A Beginner’s Guide to Buying a Laptop – Processor, RAM and Hard Disk Choices Explained

Buying a laptop computer to make your work life more productive can be great decision but having to decide on buying a reasonable laptop can be a nightmare to many, specially now a days when the laptop computing technology is advancing at a much faster pace than ever before. In this short guide we seek to highlight a few points to remember which have proven to be very helpful and handy to evaluate a laptop deal that best fits your needs.

Knowing What You Need

In order to decide what you need, you first need to list down the activities or tasks that you may want to accomplish using your computer, such as working on MS Office, checking emails, browsing the internet, networking with friends using social sites like Facebook or Twitter, online shopping, playing games, chatting with friends using messenger, working on advanced softwares like CAD, Photoshop or any other applications that might require a lot of system resources etc.

Basic Users

We think basic computing can be defined as the set of activities that you can perform from a standard windows installation with Microsoft Office installed on it and your usual messenger etc. Since these activities does not require your computer to be highly advanced so you may rely on basic processor types such as

For Basic Laptops (13 – 15.6 inch screens usually)

Intel Celeron

Intel Celeron Mobile

AMD Sempron

AMD Athlon

Intel Core 2 Duo and Solo ULV & CULV series

For Netbooks

Intel Atom

AMD NEO

Intel Core 2 Duo and Solo ULV & CULV series

How much RAM is needed: Anything from 1GB or upwards is good enough.

How much screen size is needed: Depending on your choice and the price you want to pay, if you are a frequent traveler than a netbook with a small screen of 10-13 inches is a good choice, whereas if you enjoy watching movies and think you can’t compromise on the screen size get a laptop with 14 inch or plus screen size.

How big should be the hard disk: Anything from 160GB or plus is good enough but again if you think you need a lot of space than you may want to get a laptop with more space or even getting an external hard disk can be an alternative to avoid paying for the bigger built in hard disk.

Mid Range Users

If you seek to use your laptop for doing a little more than just browsing the internet and checking emails such as playing 3D games, using image editing softwares or want to be able to run multiple applications at once for example you could be watching a movie while you are downloading music in the background and also have half a dozen browser windows active on your desktop. All such activities demand a fair chunk of system resources, so you would definitely require a computer which has a faster processor and a good RAM to support these functions.

For Standard Laptops and Premium light weight notebooks

AMD Turion

Intel Celeron Dual Core

Intel Core 2 Duo

Intel Core Duo

Intel Core i3

Intel Core i5

How much RAM is needed: Anything from 3GB or upwards is good enough. How much screen size is needed: Screen size is totally optional depending on your needs. How big should be the hard disk: Anything from 250GB or plus is good enough but if you are in to downloading games or movies often then you should seek a laptop with 320GB hard drive or alternatively get an external USB hard disk.

Advanced/Pro Users

If you happen to be like one of us, a ‘geek’ then first we would like to say ‘hey! its absolutely fine, you are not alone’ and we should pride ourselves by thinking we are far ahead of the many who are not PROs. Anyhow another bad news is ‘well the laptop that will suit your needs is not going to be a cheap one’.

For Advanced Laptops and Premium light weight notebooks

AMD Turion X2

Intel Celeron Cable Wire Pulling Tools Dual Core

Intel L Series Processors with 3MB+ L2 Cache

Intel P Series Processors with 3MB+ L2 Cache

Intel E Series Processors with 3MB+ L2 Cache

Intel Q Series Processors Apprentice Electrician License Test with 3MB+ L2 Cache

Intel T Series Processors with 3MB+ L2 Cache

Intel Quad Processors

Intel Core 2 Duo

Intel Pentium Dual Core

How much RAM is needed: Anything from 4GB or upwards is good enough.

How much screen size is needed: Screen size is totally optional depending on your needs.

How big should be the hard disk: Anything from 320GB or plus is good enough but if you like to cut down on the cost consider getting an external USB hard disk as 500GB plus capacity laptops are quite expensive.