What to consider before buying a laptop.

WHAT TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING A LAPTOP.                                        1. Size
When it comes to laptops and any computer device  size matters. Depending on what you plan to be doing with your next laptop, you’ll want to make sure you pick the size that’s the right fit for you. Size isn’t like the RAM or ROM of a laptop, it’s impossible to upgrade it later. You’re locked into whatever you select up-front, so choose wisely.
Laptops sizes tend to start at 11.6-inches and go all the way up to 17.3 inches. Most brands and OEMS like HP, Dell, ASUS and Acer tend to offer three display sizes – 13.3-inch, 15.6-inch and 17.3-inches. However, some vendors do sell laptops that fall outside these sizes including 11.6-inches, 12.5-inches and 14-inches for uniqueness
Obviously, if portability is your priority, you’ll want to go for a smaller sized Windows laptop. They tend to be thinner and lighter than their larger counterparts. Look for laptops that have a screen that is either 12.5-inches or 13.3-inches in size, and a weight between 1kg and 1.5kgs.
However, keep in mind that smaller-sized 13.3-inch machines often don’t support the same high-end Intel Core i7 CPUs or discrete graphics cards you’ll be able to find in their 15.6-inch counterparts. Most of the time, they’ll also feature a less-robust selection of ports. If the kind of work you intend to be using your new laptop for requires a larger display or standalone graphics power(Workstation), you’ll probably need to look at a larger size.
Beyond specific sizings, there are several different classes of laptop to choose from. Ultrabooks tend to favor a slim and lightweight form-factor over high-end performance. Things like the ASUS Zenbook and Lenovo’s Yoga  devices fall into this category.By contrast, Notebooks tend to offer a good mix of power and portability. If you’re looking at
notebooks, a good place to start is the Dell XPS 13 and HP’s Envy x360 .
Convertibles (also known as 2-in-1 laptops or 2-in-1 PCs) expand on this by adding the ability to fold
away (or remove) the keyboard and use your new laptop in tablet mode. Products like Microsoft’s
Surface Go and Acer’s Chrome books fall into this category.
Finally, traditional clamshell and gaming laptops tend to boast bulkier form-factors but significantly-
beefier specs.
The most important thing to consider here when looking for the best laptop you can buy is that you
think about what you’re going to need that laptop to do. It’s rarely ever a case of one size fits all. Some
users need something lighter and more portable. Other users need discrete graphics for things like video
editing or running high end games. If you need a PC with an optical drive or long battery life, you’ll
almost certainly have to look for something larger.
Regardless, knowledge is power. And once you’ve worked out the size of laptop you’re looking for, the
search for the best one becomes that much easier.

Image :Toshiba via jumia.co.ke
  • Screen quality
    Since you’ll probably end up staring at your laptop screen hours at a time, you’ll probably want to make
    sure you get a screen that is comfortable to look at and use.
    To start with, you’ll have to consider whether you want your next laptop to have a touchscreen. These
    days, touch screens are very common and they can make some tasks easier than others. Unfortunately,
    they can also add a glossiness to the display which is sometimes undesirable. Glossy screens lead to
    reflections, which are a definite negative if you’re gaming, watching content or editing images and video
    content. Next up, be sure to look at the resolution on any laptop you’re thinking of buying. A 1920×1080-pixel
    resolution (Full HD) should be considered if you want plenty of space to line up windows and keep
    things in view.
    Select modern laptops also now offer 4K resolutions. However, these high-end display panels are
    generally a costly add-on to an already-expensive product. They’re only really going to be worth it for
    those who really need them, like content creation professionals.
    Photographers and videographers will also want to privilege laptops that offer better color accuracy and
    support wider color gamut and HDR standards over those that don’t.
    What’s the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
    Meanwhile, if you’re a gamer, it’s also worth taking the time to check the refresh rate on the display of
    any potential laptop. A faster refresh rate can often provide a sometimes provide a competitive
    advantage in online games, as it enables a smoother and more responsive play experience.
    Lastly, viewing angles are extremely important. A laptop screen that touts IPS (in-plane switching)
    technology offers the widest viewing angles and the best user comfort. Chances are you’re not always
    going to be using your laptop in its natural habitat, so a laptop with an IPS display is usually preferred
    over the opposite.
    If possible, take the time to go into a store and see the screen for yourself. Otherwise, rely on multiple
    reviews to get a good overview of the product and whether or not its screen will be able to suit your
  • Keyboard quality
    For long typing sessions, you’ll need to get a laptop that has a comfortable keyboard. You don’t want to
    get a keyboard that packs in every key under the sun (think keyboards that have squished in number
    pads) because that can translate to a poor overall user experience when hunting for specifics like the
    arrow or delete keys.You want a keyboard that has a comfortable layout with full-sized keys and some space around the
    arrow keys. The keys should have adequate travel on the down stroke and snappy responsiveness when
    you let them go.
    Make sure the keyboard is also backlit, so that you can type with an easier view on the keys in dimly lit
    As with the screen, it helps to try before you buy, especially if your main task will be typing.
  • CPU
    It’s hard to go past any of Intel’s Core-based CPUs when buying a new laptop. Think Core i3, Core i5, and
    Core i7. An Intel Core Processor offer the best performance when it comes to multitasking and
    multimedia tasks. Core i3-based notebooks are generally found in entry-level systems, while Core i5
    makes up the majority of mainstream computers.
    Core i7-based systems are for those of you who want the best performance from your laptop. However,
    note that with a Core i7-based system, heat coming through the base of the laptop can be cause for
    concern, especially if you plan to actually use the laptop on your lap a lot of the time.
    Some larger laptops also now incorporate Intel’s i9 Core processors. Laptops running on i9 Core
    processors are even more powerful than laptops running on i7 Core processors. They’re able to rival
    desktops for performance but they do come with a significantly-higher cost than a laptop with an i7, i5
    or i3 Core Processor.
    Select vendors now also offer laptops and notebooks that run on AMD’s Ryzen Mobile CPUs. If you’re a
    gamer, this can be a particularly compelling option worth considering. Ryzen Mobile CPUs tend to bepaired with AMD’s own Vega graphics chipsets, which are currently far better for gaming than Intel’s
    own onboard graphics.
  • RAM
    In the old days, you rarely needed more than 4GB of RAM or more to get the best out of your system.
    These days, you’ll probably want to think about 8GB as a minimum. If you’re a power-user, 16GB is the
    way to go. Meanwhile, gamers should look at dialing things upwards all the way to 32GB if they want
    the best experience.
    More RAM allows for more applications to be run at the same time, and for more data to be quickly
    accessible by the system at any one time, which comes in handy for tasks such as editing photos or
    video content.
  • Storage
    Hard drives used to be all the rage, but these days they’ve mostly out of favour, especially for thin and
    light laptops. This is because they can be slow, somewhat bulky, and produce noticeable heat and noise.
    A solid state drive (SSD), on the other hand, offers a lot more speed than a hard drive, runs silently, and
    can be installed in a form factor that doesn’t add too much to the weight and bulk of a laptop. As a
    result of these clear benefits, most OEMs have embraced SSD storage as the standard for laptops.
    Stick to an SSD for your new laptop and you’ll love the speed with which it can load programs, access
    your data, and also how quickly it can boot up your system.
    The only problem is that SSDs don’t offer as much capacity. This means that SSD storage is often more
    expensive in terms of dollars-to-gigabytes than traditional hard drives. You’ll be stuck with a drive that’s
    either 128GB, 256GB or 512GB in size, but costs a lot more than one with a 1TB or 2TB hard drive would.To compensate, many laptop and PC OEMs now pair a smaller SSD with a larger hard drive. This allows
    consumers to get the speed benefits of keeping their operating system on SSD storage while also having
    adequate storage space for the rest of their data.
    The newest, fastest laptops also have NVM solid-state drives which are much faster than traditional
    SSDs but also more expensive.
    • Battery life
      Manufacturer-quoted battery life is almost never indicative of what the real-world experience of using a
      laptop is like. There are simply too many variables that affect battery life. There is the screen brightness,
      the screen resolution, the number of applications you have running in the background plus whether or
      not you actively remain connected to Wi Fi networks or Bluetooth devices.
      The operating system a laptop runs on can also play a major role in determining battery life. It’s for this
      reason that ultra books and convertibles running on Chrome OS tend to offer superior battery life than
      those running on Windows 10.
      If you run programs that need lots of processing, stream lots of online video, play graphics-intensive
      games or if you transfer lots of files over a wireless network.

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