In the today’s world, technology never ceases to amaze us. Artificial intelligence is on the rise, people are trading billions of dollars’ worth of invisible computer money called cryptocurrency, nanobots are fighting disease, and it seems everywhere we turn science fiction shapeshifts into reality.
At a smaller scale, technology which once blew us way like those aforementioned trends do currently, (particularly the cell phone and consumer computer) are now smarter, smaller, and more affordable than ever. Today, a single laptop can do more than what full-scale desktop computers did not a decade ago. With that in mind, being that technological advancements have made them versatile, there’s nearly too many units out there. You can even play video games on them now. Our point: finding the right laptop to fit your needs can be an overwhelming process. That’s why we’re here to help.
A Machine or a Convenience?
While computers are being consolidated into machines that pack more data into smaller sizes, there’s still a difference between a highly portable machine and an extremely capable one. The fact is: if you want a laptop that’s going to have the best processing speed, graphics card, memory, and motherboard, then it’s most likely going to be larger than one you might use for say, browsing the web and writing research papers. Of course, there is a middle ground, but identifying exactly what you want to use your laptop for and, most importantly, what size you’re comfortable with, is the first step to narrowing down your options.
What Type of Operating System Do You Like?
Everyone has their preferences and, for the most part, it’s dependent on the OS you’re used to and what you’re trying to use it for. The Mac OS is thought to be extremely user-friendly, while Windows 10 allows for higher versatility. Chrome, on the other hand, is a new operating system that is infantile in its popularity. If you’re not sure which you prefer—but by this point, you probably are—then head into a local electronics store or borrow a friend’s computer to familiarize with different operating systems.
The type of laptop you want is often dictated by budget. Yet, there is a median range ($800-$1500) that serves as a great price-point for the standard but high-functioning laptop. If you’re curious, this HP EliteBook review is a great example of these midrange units we’re speaking of. Not everyone can afford to buy a top-of-the-line Macbook Pro, or Windows computer, in which case sometimes it’s best to research recently outdated models that retain their value even more now that their successor has been released. This drives their price down and often these models can still compete with the best of them. Think of the iPhone. When a new one is released, does that mean yours is useless? Of course not.
The Keyboard & Touchpad
There’s a reason why keyboards come in all different shapes, sizes, textures, and layouts. That’s because the modern computer user variates; while some may enjoy a certain keyboard, others may despise it. It’s difficult, from behind a screen, to know whether or not you’re going to like a certain keyboard until you’ve interacted with it. Unfortunately, laptops aren’t desktops and the keyboard comes integrated into the unit itself. That’s why if you’re picky about what you type on, it’s paramount that you familiarize with a certain type of keyboard. This again is dictated by what you’re going to be using the computer for. Lastly, touchpads will also vary. Some are extremely sensitive, responsive, and customizable, while others are one-tone and latent. At the very least, read reviews on models that you’re considering and try to gauge what comments users make regarding the touchpad. At the very minimum, this can help shape your idea of the laptop you’re considering purchasing.
The Laptop for You
Remember, we’re all going to have our own preferences. That’s why it’s important to do your due diligence and factor in your budget and processing requirements. Remember, laptops can always be upgraded and if you find a certain unit you love but doesn’t support your needs in full, look into how difficult it would be to customize it yourself. Much of the internal hardware is plug-n-play these days, but you can tweak your system to accommodate your demands.