Easy steps to the right Notebook

Picking the right Notebooks can seem very overwhelming with all the options out there. There are a few things to consider when purchasing a new notebook. Size, Use of Notebooks, features, budget, and Specs are some of the main ones that come to mind.

Specifications

Don’t get overwhelmed but there is a lot to cover here. The operating system, Processor, RAM, weight, and touchscreen are just some of the items to consider when searching for a new Notebooks. Let’s run through them one at a time.

Size
I suggest this is the place to start when thinking about purchasing a new notebook. Size can mean many things from Screen Size to the actual overall weight of the notebooks. The first question to ask yourself in regards to size is “How much will I be traveling will I be doing with this notebooks?”. With screen sizes from 10 inch to 17 inches, there can be a lot to choose from. The screen size can impact the overall system size and weight. I personally find a 13-inch – 14-inch screen to be perfect for the user on the go. Now overall size and weight are the next to think about. If you commute with your notebooks often I would suggest an Ultrabook so you don’t have to carry around a larger notebook but one thing to keep in mind is most Ultrabook’s do not come with a CD/DVD drive.

Weight
Typically, standard notebooks weigh roughly 4.5 to 7 pounds where Ultrabook’s normally are in the 2 to 3.5 LBS range. Typically, a lighter notebook will have a higher price than one of similar specifications. If you travel or fly often you may want a notebook that is under 3 LBS.

Operating System
Windows 10 is now the most common operating system available when searching for a new notebook unless you are interested in a MacBook in which you are looking at macOS. For home use and most business use, Windows 10 will work fine. You should first contact any vendors of the software programs you will be used to determine their compatibility with Windows 10. If you plan on using touchscreen you should consider Windows 10 for its greater flexibility with a touchscreen.

From now until January 14, 2020, Windows Server 2008 and Windows 7 users that require support will be charged a premium from Microsoft for issues and support tickets. Once Extended Support ends, Microsoft will no longer support any issues or tickets for Windows Server 2008 or Windows 7. For more information, please read on.

CPU / Processor
In regards to processors, I will discuss the 3 most common processor available today (i3, i5, & i7). To make it easy to understand and to the point, we’ll start from the bottom and work our way up. The i3 would be considered entry-level, i5 is mid-range and the i7 is performance. Knowing exactly what you plan on doing with your new notebook will help determine exactly which processor would be best for you. We suggest a minimum of i5 processor for all notebooks. If the notebook does not list one of these options (i3, i5 or i7) then it may either not be an Intel chip or it may be an Atom processor. I would suggest staying away from these models.

Memory / Ram
Next, we will move onto RAM. I could get overly complicated here but I would suggest a minimum of 8GB of Ram which is sufficient for most everyday tasks. The good thing here is most notebooks (not all) have the ability to upgrade the Ram if needed at a later time. Once again RAM will entirely depend on exactly what you plan on using your notebook for. The rule of thumb is more ram will produce faster results.

Convertible / Tablet
Today’s notebooks have many cool features. One optional feature is the ability to turn from a notebook into a tablet. This feature can offer some impressive benefits for presentation or reading. However, this feature can sometimes be “cooler” than practical. In surveying our clients who have used or purchased convertible tablets they state that they rarely use the tablet feature.

SATA or SSD
You may see the notes on a notebook for either SATA or SSD drive. SATA drives are the old tried and true method of data storage. They consist of platters that rotate around as data is written or read from them. In general, SATA drives are a cheaper and slower option. Most notebooks (especially lower cost) have SATA drives. SSD drives are more like a memory than a hard drive. Think of the memory card that you may use for your phone or camera. These are smaller, slower and cheaper versions of SSD. Data is stored on memory chips instead of spinning platters. SSD drives have a couple of benefits over SATA. The first benefit is Speed, SSD can retrieve data at a much faster rate. The second benefit which is not often spoken about is reliability. Since an SSD Drive has no moving parts it is less likely to be damaged while moving or used.

Touchscreen
Last but not least Touchscreen capability. Touchscreens have become very popular and helpful with many users but not everyone has adapted to them yet. Do you need a Touchscreen? I am not sure if you do but I think it is a great feature to have if it’s within your budget. The best part is this option can be turned on and off on most touchscreen notebooks. Once you start using touchscreen you may be surprised how easy it is to become familiar and comfortable with it. I find myself barely using a mouse or touchpad when I have a touchscreen.

As always we are here to help with any questions you may have in selection or purchasing notebooks or any other computer related device.

Shaun Burgess
Braver Technology Solutions LLC