry out almost anything you want to - depending on their technical specifications.
A lot of laptops these days have the touch screen option incorporated in them. This means that you can use your laptop as a smartphone by touching to launch and close programs.
The 2-in-1 model suits for those who want to use their laptops as tablets as well. You have a detachable screen in place with a keyboard in a 2-in-1 laptop. Or otherwise, you have a laptop with a hinge that makes the screen rotate 360 degrees. This makes the laptops be used as tablets.
They are the high-end laptops with graphic cards to meet the intense requirement of gamers. The laptops are usually heavy and take up a lot of space. After you have decided on the use case of the laptop, the OS needed and the type of your choice, you can do a little research for yourself on the specifications that meet your needs.
The most widely used of the two major processors, Intel has a range of sophisticated processors to meet every need. The Pentium processors along with Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 are designed to meet specific needs. We’ll take a look at the different processors and their uses.
The AMD processors can do all that the Intel processors can do. They also have a number of different processors for handling dedicated work.
All data that is stored temporarily, only to be retrieved at faster rates as and when the computer is operating is managed by RAM (Random Access Memory). The more RAM you have on your computer, the better it is going to facilitate running multiple applications.
A graphics card is used to render the HD videos and graphic-intense games on screen with ease. There are two types - in-built graphic cards and dedicated graphic cards. In-built graphic cards come with the device and are used to launch PC games and HD videos. However, if you are planning to play more sophisticated games, then a dedicated graphic card is useful. A 3GB dedicated graphic card can play almost any kind of graphic intensive games.
The internal storage is the hard disk on your computer where all files are stored. There are hard disks available from a mere 40GB to as high as 2TB (1 TB = 1024 GB). A larger capacity hard disk means a lot of storage. It is good to go for at least 500 GB of internal memory in a laptop without having to worry about disk space. Ideally, a 500GB hard disk can store about 1,00,000 images or 1,50,000 music files or over 45 hours of HD videos.
A SSD (Solid State Drive) is more efficient than a HDD (Hard Disk Drive) by giving faster bot times and instantaneous launch of various applications. The power consumption is low in a SSD when compared to a HDD. There is also lesser faults in a SSD compared to a HDD
The screen size matters in a laptop. A bigger screen is ideal if the laptop is used for intense functions like playing HD videos, editing photos and animation. On the downside, a bigger screen consumes more power and hence there is less battery backup.
Here is an image which has been zoomed in to 400 percentage of its original resolution. As you can see, the difference in clarity is evident across various resolution types.
A 15.6’’ screen with a screen resolution of 1366x768 (Horizontal x Vertical) is considered to be a high definition (HD) resolution. The videos are clearer and the images are sharp when compared to a non-HD resolution computer.
A 15.6’’ inch screen with a screen resolution of 1600 x 900 (Horizontal x Vertical) is considered to be a full HD resolution. The images and videos are of higher quality when compared to the ideal HD resolution. They are ideal for watching HD videos and playing games.
A retina display resolution is a display with 2880 x 1800 (Horizontal x Vertical) resolution on a 15.6’’ screen. They match the colors of the retina and make the pixels in the display unnoticeable to a normal eye.
The 4K display is any display with a horizontal resolution in the order of 4000 pixels. This technology which is available in televisions and computers have revolutionized viewing. The dominant display produces close to real life images on screen. You will have an immersive experience on a 4K Ultra HD screen.