2 in 1 devices laptopsWith holidays shopping now in full swing, computers, laptops and 2-in-1s are likely to be among the season’s best-selling gifts. But there are so many different types, sizes and manufactures of computers out there, each with varying specifications and capabilities – how do you find the best one for your needs? Whether you’re purchasing a computer for yourself, for your loved one, or for your friend at work, here are a few things to keep in mind that will help you make the right decision.

Desktop or Laptop or 2 in 1?

This depends on your working style and environment. The rule is quite simple: if you rarely work out of the office, get a desktop PC. If you need to work at home, on the go, or at client meetings, then go for a laptop. It’s worth noting that desktops are generally cheaper than laptops at similar specifications, have a longer usage life, and make for easier changing or upgrading of components. Laptops, on the other hand, are very portable due to their compact size, they consume less energy, and they offer a more flexible user experience.

A popular choice for many users is the new 2 in 1 devices.  a 2 in 1 is a laptop / tablet hybrid device that allows you to switch from a laptop to a touch-screen tablet quickly and easily. 2 in 1 offer many advantages over their laptop cousins.  While a laptop isn’t exactly a boat anchor, it weighs much more than your typical 2 in 1 device.  Flip screen hybrids are also thinner than laptops making them easier to move around.  The average display on a 2 in 1 device is around 11 inches.  If you need a larger screen you will have to get a laptop.  If you are a power user and need to get the most horse power from your device, a laptop will be the better choice.  While 2 in 1 are getting more powerful, they don’t quite measure up to a laptop in raw power.

Deciding between a 2 in 1 and a laptop comes down to personal preference.  If you are looking for a light-weight easy to carry versatile device that has an 11 inch screen or smaller but don’t require tons of power and you are willing to pay a little bit more than a 2 in 1 device may be your best option.

Processor

If you want a computer that loads programs in a flash, completes tasks almost instantly, and runs smoothly at all times, then we recommend you invest in the strongest processors available. The performance of a processor is determined by its number of cores and speed, so the bigger the number, the better. Processors with two to four cores will often suffice for most users. However, if your tasks involve rendering high-definition images, animations, graphics, and analysis, then for optimum results it makes sense to get a processor with more than four cores.

RAM

Random Access Memory (RAM) allows your computer to perform multiple tasks at once without a hitch. Just like processors, the amount of RAM your computer has will determine how fast it will run when you work on several programs simultaneously. Nowadays, standard computers come with 1-2GB of RAM. However, we advise you to get at least 4GB, or even 8GB, of RAM so that you can navigate smoothly between tasks such as email browsing, Internet surfing, and working on word processing documents and spreadsheets.

Hard Drive

The bigger the hard drive, the more space you have to store files. If you plan on using your computer with no peripherals, you’ll want to choose a computer that offers the biggest hard drive. But remember that you can always purchase an external hard drive to transfer or store files if your current hard drive is running out of space. Another thing to consider in a hard drive is its spin speed. Modern computers usually have 5400rpm or 7200rpm drives, the latter being more efficient. The faster your hard drive disk is spinning, the quicker data can be transferred to and from it.

Operating Systems

Picking an operating system is a big decision when it comes to choosing a new computer. You’ll probably want to stick with an operating system you’re already familiar with, since it can take some time to adapt yourself to a new OS. Here are some of the popular options available on the market:
◦Windows
◦Mac
◦Linux
◦Ubuntu

Most people will just go for either Windows or Mac OS, because the complexity of Linux and Ubuntu mean they are not popular among everyday users.  You will either be a die hard Mac OS lover or a Windows person.  Whichever you prefer is the best system for you.

Want more hardware tips and tricks? Get in touch with our technology experts today.