If you’re going to spend a premium on a new laptop, it should come with something special that effects the way you use it. And these should be features you can comfortably justify paying more for.
The consequences of over-speccing your laptop with un-necessary add-ons go beyond just paying more than you should, and include diminished battery endurance.
Depending on the type of user you are (and your budget). Here’s a list of premium laptop features you don’t need in no particular order.
Laptop Features You Don’t Need
A touchscreen used to be a novelty you could only find on high-end laptops. Today, touchscreens are an optional feature you can find even on some budget designs. Here’s why it kicks-off our list of laptop features you don’t need.
Touch-screen laptops expand your navigational options, and make using your laptop more intuitive. This feature can be a double-edged sword, however. While this extra functionality is great for 2-in-1s. It’s not so good for clamshell laptops as it tends to zap away a good 1 to 3 hours of battery life.
As you shop for your new laptop, you’ll discover that there are quite a few that offer infrared or RealSense 3D cameras that work with the Microsoft Windows Hello feature to help you login securely.
While it is a nice-to-have feature that helps you channel your inner 007. It’s another one of those laptop features you don’t need because, in practice, it’s not much faster than simply typing in your password the good ol’ fashion way. And, according to research conducted at Bach Khoa Internetwork Security Centre, this feature still leaves your laptop fairly vulnerable to break-ins.
Finger Print Readers
Especially for business laptops, finger print readers are another of the latest high-tech, biometrically secure ways you can login into your laptop. Placing your finger or thumb on a sensor is easier than typing a password. Until you run into hardware and software issues.
You need a laptop with a solid-state drive. There’s absolutely no way around that fact. You’ll get a laptop that boots faster. Launching apps is also much faster. And since there are no mechanical parts moving parts. An SSD is much more durable than a hard disk drive.
But, the reason why it makes it on the list of laptop features you don’t need is because the gigabyte per dollar is more expensive. Especially if you want more than 256GB of space. And with the advent of cloud storage, external drives and streaming services. Buying more solid-state drive storage space isn’t always worth it.
Windows 10 Pro
Don’t pay the extra money for Windows 10 Pro, unless of course you’re buying a series of laptops for a business.
Windows 10 Pro is a high-end edition of Windows built with unique support for business needs. You get features, like:
- BitLocker which prevents anyone from accessing your systems or data should your device get stolen.
- Office files like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint automatically get stored on the cloud so you can share and work on documents in real time.
- Remote Desktop lets you log in to your PC or tablet so you can securely access your files, folders, and apps from anywhere there’s an internet connection.
Since most laptops already come pre-installed with Windows 10 Home. Windows 10 Professional-with its $50 upcharge-is a bit overkill for most users.
How do you like the list so far? While it is important to note the laptop features you can skip to save money. It’s just as important to consider the laptop features that will be worth it in the long run. For a list of hardware your new laptop absolutely should have so you can work efficiently, click here.
You can never have too much RAM. But unless you’re a gamer, or graphics professional. 8GB is usually enough. Configuring your laptop with more RAM will increase the cost of the laptop unnecessarily, and generally falls into the category of laptop features you don’t need.
When possible, you want to get a laptop with at least a 1920 x 1080-pixel resolution (Full HD). Not only do you get closer to 100% of the sRGB color gamut for brighter, more vibrant colors. You also eliminate having to scroll through so much of the screen when multitasking when you have more than one document or window open.
4K provides sharp images. But if the laptop you’re considering only has a display size of 15-inches or less, the difference may not be worth it when it comes to your viewing experience. Not only that, but more pixels require more electricity to push it. Which will mean a drain on your laptop’s overall battery performance; quickly accelerating it into the realm of laptop features you don’t need.
Intel Core i7 Processor
An Intel Core i7 processor generally has a much faster base clock speed to deal with repetitive tasks faster. For crunching large spreadsheets and playing AAA titles, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better CPU for the price.
But unless you’re doing these tasks often, a Core i5 processor laptop offers the sweet spot between price and performance. And an i5 CPU offers the same Turbo Boost and Hyper-Threading technology as an i7 to increase performance and multithreaded tasks.
Discrete Graphics Cards
Unless you plan on playing the latest AAA titles all the time. Or you do professional-grade video editing or 3D modeling. You can probably get away with just an integrated graphics card. Not only will the cost of the laptop be significantly less. But your laptop’s battery will last longer.
The most obvious reason to get a laptop with a backlit keyboard is so that you can continue to work, even when the lights go out. Fortunately, most consumer mainstream laptops come standard with backlit keyboards. You can even get them on some budget models. So, why is it on the list of laptop features you don’t need?
As useful as this feature can be, however, it doesn’t mean that you can’t type in the dark without backlighting (unless you’re a hunt-and-peck typist). But if you know how to type correctly, the F and J keys usually have tiny bumps on them to help your fingers find the home row keys. And, some business laptops charge extra for this feature.
Thanks for sticking around. Here’s a bonus laptop features you don’t need just for you because you stayed with us until the very end.
Ultraportables and ultra-thin laptops are sleek and sexy. And if you travel a lot, or do a lot of commuting. They are a dream to have.
But often times, you will pay a considerable amount of money for their lightweight chassis. This is partly due to the miniaturized technology that goes into them.
But that doesn’t relieve the fact that they can suffer from poor battery life and uncomfortable keyboards. And, some are so thin that there’s no room for the ports you need, which minimizes functionality. And that’s why they make the cut of laptop features you don’t need.
Regardless of the budget you have in mind for your laptop, it’s always wise to buy based on your needs no matter what new technology surfaces. Focus on those features that will give you a better computing experience from day to day.
Are there any more laptop features you don’t need that we forgot to mention? Let us know in the comment section below. We’d love to hear from you.