Compared to just two years ago, the laptop market is now filled with far more options. There are now tablet PCs in almost every form factor conceivable–convertible, slate, slide, flip… and the list goes on. More interestingly, there are now lesser trade-offs you need to make. Previously, you had to choose between performance and mobility and the two were rather mutually exclusive. Today, that is no longer the case. With the myriad of options out there, it may be difficult for a prospective buyer to know what he really wants.
This hub aims to guide the prospective buyer to a suitable product, and at the same time offer tips as to what to get and what to avoid.Step 1: Evaluating your needs When purchasing my laptop for college, I thought I would spend hours playing graphically-intensive games every day and battery life wouldn’t be much of a concern since I was living on campus anyway. Three semesters later, I find myself hardly gaming and that power outlets are not as commonplace as I thought.
The massive 2.3kg weight of my laptop is getting more unbearable by the day, too. On hindsight, I should have bought an Ultrabook instead. Therefore, it is important to be realistic when evaluating your needs. There’s no point getting everything but the kitchen sink only to realise that you don’t use most of them at all. Here are a few questions you may want to ask yourself: Do you intend to use it more for content consumption instead of content creation?
If so, a tablet PC, such as the Surface Pro or Surface RT, or even ‘mainstream’ tablets like the Apple iPad and the Google Nexus may suffice. Will you be bringing the laptop with you everywhere you go? If that is the case, weight and battery life would be the determining factor. Depending on your usage patterns, you may opt for a slate-style tablet PC (which you can always add a detachable keyboard to), an Ultrabook, or a contemporary netbook. Netbooks don’t really exist these days per se, but there are bargain basement options that are usually small and light that could serve as an adequate replacement.
Is gaming essential to your needs? If that is so, consider either a balanced laptop or a desktop replacement. There are several ‘balanced’ options out there today, which come equipped with at least a Nvidia GeForce GT840M or an AMD Radeon R7 M265. For decent gaming on the latest games, I believe these two graphic cards are the bare minimum nowadays. If weight and mobility is not an issue, then by all means go for a full-fledged desktop replacement such as a Dell Alienware.
Do you do lots of Excel spreadsheets or content creation on the move?
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