First, it’s important to determine what you are using the laptop for. Think outside the box. In other words, don’t limit yourself to just the basics, unless that is all you will ever need. Laptops have a way of making it easy to do more than you thought you could or need to do!
I plan to use my laptop for creative design or multimedia.
Mobility through Portability
A number of factors contribute to the portability of your laptop. This includes: weight, thickness, and screen size.
• 3.9 lbs or less: Streamlined and ideal for both travelers and students. Lightweight and best for web surfing, e-mail and other daily activities.
• 4 to 5.9 lbs: Laptops in this weight range deliver power and portability. They're light enough to take to the airport or restaurant, yet powerful enough to get what you need done.
• 6 lbs or more: A heavier class of laptop that is not easy to carry around yet delivers powerful processing and comes equipped with a larger screen. These are best suited for serious gamers and creative professionals who generally use the laptop from their desks and do not need constant mobility.
These laptops offer a larger screen size perfect for multi-tasking.
Full HD (1920 x 1080)
4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160)
In the world of resolutions, the higher the resolution, the better the picture quality. Screen resolution is measured in pixels – horizontal x vertical.
• HD: At 1366 x 768 pixels, this is a standard on most laptops. The picture quality will enable easy web surfing, email exchanges and basic PC activities.
• HD+: At 1600 x 900 pixels, this level of resolution easily supports gaming and viewing movies on DVD.
• Full HD: At 1920 x 1080 pixels, you can now watch Blu-Ray movies and play video games in stunning detail.
• QHD and QHD+: Quad HD and Quad HD+ offers resolutions of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 3200 x 1800 pixels respectively. These resolutions deliver crisp detail and sharp text and is best suited for professional graphics, photography and editing, as well as high-definition games and movies.
• 4K Ultra HD: 3840 x 2160 resolution, equates to quadruple the pixel size of Full HD, offering vibrant colors and lifelike imagery.
The continuous advances and innovations in technology have also enabled laptop owners to experience a range of colors and brightness levels. For example, a laptop with LED backlighting permits a brighter, more energy-efficient screen. Additional options include an IPS panel, which is popular with those who desire wider viewing angles. IPS is ideal for watching movies or fast-paced TV shows or games. The screen finish also affects your viewing experience. A glossier finish provides richer colors and darker hues. Matte displays, on the other hand, reduce glare and are preferable for working in bright light, near a window or at the beach.
Make your experience more intuitive and fun with a touchscreen laptop. These come in a variety of sizes and enable multi-point touch functionality. Use familiar tap, swipe and pinch movements as you would on a smartphone or tablet. Touchscreens are available on many Windows® laptops and select Chromebooks.
The operating system is the foundation of the laptop, managing both hardware and software. While Windows® laptops are the most prevalent, Google's Chrome OS is another attractive option.
Microsoft's Windows operating system is expansive, fully functional and user friendly. You can use Windows with a touchscreen or with a mouse and keyboard. As each upgrade is developed, the operating system becomes more intuitive, with built-in apps and more. Windows is the better option for bandwidth intensive computer activities, including the traditional Office Suite, but also gaming, video editing and high-intensity graphics.
Google's Chrome operating system is the foundation of the popular Chromebook. These feature custom apps and cloud-based programs. While the Google Chrome is fully functional, it is best suited for less intensive activities like word processing, spreadsheets, email and social media.
Memory is the foundation for helping your processor run programs. Also known as Random Access Memory (RAM), it is expandable in many styles and versions of laptops. While sold separately, this means that at a later point in time, you can purchase additional memory to enhance the power of your laptop.
Below are the types of memory with their corresponding speeds and transfer rates:
These drives are most commonly included in laptops. They are relatively inexpensive as compared to the newer solid state drive or hybrid drive. On the downside, given their construction, they can add significant weight to a laptop.
Solid state drives are, by definition, faster and lighter in weight. Given that they have no moving parts, there is no rotational speed to consider. They power up more quickly and expend less heat than the traditional hard disk drive.
Hybrid drives offer you the best of both worlds. With a hybrid configuration, the SSD can be used to support the operating system and its applications, allowing for fast boot-up, while the HDD drive is used for data storage.
Laptops were designed with the user’s storage in mind. With the way hard drives have been designed, it takes a lot of time to fill a mid-range sized hard drive. If the documents, images and videos you’re creating are richer and larger in size, consider a larger hard drive to ensure plenty of room to grow.
Traditional laptops include integrated graphics, in which the graphics processing unit (GPU) is built into the chipset that also houses the central processing unit (CPU). Integrated graphics are adequate enough to handle your general computing tasks but for more demanding tasks such as gaming, photo editing, or video production you'll want to consider a laptop with dedicated graphics.
The ports on your laptop offer a multitude of connectivity options, whether connecting to the internet, other devices, or hooking up your laptop to a larger screen or even your HDTV. HDMI cables are sold separately. Bluetooth capabilities and the latest wireless iterations are available on laptop models.
Below is a list of the most commonly used ports:
USB 2.0 and 3.0
Media Card Slot
DisplayPort (screen resolution @ refresh rate)
DisplayPort 1.2 - capable of 3840 x 2160 (4K Resolution) @ 60 Hz
DisplayPort 1.3 - capable of 7680 x 4320 (8K Resolution) @ 30Hz; or 4K @ 120Hz
DisplayPort 1.4 - capable of 7680 x 4320 (8K Resolution) @ 60Hz; or 4K @ 120Hz
HDMI (screen resolution @ refresh rate)
HDMI 1.2 - capable of 1920 x 1200p @ 60Hz
HDMI 1.3 - capable of 2560 x 1600p @ 60Hz
HDMI 1.4 - capable of 4096 x 2160p (4K Resolution) @ 30Hz
HDMI 2.0 - capable of 4096 x 2160p (4K Resolution) @ 60Hz
What Are My Options?
Traditional laptops are ideal for most people, from students to families to business professionals. Loaded with an operating system and everything else you need to get up and go, the only thing left is to decide what to do first!
There are two different varieties of 2-in-1 laptops. Each has its own features and benefits.
The screen and keyboard on this type of 2-in-1 detach from each other. This is exceptionally convenient when you're going from meeting to meeting, as it significantly reduces the weight of your laptop, yet you can still access all its functions with a touchscreen interface.
Convertible 2-in-1 laptops swivel or rotate to take you from laptop to tablet mode and back. Different than a detachable 2-in-1, the keyboard and screen never separate. Some style flip around 360 degrees so you can use the laptop in up to four modes: laptop, stand, tent and tablet.
A Chromebook is a great choice as your next home laptop. By reducing hard drive storage and adding Cloud-based apps and programs, the laptop becomes more portable for commuting students and business professionals. Concerned about losing documents? There's no need to be thanks to Cloud-based storage.
When you have to be away from your gaming station, don't be away from your game and teammates. With fast processors, dedicated graphics, and high-definition screens laptops are optimized to keep you one step ahead of the competition.
If you're the kind of professional who is ready to get down to the job site and get work done, you can't spend time worrying about keeping your laptop clean. Rugged laptops are outfitted with strong, durable cases and covered keyboards the lock out dirt, dust and water to keep your data safe.
Now that you’ve read about the wide range of laptops, you can browse our assortment with confidence, knowing you have the information you need to choose the right one. Also, consider these essential accessories that are a must have for your new laptop.
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