Owning a laptop is an ongoing situation. Since technology advancements are happening at a steady pace, you are required to keep buying new iterations of the hardware in order to keep up with the demands of the latest software. In other words, you are going to have to buy a new laptop at some point, be it sooner or later. The questions are; which one should you buy, how much should you spend, and what exactly is the purpose of all the fancy bits and bobs that sit inside the laptop?
The first thing to keep in mind is that you may not need the most expensive laptop money can buy. In fact, it is almost guaranteed that you don’t need the most expensive one on the market. As far as computer technology goes, being on the cutting edge is not at all needed. Instead, it is best to buy what you need for your personal preferences and demands. The latest and greatest laptops, although nice to have, are simply a way of future proofing against having to upgrade again for a few years.
But let’s take a closer look at some of the specifics, and decide on what would be best for you.
What Do You Use It For?
The most important, and obvious question to ask is this; what are you going to use the computer for? Is it specifically for work, used predominantly for sending and receiving emails, browsing the web, interacting with co-workers, and having some fun at a casino? If so, then not much is needed in terms of hardware power and resources. It does not take much for a computer to access the web, and transfer small amounts of data online. A low-end system will be more than enough, which will probably turn out to be cheaper than anticipated.
On the other hand, perhaps you’re looking to get some serious gaming done, which is a whole different story. The latest games are very demanding, and require some serious processing power in order to function at a reasonable level. This is going to cost a great deal more, and in a best-case scenario you’re looking at a mid to top range system.
Or you could go for a blend of the two. A work device that is sometimes used for gaming.
A low range laptop these days would likely have an i3 level CPU. As far as CPUs go these days, the range reaches all the way up to i9. Web browsing and email correspondence will do just fine with an i3, though you’ll want at least in i5 if you’re looking to get some serious gaming done.
As far as RAM is concerned, the vast majority of functionality will work with 8 gigabytes, and even 4 gigabytes will be fine for a simple work based system. 16 gigabytes are only ever necessary for the most demanding work software, intensive video rendering, or latest games.
In terms of graphics processing, simple work functions really don’t need more than a basic graphics card, which will come standard in a low- to mid-range device. Brand name graphics cards push the price up significantly, and are only ever needed for intensive gaming.
Storage space is a serious consideration, given that many need oceans of space for storing movies, music and other essentials. These days, a terabyte of storage space can be filled up quicker than is assumed, especially given the size of high quality movies. Though, once again, if the laptop will not be used for these purposes, much less can be settled for.
Ask yourself what you need, what is necessary, and what is a luxury, and remember to not be fooled into thinking that more spent upfront will be the best option for your needs.