1. Laptop vs Desktop vs Netbook/Tablet
This is probably one of the biggest debates out there in the computer world. But we have broken this down to the simplest way to understand the three:
- Netbooks/Tablets are the smallest of the three options. This is designed for the worker on the go to do basic browsing on the Internet and emailing. The most basic ones run on the less expensive end but they are not designed to do much. However the battery life is fantastic. In today’s market you can spend top dollar and get touch screen tablets fully loaded with keyboards.
- Laptops are a great choice if you are always on the go and need some of the power of a desktop. They are portable and lightweight but battery life will not always be the best.
- If you have the ability to work from one place and one place only then a desktop would be ideal for you. You have lots of memory and power, more than a laptop and you don’t have to worry about how long the battery lasts.
RAM is where all your running programs that you use are stored. When RAM runs low, your system will begin to lag and programs will run very, very slow. If you will not be using your computer for more than emails, web browsing, etc than 4 GB should work for you. However, if you are using this for gaming or design programs, you will need more.
3. Hard Drive
Let’s just start by saying that even if you have a bigger hard drive, it doesn’t mean your computer will run faster. Now that we have that out of the way, how much space on a hard drive do you need? Again it depends on your needs. 250 GB can hold more then 30,000 songs but if you plan on having tons of movies, pictures and songs then you may want 500 GB or even 1 TB. But remember, you can always buy an inexpensive external hard drive or use a cloud based storage system.
4. Screen Size
Choosing a screen size comes down to how portable you need your laptop to be. The smallest choice is 11 inches. These are the lightest but might feel cramped to some users. With a 13 inch screen, a lot of users find this the most portable and user friendly. You can also get a 15-inch which is probably the most common. But if you want to get the biggest with the most processing power than the 17/18-inch is for you. However, this can become very heavy and cumbersome to carry.
All the fancy specs on a computer don’t mean anything if you don’t like the ergonomics of it. Does the keyboard feel right under your hands? Does the mouse pad click the way you like? You are going to spend a large amount of time on your new computer make sure it works for you and not the other way around.