Do you have some spare cash lying around? Do you need to buy yourself a new laptop or if your like me, another laptop to add to the collection? Don’t know what to get or which brand? I know how you feel as there are heaps to choose from. But when you have finished reading this, you should be able to understand the computer jargon, how to choose a laptop that is value for money, how to make sure you choose a laptop that suits your needs, and to be aware of sites to help you compare specs and read reviews.
If I say Mhz, GHz, Megabyte, Petabyte, Ram, Central Processing Unit, Cache, dual and quad core and you have no idea what I am talking about, please read on because the higher the value is not always better.
Understanding Computer Jargon (specs)
There are so many sites that allows you to compare laptops, but if you do not know what the terms mean, it will be a waste of time reading all the reviews on which laptop is better. So read on to get a better understanding…
CPU – the CPU is the brain of the computer. Nowadays, it is measured in GHz which is the rate it can process instructions per second. There are many different types of processors, Atom, single core, dual core and quad core, and now Intel have launched their i3, i5 and i7 processors. A general rule of thumb – the more cores and the higher the GHz, the better. Also note the size of the CPU cache. Again, the higher the better (the cache is measured in Megabytes). More information about CPU’s at Wikipedia.
Ram – Stands for Random Access Memory. Nowadays, it is measured in Gigabytes. The larger the RAM (more gigabyte the better). There are many different types of RAM static RAM, and dynamic RAM, DDR2, DDR3 etc. For more information on RAM, see the Wikipedia Page.
Hard Drive – the Hard Drive stores data such as the operating system, and your personal file and folders. Hard drives are measured in Gigabytes, but Terabytes are becoming more common. Laptops hard drives using spin at 5200RPM and are usually 2.5 inch while desktop hard drivers spin around 7200RPM and are 3.5 inch. More information can be found at Wikipedia.
Choosing a computer that suites you
One size does not fit all – that is why there are so many different types of laptops and desktops computers out there. I don’t play many computer games, so I don’t really need a large screen, fast processor and heaps of RAM. I am a University student so I need a small laptop that is light, great for taking notes and inexpensive. That is why I brought myself a Medion E1210. So when your looking to purchase a new laptop, think on what you are going to primarily use it for. Do you need a fast processor and a good graphics card because your a hard-core gamer? Is it only for work so it sits on a desk all day? Or do you need to take it with you in the car and to the airport all the time?
When choosing a laptop, there are a few other things to look out for:
Screen Size – Do you want a large heavy laptop, or a small lightweight one?
Battery Life (how many cells is the battery?) – Battery life is very important try to find a laptop that has a long battery life
Processor (CPU) – if you get a small laptop (around 10 inch) they usually come with Intel Atom Processors
Graphics/Video Card – if your a gamer, you might want a specific Video Card, if your not, a video card is not of an issue
Size of RAM – More RAM the better, but the more you have, the more you spend. Not, that if you are going to use a 32bit Operating System, it will only be able to use 3.8GB of Ram.
Number of USB Ports – USB ports come in handy, and sometimes you don’t have enough
Does if have an External Display adapter – Need to do a presentation? Make sure you can plug your laptop into an external display or TV
What software is included Software – Does your laptop come with any software such as Microsoft Office, Photoshop, or even an Operating System? When comparing laptops, also take note of the bundled software that comes with it.
What is the Warranty – Some sellers provide extended warranties for an extra cost, or if you change your mind, you can’t get your money back. So ask what sort of warranty you get.
Tips on buying a Laptop
It is not good to go into the shops and by the first laptop you see. Do your research before you go out shopping. It could save you a lot of money in the long term. Have a read on user reviews, but keep in mind, people usually write reviews on negative things, so if someone has an issue, it will not necessarily effect you and should not drastically effect your purchase. But if the same thing is being repeated by many people, take their advice seriously. When beginning your laptop hunt, know your budget, and know what the laptop will be used for. If you follow those tips, you will make sure you won’t buy something you don’t want and you won’t blow your budget.