Market for laptop might not as big as smartphone and tablet. Today, both of devices try to replace capability and functionality of laptop. Unfortunately, it is not easy task because laptop is still capable to handle many important tasks. On market, ton of laptops are available with various design, size, features, specification, and price. For beginners, this condition confuses their judgment. Instead of purchasing right device, they will end up in buying unnecessary one. To assist people in this matter, laptop buying guide provides plenty of information regarding laptop from several aspects. Laptop technology grows significantly as fast as smartphone and tablet. Laptop becomes the first device to get feature before applying on tablet. For example, processor and memory for tablet and smartphone are simplified version that laptop already use. Manufacturer gets rid of certain section with high-energy consumption to fit tablet battery.
This is Some Tips for Buying A New Laptop
1. Purpose and budget
Purpose and budget are top priority before deciding the specs and other features. For student, laptop with standard spec and affordable price is enough. The device is able to handle task such as typing, browsing, etc. If you are professional in digital media, budget for laptop is more than for student or regular users. High-spec device requires more money to be obtained. The tasks in this area are video editing and rendering. Budget is not definite thing to categorize specs, but it is still useful for customer. Two laptops with similar specs can have big gap in price because of different brand. This part will be explained in next section.
The price for laptop starts at $200 until more than $1,000. Laptops with price between $200 and $350 are capable to do daily task. For student or common usage, this price range is affordable and reasonable. The specs and features are not too much different. For the reference you can find laptop under 350 dollars at best laptops under 200 dollars buying guide and best laptops under 300 dollars buying guide. Those guide will give you a recommended laptop within your budget.
If you want more advanced device with higher specification pick laptop with price up to $650. You will get better perfomance for finishing your task. The price of more than $650 is categorized into premium and suitable for sophisticated work.
The last category is more than $1,000. It is very high grade and usually for gaming laptop. The price and utilization is not related because the basic function is similar. Laptop buying guide considers the price as essential point before buying laptop.
2. Conventional, Hybrid, 2 in 1
Recent laptop is different from some years ago. New design and shape create submarket of laptop. Conventional laptop is still in clamshell design. You need to open the top part and the keyboard section is in lower part. Hybrid laptop combines conventional with detachable screen or flexible mode in 360 round hinges. In detachable product, you can take out screen section then turn it into tablet. Another design is the turn over display on opposite side of keyboard and it becomes the tablet-like mode. Manufacturers introduce both of modes to fulfill market demand.
People want to use tablet because it is lightweight and can be brought anywhere. On the other side, tablet specs and capability are far similar to laptop. Tablet cannot replace laptop completely. Hybrid mode acts as the bridge to this need. In hybrid mode, you are able to use touchscreen display to do the task.
Hybrid or 2 in 1 has its own user and it cannot take over conventional laptop. To attract more customers, manufacturers give some variation in design and style. You might hear about ultra-book which is very thin and designed in high-grade specification. To fulfill the entry users, low cost laptops are still produced. Tablet and laptop go side-by-side and they reduce desktop or PC product. People want something portable with high mobility. In this case, laptop is their choice.
3. Operating system
The next section is about operating system. Basically, OS is the bridge to connect hardware and software. Today, major operating systems on market are OS X and Windows. Google introduces Chrome OS as alternative. Microsoft launched Windows 10 in 2015. This OS gets many updates and upgrades, including Cortana as digital assistant. Laptops with Windows 10 take majority of market share in this industry. Many brands and manufacturers use Windows as the main operating system. Flexibility and compatibility are benefits of this OS. You can easily find it at store and the price starts at $200.
Second operating system is OS X. It is proprietary OS from Apple. New OS X is El Capitan. This operating system can be found in MacBook and iMac series. In general, basic function and purpose of OS X are similar to Windows. However, OS X comes in different design to create the bold distinction. This OS is exclusively built-in device from Apple. You cannot install OS X device. It is not recommended to do jailbreak because it ruins hardware and illegal. If you want OS X, please buy Apple products.
Chrome OS is the limited one with only basic function features. You need internet connection to do more tasks on Google platform. Even though this OS is new, analyst expects the significant growth in the future. Google plans to add Android integration on this OS to assist smartphone users. Chromebook is laptop with this OS and very inexpensive. You can spend less than low specs laptop with Windows based. To get the right operating system, you need to read again the purpose and budget section.
4. Display, keyboard, and touchpad
In laptop buying guide, external hardware is showed before the internal one. There are display, keyboard and touchpad. Display on laptop can be divided into three categories. Small class is less than 12 inches. It is very compact and more lightweight. Laptop with this display is suitable for entry-level user and beginner. Medium size is in range of 13 to 15 inches. Laptop with this display is very common. It is not too heavy and still has high mobility. The size more than 15 is categorized as large or big laptop. It is commonly found in gaming laptop.
Keyboard and touchpad are essential for laptop. You need to check the keyboard thoroughly. It is such a waste to have high-grade laptop but bad keyboard. Mostly, people use this part for typing. It is better to have 1 to 2 mm space between one key to others. Touchpad should be responsive to every touch from hand. For advanced product, touchpad has the same function as touchscreen. It has feature to enlarge or resize the screen. Certain product is able to recognize fingerprint to increase the confidentiality.
5. Internal specification
Now, laptop buying guide will focus on internal specifications. Functionality, capability, and capacity of laptop depend on this section. You might be familiar with term CPU. It is starting point of digital era and many revolutionary CPUs have been developed. Intel and AMD are the major players in processor market. Most of products use one of processors from this company. Intel is still on top selling processor for laptop. New generation of Intel delivers the high performance computing.
To fulfill low cost product, Intel introduces Celeron series. Intel Atom is adopted for hybrid and 2 in 1 device. If you want more advanced device, Intel offers Core series. There are i3, i5, and i7. Each of them have been upgraded and easily found in recent laptop brand. To compete with Intel, AMD introduces several processors such as E and A series. AMD processor is common in gaming laptop and considering as inexpensive and low energy product. You can pick processor from one of them based on your needs and preference.
Another spec in laptop is RAM. You can get RAM capacity from 1 GB to more than 16 GB. To do basic task, 2 GB is more than enough. Low cost product incorporates 2 up to 4 GB for RAM. Recent laptop is no longer 32 bit, but 64 bit. This change needs more capacity on RAM. 4 GB is minimum capacity for RAM in business and professional laptop. For more high resources work, you need at least 8 GB. Gaming laptop requires 8 to 16 GB to perform well with no delay during gaming session.
Old storage for laptop is HDD and the capacity starts at 500 GB. If you have many files, 1 TB is decent capacity and 2 TB is good choice. Advanced storage tech is SSD. It works three times than HDD, but cost too much. The price for SDD is five to ten times compared to HDD. Some manufacturers offer two types of storage in one laptop. You can buy this product if necessary.
Standard processor has integrated graphic memory. For more works, you can rely on NVidia or AMD product to enhance graphic capability. High-resolution display should come with high capacity of graphic card. You can play advanced game and watch HD movie on display. Graphic card reduces overload task on processor. Anything related to graphic will be delegated to this part. The result is efficient work to execute the command quickly.
6. Brand and manufacturer
If you choose OS X, Apple will be your lifetime partner for technical support. For Windows 10, you need to pick brand with good after sales service. From this manufacturer, you expect to get update for driver and software. You can compare several products with the same level of specs from different manufacturer. This comparison aims to obtain comprehensive review. There are many brands on markets such as HP, Dell, Samsung, ASUS, Acer, Lenovo, etc. Google works together with some vendors to produce more Chromebook with Chrome OS. In laptop buying guide, brand is placed at last section to keep review as objective as possible.