Even though smartphones are the current trend in computing, Laptops are still irreplaceable as they have larger screens, bigger keyboards and are better for doing multiple tasks. A lot of people in the world, Nigeria not left out have some difficulty in deciding which laptop to buy. Most of the time, people just go to a laptop shop and buy anything they are offered only to be disappointed afterwards.
Laptops come in various designs, features and prices which makes buying quite daunting. This post is written to guide you on choosing the best laptop to buy and how to buy it. There are some basic questions you need to ask yourself when shopping for a laptop. See below:
How much can I afford?
This is the most important question when shopping for a laptop computer because the size of your pocket determines which type of laptop you can buy. Laptop prices are in the range of 50,000 Naira for Netbooks (Small laptops) to 450,000 Naira for high end Apple MacBooks, other laptops are in this range and their prices depend on the brand and features.
Which Operating System Do I Want?
After answering the first question, you can then choose which operating system you prefer. Laptops generally come in either of two operating systems namely: Windows Operating System by Microsoft and Macintosh (Mac) Operating system by Apple, Apple Computers run solely on Mac and other brands such as HP, Dell, Lenovo, Acer etc. use Microsoft OS. Mac will be a good choice if you can afford the expensive Apple Laptops otherwise it has to be Windows.
What Screen Size Do I Want?
Laptops come in three major screen sizes i.e. 11 – 13 inches for Laptops such as Apple Macbook Air and Netbooks, 15.6 inches which is the average size of most laptops and 17.3 inches if you want a television size screen. The choice is yours as different people have different tastes.
Keyboard and Touchpad
Different laptops come with different types of keyboards and touchpads (mouse). No matter how impressive a laptop’s specs are, it doesn’t mean the keyboard and touchpad are good for you. Before buying check to see how typing on the keyboard feels like and whether the touchpad is smooth to operate. Apple, Dell and HP are very reliable in this category.
Check The Specs of The Laptop You’re Buying
This is very important as different laptops are made for different types of usage, some for entertainment, some for gaming and others for business. The specifications are usually written on the side of the laptop pack.
The most important feature is the Processor (CPU) which usually is either Intel or AMD, Intel processors are more popular and used in most laptops due to their fastness and low heat output, current Intel processors are Intel Core i3, Intel Core i5 and Intel Core i7, the processor type usually determines the price tag, Intel Core i7 carries the highest price and Core i3 the lowest in the Intel Core group, there are also Intel Pentium processors which are cheaper than the Intel Core processors. AMD processors are better suited for gaming than Intel processors but give out a lot of heat and so are used mainly in computers made for gaming.
Another important specification is the size of the Hard Disk Drive (HDD), the bigger the size of the hard disk, the more things you can store on your laptop. Good Laptop hard disk sizes are in the range of 250GB, 320GB, 500GB, 750GB, 1TB & 2TB upwards depending on your needs however bear in mind that the bigger the hard disk size, the more expensive the laptop.
RAM (Random Access Memory) is also very important. RAM is the memory that your computer uses to run applications so the bigger the RAM , the better its running of your applications, RAM sizes are in the range of 1GB, 2GB, 4GB, 6GB, 8GB, 16GB and even 32GB, a good laptop should have at least 4GB RAM.
Graphics Card specification is usually overlooked by most buyers, I made the same mistake and I regret it. For normal laptop users who do not play video games, graphics card spec is not a problem but for gamers, the size of your Graphics Card is very important, ask the seller for the graphics card spec and make sure that the Total Available Graphics Memory is at least 1GB (1000MB) and the dedicated memory at least 128MB. AMD and NVIDIA graphics card are the best.
DVD/Blu-ray Drives are not really in use these days as USB’s and external hard disks have taken over but it is still good to have one on your laptop for uses such as burning and ripping disks.
Battery Life of the Laptop
The battery life of a laptop is very important especially in our country Nigeria where there is epileptic power supply. An ideal laptop should have at least 4 hours battery life when fully charged. To determine a Laptop’s battery life, read reviews online by searching for the laptop in any search engine rather than completely believing the manufacturer. Battery life also depends on the tasks you are doing, tasks such as gaming and video consume more power.
The brand of laptop you buy matters a lot, it is better to buy well-known brands as they have been tested and trusted over many years and also have better technical support. The most popular laptop brands are HP, Dell, Sony, Lenovo, ASUS, Apple, Acer and Samsung.
After answering the questions above and you find a laptop you want, make sure to check online for the laptop, its reviews and price so that you know how to bargain and you won’t be cheated. Good luck. Contact me through my email [email protected]