Buying the best laptop: The features to pay attention to, and the ones to forget about
Sandra Hermiston and Ross McLaughlin, CTV Vancouver
Published Friday, November 23, 2018 6:00AM PST
Last Updated Friday, November 23, 2018 7:16PM PST
Buying a new laptop can be confusing. From RAM, to the hard drive, to your processor, there are so many features to consider. So which features should you pay attention to, and which ones should you forget about?
For starters, if you want the top speeds Consumer Reports recommends a solid-state drive, or SSD. They’re noticeably faster than traditional hard drives but they can also be more expensive.
“If you’re buying a laptop and you’re going to hold on to a laptop for like five years, let’s say. Over the cost of those five years, $100 to get a dramatically better computing experience, I would say you should spend that extra hundred bucks,” said Nicolas DeLeon, Consumer Reports tech editor.
As for storage, Consumer Reports says 256 gigabytes should be enough for most people.
“That’s enough space for your operating system, all the updates, all your programs, whether that’s Photoshop or Excel, Outlook or Chrome or any of those type of things,” explained DeLeon.
Storage and memory or RAM can be easily confused.
Storage is where you keep your files long term, such as documents and photos.
Memory houses the apps or programs that you’re currently running, such as your web browser or email.
Testers at Consumer reports say the sweet spot for memory is 8 gigabytes.
Processors, also known as chips, are the brains of a laptop. The best choice for most people is the Core i5, which can handle what most users need it to do and more.