Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Buying a laptop or Computer? Check this out to look out for various Specs!

When buying a new laptop or Computer, we need to keep in mind for the below items:

  1. Processor
  2. RAM
  3. Storage
  4. Screen
  5. Weight and Size
  6. Battery
  7. Graphics card
  8. Ports
  9. Keyboard and Track pad

Processor is the heart of the machine. Better processor always costs more. Just by changing you can increase/ decrease the budget of your system.

Core i5 and Core i3 processors are best suited for regular users. Core i7 is for heavy users. Here when we say heavy, it meant for users who go heavy on machine using multiple applications at a time or using applications like video processors, heavy 3D games, Photoshop etc. Check out below for more info .....

Core i7
Processors are top-of-the-line chips from Intel. Models like the i7-3840 QM and the i7-3632 QM are part of the quad-core series (denoted by the 'Q' in their names).

At the slightly lower end, you have mainstream processors like the i7-3520 M (notice the M in the model name) that are dual-core chips. These feature a technology called Turbo that temporarily increases chip speeds if the task requires it. Core i7 processors, especially the Q series, are suitable for those who play high-end games like Battlefield 3 or Crysis 2, or people who create professional-quality multimedia content.

Core i5 and Core i3
Processors like the 3380M and the 3210M are dual core chips that also feature Turbo technology. These, however, are slower performers when compared to the i7s because of their lower clock speed. Core i5 processors are ideal for multitasking. They are also a decent budget alternative to the i7s.

Core i3 are entry level chips, dual-core processors from Intel that function at a fixed clock speed (no Turbo feature). These processors easily handle office work (Word, Excel, etc), web browsing, music, Full HD movies, casual gaming, and picture editing.

Ultra-low voltage
Processors, aka ULVs, have been specifically designed to operate at low voltages to extend battery life. You can identify them by the 'U' in their model number - the i5-3437 U and the i3-3217 U

Pentium and Celeron
These are processors that are made by Intel and found in budget laptops. The Pentium 2030M, the Pentium 987, the Celeron 1000M and the Celeron 1005M are good enough for basic office work (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and web browsing.

Processors like the A10 4600M and the A8 4500M are not as powerful as Core processors, but they can encode a video or render a 3D scene in a program like 3D Max faster than a comparably priced Core i3 or Core i5. Note: When it comes to Intel, you should ask for fourth-generation Core processors (aka Haswell).

Simply put, more RAM is always better, especially since it will allow you to run a larger number of applications at the same time - as well as more process-intensive programs - without slowing down the laptop. Nowadays, all laptops come with DDR3 RAM.

Larger hard disk capacity means you can store more videos, music and pictures on your PC. If your budget allows for it, opt for a hybrid machine that's equipped with a hard drive as well as a solid state drive (SSD). Machines with SSDs boot up faster.

Weight and Size
If you intend to carry your laptop to work or college, go for models that are lighter and smaller. This means choosing a laptop with screen size of less than 14 inches and weighing less than 2kg. For home use or gaming, we'd recommend a laptop that has a bigger screen; something like 15.6 inches or upwards.

Choose matt finish over glossy when it comes to your screen. Glossy displays tend to be extremely reflective in bright, daylight conditions. If your budget allows, opt for laptops with an IPS (in panel switching) screen.

These are capable of rich
colours. Also, some screens might not display true colours when viewed from an angle, so check for that. And lastly, if you are buying a laptop with Win 8, get one that has a touch screen if it is within your budget

Graphics card
Unless you play high-end 3D video games, you don't require a dedicated graphics card. The built-in graphics chip in your processor is good enough to handle light gaming and Full-HD movie playback.

But if you do need a graphics card, focus on the card and not on the amount of graphics RAM. The type of RAM, however, is something you should keep an eye on. GDDR3 - and not plain DDR3 - is better; if available. GDDR5, which is faster, is the best.

Keyboard and Track pad
Go to the laptop store and type 200 to 300 words on the model you plan to buy. The keys should feel springy, and every keystroke should register. If you intend to use the laptop in low light conditions, buy a backlit keyboard.

To check the track pad, open a web page and perform the pinch to-zoom action. Try gestures available as part of Win 8. Do these gestures work well? The buttons above the track pad should feel firm and receptive.

Before buying a laptop, make sure it has at least one USB 3.0 port. USB 3.0 is theoretically 10 times faster than USB 2.0. An HDMI port is standard in all laptops.

But many ultra books nowadays do not come with VGA connector (used to connect projectors), or Ethernet (for wired internet connection). It's best you check if the laptop you're buying has these ports if you need them.

Laptops come with four, six, or nine cell batteries. Opt for higher if possible. Though it should be noted that bigger batteries will also add to the weight of the laptop.

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