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Choosing the Right Features for Your Laptop

If you’re sputtering along with a decade-old laptop that looks more like a Stone Age calculator, you’re bound to get to daydreaming about buying an updated model. And for good reason: Laptops have come a long way even in the last few years. But if you’re clinging to an outdated model, this progress makes it all the more likely that you need to move on and invest in some better equipment.

Once you decide to take the leap, you’ll be thrilled with the options currently out on the market. Laptop prices have dropped considerably in recent years, making cutting-edge technology more accessible to the average consumer. There are a range of laptop types and features that make it easy to customize a model to get exactly what you want. If you’re not even sure what options are out there, here’s a quick-and-simple breakdown.


Portable computers come in a variety of forms nowadays. In addition to larger, traditional laptops, many computer manufacturers have introduced Netbooks — smaller, lighter, more minimalist forms of computing. These laptops come at a lower cost but lack the high-functioning features that many computer users may desire.

Although they aren’t “laptops” in the strict definition, tablet computers are another type of lightweight, portable computer that are becoming more popular among consumers. However, these devices lack some of the functionality of regular laptops, so many consumers choose to use them as a supplement to their other computers.

You’ll also want to consider the exterior and style of your laptop. While choices like color may be strictly a matter of personal preference, some consumers prefer exteriors made from metal alloys over plastic or other materials because of the increased durability.

Hybrid drive

One of the big new innovations being seen on the laptop market is the introduction of hybrid drives. These drives employ a dual technology that improves upon hard drives of the past, delivering more storage and greater uptime and data recall speeds. It’s a must for any laptop user.

Video quality

HD video is readily available on the Internet via streaming, so most laptops made today are equipped with the necessary video capabilities. You will probably want a computer with an HDMI connection that can link up to other televisions or screens, as well as a computer screen with a high-definition LCD display.

Memory card reader

This feature doesn’t add much to the cost of a laptop, but it will make life much easier for you. With a built-in memory card reader, you can easily remove memory cards from digital cameras and other devices and plug them into your computer, making the transfer of photos and other files faster and easier.

Backlit keyboard

Ever work in dark or dim areas? LED backlighting on your keyboard improves the efficiently of the laptop while easing the strain on your eyes.

Audio features

Sound can vary greatly from one computer to the next. Make sure your laptop has premium audio capabilities before you make the purchase. But regardless of the system’s specs, it’s worth your time to test out the audio yourself.

Touch pad

Toting around a mouse is a hassle. If your laptop has a built-in touchpad, you can enjoy all the functioning of a mouse without having to carry around an extra accessory. Plus, most touch pads nowadays are equipped with multi-touch functioning, which expands their capabilities beyond what a mouse can provide.


Video chats and conferencing are becoming a staple form of communication in the digital age. Most laptops have built-in webcams, but the higher the quality, the better the picture you’ll enjoy.

In the end, you may have to choose some features over others in order to get the laptop you want at a price you can afford. Take time to review the various features and establish a list of priorities based on your lifestyle and how you use your computer. And then, with your preferences chosen, you can begin the hunt for a brand-new laptop.


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