Hey guys, looking for a new laptop? Don’t know what all of those random numbers mean and you just want the best computer you can find? We all want those crazy looking laptop specifications explained thoroughly so when you do go to buy a laptop for a gift or something, you will know exactly what all the crazy numbers stand for!
Windows or Apple?
I will go through this build as if I was shopping and put this together in my head to give you guys an idea. Here is a question I see a lot and this has been a rivalry for quite some time. There are some pros and cons to each brand to be aware of before moving forward with your purchase. Most computers run Windows operating system. You will first need to decide whether you want a Windows or Apple computer.
- Easily customizable
- Compatible with most programs
- Upgraded easily
- Last around 3-5 years
- Great tech support because it is more common
- A lot of viruses because it is used more than Mac’s
- Windows operating system can crash randomly
- Constant updates
- Not as much synergy as Apple
Fix this shit later
- Not as many viruses
- Synergy with other Apple devices
- Last for 10 years on average
- Access to some apps Windows does not have
- Way overpriced
- A lot of Windows software does not work on Macs
- Not a lot of support
- Hard to upgrade
- Not as customizable
As you can see each type of operating system has its strengths and weaknesses. I personally prefer Windows on a Dell or HP any day over an Apple product because Windows is so much more refined and supportable. Not to mention cheap.
Why Am I Buying a Laptop?
What is going to be the purpose of this laptop? Your goal should be to find the specs that fit your requirements. You do not need top of the line equipment to write an essay. However, this is different if you are looking into gaming. You will need to identify what the purpose is for your computer and then look into the specs.
Mac’s are generally better for any type of photo-shopping or editing so do keep that in mind. It would also be smart to figure out what your budget is for this laptop as well.
Laptop Specifications Explained
Now that we have chosen an operating system and our purpose for this, we can look into the specs. Specs are pretty easy and self-explanatory once you get to know the basics. The biggest thing to remember is technology is always updating, so the top of the line specs can be outdated in a matter of months. My point is you can never “buy the best”, well you can but only for a few weeks at tops, so don’t try to buy the most expensive one because it has the latest specs.
Processor: Processor is the Central Processing Unit(CPU) of your computer. Some examples are 1.4 GHz, 3.5 GHz. The GHz stands for gigahertz, not super important. Basically the higher the number, the better. The simple explanation is 2 GHz is a good middle ground and is the safest bet. If you are gaming, I suggest 3.5GHz+.
There also is primarily i5 and i7. Like my processor is an i5-4690K 3.5GHz to 4.2GHz. To make this simple, the i7 is better because it is a later generation. i5 is just as good. The 4690k is pretty much the model and not super important. The k means the processor has been unlocked and can fluctuate from 3.5 to 4.2 and is not fixed. Without the k, it is fixed. Once again the higher the number, the better, but you only need around 2GHz for everyday menial tasks, maybe even less. So let’s go with 2.4GHz to be safe and give us some longevity.
Hard Drive Size: This is where you want to go big or go home. When you fill up a laptop hard drive, you cannot simply slap in another hard drive and be good to go(I have 3 hard drives on my desktop). With a laptop, you HAVE to plan ahead.
Let’s say a year down the road you have all of your families photos saved to your laptop and you go to save some more from the recent vacation. You get an error saying you are out of hard drive space and guess what..you gotta go buy an external hard drive and lug it around or transfer all of those pictures. The point is DO NOT go cheap here, you need a big hard drive size.
I am going to try to explain what the 1 TB or 300 GB means. The most common size of a hard drive is around 500 GB. Some programs may use a few gigabytes(GB) and eventually these begin to add up. There are 1000 GB in a Terabyte. So two terabytes = 2000 GB.
Kind of think of your hard drive as a house. Square feet = GB. Sure you can add on, but it is more expensive and sometimes difficult. You will want an optimal sized hard drive, so let’s go with 500GB.
Ram: Random access memory(RAM) is basically like a shopping cart at Walmart. While you are shopping(your computer is turned on) you have access to this cart and can store items in this cart. The cart does have a limit and once you leave the store(power off the machine), you cannot take the buggy.
RAM stores data only when the machine is on and only temporarily. You need this to run 20 web browsers while writing a Word document because each of those is ‘items’ like in the shopping cart analogy. You will need enough RAM to handle your shopping capabilities. They operate within the GB range as we discussed earlier and are found ranging from 4 GB to 16 GB on home computers.
The ideal amount of RAM you want to have is 8. You can get away with 4, but you will not be able to hold a lot of items(web browsers and programs running at once). I choose 8 GB.
Our Ideal Laptop
Now that we have figured out what items we want, it is time to purchase! This can be the hardest or easiest step for you, but one that you are now aware of. I have only touched over the most important specs of a laptop in my opinion and I am aware there are other specs I am leaving out. I just think these are the most vital. Let’s check out the PC I built and see the listings for it:
Reason for buying: College work
Operating System: Windows 10
Hard Drive: 500GB
These specs match closely with this computer. As I stated earlier, there are a lot more specs, but now that you are aware of the most important ones that are the biggest components on a computer to look for, you should be good.
Now Go Shop!
Now that the laptop specifications have been explained, you should be ready to go buy you a nice new laptop and be confident when you are choosing. Just remember to think about the Reason first because if you want a gaming computer but buy a semi-decent laptop(I can attest), you will not be upset when you realize you just went down dead end street. Make sure to also copy your data if you are moving from an old laptop to a new one. What specs confuse you guys the most? Comment below and we can discuss any problems you have in understanding specifications.