Laptop Buying Guide - Essential Tips - Part II


Ram memory

Expect enough from the start because not having enough can slow down the computer and it is often impossible to add. 4 GB may be enough for office use, but with 8 GB of ram, you're quiet.

Good connectivity

All computers offer an HDMI jack for transmitting image and sound, and USB jacks. Make sure there are at least three, including a USB 3.0 port, faster than USB 2.0, and as far as possible a USB Type-C (the latest version). An Ethernet port is a plus (in this case, prefer gigabit Ethernet, faster than 10/100) and an SD card reader can be useful, especially if you intend to transfer to the computer the pictures taken with your camera . For wireless, opt for Wi-Fi ac (faster than Wi-Fi n). As for the Bluetooth connection, it will allow you to stream music to a Bluetooth speaker , for example.

Comfort: on the finger and the eye

Several elements play on the comfort of use. First, consider the screen, Same with size. A 15-inch diagonal is a good compromise, but a 13-inch computer is more easily transportable. Whenever possible, opt for a full hd display and make sure the maximum brightness is sufficient. Otherwise, you may be bothered by reflections when used outdoors or in a bright room. Also check the vertical and horizontal viewing angle (the wider it is the better). A touch screen can be handy, even if it will not be as responsive as a tablet .

Make sure the keyboard and touchpad are ergonomic and that the autonomy is sufficient (for this, refer to our laptops because the differences can be important between the models). This criterion is all the more important as it is often impossible to replace the battery yourself. Finally, if it does not enhance the security of the computer, a fingerprint sensor simplifies the unlocking of the session.

Preinstalled software

Most computers come with the trial version of the Microsoft office 365 office suite, which can be used for up to 30 days. Beyond that, you have to pay the license. In November 2017, it was billed € 69 / year or € 7 / month for 1 post or € 99 / year or € 10 / month for 5 posts. Some computers also include older versions of complete software. The presence of video editing software such as cyber link, for example, may be useful. A program to play videos is a plus even if it can be downloaded for free (vlc or other).

Ultraportable, portable, transportable It is not because it belongs to the family of laptops that a computer is intended to be constantly moved. Proof that it is no longer reserved for business travelers, for home use, laptop sales are now higher than sales of desktop pcs . Some users choose it because it is less cumbersome. A PC with a large screen offers optimal comfort, but the weight is mechanically felt: a computer with 20-inch screen reaches 7 kg! This is why, for large models, we speak of "transportable". At the other end of the scale, ultra portables are designed to be both powerful and light (less than 2 kg), but they are very expensive, whose keyboard is detached to turn into a touch pad, are more numerous.

If it is always easy to add memory, and often easy to change the hard drive, only some laptops will change the processor (it is necessary to check the socket with CPU-Z ) and only the (rare) laptops equipped with graphics card connected by special connector to the motherboard (MXM connector) will be able to see their graphic card replaced.

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