The 10 Most Important Laptop Specs To Consider When Buying

You need a new laptop, but not just any laptop will suffice. You need a powerful laptop with great laptop specs, capable of consistent performance, and a convenient laptop, which makes it easy to use. And of course, you need a laptop that you can actually afford to buy.

If you’re not much of a computer nerd, or if you’re inexperienced when it comes to shopping for laptops, it can be an intimidating experience. There are hundreds of variables to consider and not all of them are intuitive.

So what are the most important laptop specs to consider when buying? And how can you make sense of them when they’re typically described with technological jargon?

 10 Important Laptop Specs Consider Buying


Setting Your Laptop Priorities

You’re not going to think of all specs equally. Instead, you should selectively prioritize the most important specs for your individual needs.

These are some of the most important considerations:

  • Purpose. What are you going to use your laptop for? Are you going to use resource-intensive apps? Are you going to watch a lot of media? Are you going to need significant storage?
  • Budget. The more you spend, the better your laptop can be. But you don’t need the latest and greatest in every category – so what price range should you be optimizing for?
  • Future. Your needs may evolve in the future, so it’s important to choose a laptop that can grow with you. How long do you want this laptop to last? And how can it best accommodate your changing needs?

The Most Important Laptop Specs

These are some of the most important laptop specs to consider:

  1. Screen size. Screen size is perhaps the easiest laptop spec to understand. A bigger screen is going to increase the overall size of your device, but it’s also going to give you more room to work with and a more luxurious platform for viewing media.
  2. Display. Most modern laptops have a full HD display of 1920×1080 pixels, but it’s possible to get a display of up to 3840×2160 for 4K resolution. Beyond resolution, you should consider the brightness and color of the display; OLED and miniLED displays are among the best, though they may also put additional strain on your battery – so consider that tradeoff carefully.
  3. Overall size and weight. You’ll also want to consider the overall size and weight of the laptop. If you plan on carrying it to and from meetings frequently, it shouldn’t be a bulky burden. That said, lighter laptops can be slightly more vulnerable to damage, so keep that in mind.
  4. Hard drive type. The two most common types of hard drives on the market today are HDDs and SSDs. Generally, SSDs are superior; they’re much faster and more reliable. However, they also tend to be more expensive. You can also find laptops with both HDD and SSD storage, to give you the best of both worlds.
  5. Storage space. Total storage space dictates how much data you can store and how many programs you can install. For most people, more storage space is better – but remember, you can always upgrade and expand in the future.
  6. CPU/processor. The central processing unit (CPU), as the name implies, is the “center” of your computer’s processing system. It’s an incredibly sophisticated system of electronic circuitry designed to read, process, and execute specific instructions for a wide variety of different operating systems, apps, games, and other programs. Think of it as the “generalist” side of your computer processing. Nomenclature for CPUs is difficult to understand but put simply, bigger numbers usually imply faster processing.
  7. GPU/graphics card. If your CPU is the generalist, your graphics processing unit (GPU) is the “specialist.” CPUs are decent at a wide variety of tasks, but GPUs are exceptionally good at a select few tasks. They’re especially important for processing graphics, rendering video, and certain applications – like mining cryptocurrencies. Again, the nomenclature here can be intimidating, but more modern graphics cards with bigger numbers are typically better.
  8. RAM. Random access memory (RAM) is local, temporary storage, and it’s necessary for many functions and apps. Bigger RAM means you’ll be able to handle more complex tasks and juggle more tasks simultaneously. If you’re only interested in a basic laptop for everyday use, 8 GB of RAM might be sufficient. If you want to play games or multitask, 16 GB is better – and 32 GB should allow you to do whatever you want.
  9. Battery life. If you want your laptop to be conveniently portable and reliable in a pinch, you’ll also need to consider battery life. Most manufacturers estimate battery life based on how you use the laptop; for example, they might estimate that the laptop can support 12 hours of watching videos. There are many variables to consider in these equations, so take these estimates with a grain of salt.
  10. Ports. Finally, think about the ports available on your laptop. Depending on your wants and needs, you may prefer a laptop with a certain number of USB ports, HDMI ports, audio ports, and more.

With a better understanding of these laptop specs, you can compare various laptop models, apples to apples, and eventually make the best decision for your computing needs.

Your laptop may not have everything, but it should have everything you need to succeed.

 10 Important Laptop Specs Consider Buying


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