Tips for Choosing Your First Laptop’s Components
In the world of computing and technology, it can often feel like we’re expected to know a vast amount to understand what we are buying. Laptops are as advanced as desktops now, and not everyone understands the specifications that websites show. This guide will walk you through the terms used, so you can understand how to choose your laptop well.
- Have at Least 4 Cores (The Processor)
Put Simply: Your processor is like the PC’s motor. It keeps processes and tasks running and allocates cores to specific actions. If you want to watch a video while installing a program, or while listening to music, it is your processor and its cores that divide those tasks up and manage them.
The Specifications: Processor specifications will tell you the number of cores, the number of threads, and the speed of the processor.
- Cores are, as stated, the way a processor effectively multitasks.
- Threads are how cores even further break down tasks into easier components. The more threads and cores, the more stable your system should be under pressure.
- Processor speed is measured in Gigahertz (GHz) and is the rate at which the processor parses data.
- Have at Least 8 GB of RAM (Memory)
Put Simply: RAM (Random Access Memory) is the short-term memory of your system. Having at least 8GB means your system will hold recent data, so loading webpages, saving documents, opening files, and more are all faster when repeatedly done.
The Specifications: RAM specifications will tell you the amount of RAM in GB, and the type of ram in a DDR number.
- RAM amount in GB simply shows how much the PC can store in its short-term memory.
- DDR number will almost always be DDR4, the modern standard.
- Use an Online PC Builder
Now that you understand two of the biggest specifications for laptops, seeing those specifications in context is a good next step. Using a “Build Your PC” option, as Lenovo does for the ThinkPad L Series, means you can see all those parts in a list and choose which you would want. These systems are highly customizable, and there’s an entire series of them. Once you have the builder open you will see even more types.
- Don’t Overdo Your Storage
Put Simply: System storage is measured in GB, and you want enough to store all the programs, files, images, video, etc that you need or will create. However, if you know this is just for word-processing and some images, a 256GB SSD is plenty. You have the option for quadruple that (1 TB) but unless you are gaming, video-editing, or storing uncompressed music you are unlikely to ever need that much space.
The Specifications. Storage specifications will tell you how large the drive is (in GB) and the type of storage.
- HDD (Hard Disk Drive) storage is generally larger, but slower to access in processes
- SSD (Solid State Drive) storage is generally smaller but instantly accessible in processes