Shopping for a laptop or desktop computer can seem a little overwhelming

This list will give you a better understanding when coming to buy a new computer.

Check for the following features:

  • Portability: The size and weight of your laptop may be important if you plan to take it with you when you travel or work away from home. Remember, that a smaller, lighter weight laptop will typically have a smaller screen and in most cases, won’t have a cd – drive.
  • Memory: Your computer should have at least 4 gigabytes of RAM but preferably 8 gigabytes as this will allow you to run bigger or more programs at once.
  • Processor: Most processors today are multiple-core processors, such as the Intel i3, i5, and i7, the bottom line is, the higher the number i.e. I7, the more cores you will have and the faster your laptop or desktop computer will work.
  • Battery life: If you will use your laptop in settings without a power source, such as on a plane or in the doctor’s waiting room, look for a model with longer battery life, a 6-cell battery is the standard but you can get a 9-cell battery which will last longer between charging.
  • Keyboard: Make sure the keyboard feels comfortable to you. Some laptop keyboards may be as big as a standard keyboard, but others can feel cramped, especially if you have dexterity challenges.
  • Screen: Laptops come with screens that range from 9 inches to 17 or more. A 15-inch monitor is comfortable for most people, but if you do work with higher-end images or watch videos, consider a larger screen as larger screens may be easier on your eyes. Consider getting a touchscreen laptop to take advantage of all of Windows 10 touchscreen features.
  • CD/DVD Drive: Laptops might come with a CD or DVD drive or not. If a laptop is right for you in other ways but doesn’t have a CD/DVD drive, consider opting for an external drive.
  • Hard Drive:  A standard hard drive (HDD) is sensitive to knocks and shocks and is also slower than the later SSD drive, which has no moving parts so it is more durable and significantly faster at loading windows and other programs.
  • Wireless capability: To connect to some wireless devices and networks, you need wireless capability, this is standard in most modern computers.
  • Included software: Some laptops come with utility programs such as antivirus software or productivity software such as Microsoft Office. Be aware that some of this software offer only short-term trial versions and you will need to pay to buy the full version upgrade.
  • Manufacturer support: Check the warranty and technical support available. Also check for helpful documentation on the manufacturer’s website, some companies can offer extended warrantee up to 3 years but this is normally only available when you first purchase the computer.
  • Graphics and sound cards: If you want to use multimedia or game software, ask for more sophisticated sound and video features such as a discrete graphics card or discrete sound card as these normally have their own built in memory instead of using the system memory
  • A webcam: If you will be calling your friends or grandchildren over a service such as Skype, it’s useful to have a built-in webcam to transmit video images while talking. Most laptops today include a webcam located just above the laptop screen.

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