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One of the most important tools to have for online jobs is a laptop. But what type of laptop to buy and the specifications to choose is another thing altogether.
And that is where Topspec comes in! When I needed to buy a new laptop last year, I knew that the people to sort me out would be Topspec. Great customer service and professionalism is their middle name. They took time to answer all the questions I had and provided a fully setup laptop for me.
Martin, from Topspec, tells us a couple of things to consider when buying a laptop for online jobs.
A good laptop is a critical tool for any successful online freelancer. It’s often the difference between a productive day or lost earnings resulting from a sluggish or underpowered machine. Picking out a laptop or PC for online work is not always a straightforward endeavor for most as there is often a need for basic technical know-how that informs the purchase decision. Given the wide variety of machines available to the buyer today, it’s important to be armed with the right knowledge to allow you make an informed decision when buying a laptop for online jobs.
No laptop manufacturer is better than the others but rather there are specific models that tend to be of better build quality than others and hence last longer. This article aims to clarify the criteria and specifications that should be considered by the customer as part of the selection process of their ideal machine.
Here is a list of considerations to make when choosing a laptop for online jobs.
This is essentially the brain of any computer. Also known as the Central Processing Unit(CPU), it interprets all your input like mouse clicks, and issues instructions to other components in the computer to accomplish whichever task you are trying to undertake. It therefore stands to reason that the faster the processor, the more you can do without the laptop lagging or hanging.
Intel is by far the most widely used processor brand. Intel CPU’s are mostly denoted with a core prefix hence you’ll find most laptops running on core2duo, core2quad, core i3, core i5 and core i7 processors.
Online jobs vary in complexity and hence no single machine is perfect for all jobs. While you may be able to do transcription on a duo core laptop with 1gb RAM, online based job platforms like Transcribeme require one to work from within the browser and as you open more tabs, the machine may lag often, resulting in lost work after that inevitable restart.
As a general rule when deciding on processors, core i is faster than core2 (even when the core2 has a higher ghz speed rating), core2 is faster than Pentium and Celerons are typically overpriced for the performance they offer.
Random access memory (RAM) is basically a short term form of storage where the CPU stores information pertaining to the programs that the user is currently running e.g when running MS word, it’s loaded onto RAM for faster access such as saving changes on a document as you type it out.
Choosing RAM capacity is a bit easier as compared to CPU as there are only 3 most common ram types. Choice of ram should be primarily based on memory size. 4gb RAM is more than enough for most users with 2gb being the preferred starting point for a laptop for online jobs.
These range from 10 inches on mini laptops to 17 inches on professional mobile workstations. Any screen size above 12.5 inches provides a comfortable viewing experience to eliminate eye strain when working for long hours. 14.3 inches is the most preferred screen size as it doesn’t make the laptop bulky.
Battery life is determined by the machine capabilities, usage and age. Most used laptops should give you about 2 hrs and above 4 hrs on new machines. Batteries are however cheap to replace so it shouldn’t be a deal-breaker when selecting a laptop.
The primary determinant here should be user comfort so make a point of trying out the keyboard before purchase. Check with the seller if its spill-resistant and easy to clean.
It is easy to get over-whelmed when picking out a laptop, given the countless models and makes available in Nairobi all of which come in different conditions. It’s important to exercise caution before you part with your money as cheap can be expensive in the long run. GA core i5 laptop going for Kshs 14,000 on OLX probably falls in the too good to be true bracket.
Optional features that may pop up but do not affect performance include webcam, DVD drives, HDMI port and storage capacity. You can opt to forego some of these to keep costs down. Established manufacturers like HP, DELL and Lenovo produce good quality business line machines but some machines in their consumer line tend to be of lower build quality so it’s very important to find out from the seller where your desired laptop falls.
Don’t jump at the first deal that catches your attention – make a careful, well-informed choice, instead.
There we go. Great stuff from Martin. You can find his page, Topspec on Facebook, or call, text or whatsapp him on 0711 352 744 for more information.
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