Are you looking to buy laptop, you’ll have a lot of choices. Mac or PC? Little or big? Will you need something that is powerful or something that is portable? How much money are you willing to spend? You will have quite a few options, but in the end it all boils down to what you need.
The first question you should focus on is what you plan to do with the computer. Do you want to travel with it? Will it just sit on your desk? How powerful a machine do you need? Laptops range from tiny and incredible portable 3 pound notebooks to cumbersome 17 pound desktop replacements. You will also note a major range in power, ranging from the computers that are good for little beyond word processing and email to machines that would be suitable for gamers. First, decide which end of this spectrum you are looking at, or whether you want an all-in-one machine.
In considering this, think about screen size. Do you want a big screen? Do you have trouble reading text on a small screen? Do you plan to watch a lot of movies on it? Laptop screens range from tiny 12.1 inch screens to gargantuan 17 inchers, and at this point, both are quite affordable. As always it is a trade off, but think of what is best for you. Personally, I have a tiny laptop with a 12 inch screen. I love the portability, but when my friends and I want to watch a movie, we opt for someone else’s computer. Another factor to take into consideration here is battery life. Bigger screens mean less time away from an outlet.
When you have some idea of what general category of computer you are looking for, think about processors. If you need the best laptop for programming you should consider powerful processor and RAM.The recent development of processor has meant great things for laptops, providing them with much more power than they used to have, and eliminating problems of overheating. Decide how much power you want, but keep in mind that a cheap computer with a Celeron processor will be useless to you in two years. It often makes more sense to shell out a bit more money on a better computer.
Along similar lines is the question of RAM. Everything on the market at this point has at least 4GB RAM, but don’t get anything with less than 2 GB. It’s just not worth it. But gamers should look for at least four times that. Note that computers with Scalable Link Interface will be able to accept multiple graphics cards.
Then, of course, there is the question of storage. Get a computer with at the very least a 256 GB hard drive, (you’ll be hard pressed to find less) but laptops are on the market with as much as 1TB of storage space. Depending on what you plan to do, one of these might be a good idea. Also, consider whether you will need an external hard drive.
Optical drives are something else to consider. Every computer at this point has at least a CD burner/DVD-ROM drive combo, but most computers have DVD burners. I would recommend getting one of these. It is so nice to be able to store 4.7 GB of stuff in one go. If you plan to use this a lot, think about speed. If you plan to learn programming on the laptop, you may need to watch many tutorials through the DVD driver.
In the category of miscellaneous things to consider, think about keyboards. You will be able to get used to whatever keyboard you end up with, but try them before you invest in a computer. You will be glad you did. If you don’t like compact keyboards you can always get an external one, but you might be surprised. I find I can type much faster on a laptop keyboard than on a conventional one.
Also, think about features such as ports. How many USB ports does the computer you are looking at have? How many do you need? Does it have firewire? How about Bluetooth? Will you need DVI output for presentations? Think about little things like this.
Buying a computer is not just about figures like processor speed and RAM. Find a computer that fits you well.
And, of course, good luck!