Laptop Computer System Selection Guide

Laptop computers use less energy than desktops computers
Laptop Computer Advantages and Disadvantages
Laptop Computer AdvantagesLaptop Computer Disadavantages
Transportable.Limited expansion options.
Can be used without mains power.Battery endurance reduces with age.
Low power consumption.Slightly lower performance options compared to a desktop.
Can be easily connected to many networks. Monitor size limited.

Laptop Computer Selection Guide

Click in the check boxes or select values on the right for each row that describes your usage. Click the Get Results button to generate the computer system specification results.

Laptop Computer System Requirements

Computer Hardware Category Examples Needs Specifications You Require
Light use email, Internet browsing, photos, word processing, music, point of sale Single Processor, minimum memory, minimum drive space Atom, Celeron
2GB memory
64 GB solid state drive
integrated video
Medium use + spreadsheets , databases, standard video viewing + more memory
+ more drive space
+ more processor
4 GB memory
256 GB solid state drive or 500 GB hard drive
AMD A4, AMD A6, Intel i3
High use / all day business use + multiple programs simultaneously quad processor AMD A8, Intel iCore i5
virtual machine use multiple operating systems together + more memory
+ fast processor
8 GB memory
Intel iCore i7, AMD A10
high video use, computer aided design video editing, gaming, high definition playback + dedicated 3D graphics processor
high definition screen
512 MB or more video memory
display 1920 x 1080 pixels
Laptop Display LCD Monitor Another larger external monitor for the office desk is possible with many laptops. 10" 11" 12" 13" 14" 15" 17" 18" inches
External Keyboard USB or PS2 connectors
External Mouse Optical mouse have less maintenance issues. Wireless mouse also possible. USB or PS2 connectors
Web Camera Used for video conferencing.
Can include auto focus and microphone.
USB connectors. Some laptops have a web camera built in.
Backup drive backup all user files, pictures, video, documents
Also useful for copying old computer files to new computer.
For a single computer use a USB external drive.
For a group of computers use a single Network Attached Storage NAS device.
USB flash drive 8 GB to 128 GB.
USB drive 320 GB to 2000 GB.
NAS drive 500 to 8000 GB.
Printer Print documents or photos For a single computer use a USB connector printer
For a group of computers use a single Ethernet networked printer.
Inkjet or mono laser or colour laser printer.
Inkjets are better for photos. Laser is cheaper per print cost.
Sound For music, VOIP communications, video conferencing etc. Can be headphones or headset with microphone Audio connectors assumed on all computers.
Most laptops have speakers built in.
Networking Wired Ethernet, Wireless Ethernet Wifi, Mobile 3G Ethernet suits connection to ADSL or cable Internet or business network.
Wifi requires a broadband router with wifi or a wireless access point.
3G may suit when other broadband type are unavailable.
Wired Ethernet and wifi assumed on all laptops.
Wifi AC,G or N standards for house area.
Mobile 3G/4G for city wide coverage.
Optical Drive No optical drive
DVD can hold 4700 MB or double layed 8500 MB
Useful for backups.
DVD read only, DVD read write
Alternative: USB to external DVD read write
Power Surge Protection This can be on a single power point or a power board.
Software Type Software Example Free Open Source Example Internet Equivalent
Word Processor Word as part of Office 2016 Writer as part of Libre Office Google Docs, Office 365 Word
Email Outlook as part of Office 2016 Thunderbird Google Gmail, Office 365 Mail
Spreadsheets Excel as part of Office 2016 Calc as part of Libre Office Google Sheets, Office 365 Excel
Presentations PowerPoint as part of Office 2016 Impress as part of Libre Office Google Slides, Office 365 PowerPoint
Photo Editing Adobe Photoshop Picasa, Gimp Photoshop Online, Canva
Video Editing Adobe Premiere Elements Avidemux
Web pages Adobe Dreamweaver, Visual Studio Notepad++, Komposer Wordpress, Joomla
Databases Access as part of Office 2016 Base as part of Libre Office My SQL, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Computer, Amazon Web Services, Website hosting database
Anti Virus Norton, Trend Micro AVG
User Specific Software Educational Financial Business etc

Press button after completing or adjusting fields in the top table.

Laptop Computer System Selection Results

Additional Laptop Computer System features to look out for

How to connect to the Internet?

If an Internet connection exists on the premises then the new computer needs to join the network using Ethernet or Wireless Ethernet.
Ethernet connection can be made with Category 6 cable.
Wireless Ethernet Wifi is standard on most laptops, Wifi ability on the network uses a Wifi enabled router or wireless access point. The wifi network name and password is needed for a connection.
There are multiple wireless network standards available A B G N. G is most popular and also handle B protocols. N is fastest but a relatively new standard. All wifi components need to work to one standard.
If the building is very hard to cable and the solid walls are too thick for wifi, then Ethernet adapters can use the house mains wiring as a communication medium. These are expensive and relatively slow.

For a new Internet connection the options include dial up, ADSL, cable, Fibre, mobile 3G and WiMax. Appropriate hardware and possible cabling need to be considered.
Investigate if VOIP telephony can reduce your overall communication costs.

Which Operating System to choose?

This depends on if there are any special requirements for your software choices. General computing can be achieved with Linux, Microsoft Windows 7 or Apple Mac OS X.

Cheap Laptop Computer Options

Laptop Selection Product Examples

Click on laptop images for more information

Dell XPS 9350-1340SLV 13.3 Inch Laptop (Intel Core i5, 8 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD, Silver) Microsoft Signature Image
Lenovo ThinkPad T470 Laptop Intel Core i5-7300U Processor, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 180GB SSD, Black - 14" - Black - 20HD004BUS
ASUS C302CA-DHM4 Chromebook Flip 12.5-inch Touchscreen Convertible Chromebook, Intel Core m3, 4GB RAM, 64GB Flash Storage, All-Metal Body, USB Type C, Corning Gorilla Glass, Chrome OS
Acer Aspire E 15, 15.6" Full HD, 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8250U, GeForce MX150, 8GB RAM Memory, 256GB SSD, E5-576G-5762
HP Notebook 15-ay011nr 15.6-inch Laptop (6th Gen Intel Core i5-6200U Processor, 8GB DDR3L SDRAM, 1TB HDD, Windows 10), Silver
Microsoft Surface Book 13.5" i5 256GB Multi-Touch 2-in-1 Notebook (Silver)