Purchase a new laptop manual

There are so many options available when buying a laptop that it can be a bit overwhelming at first, but there really are few considerations that are important to most users at home or in the office. In this article, I will focus on the needs of an average home or business laptop buyer. Players and those using graphics-intensive software such as 3D modeling programs may have higher requirements than those mentioned here and are likely to need high-end graphics cards and processors. If you follow my recommendations, you should be able to buy a laptop that will meet all of your home or office needs for less than $ 1000.

The most important considerations when buying a laptop are the CPU or central processing unit, the RAM or random access memory, the hard disk storage capacity and the LCD monitor. Secondary considerations concern the network card, the optical drive and the graphics card. If you travel a lot with your laptop, battery life and weight are also important considerations.

Central processor

Most laptops these days are equipped with a single or dual core processor. Some inexpensive laptops have a single-core processor that is suitable for basic computers. However, I recommend purchasing a dual-core processor like the AMD Turion 64 or the Intel Core 2 Duo. While a dual-core processor is slightly more expensive than a single-core processor, it ensures that you have a laptop that will meet your computer needs for years to come. You will see how the processor is rated for speed in GHz, e.g. B. 1.3 GHz, 2.26 GHz, etc. Don't worry too much about speed because GHz speed is not the best indicator of processor performance when comparing CPUs from different manufacturers or even different models from the same manufacturer . As long as you choose a dual-core processor, the speed should be more than sufficient for most purposes.


Memory in this case refers to RAM or RAM. RAM is valued according to storage capacity in bytes and has developed rapidly in recent years. Modern computers have RAM in gigabytes (GB), which corresponds to 1,000,000,000 bytes! Operating systems and many popular software packages are memory intensive, so memory requirements are as important as, perhaps even more important than, the choice of processor. You will see memory most commonly described as DDR2 or DDR3, with DDR3 being the best. Personally, I haven't noticed a big difference between DDR2 and DDR3 in terms of performance. Just make sure you have enough memory when buying a laptop. Look for at least 2 GB of storage.

hard disk

The hard drive is the storage medium of your computer, whether desktop or laptop, and is nowadays also measured in gigabytes. Get at least 160 GB. Hard disk space is one of the cheaper features for upgrading. So if you can get more space, up to 500 GB, that's more space than you are likely to use. Remember, if you get a laptop with less hard drive space, you can always update it later or purchase an external hard drive. Hard drives are also rated by speed, which indicates the speed of the hard drive, with 5400 rpm and 7200 rpm being the most common. 5400 rpm is fine for most applications.


Laptop screens are liquid crystal displays or LCDs for short. Computer monitors are measured diagonally by size. The most common are laptop LCDs with a size of about 14 to 15 inches. 15 inches or so is a good compromise between size and display quality and is suitable for most applications. 16-inch, 17-inch and more displays are available, but at a higher cost. A larger monitor will probably give a better picture, but of course it also means a larger laptop, which increases weight and reduces portability. Smaller monitors are also available, and here too there is a compromise between size and screen quality. The image quality is measured horizontally and vertically in pixels as a display, for example 800 x 600, 1024 x 768 etc., the higher number indicating a better resolution. Look for a resolution of 1024 x 768 or more.

network card

If you want to connect to the Internet via a wireless interface at home or in public, you need a network card, NIC for short. Until recently, many network cards were connected externally, but most laptops now have an internal network card. When looking at the laptop specifications, check that the network card complies with the 802.11g standards. It shouldn't be a problem with a recently made laptop.

optical drive

Optical drives were common to all laptops in the past and are still present in many, although some of the smaller models omit the optical drive for cost reasons. The theory is that you can play music or videos directly from the Internet or from a flash drive, making the optical drive unnecessary. However, if you want to burn or play CDs or DVDs or load or run software from a CD, you will need an optical drive. There are various specifications for optical drives. For example, the following specifications may be displayed: 8X DVD R / RW with double layer support. 8X refers to the speed of the drive, which varies depending on the model and whether the DVD is read-only or read-only. The higher the number, the better. So look for 8X or more. R means that the drive can read DVDs and CDs, RW means that the drive can read and write CDs and DVDs. If you want to burn CDs and DVDs, you need a drive with an RW specification. Double layer support means that the drive can read double-sided DVDs. All of the features I just mentioned should be the same for every new model brand laptop you buy that includes an optical drive. So don't worry too much. Don't opt ​​for the additional cost of Blu-ray technology as an upgrade unless you have a really high quality LCD monitor. With your simple LCD monitor, you are unlikely to see any significant improvement.

graphic card

Your laptop comes with a graphics card built into the motherboard. The graphics card included in branded laptops that meets the other requirements above should be sufficient for most everyday applications. To be honest, you don't have many options in this matter anyway. This is an area where laptops lag behind desktops. If you run graphics-intensive programs such as games or 3D modeling programs, you need a first-class graphics card with dedicated memory, e.g. B. the ATI Radeon 1000 series or the NVIDIA GeForce 8000. A high-quality graphics card increases the price of your laptop is considerable. So if you want to use your computer mainly for gaming and portability, consider using a desktop instead. Desktops are generally cheaper overall, and you can allocate more money to the graphics card.


Batteries are rated by hours of battery life, making battery comparison one of the easiest problems when buying a laptop. While this is not that important for those who want to use their laptops mainly in one place, it becomes a major problem for those of us who are on the go, especially for business travelers. The battery life varies greatly between models and manufacturers. So if you travel a lot with the laptop, pay close attention to the battery life. Most batteries last between 2 and 6 hours, although longer-lasting batteries are available. A longer life battery is likely to be larger and therefore heavier. Note that the battery life specified by the manufacturer is under optimal conditions. Actual results may vary depending on usage. Playing a DVD consumes more power than creating a table, for example.

And this is my buying guide for laptops. One last piece of advice: get the best RAM and processor you can afford. Save on the other functions if necessary. The main memory and the processor are the two most important factors that determine the performance of your laptop. Standards in the computer industry are constantly improving, and you want to get the best computer you can afford at the time of purchase so that your laptop doesn't get out of date too soon.


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