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Laptops become your BFF and your ultimate connection to the digital world. Your laptop is your entertainment source, your work sidekick, your storehouse, and your main mode of communication.
Here’s a list of things to think about before you choose a laptop.
First things first: processor, RAM, and hard drive. Are you a college student looking for portability from class to class? Or are you a professional looking for a dynamo that combines portability and the power of a desktop? Here are your options.
Intel Atom, Intel Celeron, AMD C series
Low voltage single-core processors use only one core to process data, so they’re perfect for everyday tasks like checking emails, browsing online and looking at your documents. They also consume less power, which extends battery life.
Intel Pentium, Intel Core i3, Intel Core i5, AMD A series, AMD E series
Efficient dual-core processors use two cores to process data, letting you run more demanding media applications. They let you multitask more smoothly and quickly.
Intel Core i7, AMD A6 and A8 series
We’re talking serious power that can compete with desktop computers, quad-core processors let you play 3D games, perform video editing, handle HD content, and a whole lot more, all at once.
You want to make sure you’ve got more than enough RAM, or pre-installed system memory, for your laptop to run smoothly and quickly. It provides space for your computer to read and write data that your CPU can access to help applications run. You can easily upgrade your RAM and give your computer a performance boost by simply adding another stick of DDR, DDR2 or DDR3 RAM.
A laptop’s hard drive – measured in gigabytes (GB) or terabytes (TB) – is an internal disc that stores your data. The larger the hard drive, the more data you can store. If you work with multimedia files like music, video and images, you’re going to want to go with a larger hard drive. You can easily add more storage later with an external hard drive.
Hard disk drives (HDD) are the most common type of internal storage that use spinning magnetic discs, one on top of the other, to record digital information.
Solid state isn’t just fast, it’s also energy efficient. You can cut power consumption by over 25% depending on the application. Unlike traditional magnetic hard drives, SSDs don’t have any moving parts, so your data is much safer from physical damage. While you will pay more for a solid disk drive, it may be worth it to you for the safety, the speed and energy efficiency.
Straight up, reliable, and packed with everything you need to stay connected on the go, a standard laptop is available in sizes from 13” to 17”. Most models are loaded with dual-core processors and up to 4GB of RAM which make them great for multitasking. Play online games, burn data to discs, listen to music, and work, all at once.
The supermodels of the computing runway, ultrathin laptops are incredibly light, thin, and elegant but loaded with mind-bending dual-core performance. The key to their super-slimness is their lack of CD/DVD drives.
Usually equipped with a quad-core processor, dedicated graphics and up to 8GB of RAM, multimedia laptops are optimized for gamers, video editors, and awesome HD entertainment. They usually have a large HD display, huge hard drive, and built-in speakers with better-than-average audio.
Designed for traveling professionals, business laptops are loaded with everything you need from creating presentations to video chatting with your colleagues. A dual-core processor, sizeable hard drive, and business-friendly Windows 7 and Windows 8 Professional OS get you set up for success.
Hybrid laptops blend the portability and touch features of a tablet with the speed and power of a laptop. They feature lots of power, touchscreens you can swipe, tap and pinch, as well as the ability to turn them into traditional laptops by connecting to a keyboard dock. Many are loaded with touch-optimized Windows 8 OS.
Windows 8 is an elegant and powerful OS designed for slim and light devices with the power and versatility of PCs. It’s packed with tons of intuitive, touch-friendly features optimized for tablets and gives you all the power of a PC in the take-it-anywhere portability of a tablet. One of the coolest features of Win 8 is the live interactive tiles on the Start screen that keep you up-to-the-minute informed and connected. There are also tons of fast and fun apps to choose from in the Windows Store. Just tap on the Store icon on the Start screen to start exploring.
Whether you’re into gaming, movies, photography or just a great view on everything, screen resolution is the key to brilliant, crystal-clear graphics and crisp text. If you want the best resolution possible, pick a laptop with Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution.
If you’re an entertainment lover, make sure you get a laptop with a Blu-ray combo drive. You get amazingly realistic images on Blu-ray movies and if there’s an HDMI output, you can even use your laptop as a Blu-ray player for your TV.
They’re fairly standard for most laptops, but if you want better-than average audio, look for a model with optimized Harman Kardon or Logitech speakers.
The graphics hardware in your laptop comes in two distinct types. Integrated graphics hardware shares your memory with the rest of your computer. In other words, it has no RAM of its own. Dedicated graphics hardware has its own memory and can even have its own brain, called a GPU or graphics processing unit.
If you want more performance for 3D games or video editing, pick a laptop with dedicated graphics and you’ll get more frames per second and better response times for the smoothest and most fluid visuals. The main advantage to a laptop that has a dedicated graphics card is that the memory used is on the card itself. Since the card isn't using shared system RAM, it can do more.
Laptop bags come in all shapes and sizes with different styles, colours and materials to choose from. Future Shop carries a wide variety of laptop cases, bags, backpacks and sleeves. Next, you might want to take a look at a laptop skin, to protect the surface of your computer.
There’s an awesome variety of wireless Bluetooth speakers that can be used to connect wire-free to your laptop and play your favourite songs.
The laptop is designed to be portable and for use on the move so there is nothing more frustrating than a low battery warning and nowhere available to charge it up. A highly recommended accessory is a portable power device that you can use to recharge your laptop battery when you do not have access to a nearby power outlet.
Laptop decals and skins can be used to transform your laptop into a work of art. You can choose from the massive range of existing skins or you can create your own skin based on artwork or a photo.
While some laptops will come pre-loaded with software, you’ll want to make sure that you’re getting the programs you need to do what you want. Create a list of tasks you’re going to want to accomplish, and then match them up with the software that’s pre-loaded. If there are gaps, ask a Product Expert to recommend some software that will meet your needs.
Add a lock to keep your laptop safe while you’re away from home or work (or even at home or work, if you’re feeling thorough). You may also want to opt for lo-jack software that can help recover your laptop in the event of theft.
Computing on the go with a laptop can change the way you work; with easy access to your information at any time you can be more efficient, more effective - and with the right tools and software, you can have more fun.
When choosing a laptop that’s right for you, be sure to also check out our selection of refurbished models. These laptops have been inspected and rebuilt to perform as if they were brand new, but are offered at discounted prices making them an incredible value.
Take the time to analyze what you what you do, and match it up with the features that will help you accomplish those goals. Discuss your options with a Product Expert or drop into our Community Forums and join the latest discussion about laptops.
Start exploring Future Shop’s massive huge selection of laptops and laptop accessories in a range of styles, sizes and prices.
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