What really matters when you’re purchasing a new laptop? New York Times writer Sam Grobart suggests that it’s not processor speed or a laptop’s graphics card that counts. Instead, typical laptop buyers – those who want to search the Internet, watch movies, send e-mail messages, and write reports on their machines – examine more down-to-earth measures of a laptop’s worth. In particular, Grobart recommends that consumers look at such mundane factors as a laptop’s weight, screen size, and memory.

Weight matters

Why is the weight of a laptop so important? Once you think it over, it is obvious. Laptops should be portable, which is the reason for them. If your laptop weights more then six pounds it’s likely to stress your back when you are hauling it around. Luckily, there are a many laptops that weight much less then that.

Screen size

If you like watching movies or videos on your laptop, look for a screen that measures 13 inches diagonally. This is the perfect size: large enough for movie-watching but not too big for a carrying bag.

Memory

RAM, or random access memory, matters when it comes to laptops. Grobart proposes that consumers purchase laptops that include at least 4 gigabytes of RAM. Laptops that have lower than that simply move too slowly. You will experience those irritating delays between hitting a key and something happening on your screen. Don’t be concerned about going above 4 gigabytes, though. Typical laptop users won’t ever need more than those 4 gigabytes. There are certain factors that shouldn’t concern laptop users. One is the processor. Grobart writes that all processors used today are fine for laptops. He also recommends that buyers not worry about battery life, either. That’s because a laptop’s battery life will vary depending on how you’re using your machine. Always bring a power cable with you and plug in. That makes battery life an especially unimportant factor.

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