1. Consider The Size Of Your Laptop
How often are you likely to be carrying your laptop? Are you after a notebook to play games and run graphics-intensive programs like photo editing software? Generally speaking, laptops with more features are less portable.
Lightweight and ultra-portable notebooks are a great option for people like students who need to carry them everywhere, as they range from under 2kg up to 4kg
Midsize and desktop-replacement laptops offer more features and are better suited to gaming and graphics-intensive programs like video and photo editing. They range from around 3kg to 5kg
2. Brain Speed – The Faster, The Better
Processors are often referred to as the “brains” of a laptop because they determine how fast your computer functions. The speed of the processor is measured in GHz (gigahertz). It’s always safest to go with the fastest you can afford.
3. The Grunt
RAM (Random Access Memory) helps your processor perform tasks by acting as a temporary storage point.
In short, the more RAM you have, the more programs you can keep open at once, and the faster your computer will go
Our laptops range between 2GB and 16GB of RAM
A graphics (or video) card acts as a separate processor for rendering the images on the screen
Graphics cards draw on their own RAM, so the computer’s performance is not impeded
This is important for graphics-intensive programs, such as games and movies.
THE HARD DRIVE
The hard drive is where your computer stores your files. Storage capacity is measured in gigabytes (GB)
The more GB, the more files you can fit. If you want to store large files like high-quality photos, movies or music you should aim for a range between 500GB and 3TB
A laptop used solely for Internet, email and minimal image storage should get away with 250GB or less
4. How Long Does The Battery Last?
Typical laptop battery life is between three to five hours. If you’re travelling and away from a power source for extended periods of time, then consider laptop computers with a battery life of over five hours.
5. Connecting Your Laptop To Other Devices
Consider the devices that you want to connect your laptop to. Multiple USB ports are necessities for iPods, digital cameras and external hard drives; also look for FireWire ports.
For connecting to monitors and projectors, look for a VGA connection at minimum. Aim for a DVI, HDMI or DisplayPort as well
Integrated wireless networking (Wi-Fi) will allow you to connect to a range of different networks without needing any wires or cords
6. Consider These “Usability” Factors
Laptops usually come with a pointing stick or a touch pad instead of a mouse. Make sure that you’re comfortable using them
Also check that the layout and size of the keyboard is easy to use, and that the screen size suits your needs
If you’re planning on working outside, check that there is a matte screen option to reduce glare
If you are switching from PC to Apple, or vice versa, it’s important to note that Apple products have different shortcuts and a different look and feel to using them. However, making the switch either way is quite easy.
7. Match Your Lifestyle
Home and Business: Surf the net, work on multiple documents, watch movies, and manage your family photos and music.
Size: Look for a portable laptop under 4kg
Memory: Aim for the most memory you can, upwards of 250GB
Connectivity: Multiple USB ports, Wi-Fi, Firewire and a DVI or HDMI
Students and Travellers: Store your photos, music and videos, surf the Net and work on graphics-intensive programs, like photo editing.
Size: Choose an ultra-portable notebook under 2kg
Grunt: Look for a processor of at least 2GHz and 2GB RAM
Screen: Look for a matte screen to reduce glare when outdoors
Gamers: You’ll need a fast, powerful machine to play your favourite games wherever you are in the world. You might even want to check out the best gaming laptop cooling pad to go with your new laptop.
Size: Choose a larger screen, like a 15.6-inch one
Graphics: Add a separate graphics card with at least 1GB RAM
Connectivity: HDMI, multiple USB, eSATA, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth