All it takes is one anomaly and you can feel your blood pressure rising. Maybe it’s the “blue screen of death.” Maybe it’s an unexpected reboot during an important presentation or video conference.
Whatever the case, your beloved laptop is slowing down, and it’s time to start looking into buying a new one before you lose everything. How long has it been since you’ve had to buy a new computer? The best laptop that you can buy today is a Windows 10 laptop, but which machine is right for your needs?
We have some suggestions that can help you to choose the ideal windows laptop for your unique lifestyle. Whether you need an affordable laptop for work or the best PC laptop that money can buy, we can help you find the sweet spot. Keep reading for ten things to think about when you’re on the market for a great windows laptop.
1. What Features Do You Need?
If it has been a while since you’ve last purchased a laptop, it can be surprising to note the transformation that they have gone through in recent years. If you’ve seen the movie Transformers then you might have some idea what to expect. Today, laptops can become tablets, can utilize touch screen technology, and practically disappear when flipped on their sides!
The first question to ask is whether or not you need all of these features or not. A basic laptop is a cheap laptop option that lacks bells and whistles but is far more economical and user-friendly. If you’re an old dog who lost interest in new tricks, you won’t miss anything if you choose a basic model.
For the jet-set among us, however, a 2-in-1 laptop can be great for working or relaxing on the go. These laptops transform into tablets, so you can set them up on a work desk and then take them into bed to watch your favorite series.
The best laptops on the market are super light, super slim machines. They tend to lack bells and whistles, however. To stay so compact, they don’t have disc drives, DVD players, or very fast processors.
A gamer, however, needs the speed to succeed! Your average gaming laptop tends to be a little bit heavy and bulky but has enough processing power and battery life to run any modern game in high res. They come with all of the ports you need to upgrade your gaming setup, whether you need a gaming mouse, external monitors, or a full live stream setup.
2. How Many “Cores” Do You Need?
You may have heard about how much “core processing” a laptop has. This can be important to keep in mind if you are a multitasker. In essence, a processor dictates the number of tasks that your new laptop will be able to manage at one time.
A common phrase you may have heard is “dual-core processor.” That means the laptop will have two cores. In essence, that means it can handle two major tasks at once, like playing a video during a video call.
Likewise, a machine with four cores can process about four tasks at a time. How many tasks will you need your computer to use at once? Do you need to run multiple programs to get your job done, or are you just using the laptop to run a word processor?
You don’t need to pay for more processing power.
3. Can You Skip the Graphics Card?
Most laptops today come with the ability to process most graphics. The average basic user shouldn’t need to worry too much about a GPU, or Graphics Card. The exception might be gamers or those working in graphic or video editing.
Do you need a fancy graphics card to watch your favorite streaming series, or to use conferencing programs like Zoom? That’s very unlikely. You should be able to manage these tasks without an additional GPU.
4. How Much RAM Do You Need?
RAM stands for Random Access Memory. It describes the amount of space that your laptop has for storing the files you access regularly. All of the apps that you use daily get stored in your laptop’s RAM.
More RAM means a more expensive laptop, but more RAM can also be worth the money. Your machine will run faster and apps will open quicker. Higher RAM tends to drain a laptop’s battery faster, however.
The average basic user can get away with about 8GB of RAM on their Windows 10 laptop. If you are using the laptop for very simple tasks, like e-mail, word processing, or web browsing, you can get away with less. If you intend to play games or edit videos, you should consider more.
5. What About Storage?
Do you plan to use your new laptop to store a lot of photos, videos, and media? If so, you might want to think about storage. Laptops today tend to come with a small amount of local storage.
Many users opt to save their media using a cloud storage service. This is an online subscription that allows you to store the files in the cloud so you don’t need to use your local storage.
The most modern storage solution is an SSD. You can buy a laptop with an SSD built-in. This is a more expensive option upfront, but you won’t need to maintain a subscription.
6. What Size Is Right?
Laptop monitors can range in size from a petite 11 inches to a massive 17 inches. Monitor size can affect the weight and portability of the laptop. The average size for a basic laptop is about 13 inches.
Ultimately, this is a case of personal preference. You can see some popular size options on this site.
7. What Display Resolution Is Right?
On the most basic level, the higher the display resolution is on your laptop monitor, the clearer the images will be. It describes the number of pixels that your laptop monitor can display at one time. A larger monitor can handle a slightly higher resolution display.
A lower-range laptop might have a 1366×768-pixel display, which is more than serviceable. The average laptop probably has something around a 1920×1080 resolution. This is most likely the best display that a basic user can get for their money.
If you are a gamer or designer, today you can find display resolution as high as 3840×2160. This is 4k Ultra HD! One day, all laptops might offer this kind of resolution, but you can wait until it’s more affordable for the average casual user!
8. Do You Need Fancy Ports?
We mentioned ports before when talking about adding accessories for gaming. Does the average basic user need any fancy ports to get the most out of their new Windows 10 laptop?
There are two types of USB ports that you are likely to see today. They are USB-A and USB-C. Most accessories will use one of these ports, so you will need one to hook up a wireless mouse, keyboard, or microphone.
You might need an HDMI port if you plan to connect your laptop to an external display, such as a second monitor or television. In many modern machines, HDMI ports have been replaced by USB-C ports. You might need an adapter to make your old setup work, so do your research.
If you don’t use Bluetooth headphones or earbuds, check and see if your computer will have a headphone jack. Many modern laptops will not automatically have one.
If you use a camera that takes SD cards, you will want to make sure your laptop has an SD card slot. If not, you can buy a reader that uses the USB port.
9. Do You Need a Webcam?
Since the pandemic began, we found out that a webcam is not a luxury, but an accessory! If you plan to use your laptop for video chatting, conferencing, or similar tasks, you will want a built-in webcam.
Luckily, almost every modern model will have a built-in webcam. Your choice might be the location of the webcam. That is an entirely personal preference.
10. Do You Need the Lightest Laptop?
Do you plan to take your laptop on the go, or will you mostly be using it from a desk or home office? While commuters or frequent travelers might need to consider weight, the average basic user will not.
Typically, the more features your laptop has, the heavier it will be. Some of those features make your laptop more user-friendly and are worth an extra half-pound or so. The average 13-inch laptop with basic features might weigh about two pounds.
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The Perfect Windows 10 Laptop for You
The gamer, the remote worker, and the long-distance lover all have one thing in common. They all need a working windows 10 laptop to help them get the job done. Understanding exactly what features you need is the best way to select a laptop that you know will do everything you need and more!
Need to brush up on your tech news before you take the leap? The blog is full of posts that can help make your decision easier. Keep on reading to stay up the date on all of the latest computer news.