Laptop Buying Guide for 2016

When shopping for a new laptop, you’ll certainly be browsing through a lot of locations, both on-line and off-line. In any case, you will undoubtedly run into the specs for each model. What do these things mean?88


CPU, or processor, is the central brain of any computer. It’s the component that does pretty much all operations. The better your processor is, the more applications you can potentially run at the same time. Also, a good processor will allow you to watch high-definition content and play games.

Almost all processors integrated into laptops nowadays come with multiple cores. This is a good thing, since a multi core environment allows for multiple processes (applications) to be run, thus leading to efficient multitasking. Your aim for a new laptop should be in the quad-core range, meaning the processor will have four cores.


System memory is another thing you should be aware of. This complements the processor in delivering a smooth experience. The more RAM you have, the more applications you can run at a time without any problems.

Hard Drive

The hard drive is another component that determines both speed and capacity. Capacity determines the amount of stuff you can store on your computer, and speed determines the speed at which this stuff is either written to disk or read from disk. Your aim should be to get a laptop with a solid state drive, since these do not rely on spinning disks to read and write data.

HDDs or hard disk drives rely on spinning platters to write and read information, and thus are fairly limited by their speeds (most laptops carry either the 5400 rpm or the 7200 rpm versions). Hybrid drives use both older HDD technology and new SSD integrations, but these don’t offer the full benefits of an SSD.



Another thing you might want to look at is the battery life. If you’ll be a lot on the move, then you need something with a lot of battery life. Most ultra-books nowadays boast battery lives of up to 15 hours, with some even surpassing this threshold.


While desktops need a separate screen, laptops carry their own screen with them. If you don’t plan on using a secondary display, then the display your laptop comes with should be a good one.

If the resolution is not important to you, you can still get away with a 15.4 inch laptop that renders a 1366 x 768 pixel resolution. But if you want to get a laptop for graphic design / entertainment or gaming, then you should probably get one that can render a full HD resolution at least. Some models even come with 2K or 4K screens, so make sure you consider this when deciding what to get.

I wrote a more in depth guide about these specs and added some recommendations on my best laptops in 2016 article.

Make sure you check it out.

best laptops in 2016