Laptop Write For Us – How much should it weigh? What kind of processor is ideal? How many USB-A connections are recommended? Questions that branch into others: Two in one or tablet? 8 or 16 GB of RAM? Choosing a laptop is not an easy task. And it would have to be an intuitive process with which the team that best suits our day-to-day should be reached.
Each person is a world, and manufacturers know it; you just have to look at the Microsoft Surface family . That is why the different series of products increasingly cover a greater typology of tastes. It is not just that we are looking for a type of screen, it is also important to find a color and even a cover that suits our tastes .
However, the unavoidable toll is to find that laptop that fits the needs of each one. And to disentangle the doubts and attend to the core, we stop at nine guidelines based on the central points that characterize any laptop.
1. Which processor is right for me?
We start from the classic point: how much power do you need? This is relatively easy to calculate. If in your day to day the team complies with what you demand, there is nothing to worry about. A platitude sentence but quite effective.
Do you edit video? You need a lot of RAM, a good monitor and a dedicated graphics card. Are you going to play video games and nothing else? Forget about a laptop and look for a competent tower with a next-generation graphics. Are you going to set up an accounting Excel, write emails and chat through an instant messaging tool? Think of an ultrabook or convertible with a membrane keyboard that speeds up each gesture as much as possible.
Do you need a multipurpose device with which to open 30 tabs in your browser and watch movies in HD at the end of the day? Bet on screen without frames , good aspect ratio and priority in autonomy and featherweight. You can also look for alternative solutions: convertibles—laptop by day, tablet by night, as some say—are a great solution, the advantages of both worlds. If you have an All-in-One in your workplace, it is always better to look for a highly mobile complement .
Let’s clarify: processors are classified into generations and each generation includes different iterations. Intel has a family that goes from i3 to i9, going through the most common, i5 and i7. Within these two, there are different boards oriented to portable systems, those that optimize energy expenditure and make power profitable —the U series, to be exact. In any case, you should always opt for a laptop of the latest generation possible . It will be the one with improvements in each watt spent.
2. How many gigs of RAM?
It is already known, on a day-to-day basis, RAM is a basic food of the computer. They are the carbohydrates of the diet. The more RAM the computer has and the faster each module is, the sooner it will respond to your requests, from opening a website to executing a PDF.
If the computer has a meager 4GB of RAM, it will barely be able to store loops of virtual information, it will be hard for you to swallow each bite, and these routines steal seconds. And, one by one, after a working day, you may have lost half an hour and your nerves. Our recommendation is exhaustive: there is no risk, it is advisable to purchase a system with 8 GB or more .
3. Screen, touch or traditional?
This is a question that arises if you come from using laptops with traditional screens. Before we address the right resolutions for each type of use, keep this in mind: hybrid displays greatly streamline workflows . Multi-touch panels —those that interpret several touches at the same time— with good resolution, 8 points or more , are ideal when buying.
It is not the same to drag the mouse arrow to where you want to click than to directly touch that icon with a finger. The same to enlarge an image, edit it, take a screenshot , write a freehand note on it… Screens like the PixelSenses of the Surfaces allow you to program a good handful of gestures to turn them into shortcuts, to which we must add the digital pen, included as standard on all Surfaces at no additional cost.
As for the resolution, this is a value to take into account. The higher the pixel density, the more defined we will see the images, the better the captures we will take, the less tiring the eyes will be, and we will be able to take full advantage of applications such as Netflix or Amazon Prime Video —compatible with 4k—.
The type of panel is also a determining factor: a TN, VA and an IPS have nothing to do with it, the latter being the most common LCDs due to their good value for money, reaching high performance in some cases. What is that high performance? That they are capable of reproducing a good RGB color profile , that they cover a large spectrum of the gamut.
Other values to take into account are the anti-glare capacity, if we work outdoors; the width of the frames —the less, the better the space is used—; and if it has an integrated webcam, something essential for video conferencing, face authentication through Windows Hello or the ability to record, take photos, and so on.
4. What is the required minimum/maximum autonomy?
How long should your computer’s battery last working on your usual tasks with the screen brightness at 50-60%? The usual thing is to bet on a full day.
Eight hours in which we went from minimal performance office tasks —editing a Word, reading an email, synchronizing data with a cloud server, leaving the video “10 hours of jungle sounds” in the background— to more demanding ones , such as playing the latest episodes of a series at full volume, letting the child install and play Fortnite for a while, or setting up and rendering one of those PowerPoints with 50 slides that you are going to present in front of an important client the next day.
Of course, many variables can be qualified here. If the computer has integrated graphics, it will consume less resources than if it has to supply energy to a dedicated card (although this second one will be able to execute more demanding tasks). The exact formula is the one that fits each specific need, although the key fluctuates between a good balance and a thrifty chipset.
5. Weight, the less the better?
The weight defines if our laptop will be a real laptop or a secondary computer that will go from home to work and little else. If it weighs more than 1.5kg —to which we must add the case and battery— reality sets in: it will bother carrying it, our shoulders will ache. If a computer boasts of calling itself an ultrabook, it must be consistent with what it promises.
Most of the weight comes from mechanical components, cooling materials and the battery, which adds up to 40% of the total . If instead of HDD we bet on a solid state unit, we gain in performance and we will subtract a few grams from the set.
And you can be sure that mobile technology has done wonders. Today we can have a team like the Surface Pro 6 at home . That is, up to 16GB of RAM, i7-8650U processor and 1TB of solid drive in just 770 grams. Unthinkable a couple of years ago.
6. What connectivity cannot be missing?
Nobody likes to buy adapters and fill the house with cables because of a laptop with few connections. You have to think about what connections we will use on a day-to-day basis, nothing ostentatious, but without sacrificing. If it is possible to forget about a computer with USB 2.0 connections, the better .
The minimum required connections are: a USB-C , either to charge the mobile or connect an external disk, headphone input —3.5mm minijack— and an additional output to connect a dock or a video cable.
Today, with 5G WiFi connections and high-performance chips, we can even do without the Ethernet connection. It is one of the keys to a portable system. One of the advantages of some convertibles and ultrabooks, such as the Microsoft Surface , lies in their ability to amplify connections: all of these computers are compatible with a dock, perfect for adding Mini DisplayPort, HDMI, more USB, more audio inputs and all while We take the opportunity to load the equipment.
7. OS installed or not licensed?
It seems silly, but it is appreciated that the first hour you are going to spend with a new computer is configuring it to your liking, not fighting with installing the operating system.
This is a resource to reduce the price of the product —later you will have to pay more when you buy a license—, since, although the freedom of not having an OS allows us to decide which one we prefer to install, in the end we will find ourselves with the same need: dedicate time to install and configure the operating system .
8. Can we forget about security?
Having an antivirus is something that many users do not even contemplate. Until misfortune comes and they run to the SAT clamoring for “pay me, I don’t care, but I don’t want to lose my data again.”
The advantage is at home: Windows Defender has a powerful built-in antivirus , on a par with many dedicated tools. A class A just one step below the class S in the table (Kaspersky and Bitdefender). The best thing is its price, of course. Protection against viruses, malware and spyware without paying a euro a month, cloud-based real-time protection, so your pattern version is updated daily
But the antivirus is not everything: some computers add a TPM chip , such as the Microsoft Surface , essential if our computer will end up becoming a work tool , since not only personal data or vacation photos are at stake , also the files with which we work daily in the company.
9. Am I a digital worker?
It’s hard not to have ever come across the concept of “digital transformation.” It is constantly talked about when referring to the banking or retail sector, for example, but it is also worth asking if we as users have carried it out. What is the use of buying the equipment with the most powerful hardware if we continue working like ten years ago?
The jump is possible thanks to the use of the Office 365 suite , integrated as standard with some of the Surface models . There is no hesitation that it is the perfect complement, because it allows us to work on our files from anywhere and changing devices. In addition, it greatly facilitates collaborative work, making it easier for the same document to be modified by several users at the same time. With programs like Teams (the Slack of Office) you can create work groups and share comments and Word, Excel, PPT or OneNote files. We can also enrich this tool with applications as widgets. Office 365 is also a good way to always have backup of the information, because as a file is being created it is saved in the Microsoft cloud. Transforming digitally is above all working collaboratively and in the cloud, something that puts in our Office 365 hand.
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