Buying A New Laptop? Here’s Your Ultimate Guide!
So here you are in the middle of an infinite array of laptops: Notebooks, 2-in-1 tablets, thin, light, flexible… you start walking around lost & confused until a ray of light comes in the shape of a salesperson! However, this is no ray of light, by all means! He is just making things more difficult for you! Not only you now have to choose between screen sizes, you also have to pretend you understand all the words he is saying CPU, RAM, Core i5…What?!?
You can just pick a big brand laptop with a price tag matching your budget but it might not be what you actually needed! And you will end up paying more than you need to or getting fewer features than you want.
Luckily, you can skip all the drama and refer to our guide on the essentials to look for when buying a laptop!
So where do I start?
Ask yourself the age-old question, the one that is at the center of very heated debates: “Mac or Windows?”
This really depends of your personal preferences, noting that even though their function is similar for regular users they also have their proper features in terms of graphics and price!
Okay, so where do I REALLY start?
Start by defining how and for what you will be using the laptop, to narrow your search and options.
- What do I need it for?
- Business: software, documents editing etc.
- Media production and design
- What is my budget?
Each of these questions will help you identify if you should go for higher processing, high storage, a bigger screen, etc. and what you should go for in terms of screen size and resolution.
GEEKS Tip: We recommend going for the following minimum specs:
- Core i5
- 8 GB RAM
- 256/512 SSD
- 1080p Full HD screen
Done! Then what?
Now that you have defined your needs, you can look at the specs. And this is where all the undecipherable words come in. So here’s some laptop terminology to better support your quest!
- Display/Screen size
It will all depend on the use and how portable you want your laptop to be.
- 11-12 inches screens are the lightest and the most portable but are not the best in terms of usability
- 13-14 inches screens are a good balance between portability and usability
- 15 inches are usually the most popular. They offer a larger screen and a practical typing usage. They’re good if you are not planning on carrying them around everywhere and everyday
- 17-18 inches provide you with good processing power and high-resolution screens. Buy them only if you plan to leave them on your desk as they can weight a lot!
GEEKS tip: The most popular size is 14 inches as it works almost for everyone, whether for work or fun.
- CPU Or Processing Power
This spec affects your laptop’s performance, so it should match what you would like to do with your laptop. The more cores you have the faster and more performant your laptop will be.
The most popular CPU designations you will run into are:
- Intel Core i5: Perfect for mainstream users who still want performance
- Intel Core i7: If you plan on using it for your business, for designing or any higher usage then you should definitely upgrade to the i7
- Intel Core i9 & Intel Xeon: are extremely performant, and popular for gamers, and extreme users. If you don’t fall into that category don’t bother paying this much and go for Intel Core i7
- Intel Core i3: These laptops come at a cheaper price for a reason; they are much slower than the other listed CPUs. If your budget allows it then definitely upgrade to an i5!
Random-Access Memory, also known as Memory, refers to the computer’s speed in accessing information. The more RAM your laptop has, the more applications you can open at the same time.
GEEKS tip: Don’t confuse RAM with storage capacity!
- Hard Disk (in other words storage capacity)
This will tell you how much data the laptop can store (programs, videos, photos, music etc.). You usually have the choice between SSD (Solid State Drives) and HDD. While SSD is faster and more reliable it is more expensive than HDD.
- Dedicated Graphics Card
You only need them if you play PC games or design 3D objects or other high-resolution media productions.
GEEKS tip: If you don’t really need these, then disregard this feature. It will save you a good amount of money!
You are now covered and ready, as these are the main and basic specs you should look at when buying your new laptop.
Surely, these features will change according to your needs, especially if you are an expert/extreme user! So don’t hesitate to give us a call if you need some more clarification on the common terms or need more features!