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Laptop Buying Guide

We know that when you’re picking out a laptop it can be tough. There’s so much to think about, how do you know you’re getting the right one? That’s where we come in! Our useful buying guide will take you through all the different types of laptops, their features, and their functions to make sure you find the perfect one for you.

Types of Laptop

Windows

Windows laptops give you all of the features that you know and love in a sleek and modern design. They’re perfect for work and play.

Chromebooks

Chromebook lets you experience a new type of laptop. With a simple interface that’s like a mobile phone, it’s puts everything online – from data storage to everyday tasks.

2-in-1

2-in-1 laptops give you the best of both worlds. Use the laptop as normal or fold it flat and use the touch screen like a tablet.

MacBooks

Get a premium experience with our range of MacBooks. Coming in a stylish design, they give you next-level performance.

Gaming

Want to game on-the-go? It couldn’t be easier with our range of gaming laptops. Filled with the latest tech, you can play the latest games wherever you are.

Operating system

Windows

If you’ve ever used a PC before, then chances are you’ve used Windows. One of the most common operating systems, it lets you explore your documents, use applications and browse the internet with ease. It’s also the preferred choice for gaming.

Shop all Windows laptops

Apple OS

OS is an operating system that’s exclusive to Apple, so you’ll only find it on Apple MacBooks. Coming with a sleek interface that has a simple layout, it’s perfect for professionals. Optimised for design with Photoshop and InDesign seeing improved performance, it also works seamlessly with other Apple products.

Shop all Apple Macbooks

Chrome

One of the latest operating systems, Chrome can be found on all Chromebook laptops. It keeps things simple while being speedy and secure. If you’ve ever used a smart phone before, then you’ll have no problem getting used to the unique operating system.

Shop all Chromebooks

Screen size

Size matters

When looking at screen size, it’s all about finding what’s best for you. The compact 12-14” screens are great for when you want your laptop to be ultra-portable. The screen size might be smaller, but it means the laptop takes up less space while still letting you work. If you want a laptop to use daily, then a 14-16” screen is perfect. You can see more on screen, so it’s ideal for browsing or watching shows. If you’re into gaming or you need a laptop for work, then you might want to consider looking at 16”+ screens. By seeing the most, you get an advantage in game and it allows you to have more work open at once without losing track. It comes down to what you’d prefer.

Performance and specs

How do you get the most from your laptop? By making sure it has the best possible specs for you. If you don’t know much about specs or tech, don’t worry. We’re going to cover the main areas you need to focus on when picking out a new laptop: the processor, the memory, the storage, and the graphics.

Processors

The processor, sometimes called a CPU (Central Processing Unit), works to carry out every task your computer does. It’s essentially the laptop’s brain. The aim of the processor is to run programs as quickly as possible. Inside each processor are ‘cores’, and the general rule is the more cores it has, the more tasks it can handle at once.

Intel

Intel are processor heavyweights that let you multitask with ease. Their Core™ i9 processors are their most powerful and are perfect for handling the latest games or video editing software. If you’re looking to future proof your laptop, the Core™ M, i3, i5, and i7 processors are a must-have for years of multitasking performance. For quick web browsing and smooth app use, the Pentium & Celeron processors are ideal. For smaller devices, the Atom® is the perfect entry level processor with fasting loading speed and prolonged battery life.

AMD

Most of AMD’s processors are APUs (accelerated processing units), which means they are a processor and graphics card in one. That means you can enjoy clear visuals without the need for a separate graphics card. Very handy. The most popular AMD processors are from the Ryzen series. They give you amazing performance that can keep up with gamers, professionals and content creators.

Memory

Memory is often referred to as RAM (Random-access memory) and works by storing requests before the processor picks them up to be carried out. If you’ve ever had a program struggle to run, or stutter at times, that’s usually because the laptop doesn’t have enough RAM. If you’re using a laptop for general tasks like browsing the internet, watching videos or using a word processor, you’ll be fine with between 4 to 6GB of RAM. But if you’re using your laptop professionally or for a creative purpose, 8GB is best for editing software and gaming. You’ll only ever need 16GB or more for running ultra-demanding, state of the art programs.

Want to optimise your memory? Learn about Intel® Optane™

Storage

HDD

An HDD, more commonly known as a hard drive, gives you plenty of space to store photos, videos, games, and important system data like your operating system. Almost all laptops will have a hard drive in some form. A 1TB (terabyte, 1,000 gigabytes) hard drive will allow you to store millions of photos along with plenty of films, games and much more.

SSD

An SSD (solid-state drive) functionally does everything that a hard drive does, but it’s much quicker and more reliable. An SSD doesn’t have any moving parts, unlike the HDD, so it’s less likely to wear down over time. The trade off with an SSD is that they have a smaller storage space than an HDD.

Additional storage options

SSHD

Ever wanted the best of both worlds? Then you need an SSHD (solid-state hybrid drive). Combining the best features of an SSD and HHD, you can get quick and reliable data access while still getting the most storage space possible.

Embedded Multimedia Card (eMMC)

An eMMC falls in between HHDs and SSDs. It is a more affordable and slightly slower version of an SSD, but it has the benefit of having more storage space than regular SSDs.

Graphics

Laptops will have a graphics card or chip that works to give you the visuals you need for playing games, watching films, or just using the computer in general. There are two types of graphics card, integrated and GPU. An integrated graphics card will let you carry out regular tasks such as web browsing and using Office applications – it’s the minimum that every computer needs. However, if you’re a gamer, designer and video editor, a GPU graphics card will be needed to give them more power to handle more demanding tasks with ease.

Software

While hardware is the physical parts of a laptop, software is the programs and operating information used by it. One of the main bits of software that you will use every day is the operating system. This will come pre-installed on every computer and allows you to use the laptop from the moment you turn it on. Every laptop will also come with anti-virus protection pre-installed, but you may want to buy some additional security software to make sure your desktop is covered. Another bit of essential software that comes in handy for both personal and professional use is Microsoft Office – with Word, PowerPoint, Excel and much more. You can now get Office through the Microsoft 365 subscription service.

Learn more about Microsoft 365

Accessories

Whether you’re at home or on-the-go, it’s always good have a set up for your laptop. You can get the surround sound experience with speakers or a headset, while having a mouse that gives you more control when you have the space. Then you can take it all with you wherever you go with a case or bag. If you want to find accessories that will work seamlessly with your laptop, trying shopping by brand.

Shop laptop accessories

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FAQs

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