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There are more models of laptop on the market than you can shake a stick at. From Toshiba and Dell to HP, Acer and MSI, there are probably hundreds of different laptops on the market, because everyone has different requirements. So what can help you to figure out the right laptop for you?
Figure Out Your Needs
First, figure out what you're using your laptop for. Some people want a laptop to play video games, which requires a high-end computer system. Others simply want a computer to browse the internet and watch movies.
Once you know what you're doing with your laptop, you can figure out what specs and requirements you're going to need. For those who aren't computer saavy I'm going to have to explain a couple of basic computer terms.
A computer is made up of a variety of different electronic components known as hardware. These include a motherboard, processor, hard drive, memory, wireless receiver, and battery. Most laptops have an optical drive and some high-end computers feature dedicated graphics cards.
The processor, or CPU, is the brain of the computer. It is what powers all the activities. Your computer will only be as fast as your CPU. To gauge the ability of a processor, consider two things. Each processor has a certain number of cores, which determine how many independent processes it can run at once. Second, the speed of a computer is described in terms of gigahertz (GHz). Simply put, the higher the number, the faster the computer.
The hard drive is how much storage space you have available on your laptop. Some people supplement their storage space with cloud data, but you should always keep your important files on your physical hard drive as well, so make sure there's enough space for your needs. The rule of thumb here is to determine what you're using your laptop for. Games and movies take up a lot of storage space, whereas music, word documents, pictures and other files do not.
Memory, or RAM, determines how quickly your computer can call up data. Basically, your RAM acts as a bridge between your processor and your hard drive, storing vital bits of data and allowing them to be accessed more quickly by the processor. RAM works with the CPU to improve the speed and performance of your computer.
Know Your Budget
It's not enough to have your dream laptop wishlisted on Amazon. You also need to consider your budget and what you can actually afford. While you want to be careful buying used laptops, you can often get a great deal buying refurbished laptops.
Unless you engage in a lot of modern gaming or need a laptop for serious video or music editing, you will likely find a low-to-mid price laptop will fit your needs. If you have more money to spend, you can't go wrong with a gaming laptop. Even if you don't play video games, you will find the speed and performance of those computers to be light-years ahead of anything you're used to.
If you're looking for a mid-tier computer, you will want at least a dual-core processor, preferably running above 2.0 GHz. 4 GB of RAM is best, and 500 GB of hard drive space is standard. For a high-end gaming laptop, make sure it has a GTX 960 or above. 8 GB of RAM is minimum, and a quad-core processor is optimum.
Now go out there and buy a laptop!