Laptops have changed: 7 tips on how to buy a new one – Economic Times
Gone are the days when the only design option in laptop used to be the standard hinge open design. Now, you have multiple form factors available in at a wide range of prices. You can get a laptop with a removable display, which means the screen detaches from the keyboard base and can be used as a tablet.
Another popular design is the 360-degree rotating laptop that can be placed and used in multiple modes, as needed. Of course, you can still get the classic design if you prefer that, but do consider the other options before choosing one.
There was a time when there were standalone ports for each function and to connect peripherals. With laptops becoming more compact, there has been a change in the number and types of ports. Entry-level and mid-range laptops now have USB 3.0 ports along with HDMI, Ethernet, multi-card reader and a combined audio and microphone jack.
Mid-range and premium notebooks have turned their attention to the latest USB Type-C port, which works as a one-size-fits-all solution for power, connecting peripherals and display output.
Touchscreen or not
There are several laptop options now with touchscreens. Windows 10 is optimised for touchscreen usage and gives you the benefit of being able to navigate faster, scroll through photos, as well as read long documents or webpages easily. There are also various games available that can be played using multi-touch on one of these laptops.
However, touchscreen laptops are priced higher than non-touch laptops with same specifications and features. Only go for a touchscreen if you have the budget for it.
Even basic laptops now have 500GB hard drives, which is good enough for most basic to mid-level users. You can store documents, music as well as a certain number of movies. But if you’re into photography and want to store all your photos and videos on the laptop, you should go for at least 1 TB storage.
Most users eventually find 500 GB starting storage to be inadequate. This is inevitable, as data builds up and takes up increasingly more space. So it’s best to invest in a portable USB hard drive early on for storage expansion whenever the need arises.
Thinner and lighter
The core idea of buying a laptop is having a device that you can carry around with you. While older laptops weighed over 2.5 kg and had to be lugged around with a lot of effort, things have changed now. Laptops are much sleeker and the majority of them weigh less than 2.4 kg, even with a dedicated graphics card.
Almost all brands now have 13.3-inch or 14-inch laptop models that weigh less than 2kg and have a sleek design to cater to users who want maximum portability. But the lightweight notebook might come at a slight premium.
With operating system or without
The majority of laptops in the Rs 50,000 plus price segment come with preloaded Windows OS. However, below that range, you get a choice of getting a variant with the Window OS preloaded or one without. There is a significant price difference between the two. If you choose a variant without the preloaded OS, you can install a free Linux OS on the laptop and it will work well for most basic functions.
But if you are planning to purchase the Windows OS separately, then keep in mind that this will cost you more than getting the variant that comes with the Windows OS preloaded.
The majority of laptops available today come in the 15.6-inch screen size, which is ideal for most users. However, a larger screen also means that the laptop will be heavier. Laptops with a 12 or 13.3-inch screen are ideal for users who travel a lot, while a 14-inch screen offers a good balance of portability and screen estate.
If you want a laptop for the primary purpose of gaming or photo and video editing, then you can go for a 17.3-inch screen, which are perfect for these requirements but are relatively difficult to move around with.