The 10 Best Laptops – July 2017
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The History of Laptops
When they were first introduced around thirty years ago, laptops were nothing more than glorified typewriters – they were heavy, expensive, chunky, and had very little computing power. Desktops were more commonplace since they provided more power, storage and a better monitor at a fraction of the price. In fact, by the mid-90s, many families had a household desktop but not many saw the need to get a laptop.
As technology evolved, laptops became sleeker and more powerful, and what was once a clunky device used by executives, bankers and military personnel, has now become a useful gadget for people from all walks of life.
Why Should I Own A Laptop?
Laptops come in a variety of sizes, designs and configurations, a thing that may confuse the you when you are looking to buy one. We collected and orgznized the information for you, in a way that will help you decide which one fits you best.
So here are the main things you should consider when buying a laptop:
You can use your laptop to listen to music or watch movies whenever you want. In fact, relaxing at home alone or with loved ones is a great reason for purchasing a laptop. The mobility provided by a laptop can add to your home entertainment, and also improve productivity. For example, you will be able to check your email, watch instructional videos, pay utility bills, monitor your home security system, and a lot more – with a laptop.
Nowadays, it’s almost impossible to be a successful student if you don’t own a laptop. A competent laptop lets you research, write notes and take down notes during a lecture. Additionally, it enables you to stay in touch with your classmates, teachers and other educational resources, no matter whether you are in campus, or at home.
Writers and Bloggers
A creative mind is likely to feel stifled if it is restricted to the same, staid surroundings. A laptop allows both bloggers and authors to pen their thoughts and create their masterpiece even when they are travelling to different places in the search of new experiences.
With a powerful enough laptop and the necessary software, like the Adobe CC suite, you will be able to paint whatever you want and even sell it online – all while enjoying a cuppa at your local coffee place. Many modern laptops have touchscreens which can be paired with a stylus – giving you the ability to sketch, just like sketching in a notebook.
Many modern laptops have enough computing power to record high-quality, lossless audio. Just connect the device to a signal processor and a digital workstation, and you have in your hands a portable studio which will let you record music at a fraction of the cost of an actual recording studio.
Laptops have become an inseparable companion for businessmen and executives. It lets you bring your work back home, and avoids the need to use a whole array of external drives and other devices which can be cumbersome to use. Moreover, if you have to travel a lot, a laptop is necessary for you.
The portability that laptops provide is unparalleled. They allow you to take your work with you to anywhere you go, even if its just within your office area. This is especially useful for professionals who shuttle between a main office and a remote site like architects, lawyers, physicians, salespersons, etc. This is why many companies provide laptops to their employees.
Different Types of Laptops: Choosing the Right Fit
There are plenty of different types of laptops – ranging from small, inexpensive devices which enable you to perform minor tasks, to- heavy, powerful and pricey gaming computers. Our qualified team members review all types, to help you in making the right decision.
We recommend you to purchase the one that fits your purpuses or goals. Take a lot at the different types:
If your main concern is convenience, a light and small laptop, such as a Chromebook could be what you are looking for. They run Google’s Chrome OS which is designed for light tasks such as word processing and web browsing. Generally, they have an 11-inch screen with a small hard drive and a single USB port. The screen resolution of 1366 x 768 is also good enough for an occasional movie.
Very similar to Chromebooks, Netbooks are small, inexpensive laptops designed mainly for those who are intereseted in just browsing the web. Many of these devices also come with touchscreens allowing you to use them as tablets (or equivalents). Unlike Chromebooks, they usually run Windows, which is very familiar to many people. These devices are great for people who want versatility in form.
An Ultrabook is a laptop which has met strict guidelines set by Intel. For example, when closed, an Ultrabook shouldn’t be taller than 20mm (for 13.3in displays) or 23mm (for 14in screens and larger). They should also be able to come out of hibernation in less than 3 seconds and have enough battery capacity to play an HD video for at least 6 hours. Many models come with modern features like touchscreens, voice commands, SSDs, etc. Ultrabooks aim to provide a balance between performance and portability, and tends to be priced accordingly.
These devices are just like normal consumer laptops, except the fact that they tend to be built using longer-lasting components and have better warranties. Business laptops are designed to last, while maintaining enough performance to run all important software without any slowing down or freezing. While they usually come with discreet graphics, you can find models with dedicated GPUs as well.
As the name suggests, these laptops are geared towards serious gamers and come with a high-end processor, high-res display, dedicated graphics, 8GB/16GB of RAM, and at least a 1TB hard disk. They tend to have a boxy and robust build since, for most people, these laptops are desktop replacements, with portability being a major advantage. Gaming laptops tend to be really expensive because of the high-end parts they contain.
What Are Some Important Features I Should Consider?
When comparing laptops, a lot of features need to be considered. For example, a well-performing device may not be portable enough or may have an inferior display. By understanding some of the important features, you will be able to make up your mind and figure out the kind of device you need.
The whole idea behind a laptop is to have a portable computing device. So, you need to make sure that the device you are considering has a large-enough screen, without being too heavy. Larger and more powerful devices tend to be heavier as well, which may not sit well with some people. On the flipside, smaller laptops have cramped keyboards which some people may find hard to type on.
Another important aspect of portability is battery life. Some of the best laptops we’ve reviewed last longer than 10 hours, which means that you don’t have to constantly stay near a power outlet.
The quality of the screen is an important feature since the display plays a major role in your overall experience with the device. Most basic models have a resolution of 1366 x 768 with higher-end models having Full-HD or 4K screens. The latter two tend to be sharper and clearer since they have more pixels.
The size of the display should reflect the primary purpose of the laptop. Larger screens are recommended for gaming and watching movies while smaller screens are better for web browsing, business uses, etc.
The CPU is a key component in deciding how powerful the laptop is going to be. If you are going to do plenty of processor-intensive tasks, it is better to go for a powerful CPU like the Intel Core i5 or i7. For regular web browsing and other light tasks, a less powerful processor, like the Core M, should be enough.
If you want to store large amounts of data, you will need to look at laptops which have high storage. Plenty of devices have hard drives with a capacity of 1TB or more. Many modern laptops come with inbuilt SSDs which are faster and helps make the laptop more responsive. But, they are also more expensive and have less storage space then hard drives.
A laptop’s performance is almost directly impacted by the RAM it has. Most laptops have 4GB, which is enough for basic tasks. For editing movies and videos, you will need at least 8GB RAM or more.
If you want to hook up various peripherals to the laptop, it needs to have enough ports. There needs to be enough USB ports, placed in convenient locations, to make it easier to connect all the devices you want. Most laptops come up a combination of USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports, the latter being newer and faster. Some latest models also have the new USB-C port which is even faster and more versatile.
For playing games and watching videos, it is important to have a capable graphics card. Most laptops have an integrated graphics chip which is built into the CPU. This is good enough for basic tasks, but might struggle if you are playing games or have a high-res display. Depending on your usage and budget, it might be worthwhile to upgrade to a dedicated graphics card.
There are three major operating systems: Mac OS X, Windows, and Chrome. For many potential laptop owners, the OS is a factor that drives their choice. Chrome OS, used in Chromebooks, has limited functionality, but is very responsive and secure. Windows offers features like a touchscreen interface and is not too expensive. OS X is found only in Apple products and has greater security that Windows with more convenient navigation.
A laptop’s warranty usually covers defective parts and issues with workmanship for a limited amount of time. It is important to read the conditions carefully and make sure that it covers all essential components and lasts for a decent amount of time. For an additional charge, you may be able to extend the warranty period as well. If your laptop is expensive and you’re planning on using it a lot, an extended warranty may be a good idea.