How to Choose a Laptop

There are a few laptop types that are useful to know before buying.

We can divide all laptops into two groups: for gaming and other laptops. For other laptops we can also divide them into a few subcategories.

Gaming laptops are all laptops that have some sort of graphics accelerator made by AMD (ATI) or Nvidia. They can have screens from 14 inches to 17 inches with some exceptions to a bigger or smaller side.

An advantage of these laptops is that they will run most of the games that the hardware allows.

The disadvantages are that they usually have a shorter battery life, are a bit more expensive and are usually heavier.

Let’s talk about the other laptops

Business laptops. This category has laptops with 14-inch screens because they are portable. A very good example would be a Toshiba Tecra or Portege. These laptops usually do not have a DVD drive but can have top-of-the-range laptop processors. Also, they have a long battery life. Today they are equipped with SSD or eMMC internal storage.


Laptops for office work. In this category fall all the laptop models that have Celerons. These types of processors are cheap and they are made for business machines. They are fine for office work, so you should really check your business needs and buy a laptop accordingly.

Multimedia laptops (for business and home). I will dedicate this category to Apple MacBooks entirely. As far as I can tell, all multimedia professionals are using exclusively Apple products and from my personal experience Apple has tools that will get your job done quicker.


Chromebooks. In this category fall all laptops with Chrome OS. There are Chromebooks with 13-inch, 14-inch and 15.6-inch screens. I would not suggest buying them for business needs because Windows programs will not run on them. Also, there is not that much software available for them. I do not know exactly who would benefit from buying and using Chromebooks; perhaps somebody who has security concerns and does not want any attack by viruses. In general Chrome OS is more secure as it is based on Linux. However, it can’t run Linux applications natively.


Cloudbooks. Today there are laptops with 14-inch screens, 32GB storage and 4GB memory. I am a bit skeptical about these laptops as you can’t store that much data on them. And even if you are storing data in the cloud, some, like installed programs, you can’t store in the cloud. In fact, the Windows 10 installation will take up most of the storage and what’s left will be around 10GB, which is very, very small. A Windows update could take another 4 or 5 GB while it is installing, so it is very risky to have such small storage.

I would suggest Cloudbooks only for entertainment and perhaps internet browsing.


11-inch laptops or netbooks. I think netbooks are fading away gradually. The biggest inconvenience with them is the very small screen. At 11 inches it is hard to see anything and you need to scroll often. The other concern is they are underpowered. First-generation netbooks were equipped with Intel Atom Processors and were supposed to run Windows 7 Basic. However, even this operating system is a heavy load on these little machines.

13-inch laptops. This is a screen size that is used by some netbooks, and Apple also uses this screen size. From my experience using Apple Air 13.3 and other 13-inch laptops I would say that the screen size is ok for web browsing and office work. To design something with Tinkercad or other software would be difficult in my opinion, though it is possible to connect it to an external monitor, so the screen size is not an issue if you buy this laptop for business.

The biggest advantages of these laptops is their small weight and great battery life. In fact, the Apple MacBook Air is almost too thin.

What about EMF? What about laptops for electromagnetic-field-sensitive people? The smaller laptops like those with 14-inch screens emit less EMF. I’ve read in forums that a Chromebook has very low EMF so I bought it myself. Yes, it is true and it gives me minimal symptoms, but the deal breaker is that it has no Windows OS and it is almost impossible to use Windows on it because of the lack of drivers.

Other 14-inch laptops like the Asus E403 or Acer Swift 1 are low EMF. Asus probably has even less EMF than Acer.

I have heard that the Toshiba Satellite C55 has very low EMF, but I purchased it with a low-end Celeron processor so couldn’t use it for my work.

Conclusion

Today there are a lot of laptop models to choose from. Apple is considered to be a choice for media-oriented users, whereas 13-inch and 14-inch laptops are great choices for a business. Each laptop has a specification sheet which is useful for comparing and making a purchasing choice.


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