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Laptop Buying Guide: What to Look For – Video

 Laptop Buying Guide: What to Look For – Video

Laptop Buying Guide: What to Look For

Speaker 1: It’s understandable if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed when shopping for a new laptop, but we’ve got some tips,

Speaker 2: So let’s get to it.

Speaker 1: So there are a ton of laptops on the market at any given moment, and almost all of those models are available in multiple configurations to match your performance and budget needs. This guide is to help you get through all of that and find your next great laptop. [00:00:30] So for most people, the search for a new laptop starts with price. And on average, people typically upgrade every three or four years. So if you can stretch your budget a little to get better specs, do it. And generally speaking, the more you spend, the better the laptop. Right now, the sweet spot for a reliable laptop that can handle average home office or school tasks is between 500 and $800. And a reasonable model for creative work or basic gaming is [00:01:00] upwards of about a thousand dollars. It used to be you could get away with spending less upfront and upgrade memory and storage down the road, but those days are gone and now most laptops are not easily upgradable.

Speaker 1: So again, it’s best to get as much laptop as you can afford from the start. One other thing, to save money and keep stuff out of landfills, consider going with a refurbished laptop, either directly from the manufacturer or from eBay’s refurb shop or sites like back Choosing [00:01:30] an operating system is part personal preference and part budget. For the most part, windows and Mac OS do the same things. They just do them differently. Unless there’s OS specific software you need, go with the one you feel most comfortable using. And if you’re not sure which that is, head to an Apple store or a local electronic store and test them out, or ask friends or family to let you test out theirs for a bit. You should also consider a Chromebook running on ChromeOS for entertainment, web browsing, writing, [00:02:00] cloud gaming, and even some light photo and video editing Chromebooks are an inexpensive alternative, especially if everything you do is web-based.

Speaker 1: So this is probably hopefully not shocking, but general laptop dimensions are mainly a function of screen size. You want a big screen, you’re getting an equally large laptop. However, just because you have a 16 inch laptop doesn’t mean it’ll necessarily be thick and heavy. LG 16 inch gram laptops are skinny and 1.2 kilograms. While [00:02:30] as U’S powerful 16 inch Zephyrus gaming laptop is about two kilogram. My point is size doesn’t dictate portability or performance when it comes to displays. There’s more to consider than just resolution such as what types of content you’re viewing and whether you’ll be using it for gaming or creative work. CNET has full buyer’s guides to help you understand what’ll meet your needs, but if you just want some basics, look for at least a hundred pixels per inch. And if the doesn’t [00:03:00] tell you, you can use an online DPI calculator to figure it all out with resolution, you’re often better off going with higher because it gives you more flexibility to display things bigger or smaller.

Speaker 1: A 4K 14 inch screen may sound unnecessary, but it may not be if you need to view a wide spreadsheet, for example, and also look for a refresh rate of 120 hertz or faster for smoother looking videos in gaming. More and more you’ll see color space or gamut coverage listed. For laptop display [00:03:30] specs for general use at least a hundred percent. SRGB is good. But if you’re creating online graphics or video, go with at least 95% P three coverage, A-K-A-D-C-I-P three going with an ole display or two, like the Lenovo Yoga book nine, I pretty much guarantees full P three coverage, but LCDs can be all over the place, and usually the cheaper the laptop, the less capable the display.

Speaker 1: The processor, [00:04:00] also known as the CPU, is the brains of a laptop. Intel and a MD are the main CPU makers for Windows laptops. Both offer a staggering selection of mobile processors designed for different laptop types like power saving chips for ultra portables or faster processors for gaming laptops. Each has a naming convention and you can head to Intel or AMD sites for explanations to get the performance you want. Generally speaking, the faster the processor speed, the more cores it has, [00:04:30] the better the performance will be. Apple makes its own chips for MacBooks, which makes things slightly more straightforward. But like Intel and A MD, you’ll still want to pay attention to the naming conventions to know what kind of performance to expect. One other thing, there’s a lot of focus on AI right now, and you may be tempted to ignore it, but the fact is, going forward, apps will be handing off AI tasks to neural chips. If you plan to have your next laptop for [00:05:00] several years, A CPU with an AI component could be worth it.

Speaker 1: The graphics processor or GPU handles all the work of driving the screen and generating what gets display as well as speeding up many graphics related and AI related tasks. There are two types of GPUs for Windows laptops integrated or discreet and integrated. GPU is part of the CPU chip set. While discreet is a separate chip with dedicated memory. Integrated graphics allow for [00:05:30] smaller, lighter laptops and cheaper too, but the performance pales compared to discrete graphics. Some games and creative software won’t even run unless they detect a discrete GPU or sufficient VAM. But for productivity software, video streaming, web browsing, and basic photo and video editing, integrated GPU is sufficient for memory. We highly recommend at least 16 gigs of Ram. RAM is where the OS stores all the data for the apps you’re using, [00:06:00] and it can fill up fast. After that, it starts swapping between RAM and the laptop’s main storage drive, which is slower.

Speaker 1: And since many laptops now have the memory soldered onto the motherboard, it can’t be upgraded. If the RAM type is listed as L-P-D-D-R, assume it’s soldered faster. Solid state drives or SSDs have all but replaced hard drives in laptops. However, not all SSDs are equally speedy [00:06:30] and cheaper. Laptops typically have slower drives. So just because you see SSD in the specs, it won’t automatically mean fast performance, especially combined with only four gigs or eight gigs of ram. You can cheat a bit on storage and get a smaller drive because you can always add an external drive or use cloud storage to compensate for a small internal drive. The one exception is gaming laptops. We don’t recommend going with less than a 512 gig SSD unless you [00:07:00] really like uninstalling games every time you want to play a new game. So that’s it for me, covering the basics of what to know before you choose a new laptop. And this is just the basics, but you can get more in-depth info on the latest laptops and [email protected]. Thanks for watching, and you’ll see me when you see me.

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