Choosing the right laptop can present a daunting task for the technologically unsavvy. Between confusing tech jargon and the wide variety of models, it may feel like a degree in computer science is one of
Choosing the right laptop can present a daunting task for the technologically unsavvy. Between confusing tech jargon and the wide variety of models, it may feel like a degree in computer science is one of many PC-shopping prerequisites. Despite the intimidation factor of electronic sites, pinpointing your PC priorities is an essential step in purchasing a new computer that’s right for you.
Start your shopping journey by asking a few basic questions: Will you use your PC for work? Gaming? Music production? Video editing? Do you just need it for basic, everyday use? Narrowing down your needs makes it much easier to choose the right laptop. From there, you can begin searching for the best models for you.
Any physical impairments that will affect your ability to operate a PC
Computer accessibility has quickly become a priority for PC manufacturers around the world. Internet access is a necessity for every individual worldwide. With this in mind, access to technology has evolved from a want to a need. Luckily, the market for assistive computer technologies has rapidly grown, allowing individuals with vision, motor, hearing, cognitive, and speech impairments to use almost any PC easily.
From software like optical character recognition and screen readers to physical accessories like alternative keyboards and touch screens, there’s a wide variety of assistive computer tools. Some manufacturers produce entire PCs specifically geared towards individuals with disabilities, like The Wow Computer. Regardless of your impairment, using a computer no longer has to be a struggle with the substantial selection of assistive computer technologies to choose from.
Computer operating systems
To guide your PC search, begin by deciding which operating system would be most beneficial for you. Some software, like Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro, are MacOS-exclusive software, meaning you would likely need to purchase Apple hardware like a MacBook or iMac. However, if you rely heavily on Microsoft applications or enjoy gaming, a PC that runs a Windows operating system would be a better choice. Chrome OS is an excellent option for those looking for a more budget-friendly, portable laptop, and you can run Linux on just about any piece of hardware for those who prioritize productivity and convenience.
After you’ve determined which operating system you have a preference for, it’s essential to decide how much processing power your PC should have for your needs. If you enjoy gaming, video editing, or compiling software, you’d likely need a computer with a more powerful processor like the Intel i7 or i9. It’s important to note that higher processing power often means a shorter battery life, so your charger would be a necessary accessory to bring along if you work on the go. However, for less demanding tasks like checking your email and running basic programs, your average processor like the Intel i5 would work just fine.
Most PCs include an integrated graphics card that manufacturers bundle into the motherboard with a processor. Integrated graphics work well for the average PC user who wants to stream HD video or play casual games. However, it’s vital to search for a computer with a separate and much more powerful graphics card if you plan to use your PC for video editing or gaming.
On any computer, data is stored in the hard drive. If you’re on a budget, cheaper laptops may utilize a spinning drive, but today’s more common choice is a solid-state drive (SSD). Generally, SSDs are much faster than a spinning drive due to their NVMe connection, which can move data in and out of the hard drive very quickly. The average PC user can get by with a storage space of 256 gigabytes, especially if you’re using the cloud to store some of your data.
As PCs evolve and become more efficient, they often lose ports you may be used to having. Before purchasing your PC, check to ensure your computer includes the ports you regularly use. Many recent laptop models will only include one or two essential ports, making it necessary to purchase an external dongle to use HDMI and USB-A plug-ins. If you’re a photographer or videographer, try to find a PC that includes an SD or MicroSD card reader so you can import your images and video easily.
The bottom line
Finding the suitable PC for your digital lifestyle can be complicated, but doing your research can make the process easier. The experts at your local consumer electronics retailer are always happy to help by answering questions. Scrolling through online forums for electronics enthusiasts can also help you make your decision. Although deciphering tech terminology and understanding the components that make up your PC can be challenging, there are plenty of resources a few clicks away.