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Five requirements for your laptop

iStock_000018042731SmallestWe receive a lot of calls from people experiencing low-performance from their laptops. The questions most asked are “Why is it running slow?” and “How do I know what laptop to buy?” In this article, I will discuss five important things for the performance of a laptop.

1. Portability- Although a nice display can range from 14” to 17.3”, a question you have to ask yourself is: How will the size of my laptop’s display benefit me? A bigger display is always nice, and you’ll have an easier time looking at the screen from a distance; however if portability is important to you, then the balance is well set in the 15.6” range. A laptop of that size gives just enough display to have everything you need at a nice resolution without losing the HD ability.

2. Anti-Glare or Non Reflective Displays – Most laptops recently released come with Anti-Glare or Non Reflective coatings on the glass; this is very convenient if you use your laptop outside your office. Your current laptop may not have this. The best way to tell is self-testing; if inside light reflects off the screen, you don’t have it.

3. Hard Drives –The next important component is the Hard Drive or HDD. This is the device that stores your files and programs. People often don’t notice, but Hard Drives have set read speeds. Most laptop drives come with 5400rpm (revolutions per minute), but you may be able to purchase a more powerful 7200rpm HDD. Although the difference may only be a few seconds, while transferring files it translates to maybe a minute or two. The amazing thing about choosing a hard drive is that you can choose a 5400rpm hard drive now and worry about upgrading it later. Laptop hard drives are very easily interchangeable.

4. RAM – This brings us to RAM (Random Access Memory). This is basically the main memory available to run programs, not to save them. Computers depend on RAM to run both applications and processes. Depending on how sophisticated the applications are or the number of processes being run at the same time, the more RAM you will need. So what is sufficient RAM? Well that depends on you, if you tend to be a huge multi-tasking person, my recommendation of RAM would be 6GB or more. If you’re more of a task-focused kind of person, 4GB would be the minimum. However, if you do not want to spend the money now, you don’t have to. RAMs are just as easily upgradable as HDDs.

5. Processors – The last and most important component is the processor. Processors do exactly as the name implies, they process data and commands you execute. The faster the processor, the faster the computer reacts – so long as the other components can keep up. Processors clock speeds (e.g. 2.4ghz) and cache are important when looking for a good laptop. My most important piece of advice is to get the strongest processor you can because you will have a hard time replacing a processor. By following this most important tip you will not waste money, but invest it in a longer lasting laptop. Unless you drop it, then it’s on you. 🙂 *Always look for warranty options.*

To check the system specifications of a current laptop, go to the ‘Start’ menu and click ‘Run’ (if no option with Run is available, type ‘run’ in the search box and the Run program will appear; click on it.) in the Run box, type ‘DXDIAG’. A window will appear; click “NO,” and you will receive all of your specifications.


Contributions to this article were made by Harry Albert, Tech Helpline Technical Analyst.

About Tech Helpline The Tech Helpline goal is to provide superior technology support services to all. We have been in operation for ten years, and our talented, US-based analysts share a passion for technology and are here to help you with your technology questions.