If there is one thing that this pandemic taught us, is that you can never have too many laptops at home. With the kids doing online modules for most of the school year and the adults having to work at home or risk getting fired from their jobs, having just a tablet or smartphone won’t hack it for everyone. There is a difference in productivity between someone who uses a computer or laptop (although there is also a difference between someone who uses a unit with a separate screen or with dual screens from someone who just uses a laptop, that’s a whole other blog post) and someone who just uses a gadget like a tablet, even if it is equipped with a monitor. And if all you have as a spare laptop before the pandemic was an old, trusty laptop that saw its heyday when it was still connected to AOL and is only fast when you play Solitaire on it, then you realize that it was definitely time for an upgrade, if not buying extra unit for each member of the family.
It’s a great time to buys new laptops because prices are still reasonable, lest manufacturers want to be tagged as opportunistic with the situation where a lot of people are suffering. Choosing the right device for you and your family would require you to strike balance between the requirements of the equipment’s users and obviously, your budget. Don’t let pushy salespeople intimate you, focus on addressing the two most important matters: your needs and your budget.
In the first place, should you go for a desktop or a laptop?
That is actually the first question. Due to its composition, obviously, desktop computers do not offer as much in terms of flexibility and portability compared to their laptop counterparts. Also, when you add up the expenses you may incur to complete a desktop set-up such as a keyboard, speakers, monitor (two, for an ideal workstation), CPU, webcam, mouse, and other peripherals, the total may be a bit bigger compared to your expense for a laptop. Electricity costs may be a bit higher for a desktop, as its individual component consumes electricity separately. Of course, a desktop makes its users more disciplined in the sense that they don’t go wandering about when they work on their desktops. Also, although laptops are definitely more convenient, alas, they also prone to getting damaged easily.
Laptops are best used for light work: reading, word processing, streaming videos, or using social media. If you or your child wants to have freedom to roam while using a computer, a fully charged laptop should last an entire day for working or learning.
Should you go for Mac or Windows?
Not only is the dilemma of Apple versus other brands something that smartphone shoppers are exposed to, but this also is a huge decision for computer shoppers to make. Should you go for iOS or Windows? If it’s the cost you’re more conscious of, then Windows is more affordable. Security-wise, Macbooks are better. If you are scared of viruses and other malware affecting your files, then going for Apple computers is smarter, although it is not entirely impossible that Mac computers can be infected with malware, too. Finally, it should be noted that if you are a Mac user who’s worried about compatibility, you may also want to explore running your device with Windows operating system, as this is now possible.
There are a ton of key factors to consider when deciding between a MacBook or Windows notebook, from the software experience to the range of machines available in each ecosystem.
Check for power and performance
This is where your particulars about what you will be using your laptop for will come in. If you are an artist or someone in the family requires a machine that can handle hard system work like video editing or graphic artistry, then you would need to be discriminating with your choice of device – something that should have strong CPU performance, high system memory, and a top-notch graphics card. When you settle for a low-performing computer that cannot really satisfy your needs, you will only get frustrated and waste money on a machine that you are not happy with.
A computer’s speed and processing power aren’t attributable to a single component. It takes a number of pieces of hardware working together to determine your computer’s overall performance. The key is how well, and how quickly, all the important components communicate with each other to perform actions.
Check for storage
As you are shopping for a laptop for work or for study, you would need to have a computer with the capacity that allows storage of all programs and files needed without running out of space. If you are more comfortable with using cloud storage to keep your large and important files, then you can actually consider a Chromebook, which is not really known for its large storage capacity. Of course, if you’re the type who needs to have all programs and files stored in the machine itself because maybe you’re just too old school to be believing in the power of clouds or if you’re not that confident in the reliability of your Internet connection, then only go for a computer with large storage capacity. Many computer models now offer storage capacities in the terabyte range, so be aware of that.
Like all things in computing, storage hardware comes in many different shapes and sizes. The types of storage drives we’re talking about today are specifically for common daily-computing as opposed to NAS (Network-Attached-Storage) or enterprise-level scenarios. At the end of the day, you are just storing stuff—but knowing each device’s intricacies and their technological history will give you a better understanding of how to implement them.
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