With so many products from so many companies, people seem to get confused and lost in the world of notebooks while buying. Since you are spending so much for your first notebook, you want to look at each aspect and ability before buying one. You don’t want to regret later. People who already have their own personal laptops are kind of pro while buying new laptops or notebooks whatever you call, but those having their first in the life experience to buy brand new laptop really need to be aware of the specs and technologies delivered by laptops from different brands. It’s like a whole new experience to them and without getting proper experience or guidance, you might end up buying a laptop regretting the rest of your 2-3 years and wasting money.
Here is a quick guidance what to look for in a brand new laptop if you are in trouble what to buy.
1. Laptop/notebook, Ultra book or convertibles/ hybrids:
Hybrids (tablet cum notebook): Mostly touch based notebooks ideal for travelers expensive, have weak specs at the same price as that of laptop, really not worthy to some power and heavy users who love coding like stuff, ideal for light work like document editing, watching videos and playing music. Ideal for fun and entertainment rather than professional work.
Ultra books: Pricey but have top notch specs as compared to laptops. Excellent buy to professional people who are on the go. Excellent on battery life, can do everything laptop can do, light weight and have to compromise on optical drives.
Laptops: Comes at every price point according to your budget, wide range in specs, good buy for professional work with entertainment at low price. Battery life is approx. 4 hours just half that of ultra-books, bulkier than ultra-book and hybrid. Ideal for students and home users.
2. Form Factor
10-12 inch screen size: Mostly some pricey laptops and some ultra-books come at this form factors. It is thin and light weight and ideal for professionals, travelers.
14 inch form factor: These come at all price points. They are somewhat bulky with 2-3 kg and are not as comfortable to carry, usually need cases. But bigger screen and keyboard helps a lot, ideal for home users and students.
15-17 inch form factor: Bulky, what else can be said if you are not a traveler then it is a good option , are cheaper with comfortable keyboard and numpad, and good specs at low price point if compared to 14 inch with same price. Most suitable for home users but students can opt it, really can’t carry for too long.
AMD processors: They are cheaper than the Intel processors but most of the times lags behind Intel in terms of performances. Only consider AMD Turion dual core or above processors if really want AMD.
Intel processors: Most widely used and trusted processors by brands. Offer high performance and comes at price ranges.
- Intel core i3 : Cheap and battery optimized good for normal users(not gamers),
- Intel core i5: Offers performance with turbo boost which can overclock processor when needed, good for professionals and gamers(except some high end games),
- Intel core i7: This beast can offer everything and suitable for any task, but is expensive. Ideal for professional and heavy gamers.
4. Screen Quality:
16:9 ratio: Most usable and widescreen picture delivery offers best viewing for movies, pictures and webpages.
4:3 ratio: Standard screen resolution not as great in terms of viewing and pixels.
HD resolution: 1280 X 800, 1024X 768, 1366X 768 (best suited and supported by new Windows 8 features).
Retina display: Mac book pro has this display, the best ever resolution on 14 inch screen.
2GB RAM: Is the basic requirement for optimal working of new Operating systems. Ideal for very basic laptop and not suitable for gaming, heavy coding and developing softwares, sometimes lag to watch videos and movies.
4GB RAM: Perfect for laptop to perform all necessary tasks except gaming. Ideal for home, normal and professional users.
More than 4 GB: Perfect for gamers and power users. Will make tasks blazingly fast. Ideal for professionals and gamers, expensive.
SSD(solid state drives): Fast, expensive, thin and normally have less storage capacity but gets the job done without letting you know. Ideal for professionals.
HDD(Conventional hard disk): Cheap, more storage, does take time to read and write and depends on rpm (7200 rpm fastest, 5600rpm normally found on laptops), add to the weight of laptop. Ideal for all kinds of users.
On-board graphics without graphics card: Only choose if you don’t want to play games and won’t run graphic intensive tasks. Ideal for home users and are cheap.
512 MB: Can run heavy tasks and normal games. Is cheaper and ideal for anyone who don’t play too much games
1GB: Can run heavy games and all kinds of heavy tasks. Perfect for balanced gaming and working laptop, gamers would like it.
2GB or more: Can run all future and console quality high end games without any glitch. Gamers love it and is expensive.
8. Operating system :
Windows: Most widely used and has wide applications, now with windows 8 is more fluid and obvious choice for any user.
Linux: For those who love free and open source OS, Linux offers everything from document editor, photo editing tools, games and virus free system and most simple connectivity settings options.
Mac OS X: Gorgeous UI, virus free system, wide apps and have solution to every basic and high end requirements like documents, PowerPoint, photo editing right in build and one of the best OS with support to high end hardware on any notebook.
9. Touch pad and keyboard
Multi touch: Touch pad supports multi-gestures with your track pad like zoom in and out and is convenient to use.
Keyboard: Spill proof keyboard is durable and resistant to accident spills of liquids on the keyboard. Best for usage. Back-lit keyboard allow to type in dark because of LED illumination and are expensive but useful.
10. Battery life:
6 cell: Offer battery power to laptop for 4 hours and comes standard with every laptop. Ideal for normal users.
12 cell: Optional battery backup and is expensive but can extend battery life up to 8 hours. Ideal for travelers and power users.
SEE ALSO: How to Save Battery Power on an Android
11. Data transfer options:
USB 3.0: offer high transfer speed between your portable hard disk, USB to your laptop. Highly recommended for every kind of users. Is common and not expensive.
HDMI or VGA port: Want to connect to TV to transfer videos and movies to HD TV and projectors. Ideal for professionals, home users.
Optical drives: If you like watching movies using DVD, then it can come handy, although some laptop manufacturers have started ignoring it to make notebooks thin, but it still has its own advantages. You can buy optional one as a hardware if your machine doesn’t have it.
12. Connectivity options:
Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n : Must for any laptop to connect to internet.
Bluetooth: Ideal for users who want to connect speakers, headphones to laptop wirelessly. Ideal for any kind of user.
Thunderbolt: Only found on mac book and is faster than usb 3.0 in terms of data transfers.
13. After sales services
Nobody would ever want to travel miles if something went wrong with their laptop. Service centers along with servicing quality should be thought once before buying laptop.
14. Parts availability and cost:
Should check once the cost of parts you might need several years later after buying laptop, say for e.g. cost of new battery.