Choose a laptop that is perfect for you
By Anoop Verma
Buying a personal computer is not easy, if you don’t have a clear idea of what you want. But we are here to list a short breakdown of the crucial features that you need to evaluate while selecting a personal computer.
Sometimes referred to as CPU (Central Processing Unit), the Processor is the single most important thing going into your laptop. It determines how fast the device will run applications and perform on-screen tasks. For all kinds of normal work like Internet usage, word processing, presentations, watching movies and videos, and even playing video games, the Intel Core Duo and Core 2 Duo processors prove to be good enough. These days you can get hold of a good device, powered by Intel Core i3-2310M or higher processors, at relatively economical rate.
Installed Memory (RAM)
The more installed memory your laptop has, the more applications you will be able to run at once. It is difficult to get the memory in your laptop upgraded at a later stage, so it is better that you buy a device with maximum amount of RAM (Random Access Memory). To run most of the popular software applications, you need a RAM of at least 2GB. But it is advisable to go for a device with a minimum of 4GB RAM. These days most computers use Double Data Rate Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory (DDR SDRAM), as it is quite inexpensive and efficient.
The Hard Drive is the most common form of storage in the laptop. Most hard drives are in the range of 80GB to 750 GB. For a normal user a 300 GB hard drive is more than sufficient. Unless you are downloading Bollywood movies by the dozen, you might never be able to consume 300 GB of space. In typical laptops the Hard Drive spins at a 5,400rpm speed. This is good enough for all kinds of usual tasks.
Size, weight, battery life
If you are buying a laptop for use while you are on the go, then size, weight and battery life are of crucial importance. The screen size of the laptop that is specified by the companies represents a diagonal measurement. For most people a 14 inch screen proves to be ideal, but if you want larger view then you can go for a 15-inch or even 16-inch screen. Normally laptops using latest Intel processor offer a battery life of at least 3.5 hours.
Optical Drives and multiple USB ports
It is better to go for a laptop that gives you the flexibility of rewritable DVD drive. These days DVD discs, which typically have a storage capacity of more than 4GB, are available at really cheap rates. Hence it makes sense for you to use DVD for backing up your data. One thing that you really can’t do without is USB ports. Your laptop should have at least three – one for printer, one for datacard, and one for mouse or any Bluetooth device.
In the past, no one had to care about Video Cards or graphics processors, as we were not using our systems for accelerated videos or gaming. Modern laptops can have two kinds of video chip sets – dedicated video chip set, which are from NVIDIA and AMD, or integrated graphics processors, which are from Intel. If you indulge in lot of gaming kind of activities, then you need to have a dedicated video chip set, as an integrated graphics processors work by pulling from the main memory. However, recent advances in integrated graphics processors have made it less necessary for us to go for a dedicated video chip set, which add to the cost of the device.
Built in microphones and at least two speakers are pretty much the standard feature in laptops these days. These are must have features to enable video-conferencing and things like Internet telephony. But you should also ensure that your device has a line output and line input jacks so that you can easily connect it to external speakers or a home stereo for better movie and music experience. The headphone jack that is present in most laptops is mostly incapable of providing audio as clean as a line output.
A comprehensive warranty is of crucial importance, as the laptops are prone to mishaps due to their portability. You should ensure that you get at least a year’s complete cover from the vendor. These days it is possible for you to get up to three year’s complete cover for the payment of a little extra amount.