Dakportic Tips for Buying a Brand-new laptop – part 1

Brand new laptops (aka notebooks) are quite expensive these days. In fact, buying a brand-new laptop is an investment. So, if you are making the decision to buy a new personal laptop you should know what to look out for. Brands are important but the 3 most important things to look out for are:

1. Drive or Storage

2. Memory, aka Random-Access Memory (RAM)

3. Processor, aka Central Processing Unit (CPU)

Let me start with storage.

Storage / Hard Drive

There are two types of storage you will find in personal computers these days: Hard Disk Drive (HDD) and Solid-State Drive (SDD). The HDD technology is the older one in terms of use and has been with us since 1956 when International Business Machine (IBM) introduced it. The physical size of HDDs has evolved over the years to what you see today. HDD makes use of magnetic drives or platters that rotate at high speeds.

On the other hand, SSDs had origins in the 1950s with two similar technologies called magnetic core memory and card capacitor read-only store (CCROS) but was implemented first in the 1970s. The SSD technology has been in use since 1995 as hard disk drive by military and aerospace industries. But, the current SSD we have in personal computers only came into place in 2007, but due to its high cost it did not receive much attention compared to HDD. Cost of SSD has reduced significantly but it’s still more expensive than HDD, which is why you can see a laptop with 64GB or 128GB SSD while for HDD based laptops, the minimum you will see is likely going to be 256GB or 500GB HDD. Normally, SSD laptops are more expensive than HDD laptops. SSD uses flash memory technology – the same technology used in smartphones for memory cards.  

Some of the main advantages of HDD are: bigger storage, longevity and better price while the main advantages of SSD are speed and longer battery life, because SSD don’t have moving parts so they use less power. In other words, HDD based laptops have more capacity at cheaper price to store data while SSD laptops run faster in terms of general performance (reading and writing to the drive is faster); and better battery life. So, in terms of better speed and performance, go for SSD but if you prefer more storage capacity, go for HDD.

I will talk next about memory.

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