It would help to know about the components that go into a notebook PC before you step out to buy one.
This is the most important component in a PC, and choosing the right kind of processor can make a world of a difference to your computing experience.
Processors are top-of-the-line chips from
Processors like the 3380M and the 3210M are dualcore chips that also feature Turbo technology. These, however, are slower performers when compared to the i7s because of their lower clock speed. Core i5 processors are ideal for multitasking . They are also a decent budget alternative to the i7s.
Chips are entrylevel , dual-core processors from
processors, aka ULVs, have been specifically designed to operate at low voltages to extend battery life. You can identify them by the 'U' in their model number - the i5-3437 U and the i3-3217 U.
Pentium and Celeron are processors that are made by
processors like the A10 4600M and the A8 4500M are not as powerful as Core processors, but they can encode a video or render a 3D scene in a program like 3D Max faster than a comparably priced Core i3 or Core i5. Note: When it comes to Intel,you should ask for fourth-generation Core processors (aka Haswell).
Simply put, more RAM is always better, especially since it will allow you to run a larger number of applications at the same time - as well as more process-intensive programs - without slowing down the laptop. Nowadays, all laptops come with DDR3 RAM.
Larger hard disk capacity means you can store more videos, music and pictures on your PC. If your budget allows for it, opt for a hybrid machine that's equipped with a hard drive as well as a solid state drive (SSD). Machines with SSDs boot up faster.
Weight and size
If you intend to carry your laptop to work or college, go for models that are lighter and smaller. This means choosing a laptop with screen size of less than 14 inches and weighing less than 2kg. For home use or gaming, we'd recommend a laptop that has a bigger screen; something like 15.6 inches or upwards.
Choose matt finish over glossy when it comes to your screen. Glossy displays tend to be extremely reflective in bright, daylight conditions. If your budget allows, opt for laptops with an IPS (in panel switching) screen. These are capable of rich colours. Also, some screens might not display true colours when viewed from an angle, so check for that. And lastly, if you are buying a laptop with Win 8, get one that has a touchscreen if it is within your budget.
Unless you play high-end 3D video games, you don't require a dedicated graphics card. The builtin graphics chip in your processor is good enough to handle light gaming and FullHD movie playback. But if you do need a graphics card, focus on the card and not on the amount of graphics RAM. The type of RAM, however, is something you should keep an eye on. GDDR3 - and not plain DDR3 - is better; if available. GDDR5, which is faster, is the best.
Keyboard and trackpad
Go to the laptop store and type 200 to 300 words on the model you plan to buy. The keys should feel springy, and every keystroke should register.
If you intend to use the laptop in low light conditions, buy a backlit keyboard.
To check the trackpad, open a web page and perform the pinchto-zoom action. Try gestures available as part of Win 8. Do these gestures work well? The buttons above the trackpad should feel firm and receptive.
Before buying a laptop, make sure it has at least one USB 3.0 port. USB 3.0 is theoretically 10 times faster than USB 2.0.
An HDMI port is standard in all laptops. But many ultrabooks nowadays do not come with VGA connector (used to connect projectors), or Ethernet (for wired internet connection). It's best you check if the laptop you're buying has these ports if you need them.
Laptops come with four, six, or nine cell batteries. Opt for higher if possible. Though it should be noted that bigger batteries will also add to the weight of the laptop.
Most Popular Stories
- Slow Week Ahead of December FOMC Meeting
- Hispanics Seek to Grow School Board Members
- GM Bailout Saved 1.2 Million U.S. Jobs, Report Says
- 'Knockout Game': Myth or Menace?
- Questions Remain in Jenni Rivera's Death
- Bitcoin Used to Buy Tesla Car
- Banks Fret as Volcker Vote Approaches
- Paul Walker Fans Pay Respects
- 18 L.A. Sheriff's Deputies Face U.S. Charges
- Yellen Set to Become One of World's Most Powerful Women