Understanding Laptop Terminology

Understanding Laptop Terms to Know What to Buy

When you walk into a computer store you can find yourselves bamboozled by the techno-speak and computer jargon, making the entire process of buying a new laptop ever so foggy. We can’t come with you and explain what is being referred to but we can give you a list of the basic laptop parts, what they mean, and how it will affect your buying process.

5 Laptop Terms You Need To Understand Before You Buy.

The Battery: The battery itself is as you would expect, but the question here is how long will that battery last for? If you are needing a laptop that you can take out and about with you then a longer battery life will be important to you. If you are only using your laptop whilst watching the tele, you’ll probably be close enough to a socket for battery life not to matter too much.

The Brain: It is highly unlikely that someone trying to sell you a laptop will refer to its brain, but it does have one – sort of. In computer terminology we are talking about the processor, also known as the CPU, and they come in many different varieties. Processor speed is measured in gigahertz or GHZ and as you would expect, the larger the number of GHZ the faster the computer. However, you may also get terms thrown at you like Core Duo, Core 2 Duo, i3, i5, and i7. The differences all refer to speed, performance and price. The starting point for choosing which brain, aka processor, you need for your laptop is what you need to use it for. As a basic rule of thumb, if you are just sending emails to your nearest and dearest you’ll be fine with an i3. An i5 is suitable for light business use, and your i7 is for more intense business use and for those of you wanting to play games.

The Memory: Chances are you’ll hear the word RAM which is what your computer uses to store information while you are using the computer. Generally these are set in a pre-built system and something you don’t have to worry about too much. As above, what is important is what you’ll need your laptop to do; a lower end processor is likely to also have less memory. For example, if you use Photoshop a lot or need to access film editing software, you might need more RAM to make your computer run smoothly. Our personal recommendation is that you should have a machine with a minimum of 8GB. (We should add a little note here to mention that the RAM is the temporary memory.)

The Storage System: This will be referred to as the Hard Drive and they are rated by size and speed. The hard drive is where you will store all your files whether it be music, films or word documents. To give you some idea of sizes here let’s say that the new laptop you are looking at has a 7200 RPM SATA 100GB drive; this translates to being able to hold approximately 28,560 digital photos or up to 25,000 songs (MP3). Therefore, once again, the size and speed of the hard drive that you need will be dependent upon how much information your laptop will need to hold.

The Size: Have you been offered the choice of a 13-inch laptop? The “inches” refer to the laptop’s screen size and the measurements are taken diagonally. In addition, you need to consider the weight of the machine. A light weight, small screen laptop may look fancy but will you be comfortable using something so tiny? A larger screen and a heavier, more robust chassis will suit you if you’re not planning on carrying your laptop out and about with you on a regular basis.

We get a lot of queries asking us what is the best laptop to buy. It would be great if we could give an off-the-shelf, standard reply but we can’t. The best laptop for you might not be the best laptop for your neighbour, so our starting point is always to find out what you will want your laptop to be capable of doing for you. Once we have this information we can then source the best laptop to suit your own personal needs.

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