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Choosing the right laptop can be a daunting task with all the options out there, but it doesn’t have to be. If you are looking for something that can help you complete straight-forward tasks like working on spreadsheets and accessing emails then you don’t need the most expensive option out there if budget is your concern.
- The difference between a laptop and a notebook
If you aren’t a tech geek then the answer is not much.
Notebooks used to generally offer less functionality to keep them small and compact, as portability was their main function. But with technological advancements, many brands can now offer compact devices with excellent functionality. The reason it can be confusing is that many manufacturers use the two words interchangeably even when their products are very similar.
Here are 3 tips when looking for a laptop/notebook:
1.Look at laptop screen sizes
Are you wanting something that is super portable or are you more concerned about the operating functionality? The general rule with screens is that the bigger the screen size, the less portable it becomes. If portability isn’t your main priority then you can decide what the larger screen size will do for you. You may need a smaller laptop for work purposes but on weekends you’d like a bigger screen for gaming, a larger 17-18 inch laptop may give you the size and processing power you need.
If you have a laptop already and are finding that you need a bigger screen, why not look into attaching a second screen to your setup? This gives you the flexibility of a portable laptop and the option of a larger screen when you need it.
Light and compact (11 – 13 inch)
Good for: On-the-go people who want a lightweight compact laptop that won’t weigh them down. These laptops are smaller which means they weigh less and easily fit into a handbag or backpack. They are great if you attend a lot of meetings and mostly use your laptop to email, browse the web and type.
Large and in charge (15 inch +)
Good for: Serious users who sit and work on their laptops for long periods at a time like students and business people. The machine is robust and will give you more room to view documents and files without having to scroll as much.
Best of both with Connex
The Connex range of laptops is in the 14 inch size range and are incredibly light. At just 1.2kg they are compact and powerful and great starter laptops for everyday tasks. The Connex brand hasn’t been around for that long but is part of the same company that brings us Volkano and Amplify, offering affordable and high-quality tech accessories.
For their price, these laptops have a lot to offer if you’re on a budget.
2. Check the speed
The CPU is the processor of your laptop (or desktop) which controls the performance of your device.
Depending on your needs, you don’t need to go for the most expensive laptop with the most powerful processor unless you need it for demanding apps and programs (gamers wanting optimum speed for example).
The general rule is that the more expensive the laptop, the better the CPU/ Processor – but of course you still need to check to make sure that’s the case. Here is a list of the most common Intel Processors ranked from top to bottom according to both price and performance:
Intel 11th Gen CPU
These are new and will probably power the latest laptop launches that come onto the market.
Intel Core i9
Seen as the current top of the range processor, your top-end laptops are usually powered by this CPU.
This processor offers incredibly fast performance, so if you are not going to be running programs that require this, then a laptop with this processor may not be worth paying the premium price for.
Intel Core i7
Just slightly below the Intel Core i9 in terms of performance, this processor is still seen as quite a high-end option that is generally slightly cheaper than the i9.
Intel Core i5
This processor is generally going to be a good option if you aren’t a power user and you need a laptop for everyday work tasks and off-duty series watching. It offers good performance with a middle-of-the-range price tag. Many middle-range laptops out there use this processor.
Intel Core i3
This one is a step below the Intel Core i5 and so is its price tag.
It’s still perfectly fine for day-to-day needs, but if you can spend a bit more on a laptop it would be better to find one with a slightly better CPU.
Intel Pentium/ Celeron
Occasional users would get away with this level of processor but the performance is less than the Core i3. It would be better for long-term value to get a processor from the list above if you can stretch your budget.
3. Check the memory & display
RAM or Random Access Memory is what your laptop needs more of if you like to multitask when working. If you only do one thing at a time like work on a typed document or check your emails 4GB RAM will be fine for you. If you like to have more than one tab open when browsing online and enjoy watching videos and listening to music, you should consider 4GB RAM or more. 8GB of RAM is generally what most middle-range laptops offer but depending on your needs and budget you’ll be able to get anywhere from 4GB up to 64GB.
If you would like to read up more on this click here.
The higher the pixels the sharper the graphic display on your screen. Gamers and designers may want to go for a top-of-the-range UHD or 4k laptop (3840 x 2160 pixels) as a crisp and clear display is definitely one of their most important considerations. If your workday consists of emails and spreadsheets then don’t spend too much time worrying about the display if you find a laptop that ticks all of your other boxes but isn’t full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) or UHD (Ultra-High Definition).
When looking at display pixels, the higher the number means the clearer the display.
It’s a good option to find a laptop that offers the right ports (and enough ports) so that you’re able to connect your other devices simply and easily. Think about what you may need to plug into your laptop, a second screen, a mouse and an external hard drive?
But don’t be put off by a laptop that doesn’t have enough ports if it has all of the other features you need, as port hubs are very inexpensive and can give you the connection you’re looking for. Most laptops use USB 3.0 and HDMI out for video (this port will allow you to stream videos and movies from your laptop to your TV) so as long as it has this you should be good to go.
The below table gives you a breakdown of some of the specs we have just gone through, and if you look at the comparison between these three devices you’ll be able to see why their prices are so vastly different.
|BRAND AND MODEL||HUAWEI MATEBOOK X PRO
|ASUS X509JA I5 LAPTOP
|LENOVO S145-15IGM CELERON LAPTOP
|CPU||10th Gen Intel® Core i7 processor||Intel Core I5-1035G1 Processor||Intel Celeron N4000|
|DISPLAY PIXELS||3000 x 2000||1920 x 1080||1366 x 768|
|PRICE||R34 999||R11 999||R5999|