Buyer's Guide - Laptops
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There are a wide variety of sizes, features and prices, which makes choosing the right laptop a challenge. To make the decision easier, you may want to first figure out what your specific needs are and then choose the laptop that best fits those needs. To make the right call, just follow these tips.
1. What are you going to do with it?
2. Choose the right size
Start by asking yourself just how portable you want your laptop to be. Laptops are usually categorized by their display sizes.
3. Know Your Specs
Again, what you need really depends on what you are going to do with your laptop. More intensive tasks such as 3D gaming and HD-video editing require more expensive components.
4. Don't Skimp on Battery Life
If you're buying a 15-inch notebook, look for at least 4 hours of battery life. If you plan to be fairly mobile with your laptop, you should shop for laptops that offer more than 6 hours of battery life. Keep in mind, your actual battery life may vary from the manufacturer spec depending on your screen brightness and what tasks you perform (video eats more juice than Web surfing). Keep in mind that some laptops (such as the MacBook Air) feature sealed batteries that you can't easily upgrade yourself.
5. Check That Keyboard and Touchpad
Be sure that your laptop has satisfying ergonomics to best suit your needs. Ask yourself a few questions to test this important quality: Does the keyboard have solid tactile feedback and enough space between the keys? Is the touchpad smooth to operate, or is it jumpy? Do the mouse buttons have a satisfying click, or do they feel mushy? How well do multi-touch gestures work? Can you zoom in and out with ease, and select text using the touchpad without the cursor skipping around?
6. 2-in-1 (Hybrid) or Traditional Laptop?
Since the launch of Windows 8, we've seen a number of hybrid laptop designs that double as tablets. These machines typically have a screen that bends back 360 degrees to turn into a slate, tablets that pop off of their keyboards, and laptops with slide-out keyboards. In most cases, these devices don't provide a slate experience that rivals dedicated tablets or a laptop experience that competes with clamshell-only devices, but these devices do offer the option to be flexible.
7. Mac, Chrome OS or Windows? Which Operating System?
This is not an easy question to answer, especially if you've never considered making the switch from Windows to Mac or if you are new to the Chrome OS. But below is a quick overview of each platform.
See this article for more info on Warranties.