If you haven’t upgraded your laptop in 3-5 years. You’ll be happy to discover features that will give you more than just a slightly faster system. Thanks to advances in technology. Now you can get increased convenience and usability on a laptop that’s well within your budget.
In no particular order. Here are 11 laptop features you need.
Laptop Features You Need
Solid State Drive
An SSD is a laptop features you need. It’s like a giant USB Memory Stick. There are no moving parts like on a mechanical Hard Disk Drive. Rather, information is stored on microchips. This difference adds to an SSD’s much faster speed, longer battery life, and durability. Source: storagereveiew.com
Compared to a traditional hard disk drive. You get less storage space per dollar. But consider this, while you’re sitting there, wasting time, and losing your train of thought waiting for technology from the 1950’s to retrieve important files. A laptop with an SSD can actually keep up with your workflow.
LED Backlit Display
All laptop screens are liquid crystal display. They require a separate source of illumination to make images visible since LCDs have no light of their own. This is called Backlighting.
Before 2007, many laptops used Cold Cathode Fluorescent Light (CCFL) to light up the screen. LEDs are laptop features you need because they are like little light bulbs that light up to make your display brighter while using less power.
What ports should your new laptop absolutely come with?
How about a USB Type-C port, also referred to as USB 3.1? This emerging standard transfer information much faster than even USB 3.0, which was released in 2008.
Two real advantages of the Type-C connector are that since its rated at up to 100W, it can be used to charge your smartphone and other devices that require a separate power supply. It’s also backward compatible with USB 2.0 and 3.0. Source, which makes it one of the laptop features you need: androidauthority.com
Many laptop vendors market laptops with only a 1366 x 768 resolution displays as “high definition”. But should you settle for it?
The president of DisplayMate says you need a panel with at least 172 pixels per inch (PPI) to make out an image on a display 20 inches (51cm) away from you; which is the typical laptop viewing distance.
A 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) or 3840 x 2160 (4K) panel are laptop features you need because they offer optimal image quality since they are closer to 100% of the sRGB color gamut. And you eliminate having to scroll so much through documents when multitasking with more than one tab open.
New Gen Intel Processors
A newer laptop will be outfitted with the latest processor. Intel is hands-down the number one best manufacturer of CPUs. That’s why you’ll find their chips in almost any laptop you consider.
Every few years, Intel upgrades its processors with improvements on power and efficiency. Intel’s Kaby Lake generation, for instance, is more than ‘just an incremental improvement’ to Skylake. You get:
- native support of USB 3.1
- performance advantage for SSD storage
- and a smaller manufacturing process, which translates to a faster CPU.
NVIDIA’s Pascal Graphics Cards
When it comes to how well your laptop can display graphics for gaming or any graphically intense work, NVIDIA is hands down one of those laptop features you need.
If you’re serious about graphics, the company’s new Pascal architecture is the most advanced in the world. And the mobile versions of the new 10-series GTX 1060, 1070, and 1080 can perform at the same level as their desktop counterparts. Source: techradar.com
8GB of RAM
Why is 8GB of RAM considered the ‘sweet spot’ for your laptop, and one of the laptop features you need?
Random Access Memory (RAM) refers to your laptop’s Memory capacity, and shouldn’t be confused with the long-term storage offered by an SSD, or mechanical hard drive.
Think of RAM like the surface of a desk. The more surface area you have, the more papers you can spread out and read at once. You can of course accomplish this with a much smaller area. But it will slow your system down. Source: digitaltrends.com
Great job learning about all the components your laptop should come with so far. Just for you, here are a list of features you can skip to save money on your new laptop.
802.11ac Wi-Fi Standard
The letters that follow 802.11 signify the generation of the Wi-Fi, and the maximum speed at which you can transmit and receive data.
802.11ac is the newest Wi-Fi standard to replace the 802.11n. It delivers a 1.3Gbits per second (162.5 MB/s) maximum throughput, which is more than double the previous standard.
Another reason why it makes the list of laptop features you need is because it has the advantage operating on the less crowded 5GHz spectrum. This means you’ll be getting less interference from other appliances around your house, like your microwave. Source: howtogeek.com
According to accountingweb.com, a lengthy battery life is a feature ranked high in many laptop surveys and evaluations. That’s why it makes it on this list of laptop features you need. And the reason is obvious.
If you travel or commute often, you know that it’s not always convenient to find a power outlet to recharge your laptop. A system that can hold a charge for 8-hours are longer will mean that you are able to stay productive longer.
Unfortunately, most laptop manufacturers and vendors over-exaggerate the length of time a laptop will work away from an outlet. For the most accurate results, read reviews from independent third parties.
PCMag.com has 9 tips to help you squeeze the most juice from your laptop battery.
Quality Keyboard and Touchpad
Consumer Reports gave the Apple MacBook, Dell Studio, HP Pavilion, Sony Vaio, and Toshiba Satellite models the distinction of having very good keyboards and touchpads in its December 2009 issue.
If most of the work you do is text oriented, you definitely shouldn’t take this area of the laptop for granted. The layout of your keyboard drives productivity because it affects the way you use it.
Laptops with snappier keys and have deeper travel provide a more comfortable typing experience. The average laptop will have flex in the middles of the keyboard deck. Or a stiff keyboard.
Here’s a list of 6 features the keyboard on the laptop your considering should have to provide a more productive and comfortable typing experience:
- Six rows of keys from the top of the keyboard, to the bottom.
- Dedicated Home and End keys.
- Dedicated PgUp and PgDn keys.
- Left, Right, Ctrl, and Alt keys.
- Dedicated Printscreen (Prt Sc) button.
- Function Row (F1-F12) keys.
Lenovo is an absolute stand out when it comes to producing some of the world’s best laptop keyboards and trackpads. They are totally worth checking out as a benchmark for any laptop you’re considering. MSI’s SteelSeries keyboards are also worth a look.
Look on almost any list of most desired feature on a laptop, and durability will rank at the top. Here also the reason why it’s one of the laptop features you need is obvious.
A laptop is a device that you will be spending a lot of your money on. And likely something you will have around with you for several years. So, it has to be rugged enough to go with you through life.
But, ‘you can’t get what you don’t pay for.’ Be prepared to spend a bit extra on the features that are most important to you to ensure you have a laptop you’ll appreciate for years to come. Source: digitaltrends.com
And here’s a bonus for sticking with us until the end.
Design is important if you want a portable computer that doesn’t feel and look cheap. Go for a laptop that uses premium materials, like aluminum, magnesium and even carbon fiber. It will cost more. But you’ll have a better looking, more sturdy laptop.
One more thing, are there any laptop features you need we forgot to include on the list? If so, leave a comment below to let us know what it is.