21/07/16 15:31 Filed in: Shopping | Windows 10 | Family | Tips
Going off university or college without a decent laptop is akin to refusing to take pads and pens. However, don't just buy whatever is on sale; you need the right laptop for your specific needs. As there's a wide variety of sizes, features and prices, choosing the right laptop can be a challenge.
Let’s start this week by looking at the internal components of a laptop.
Processor – CPU
As the "brains" of your computer, the processor does influence performance, although the choice will depend on what you need to do. If you're looking for a standard laptop with the best combination of price and performance, buy a Core i3. Intel Core i5 or i7 CPUs will be better for multitasking, multimedia tasks, high-end gaming, but are more expensive. Try to steer clear of computers with Celeron, AMD E1 or C1 processors as these are mainly found in cheap systems. Cheap sounds fabulous if you have a small budget but be warned that the majority of these PCs have VERY limited specifications.
Storage – Hard Drive
This is the part of the laptop on which all your data is stored. Most people struggle to fill a 250GB Hard Drive with photos, programmes and music since the average size of a photo or MP3 is about 4MB. In other words this means you can store about 62,500 photos or MP3’s on a small 250GB Hard Drive. If you play around with video files however, 250GB will be hugely insufficient and you should look to 1,000 GB drives which can store about 24 hours of HD video.
Memory – RAM
RAM is fast, temporary storage that Windows uses to load both itself and whatever it is you are doing at the time. So if you are surfing the internet, you are using some RAM for Windows, a little more for the web browser, a little more for your anti-virus program, etc. 4GB is the bare minimum amount of RAM you should have in a laptop, 8GB is ideal.
Make sure you get a laptop with at least 802.11N Wi-Fi standard, rather than the older 802.11g.
You’ll undoubtedly be spending a lot of time in locations where plugging in a laptop is difficult, therefore you’ll need at least 6 hours of battery life, with 8+ hours being ideal. But be realistic, sitting in the library watching cat videos on You Tube with the brightness turned up to 11 or playing a video game will eat battery life in no time.
Get the right OS & Software
Check with the university about software requirements as they may need you to have a specific type of software or operating system. Windows 10 is the most popular and versatile operating system. Also check with the college or university before you buy Microsoft Office as you may be able to get it SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper through them.