Things to look for when buying a laptop

Font Size

The laptop is one of the most significant and essential tools of today’s modern world. Just like the desktop with various useful functions, and a tablet that offers supreme portability, the laptop brings the best of both worlds, helping individuals perform their day-to-day tasks efficiently wherever and whenever they want.

Nowadays, choosing the right laptop is more challenging than ever; there’s a wide variety of brands in the market with multiple product lines, sizes, specifications, features, and pricing schemes — making it an exciting process.

According to Integrated Computer Systems, Inc. (ICS), one of the leading information technology solutions providers in the Philippines, there are several factors to consider when looking for the right laptop, and it all depends on the requirements of the end-user.

First, consider why you’re buying a laptop. What are you buying it for? Is it to create documents, presentations, and requirements for school? Do simple business tasks in the office? Or do you plan on running heavy applications, watching high-definition movies, or playing video games?

While there are specific laptops in the market that can meet these requirements, factors like a laptop’s size and weight shouldn’t be overlooked.

“Based on engagements with various customers, we find that their main considerations in selecting a laptop are, first and foremost, the device’s size and weight. Laptops are meant to be mobile, and mobility is optimized by these qualities,” ICS said in an e-mail to BusinessWorld.

Choosing the right laptop size also depends on how the user will use the computer. According to size, there are four main types of laptops — netbook, standard, hybrid laptop and ultrabook.

The netbook is the smallest laptop available. It best suits users who travel often. Its main functionality is to run a Web browser and to connect to the Internet while still being able to process documents.

The standard laptop is suitable for a wide range of situations and is available in various configurations.

Hybrid laptops, on the other hand, are those with touch screens and detachable keyboards.

Finally, the ultrabook is the largest laptop and is usually the most powerful.

According to ICS, laptop size choice is greatly dependent on the purpose or usage. For example, an on-the-go professional would do better with a smaller and lighter laptop while those who constantly use heavy applications and software, like those in finance or graphic design, would benefit from units with bigger screens.

Aside from the size and weight, ICS mentioned that special features like design and security and the overall performance of the laptop should also be considered.

Moreover, inspecting the specifications of each laptop is a must. Every laptop in the market is different — even two models that cost the same may have a huge difference.

Based on customer feedback and run rate orders recorded by ICS, some of the most sought-after laptops are those with the capability of working for extended periods of time, and durability amid rigorous environmental conditions.

Ease of component and software upgrade should also be considered. ICS explained that buying a “good” laptop is useless if the laptop does not grow with the user and his or her needs.

Furthermore, ICS said: “In this age of hyperconnectivity, the value of security cannot be emphasized enough. We need to ensure our data is safe against cybertheft, hacks, and malware.”

For consumers thinking of buying a used or refurbished laptop, according to ICS, “We always recommend our customers to refresh every three to five years in order for them to continue being effective and efficient at work when they replace with units of higher or better technology.”

“Though we are not averse to customers purchasing refurbished units, they should be open to certain risks involved when doing so. This would mean limited warranty and actual machine condition due to wear and tear.”

When asked what laptop trends and designs may possibly take place in the coming years, ICS said: “We may look forward to 3D technology and maybe even virtual or mixed reality as a feature component in a laptop. We already have improved biometrics, take Windows Hello as an example. We have fingerprint and iris readers, faster charging, lighter in weight, faster and virtual laser keyboards, and improved wireless capabilities — such as better wireless docking connections.”