Laptops offer consumers the convenience of a portable, light weight computer that can be used at home, school, work, or while on the go. Many consumers use their laptop as an extension of themselves, storing their pictures, documents, music, and other important files. This is why it is important for consumers to choose a high quality laptop, that has the capabilities and features to effectively meet their needs.
What to Decide Before Choosing a Laptop:
Before choosing a laptop, it is important to first decide which operating system will best meet your needs. The three operating systems that are most commonly used are Windows, Macintosh OS X, and Linux.
Windows is currently available on laptops offered by almost every manufacturer other than Apple, and is used by the majority of laptop users. Some common varieties of Windows are Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Windows 7, which is the newest version. Laptops that use Windows are generally cheaper than similar laptops that use Mac OS X, which is one of the main reasons they are so widely popular. Unfortunately, this operating system can be vulnerable to spyware and viruses, unless laptop users take the necessary steps to secure their laptop.
Laptops manufactured by Apple run on Macintosh OS X, which is an upgrade from the previous Mac OS. Mac users choose these systems because they are free of many of the problems that cause Windows systems to run poorly or crash. However, these laptops are generally more expensive than Windows, so Apple users must be willing to spend more a little more on their laptop.
Linux is an operating system that can run on almost any laptop and is free to use. Some laptop users choose this operating system as a way of saving money on their purchase. However, many consumers are simply unaware that they have another option other than Windows or Mac, and therefore never explore this option. This is the least commonly used operating system, yet is relatively easy to install, operate, and in many ways, is less prone to viruses, spymare, and malware than Windows.
Five Things to Look for in a Laptop:
1. Processor: A laptop’s processor is what causes it’s applications and programs to run. The speed of the processor is usually measured in Gigahertz, or Ghz, which is equivalent 1,000 Megahertz, or Mhz. The faster the processor, the faster a laptop’s applications will run, which means that users will be able to watch movies, play games, and run large applications without causing the laptop to lag. If a consumer is planning on using their laptop to browse the internet, send, e-mail, and do homework, a standard processor is all they will need. However, if you plan on watching a lot of movies or playing games, you may want to consider upgrading your processor.
2. Hard Drive: The hard drive is where a laptop stores it’s information. The more space on the hard drive, the more music, pictures, and other files will be able to be stored on the computer. Consumers should aim for around 150 GB to 200 GB of space. Fortunately, if a laptop user runs out of space, external storage is affordable and easy to use.
3. RAM: RAM, which stands for Random Access Memory, controls the number of programs and applications that a laptop can run at one time. The faster the processor, the more RAM a consumer should purchase. Most laptop users will find that two to four Gigabytes will be adequately meet their usage needs.
4. Network Card: A laptop’s network card is what will allow the computer to connect to the internet. Users need to be sure that their network card allows for wireless internet connectivity, if this is a feature that is important to the user.
5. Battery: When purchasing a laptop, consumers should be sure to choose a battery with enough power to meet their needs. Most laptop batteries will last around three hours when not connected to a power source. However, laptop users that frequently travel may want to consider choosing a stronger battery that will allow them to use their laptop on long trips. While upgrading the battery will increase the price of the laptop, this is an upgrade that many consumers consider worth the additional cost.