holidays_laptop_buying_guide

laptop_buying_guide_gift_computing

Thinking of gifting a new laptop this holiday season to yourself, your employees, or a loved one?

Lost in a sea of tech specs with no idea of what to do?

PremierePC is here to help!

Here’s a list of specs to look for, what they mean, and what we recommend.

Platform

Windows – most flexible operating system, runs on more laptops than Chrome OS or Mac OS X.

Mac – limited line of computers, tend to run more expensive, less flexibility.

Chromebook – least expensive, however this functions more like a tablet than a laptop. Chromebooks use the Chrome web browser as the primary user interface and run applications rather than software and are highly limited in their feature set.

What we recommend: Windows

CPU

The CPU is the central processing unit of a computer where instructions are taken from programs and applications to perform calculations.

Typically, a faster CPU means applications will run faster.

What we recommend: Intel Core i5 and above. (Choose i7 and above if you tend to run many applications at once, edit or create media, or run high-end games.)

Storage

The Hard Drive contains everything the CPU is going to need to do its job, including the operating system, apps, and files. There are two types:

  1. Spinning hard disk drives (HDD) drives read and write data with a head similar to a vinyl record album. HDDs are less expensive, however they are mechanical and fragile.
  2. Solid-state drives (SSD) are a bit more expensive but offer at least three times the speed and a much faster laptop overall. SSDs require less power and increase overall battery life and are shock resistant.

What we recommend: 500GB SSD

Memory

RAM, random access memory, stores just the portion of the data from the hard drive that the CPU needs at any given moment. If you run multiple applications at once, you will use more of your RAM. Therefore, more RAM means a faster machine.

8GB of RAM may be sufficient for day-to-day computing, allowing for fully loading Windows, a few productivity apps, and a web browser.

However, if you run multiple applications at once, you will need 16GB of RAM.

What we recommend: 16GB RAM

Other specs to look for

Displays running full HD (1920 x 1080) will look sharp and not consume too much of your battery life.

Decide if you want a full size (15-17″) laptop with a number pad or a 14″ portable laptop.

Understand your laptop’s docking station capabilities and options.

Touch screen capabilities are widely available in many laptops.

Integrated graphics chips are typically sufficient unless you are doing high-res video editing or gaming.

Ensure your laptop has the ports necessary for connections you need.

8+ hours of battery life is ideal.

Test out or research the keyboard and trackpad.

Research the brand. Don’t buy simply because you found a cheaply priced computer.

Our top laptop recommendations: Lenovo Thinkpad E14 or E15

You’ll end up wasting money in the long-run if you don’t do your research! Call PremierePC today for a laptop recommendation.