Our laptop guide will show you what to look for when buying a laptop and help you get the cheapest laptop deals most suitable for you. We will show you the general categories to look at, and the features you might need to consider.
First to consider is the operating system. This is the underlying software that runs the laptop. The programs you use, such as your web browser, photo editor or spreadsheet are all run through the operating system.
The main operating systems are Windows, Mac and Chrome. Windows laptops give you the most compatibility with the most programs and are therefore the most popular. The Mac operating system is high quality but expensive.The Chrome system is designed for the web, which means that all files and programs are not stored on your laptop – you need to access them over an internet connection through your browser.
Next area to consider is the laptop size. In general size and power go hand in hand. The most powerful laptops are large, and the smallest laptops have less power.
Laptops that are over seventeen inches and above are considered replacements for desktop computers. They are extremely powerful and are suitable for complex video games and complex work such as video editing.
Laptops that are fourteen to sixteen inches are small enough to be carried with you but have enough power to do pretty much anything you want them to.
Eleven to thirteen inch laptops are ideal for people on the move who like to keep their laptop with them at all times. These laptops are good for all basic work like internet browsing, spreadsheets, emails etc.
Ram stands for Random Access Memory and is a form of data storage that is used for processing and storing the data currently in use by the laptop. Not enough RAM and the laptop will run slowly. You will need at least 2GB of RAM to run most applications and tasks efficiently.
The laptop’s processor does most of the actual work. The processor decides how many things your laptop can do at one time, and how fast it will do those things. The more cores your processor has , the more functions it can handle at the same time. So, at a minimum a dual-core processor should be the place to begin.
Your processor’s clock speed decides how quickly the processor can move tasks through it’s cores. When choosing a processor, first choose the one with most cores. If two processors have the same number of cores then the one with the higher clock speed will be superior. As a general rule 2.5GHz will provide sufficient speed for most laptops.
Processors with integrated graphics are ideal if you use your laptop for e-mail, web browsing, and even watching films. Video games and graphic editing, however, require separate video cards that are more powerful and specially designed to process intensive graphics.
The two most popular processor manufacturers are AMD and Intel. Both processors will perform most everyday tasks perfectly well, with the equivalent AMD chip being cheaper. However, if you’re serious about audio and video editing, it’s worth investing in a model with the quieter Intel chip.
Most new computers come with traditional hard disk drives that offer enormous amounts of storage. If you’re looking for the speediest storage, get a solid state drive. These drives are smaller but much faster, allowing your computer to turn on in mere seconds. They are generally more expensive than their hard drive counterparts.
Many laptops do not have a DVD or Blu-Ray drive in order to be smaller and lighter. You probably won’t need a disk drive for software, as most can be downloaded from the large number of app stores available, but you will need a disk drive if you plan to watch DVDs on your laptop.
If you plan to play video games on your laptop, make sure it has a dedicated video card. Basic games will run fine without one, but anything more serious will need more power to run smoothly. Avoid anything that says “integrated graphics”. Instead, look for graphics by ATI or Nvidia, the top two graphics card makers. It is important to note that unlike a desktop computer, you cannot upgrade a laptop’s graphics card later. Be sure your laptop has a dedicated graphics card if you think you’ll want it in the future.
If you plan to use your laptop while you’re on the move, be sure to look at how long the battery is rated to last. Many big, powerful laptops last only for a few hours on a single charge, while some smaller laptops can last over seven hours on a full charge.
You’ll need USB ports to connect a separate mouse, memory sticks, smartphones and many other computer accessories, such as printers and scanners. You may also want an SD card slot to more easily transfer your camera photos, or an HDMI port to connect your laptop to an HDTV.
We all require different things from our laptop, from browsing the internet on a small light laptop to playing on a powerful gaming laptop, and all stops in between.
Once you have taken into account all the above points and how they effect what you want from your laptop, you should be in a position to make a more informed choice and find the cheapest laptop deals that are right for you.
Now that you know what kind of laptop you need and the features you’re looking for, why not have a look below where we offer the cheapest laptop deals and laptop accessory deals at discount prices every single day.