So you’ve decided to buy a new laptop online?
You could just decide on a budget and grab whatever model looks the best, but what if it doesn’t do what you need it to and you’re left disappointed?
For example, what if the screen is too small? Or it’s too slow to play your favorite game?
There are many different laptop models to choose from online, and making the right decision isn’t easy. That’s why you need to understand how to compare laptop specs.
Keep reading this laptop buying guide to find out which factors are most important when choosing a new laptop.
Decide on Your Needs
Before you start looking for a laptop to buy online, you should first have a clear idea of what you need.
Your ideal laptop depends on what you are planning to use it for. For example, are you planning on using it for college? In that case, you should pay special attention to the keyboard as you’ll likely be typing a lot.
On the other hand, you might be planning to use it for gaming. In this case, the most important thing is the processor and graphics card.
Here are some questions to ask yourself before choosing a laptop.
- What’s my budget?
- What’s my main purpose for buying a laptop?
- Will I need a lot of storage space?
- Will I be traveling or using it at home?
Once you have a clear picture of what your needs are, you can begin comparing laptop specs online to choose your perfect machine.
Another important consideration when buying a new laptop is which operating system you want to use.
The operating system is the core of any computer. It manages all your software and hardware. This includes your files, memory, applications, and connected devices.
Most important of all, it lets you navigate your computer in a visual way instead of having to type code.
The mac operating system comes with all Apple computers. It has an elegant interface that’s easy to navigate. macOS also tends to have fewer issues with viruses and malware than Windows.
Macs are known to be pricey and start at a higher price point than other computers.
Macs are best for those working in creative industries such as video editors, artists, graphic designers, and photographers.
Windows is a powerful operating system that has withstood the test of time. In fact, Windows 10 is currently the most popular operating system in the world.
Windows boasts a clear interface and a wealth of usability features. It also has full touch screen support and voice assistance with Cortana. Although more prone to viruses than macOS, Windows is still a secure system.
If you’re into gaming or VR, then Windows is the way to go!
Chromebook laptops tend to be inexpensive and high performing. The Chrome operating system is simple and easy to use. It’s very basic compared to macOS and Windows, but some people prefer it that way.
One drawback to the Chrome OS is that it doesn’t support high-end applications such as Adobe Suite or Microsoft Word.
How to Compare Laptop Specs: Important Factors to Consider
When shopping for a laptop online, there are several factors to consider. Here are some of the most common specs that you should be aware of.
The size of a laptop refers to its diagonal screen length, and it’s usually measured in inches.
A laptop with a huge screen is great for gaming and video editing. It will also have a bigger keyboard making it easier to type on. However, it’s also going to be heavier and bulkier.
If you’re going to be traveling a lot with your laptop, you should consider a smaller model. On the other hand, if you plan to use it mostly at home, why not enjoy a larger screen?
Most laptops feature a standard L shape where the screen folds down onto the keyword. Some models include touch screens, which are beneficial for creative tasks such as drawing or design work.
Some laptops have a screen that can fold the other way, behind the keyboard. These kinds of laptops function almost like tablets and are called ‘2-in-1s’.
Laptops with variable forms look cool, but they’re also more expensive than standard models. So, if you don’t need this added flexibility, then buying one is probably not worth it.
One of the most important factors to consider when buying a new laptop is the display. After all, you’re going to be staring at it a lot!
Screen resolution refers to the number of pixels on your screen both horizontally and vertically. A common resolution is 1366×768, which means the screen has 1366 pixels across the horizontal and 768 along the verticle.
The higher the resolution, the better the display quality. If you’re doing work that requires pristine clarity, then getting a laptop with a high-resolution screen is important.
Nowadays, most laptops, including those on lenovo.com, come with high-quality displays.
Laptop keyboards vary widely depending on the make and model. If you’re going to be typing a lot on your laptop, choosing one with the right keyboard is important.
The size of the laptop determines its keyboard size, so a bigger screen also means more space for typing. Keyboards also vary in how they feel when typing. Some people like noisy keyboards with deep keys, while others prefer shallower, quieter keyboards.
It’s not easy to replace a laptop keyboard so read some reviews online of your chosen model to ensure its keyboard doesn’t have any serious problems.
One of the most important laptop specs is performance. There are several ways you can gauge the performance of a laptop, and the first is by checking its RAM.
What is RAM?
RAM stands for random access memory and is an essential component in electronic devices. RAM stores all the data that a device needs at any one time. Too little RAM can slow down your computer.
Most laptops come with at least 4GB of RAM. But for many people, this isn’t enough. If you’re going to be using high-end design software or editing videos, then you’ll need 8GB.
If you’re going to be developing machine learning applications or playing a lot of games, then you might need up to 16GB.
Another important factor in laptop performance is the processor or CPU. The CPU (central processing unit) is responsible for executing tasks and interacting with other components of your computer. Think of it as the ‘brains’ of your device.
An Intel Core i3 processor can cope with basic office work and web browsing. More intensive tasks such as image and video editing require an Intel Core i5.
Laptops with i7 processors are really fast but also more expensive. Consider getting an i7 if you’re going to be gaming or using resource-intensive applications.
The next thing to consider is the graphics capabilities. Some laptops don’t have separate graphics cards and instead rely on their processor to render graphics. This is called ‘Intel HD Graphics’.
Laptops without a dedicated graphics unit are fine for most tasks except serious gaming. If you’re a gamer, you’ll need a laptop with an Nvidia or AMD graphics card.
Some graphics cards are better than others, so make sure to search for the model number online to check its performance.
If you plan to travel with your laptop, then choosing one with long battery life is super important.
Smaller, lighter models have longer battery life than larger, bulkier laptops. After all, smaller machines require less power to run. Gaming laptops, for example, have short battery lives due to their high-end internal components.
General-purpose laptops last around 5-8 hours. If you find a laptop you like, make sure to check its reviews to find out how long the battery really lasts.
Do you have a lot of files? Do you work with a lot of different documents? If so, storage is an important factor to consider when choosing a laptop.
Computer files are stored on hard drives. There are two kinds of hard drives that laptops use to store files. The first is a regular HDD (hard drive disk), and the second is called an SSD (solid-state drive).
SSDs retrieve information much faster than HDDs and are a better investment overall. However, they are also more expensive. Some laptops combine both types of hard drives for an optimal balance of price and performance.
Now You’re Ready to Buy a New Laptop
Now you know how to compare laptop specs.
Before you start looking for laptops, think about your needs and your budget. What will you use the laptop for? Will you be traveling a lot or staying at home?
If you’re an avid gamer, then you’ll need a fast processor with a standalone graphics unit and at least 8GB of RAM. On the other hand, if you’re only going to be browsing the internet and doing basic office work, then a mid-range processor with 4GB of RAM is sufficient.
If you found this post helpful, check out more in the tech section of our website.