Buying a Laptop
Whether you work on the go or just like to surf the web from the couch, a new laptop can make your daily tasks much easier. With all the technical jargon and wide array of features or components available, finding the right device for your needs can be a challenge. Here are the latest types of laptops and options to consider, so you can find the right combination of portability, accessibility and performance that meet your needs.
These option are ideal for the casual users. Unlike traditional notebooks, these device are designed to run Google's custom Chrome OS and many popular applications. Those looking to mostly surf the web, check social media accounts and pay bills online will find a lot to love in a new Chromebook.
- Budget-friendly price - With prices starting as low as $149, these devices are some of the best budget laptops available.
- Cloud storage - Since Chromebooks are specially designed to run Google's web-based Chrome OS, all of your work will be backed up on Google's own cloud storage service. Even when you're away from a WiFi connection, the temporary data on many apps will be saved on the device and uploaded automatically when a wireless connection is available.
- Battery life - These laptops don't run traditional hardware or software so they typically offer impressive battery life. That means when you're away from home or you aren't near an outlet, you'll still have plenty of time to finish any work.
2-in-1 laptops, also known as hybrid laptops, provide many of the must-have features of a typical notebook with the versatility of a tablet. By incorporating cutting-edge design elements, these devices can be flipped, turned or detached, depending on the model. Some options also feature responsive touch screens for added convenience.
- Versatility - Torn between a tablet and conventional laptop? With a 2-in-1 notebook, you don't have to choose. You can quickly and easily set up shop in any home office or coffee shop using the full keyboard. At the end of a long day, simply detach, rotate or flip the screen and enjoy your favorite entertainment with less hassle.
- More power - Unlike a conventional tablet, many of these powerful devices are generally designed to run the latest version of Windows, which has the functionality of both a laptop and a tablet whenever you need it.
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Traditional PC laptops offer a wide range of options for all types of users. Whether you spend most of your time on the computer working or playing, finding the right combination of power, portability and price is easy with a conventional laptop.
- Multiple options - Unlike Chromebooks, tablets and 2-in-1 models, the standard laptop design is available with nearly any features you can imagine. Whether you need a touch screen for design projects, more memory for storing photos, videos and music or just a basic system for browsing the web, there are options for you.
- Performance - Gamers, designers or those looking to replace their home desktop with a slightly more portable option will find that high-end PC laptops deliver greater performance than other more specialized devices.
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Yet another variation of standard laptops, ultrabooks are known for their slim, streamlined designs and powerful, yet compact, internal components. These are good options for casual users who want the option to do more than just surf the web.
- Portability - Ultrabooks, by definition, are held to certain size and weight restrictions. These thin devices are loaded with features that won't weigh you down on the go.
- Work and play harder - Just because these models are thin doesn't mean they lack power. By incorporating cutting-edge components, ultrabooks can handle more tasks and programs simultaneously than their counterparts.
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- Price range - Price range is always a key factor when you're in the market for a new laptop. Chromebooks are some of the best budget laptops available. With prices starting as low as $149, these affordable options are ideal for basic web browsing. Those who work on a laptop day in and day out and employ demanding, third-party software will probably want to look to a more feature-rich model, which can cost anywhere from $600 to over $2,000.
- Size, weight and portability - These considerations are essential for remote workers and students who are frequently on the go. It's important to keep in mind that many lightweight options may lack the power to handle more advanced programs and streaming tasks. Thankfully, notebooks and ultrabooks are becoming increasingly lighter all around while still maintaining many of their important features thanks to cutting-edge technologies.
- Screen size - While you don't want to be squinting to read the print on a webpage or document, a larger screen means a bulkier, heavier computer. Screens generally range from 11 to 17 inches. Most users will feel perfectly comfortable somewhere in the middle. If you're frequently running multiple browsers, tabs or programs, you'll appreciate the extra workspace a larger screen can provide.
- Battery life - A long battery life is a necessity for those who work long hours on their computers and may need to be away from an outlet for extended periods of time. Smaller models generally hold a charge longer than their larger, more powerful counterparts, but the internal components play a large part too, meaning a smaller device doesn't necessarily mean more power.
- Hard drive and capacity - The internal storage can be very important depending on the type of work you need to do on your laptop. Chromebooks have generally just enough internal storage to hold and run the OS and any apps, while gaming and work laptops can hold upwards of a TB (Terabyte) of information, which is ideal for multimedia projects and downloadable entertainment. Whether you choose a cutting-edge solid state drive or a traditional HDD, make sure it has enough capacity to store all your important documents.
- RAM - Random-access memory (RAM), affects the speed and capacity of your computer to handle running multiple programs simultaneously. The more RAM, the faster a computer can perform.
- Processors - The right processor can help your computer run faster and more efficiently. If you're frequently using demanding programs, a top-of-the-line processor is a necessity.
- Ergonomics - With all the technical specifications of a new laptop, you can forget that you're going to be physically interacting with it. Make sure that the device looks and feels right. Basic features like a comfortable keyboard and intuitive trackpad will make your life a whole lot easier and more enjoyable after a long day of work.