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Buying a Laptop
What to Know Before Buying a Laptop
Mobile computing has become essential in today's world, so why might you choose a laptop computer instead of a tablet or a smartphone for your on-the-go computer support? For one thing, laptops include a keyboard, considered by many to be quicker and easier than a touchpad for computing tasks. Laptops also provide a larger storage capacity, with most models starting at 250GB. Beyond that, a laptop often has the CD/DVD drive you need to access older media, and the ability to run high-powered, full-featured software. Additionally, many laptops offer USB ports to plug in peripherals like a wired or USB mouse, HDMI ports for use with a projector or separate monitor, Ethernet ports, SD memory card slots and other universal ports.
Choosing the Best Laptop for You
A good first step in the laptop selection process is determining how you're going to use it. For casual use, like e-mail, surfing the Web, paying bills and checking social media, you will likely be well-served by one of the lightest, cheapest laptops. If you ask a bit more from your laptop, like streaming and saving movies and music or using office software for tasks like spreadsheets and document creation, you'll want more hard drive storage. For multitasking with multiple tabs and programs, editing photos, producing videos, or playing video games, you'll not only want a large screen size, you'll want a laptop with a fast processor and lots of random access memory (RAM).
More Laptop Considerations
You'll want to consider screen resolution — from HD, good for surfing the Web, to 4K Ultra HD, which creates the rich colors and images you want for gaming or editing. Weight is also something to keep in mind. As you would expect, a larger screen and more capacity translates to more weight. Streamlined options start at under 3 lbs., with the best personal computer laptop for gamers usually weighing in at over 6 lbs.
The heart of the laptop, the operating system, manages the software and hardware. You can choose from a PC laptop with Microsoft Windows, the most common laptop operating system; Apple notebooks or laptops with Apple Mac OSX, exclusive to Macs; or the easy-to-use Google Chrome OS. As for storage, mechanical hard disk drives (HDD) are common because they're relatively inexpensive and have huge capacities, while newer solid-state drives are faster, but offer less capacity. Users who store photos, music and video in a cloud, and use Web-based software instead of storing it on the device can get by with less storage. Not gamers, though, who require big HDD space for large game files.
Laptop Brands You'll Love
Choosing the best laptop can be confusing due to the multiple options with overlapping features from a variety of brands. Best Buy offers laptop models from the brands we trust to provide quality components and the latest technology. So whether you are looking to purchase a Dell laptop because of you've always had a Dell computer, or are wanting to try out the Microsoft Surface Book with touch screen, we have a great selection at competitive prices, and can help guide you through the process of finding the perfect laptop option for your needs.