Are you are looking for the best laptop for home use? Then you have come to the right place. Here you’ll learn what are the key issues in identifying such a device.
Many consumers act in haste and simply buy a home laptop computer without doing their homework.
They do this because laptops are cheaper now than they have ever been; so it is easy to just buy one without thinking about it.
However, bear in mind that even with a little knowledge, you can buy a very good laptop at a very reasonable price. Components such as the CPU and memory, are central to performance of a laptop. Therefore, it would be advisable to have some idea as to what kind of performance to expect from these and other components.
Take note of the info on this page and you’ll be able to make a more informed decision as to which home laptop best suits your needs.
laptop for home use
Laptop For Home Use – Connectivity
A key issue to consider in buying a laptop for home use is connectivity. Your home laptop should easily be able to interact with your television, stereo equipment and other multimedia devices.
HDMI, VGA, S/PDIF, WiFi and other video and audio ports contribute to this interactivity, as they are essential to having a laptop/notebook for home use that provides a superior multi-media experience.
Some of these ports should be standard but it wouldn’t hurt to make sure as you wouldn’t want to miss out on certain experiences. For example, if you want to be able to connect a laptop to your High Definition TV (HDTV), then it is ideal that your intended laptop has a HDMI port.
To connect a hard drive or transfer video to and from a camcorder, then your prospective laptop would do well with a Firewire 400 ports (aka IEEE 1394). Or you might want to go with a FireWire 800 which is much less common but provides twice the speed of the Firewire 400 (400 Mbps vs. 800 Mbps).
As good as having great “connectivity” is, what good is it if your laptop system is slow?
Laptop For Home Use – CPU
Having a laptop computer with poor performance is one of the most frustrating experiences. Such frustration is enough to cause Bruce Banner to morph into the Hulk and smash that “slow poke” laptop to pieces. If you compromise on performance, things such as playing and editing files might be affected.
For good performance, a home use laptop ideally should have an Intel Core i5, Core i3, or a Core 2 Duo processor. Either of these processors will perform excellently when playing media files. You can get inexpensive laptops that offer these processors.
If you are on a very tight budget, you can get a notebook pc with a Dual-core AMD Turion processor. This processor is slower but still offers fair performance.
Perhaps, because of limited funds, you have thought about getting a single core processor. But this may not be worth it especially when you can find inexpensive laptops with fast processing speeds.
Laptop For Home Use – Memory
A laptop for home use can be used pretty heavily and therefore it should have adequate memory. You may want to be able to download videos or MP3s, whilst simultaneously watching another video on the system.
For a laptop/notebook to be able to do that (that is, run multiple programs without slowing down), a decent amount of memory (RAM) is required. For home users, this amounts to a minimum of 2GB of memory, especially for Windows Vista systems.
With a fast processor and a minimum 2GB of memory, your laptop should provide you with a most satisfying user experience. You should be able to watch high definition video, download music and edit and store a good amount of files without problems.
But if you plan on doing these things simultaneously (multi-tasking) or using video encoders and Photoshop, more RAM is required. In this instance, you should consider a memory upgrade.
You could upgrade to 4GB of RAM or more but this can be pricey. And quite frankly, for many home users, such an upgrade is usually unnecessary.
If things are really tight, you could buy a cheap laptop with 1GB of memory and still be satisfied it. This should suffice for using your laptop for basic stuff such as checking email or watching one Youtube video at a time.
Laptop For Home Use – Hard Drive
If you are like me and enjoy storing music, photos, videos and other files on your home laptop, I suggest a minimum of around 250GB of hard drive storage space.
If money isn’t an issue, then it doesn’t hurt to get more storage space than what you need initially. 500 GB should give you plenty of room you are fanatical storing music, videos etc.
On the other hand, you can always expand your storage capacity by getting a USB hard drive (which is very cheap) if you don’t want to spend too much on more hard drive space.
Laptop For Home Use – Display and Graphics Card
Home laptops are often connected to projectors for the watching of media files. The typical home laptop will have a screen display size of between 14-16 inches. Some households even go for 17 inch displays especially if they use their laptops as their main screens.
That said, if you intend on taking your home laptop on the road often, you may not want to go for the larger screen but settle for a 14.1 inch screen for optimal portability.
If you are into gaming or playing back High Definition videos, you’ll need to have a dedicated graphics card from Nvidia or ATI.
Having a DVD burner optical drive is pretty much standard on most laptops. You would not want a home laptop without one. This component is useful for home movie creation and data backup.
If your budget allows, you may want to consider upgrading to a Blu-Ray drive. This will not only be able to play these Blu-Ray movies on your laptop but can be hooked up to your tv as well.
Finally, you may be confronted with the deciding which operating system (OS) you want. Sometimes you don’t have a choice because some systems comes with pre-installed OS. But if you are faced with an option, your decision will come down to what hardware you have under the hood.
Windows XP is compatible with virtually all computer accessories available. It runs smoothly on cheaper “low processing power/low memory” machines and provides a simple but effective user interface.
XP needs at least 128 28Mb for it to install with out a problem but you are gonna need more for it to operate smoothly. For XP, your laptop should have at least 1GB RAM though it could operate on 512MB.
For the more resource intensive Windows 7 and Vista (Vista no longer being sold by Microsoft), a bare minimum of 2GB RAM is suggested. Windows 7 works best with at least a 1.5Ghz dual core processor.