Shopping for a Laptop

Here's What You Need to Know.


Over the years, the laptop has evolved from a semi-portable, heavy computer to a mobile, lightweight, super thin status statement. It is estimated that 187 million laptops will be sold in 2014, worldwide. So, how do you find your perfect laptop for you?

Consider how you want to use your laptop:

The All-Purpose Laptop is great for surfing the Internet, checking email, homework for students and playing Solitaire. Look closely at each laptop label. The goal is to be mobile. The most important item on the check list is the processor. You want an AMD A4/A6 or Intel i3 processor or better and no less than 4GB of memory. Battery life is also a huge consideration. A 4-hour battery is common. But keep looking to find that jewel of a laptop with a 6+ hour battery. This category of laptop is moderately priced in the $329 to $550 price range.

A Laptop with a Punch will be what you are looking for if you are using business applications such as Quickbooks, Microsoft Outlook or Mac Mail and Adobe Acrobat. You will also need that extra punch for streaming Netflix or Pandora. Look for a processor with an AMD A8 or Intel i5 processor or better. For memory, choose 8GBs for starters and choose the upgrade option if it is within your budget. A 500GB hard drive is standard. The laptop price ceiling for this group is around $900.

The Power House Laptop is built and designed for graphic artists, architectural and manufacturing designers. The graphics card is your first consideration. Graphics cards such as the AMD Radeon or Intel NVIDIA GeForce are wise choices. These laptops should have 12GBs of memory or better. As for the processor, the Intel i7 is a popular choice. You can also upgrade to a solid state hard drive for faster startup speeds and better overall performance. These laptops start at around $900.
Choosing the Right Size:

Laptop sizes range from 11 to 20 inches. The smallest laptops are the most mobile, are practically weightless, easy to carry in your pocketbook and weigh as little as 2.3 pounds. If you are looking for a laptop for occasional travel, to keep at a desk or use in the living room, the 15- to 17-inch laptop is the most popular choice, providing the best balance between mobility and performance. The largest laptops are packed with extreme performance, top-of-the line hardware and a hefty price tag. They are usually the first choice for serious gamers.

Windowstm vs. Appletm:

There are die-hard fans on both sides of the isle for Windows and Apple. Windows is the most popular as Microsoft laptops are the most affordable and offer the most choices. Apple, with a much higher price point, no longer offers a 17-inch laptop. But, Apple does have the most stable operating system and a history of long-lasting laptops.

This holiday season take a little time to look at laptop labels, test out a keyboard, pick up the laptop model you are considering and make sure it’s not too heavy. Then you will have found the perfect laptop made just for you!

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