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  • Ankur Sachdev

Some Basics Points to Keep in Mind While Buying a Laptop

Isaac Asimov, "I do not fear computers, i fear lack of them."

Portability drives our life and this has made mobile an essential item. If one wants to talk to someone, then they do not need to wait for a company to deliver a letter. Instead, they can instantly send a message to the other person by using a messaging app like WhatsApp, Signal, and Telegram, to name a few. If one wants to scan a document on the go then one may do it by using an app like Adobe Scan and Office Lens, to name a few. One can even shop on the go with a mobile. The question is if mobile is enough to carry out heavy functions? The answer is no. Mobile is not enough to carry out heavy functions especially if you are a content creator or a business person, or even an employee for that matter. This is where the laptop comes to the rescue. A laptop is portable and offers features that work for the betterment of everyone. If you are a content creator, then you can access your software anywhere. If you are a student and you wish to study in your favorite room, then all you have to do is take your laptop with you to that room. For professionals, including employees and business persons, a laptop is a device that they can use even while traveling on a flight. The next question that arises is if a laptop is the best device? This question is debatable. There are a few people who prefer to use laptops and there are a few people who prefer to use desktop computers.

Laptop and Desktop Computer Before we go to the main agenda of this article, let's compare laptop & desktop computers to see if buying a new laptop is worth spending your money on. These are also the points that you may ask yourself to know if you want a laptop.

1. Portability This point goes to the laptop. A laptop can be carried anywhere. If you are a freelancer, then you may carry it to your client's office. If you are a teacher/student, then you can keep it in any room to attend your online class. For a working professional, a laptop is no less than a boon as he/she can access and work on his/her official documents even while traveling on a flight. A desktop computer, on the other hand, remains in one place. Once you have got it attached to a table, it is challenging to change its place. 2. Set-up A desktop computer takes time to set up especially if you are getting it assembled from a professional. A laptop, on the other hand, comes assembled from the factory. You are all set to use it after you have purchased it. The only wire that you need to take care of is that of the charger. If we talk about which device takes more space then the laptop takes a point here too. A desktop computer takes a lot of space as you have got to keep its monitor, CPU, keyboard, mouse, and a pair of speakers on a table except CPU which one may choose to keep on the floor. Whereas, a laptop takes less space that is not more than two-by-two feet. 3. Electricity consumption A desktop consumes more electricity. A laptop, on the other hand, does not just consume less electricity but also stores power after you have charged it. The consumption of power and how long it lasts depends on how you use a laptop but the feeling to have a power backup is always amazing. This also comes in handy during the situation when there is no electricity and you have an urgent project scheduled for submission. This point should not be considered as a huge limitation for a desktop computer as direct connectivity to electricity is what makes it better than the laptop for those who use heavy software like video editing, gaming, 3D modeling, etc. 4. Features and security A laptop is becoming more attractive with the advancement in technology. Some laptops let you detach their screens and use them as a touch screen. You can even turn them around to show the project to your client. The companies have started developing face-recognition systems for laptops. This, however, cannot be said about a desktop computer. Even with a slim and curvy screen, a desktop computer looks traditional and the best security that you get is a password. 5. Average life Both the devices have an average life of three to five years; however, the average life of a desktop computer can be extended to five-to-eight years. You just need to maintain it regularly and keep it away from dusty areas. One sign that says that it is time to consider buying a new device is its speed. If you observe that the device is taking longer than usual to boot-shut or perform basic functions, then start looking for a new device. In the case of a desktop computer, get it checked by a professional as its CPU may require a simple cleaning from inside. For a laptop, you may consider getting it checked for virus or hardware issues. In most cases, it is better to check your budget and go shopping. 6. Upgrade This is where the desktop takes a huge jump ahead of the laptop. It is easier to upgrade a desktop. You may purchase or get it assembled with 4GB RAM and upgrade it to 8GB RAM later, or vice-versa. You may even get your graphic card replaced at any time. In the case of a laptop, you get everything built-in and it cannot be modified. This also includes the webcam and the screen. You are stuck with a smaller screen with a laptop whereas, with a desktop, you can replace it with another screen of larger size.

The points that i have mentioned above only compare the devices. It depends on one's usage and preference as to what he/she wants to purchase.

Choosing a new laptop There is no going back after you have bought a laptop. Hence, you need to make the money spent on buying a laptop worth it. But what are the basic points that you must consider while buying a new laptop? This article will help you to know and understand those points, and if you are buying a laptop for the first time with no idea about it then this article is definitely 'the one' for you.

Some Basics Points to Keep in Mind While Buying a Laptop
Image Credit: Getty Images

Here are ten basic points to consider while buying a new laptop:

1. Screen size and display The size of the screen matters. It brings a balance between its usability and portability. This also affects the weight of a laptop. The larger the size, the heavier the laptop, and the heavier the laptop, it becomes difficult to carry it around. The larger size, however, cannot be avoided if you want to purchase a laptop to access heavy software related to editing, designing, etc. The size of a screen generally ranges from 11-inches to 17-inches. The most common size that is available in the market ranges from 13-inches to 15-inches. Whether you use a laptop to watch videos or to edit them, a screen display plays a crucial role. The content creators have started to shoot their videos in 4k. To enjoy their content in a true sense, you need a screen that displays 4k better. This can of course be avoided by professionals and students who use laptops only to access their work/study documents. 2. Random Access Memory (RAM) According to HP, RAM is a form of temporary computer storage that allows stored data to be received and read almost instantaneously. But, why is this temporary storage important for laptops? It is important because it affects the speed of your device. Every device has a hard drive that helps to perform various functions; however, putting a lot of load on it reduces the speed of the device. Hence, RAM. The higher the RAM, the faster your device performs. RAM makes it easier to perform multiple tasks on a device. Generally, 4GB-8GB is sufficient if you wish to perform basic functions like accessing word documents. For medium usage like watching a video or editing a photo, RAM of 8GB is recommended. For a professional who edits and/or designs regularly, RAM of more than 8GB is suitable. RAM of more than 8GB is recommended for a professional gamer too. 3. Hard drive A hard drive is where all your data is stored. There are two types of hard drives: Hard Disk Drive (HDD) and Solid-State Drive (SSD). HDD offers a space of up to 2TB while SSD offers a space of up to 512GB. To clarify, 2TB is four times more than 512GB. You may like to hear that the space offered by HDD is a lot more than SSD and wonder why SSD even exists in the market. Well, here's why: SSD offers a speed that is three times more than that offered by HDD. SSD is highly recommended irrespective of how costly it may sound. You always have an option to either buy an external hard drive or save your data in Google Drive or other similar platforms in case you run out of space on your device. 4. Operating System An operating system runs an entire device. It manages different aspects like software, hardware, memory, and our communication with the device. Some popular operating systems are Windows, Chrome, Mac, and Linux. Almost every laptop offers Windows except Apple that offers Mac, its operating system. Windows is known to be more flexible and compatible as compared to Mac. Having to choose from one of the four operating systems mentioned above is a major concern for people who work in the IT industry. For others, it is mostly a choice between Windows & Mac, and going with Windows makes a little bit more sense. 5. Battery life This refers to how long a device can work with one charge. It is convenient for a gamer, designer, or content creator to charge his/her device at any time as they mostly keep their laptop on the table. For professionals, students, and freelancers who are often on the move, long battery life is a game-changer. You do not want to be at your client's location and run out of battery especially if you have forgotten the charger. As a professional who travels a lot or has to deliver presentations continuously, long battery life is a much-needed feature. To have a long battery life, avoid purchasing a 2-in-1 laptop as they consume a lot of power. A 2-in-1 laptop offers detachable screens. Once detached, these screens can be used as touch screens. A piece of advice, do not go by what the company or the salesperson tells you about the battery life. They quote based on the minimum amount of usage. Hence, it is recommended to read reviews of a laptop before buying it. This will give you a better idea as to how long its battery lasts. 6. Touchpad Touchpad performs those functions that a mouse performs for a desktop computer. It helps to select and open-close a program. You can also control the cursor with the touchpad. While purchasing a laptop, check if the touchpad is working properly. It should not just select and open-close but it should also be able to perform multi-gesture functions. A multi-gesture function includes zooming in-out. Checking a keyboard is important too as the keys of every board are different in terms of softness and distance between them. The keys of some boards are very soft and there is hardly any space between the arrow keys. This may lead to more typing errors and the inability to scroll properly. Soft keys, however, work better for people who have long typing sessions. 7. Processor Faster the processor, the better the laptop. The processor, also known as the CPU, is the main hardware of a laptop. If the processor is fast, then your laptop will function faster. You will be able to load your programs faster and run multiple software on the device. The most common processors available in the market are 32-bit and 64-bit. The 32-bit processor is good for those who perform basic functions on a laptop. For those who perform heavy functions, the 64-bit processor is a must. Two popular companies that make processors are AMD and Intel. Choosing the right processor makes a huge difference to people who use their laptops for gaming, 3D modeling, graphics, and editing. These functions use heavy software and a user often has to keep multiple software open. Hence, the faster the processor better the laptop. 8. Graphics Card A graphic card is also known as a display card. It is mostly associated with someone who is a professional gamer, an editor, or a model designer. For those who access their laptop only for Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, or other similar software, the basic graphic card would be sufficient. But irrespective of what your usage of a laptop is, this point should not be ignored. The most common graphic card that comes integrated into a laptop is either Nvidia or AMD. 9. Ports Port is a part that helps to connect a laptop with other devices like a projector. It also assists in data transfer. For example, if you have data in a Pendrive and you want to get it on your laptop, then a port is what you use. If you want to display, say, your presentation on a big screen through a projector then you need a port to connect both the devices. A port is probably the most ignored aspect. A laptop with three USB ports is better. You can use one port to connect an external mouse, one port to connect an external keyboard, and one port would remain available to connect your Pendrive or any other USB device. Technology is advancing at a faster rate and demand for high data transfer speed is increasing. The demand is fulfilled by 3.0 port. A 3.0 port is faster than the standard port that is offered on most laptops. Maximum companies, however, have understood that the demand is higher and it needs to be fulfilled. Many companies have also started to introduce a c-type USB port. Other ports offered in a laptop are ports for memory card, headphone jack, and Ethernet port. 10. Drive Drive is that part of a laptop that is getting outdated every day; however, you may still need to consider this while buying a laptop. First, here is why you need to consider this point: a drive is used to insert a compact disk that is popularly known as a CD or to insert a digital video disk that is popularly known as a DVD. This comes built-in with a laptop and if it does not, then you can consider buying one from the market. Now, here is why it is getting outdated: Everything is available on the official website of the companies. If you want to install software, you can go to the website and install the software directly from there. If you want to install a game, you can install it directly from the official website of the developer. Outdated or not, it continues to be an important part of a laptop. While laptops that are smaller in size do not offer a drive, bigger laptops offer a drive and yes, it is worth having one on various occasions.

Final take

No matter how portable a mobile is or how much power a desktop computer provides, laptops would continue to rule because of the functions that they offer. Buying a laptop is a rare event and hence, one needs to make the money spent on buying a laptop worth it. If ten points still confuse you then remember the five main pillars of buying a laptop or even a desktop computer: processor, RAM, internal memory, battery life, and graphic card. Prioritize the purpose for which you need a laptop and keep the list of these ten points with you when you go to buy a new laptop. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to buying a new laptop and hence, try to tick the maximum number of points as possible.

That is all for this topic. If you have anything to contribute then kindly share it in the comment section. I would love to hear from you.



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