Thankfully, most laptops do a pretty good job if you don’t plan on gaming or doing processor heavy work. The cheapest models are usually suffice for most school or office work. Having said that, we’ve gathered some practical tips on things you should consider before you buy.
The two most common operating systems are Windows and macOS. You can find Windows in computers from various different manufacturers, but only computers from Apple run macOS. Operating systems differ in design and functionality, and some software aren’t compatible with both. If you have some special software in mind, look into if it’s compatible with your chosen operating system before you purchase it.
A third operation system that has grown in popularity lately (especially in schools) is ChromeOS. It’s an operating system from Google that can be likened to a web browser. Laptops that run ChromeOS are called Chromebooks. They often have limited performance, but are also considerably cheaper, and are good alternatives for people who use Google's services like Gmail and Google Drive.
Size and weight
If you carry your laptop to school every day it's advisable to choose one that doesn't weigh a lot.One that weighs under 1,2 kilos is preferable, but if you’re looking for one larger than 15 inches you’ll probably have to settle with a bit more weight.
Remember that laptops on the bottom range of the price range generally weigh a bit more than the more expensive models. The exception is the Chromebooks, that are usually cheaper and still pretty light. If you’re buying a laptop bag to go with your new computer it’s important to match the size with the laptop to make sure it fits.
A larger battery with a longer battery timereduces the need of a power socket when the battery indicator goes red. Battery time should be eight hours at least, but preferably longer. If you often travel or commute,, battery time is an important factor that will make your day to day life less stressful.
Remember that battery time is affected by how you use the computer. If you play a lot of games, your battery will drain faster than if you’re just using the internet. You musn’t blindly trust the times indicated by the manufacturers, instead read reviews that have tested the batteries.
The higher performance the computer has, the faster the programs will open. Powerful components enable you to game, to watch videos in high resolution, and the computer also feels faster. A fast computer is easier to work with and reduces frustration.
Newer components in the computer also lowers the power consumption, but comes with a higher price tag. Look for models with at least 8 GB of RAM and an SSD-disk, and you’re off to a great start no matter your needs.
Lastly, we want to give you some tips regarding the keyboard. It’s easy to focus on screen size and performance, but the keyboard should also be right, so that working for longer periods of time isn't a nuisance. Try some different kinds of keyboards in a shop before your purchase one, so you know what’s right for you.
One thing that you can see but not feel is if the keyboard is backlit or not. If you’re using your computer in bad lighting it’s hard to see where the fingers go. If you work a lot with numbers, a full size keyboard with a separate numeric keyboard will be useful.