If you’re in the market for a new laptop, the task of deciding isn’t easy.
You’re torn between Mac vs. Windows, functionality vs. portability, touchscreen or not.
There are so many, many factors to consider, not to mention your budget.
But it is possible to find exactly the right lightweight laptop for you, while still getting the best value for your money.
Here are some key considerations.
2-in-1 vs. traditional laptop
If you’re thinking of purchasing a PC, you have the option of a 2-in-1 laptop. This is a kind of hybrid device which allows you to use it in an array of different positions, such as in tablet mode or in the traditional clamshell mode.
If you’re sure you want a 2-in-1, there are still more options. You can choose a detachable model, in which the keyboard can separate completely from the screen. Or you can opt for a bendback model, with hinges which allow you to bend it back at a 360-degree angle.
Different operating systems provide different ways to interact with files and software. Basically, there are three choices. MacOS is used on Mac computers, and has a sleek, elegant interface. Windows excels at touch screen functionality. And Chrome OS is designed to run seamlessly on the web with Chromebook hardware.
There is a tremendous range in screen size, from 11.6 all the way up to 17 inches. If you want a laptop that you can easily carry around with you, a screen size around 12.5 to 13.3 inches is best. But if you need to work with graphics on a large display, you should go with something a bit larger.
If you’re only planning on using your laptop at a desk near an outlet, there’s no need to worry about battery life. But if you’re planning to use it in your lap, you’ll want at least seven hours of battery life, ideally more.
It’s a good idea to test out a keyboard beforehand so you’ll know for sure how comfortable it is for typing. Look for a keyboard without all kinds of extra keys that you don’t use, with ample space around the arrow keys.
The quality of your processor determines memory, speed, and the number of programs you can run simultaneously. In general, most laptops will feature either an Intel or an AMD processor. You can research different models of these to see what best meets your needs.
If it’s within your budget, look for a laptop with a solid state drive (SSD) as opposed to a traditional hard drive. This will yield a better speed in most cases.
You’ll want different kinds of ports depending on what you’ll use the laptop for. A USB-Type A can connect external drives or gaming devices. A USB-Type C is the most up-to-date kind of USB port; it is very fast and easy to adapt to other devices. Other options include the Thunderbolt, HDMI, or a media card slot
By keeping these considerations in mind, you’ll have no problem picking out the perfect lightweight laptop for your needs, whether for work or play.