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9 tips: How to buy the best laptop

Has your laptop seen its best days and you feel it’s time to get a new one? With today’s large selection, it is anything but easy to know all the news that has been added and what you need.

PC for Everyone’s sister magazine, PC World, has put together a guide that hints at the various functions and technologies offered in today’s portable computers, regardless of whether it is a notebook or so-called ultraportable.

1. Latest processor

sandy bridgeIntel recently released a new processor series that goes by the code name Sandy Bridge. Because the new processor series is so new, there aren’t that many laptops with that processor yet, but new models are added every day.

One of the advantages of Sandy Bridge processors is that they offer lower power consumption combined with better performance. As before, the Sandy Bridge processors have names such as Intel Core i3 or Core i5. One difference, however, is that the previous processors from Intel are followed by a three-digit model designation like Core i3-350M. The new Sandy Bridge processors instead have four digits in the model designation, like the Core i3-2310M.

Also check out laptops with AMD’s new Fusion processor, which is the equivalent of Intel’s Sandy Bridge with better performance and lower power consumption. AMD’s new Fusion processors have names like AMD C-Series APU, AMD E-Series APU, and AMD A-Series APU.

2. SSD disk or hybrid solution

Seagate Momentus XTWhen it comes to storage, there are now several solutions to choose from in most laptops. It all really depends on how much you want to pay for the party. The new ssd disks are incredibly fast compared to a conventional hard disk, but are also considerably more expensive.

In addition, ssd disks do not have as much storage capacity as hard drives today. If you choose an SSD disk, it will be both more expensive and less capacity at the same time. But with a decent performance increase.

An alternative is so-called hybrid disks that consist of a hard disk that also has a smaller SSD disk built in. On such disks, it is possible to put the operating system on the ssd disk and then programs and files on the hard disk. It provides a good balance in terms of performance and capacity. An example of such a hard drive is the Seagate Momentus XT.
Check with your computer dealer if the model you are interested in can be obtained with a hybrid disk.

3. Monitors with hd resolution

Most laptops sold today come with displays that have a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. Something that’s fine and good for most users, but maybe not if you’re a picky movie lover.

If you are going to use your laptop to watch movies, you should look for computers that have monitors with a resolution of 1,600 x 900 or 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. These will cost a little more, but if you want to watch movies in HD resolution, it might be worth spending a little money on this.

Long battery life4. Long battery life

One of the most important factors when it comes to laptops is battery life. In recent years, the capacity of the batteries has improved and you can find laptops that offer an operating time of six hours or more.

5. Lots of working memory

Most laptops come with two gigabytes of working memory. This is usually enough as long as you are not going to use the computer for demanding applications such as games or graphics. You can never have too much memory, and if you know that you use demanding or many programs at the same time, you should invest in four gigabytes of working memory.

6. Comfortable keyboard and trackpad

Comfortable keyboard and trackpadBe sure to test the keyboard properly before deciding which laptop to buy. Make sure that it feels comfortable to write with and that the trackpad also works well.

7. Built-in security features

If you are going to store sensitive data on your laptop, it may be a good idea to look at laptops that offer biometric security such as fingerprint readers or other security technologies to protect the computer against physical intrusion.

8. Built-in mobile broadband

3g 4g modemMany laptops offer built-in modems for 3g or 4g. If you travel a lot with your computer, it may be worth getting a built-in modem so that you don’t have to carry around plug-in cards or share the internet with your mobile phone.

The problem with built-in modems is that you can’t easily replace them or upgrade them to a new standard.

9. PC for Everyone’s Buying Guides
For even more tips, browse PC for Everyone’s Buying Guides. Here you get tips on what to consider when buying a desktop or laptop computer, help with complicated words, and tips on the hottest computers. Everything is kept up to date by PC for Everyone’s test editor.

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