Many graduating seniors will be receiving laptops as graduation gifts before going off to college. Here are some “myths” about laptops and some other items to consider before selecting the best laptop in your price range.
Myth: More RAM will always speed up your PC.
Facts: It doesn’t hurt but it doesn’t always help. For basic usage (Microsoft Office, web browsing, streaming, social media and email) 8 to 16 gigs of RAM will likely be plenty. Special applications for graphic design, video or audio editing may require more.
Myth: A CPU with more cores is always faster.
Facts: Each “core” in a multicore processor allows the computer to better allocate its processing power to multiple applications or processes running at once. If one is only running one program at a time more “cores” won’t increase the power or speed of the computer. For basic usage, a faster CPU with less cores is probably preferable.
Myth: You always want the fastest CPU and graphics card you can afford.
Facts: Fast CPUs and power graphics cards will run hotter and run down a laptop battery faster. For many students, longer battery life will probably be more important than having the fastest computer. Unless the student is a gamer or using specialty software that requires more resources like a graphics card or a powerful CPU, buying a laptop with the most powerful components may be a waste of money that could be spent on an extended warranty or other necessities.
Mac (Apple) vs. PC (Windows)
The average student probably doesn’t need an expensive Mac Book Pro or other Mac laptop. Those going into graphic design, audio or video fields may want to invest in one however. Consumers should also know that much of the popular software in these fields now runs on PC (Windows) and there are many fine high-end PCs that compete with Mac laptops for power and speed. Students with special computing needs should consult with an advisor in their program before buying a computer.
These days a table or hybrid is a real option that many students may prefer for portability and cost. Google tools like Google Docs as well as Microsoft 365 both run on iOS, Android and Windows tablets and hybrids. These tablets will also run all your student’s social media and streaming apps. Bluetooth keyboards and keyboard cases are available to make the devices easier to use for schoolwork.
There’s a new phone around called the Graalphone. But it’s much more than a phone. It’s a tiny laptop, it’s a tablet, it’s a smartphone, it’s a 3D camera.
As a tiny laptop it has a 7-inch screen, a real keyboard, and a Windows based PC. As a tablet it’s an Android OS tablet. The tiny smartphone has a 5-inch screen (not so tiny). As a camera, it’s 2D or 3D with Zoom 5x and Xenon flash.
It will be available later this year. The Victor crew will keep you posted…
If you have a PC whether desktop or laptop, do you shut it down or sleep or hibernate? What is the difference?
When you shut down, you need to save your programs before closing them. The next time you need to use it you need to wait for the boot up process.
This mode will preserve your session. You can close your lid on a laptop and it will do this. On a desktop you can choose to sleep. When you come back everything will be the way you left it. Sleep is a low-power mode. The current state will be saved in RAM. The only power drawn is to keep RAM on. It will resume where you left off when you power back on.
Hibernation mode works a little bit differently. It saves your computer’s state to the hard drive and shuts down completely. There will be no additional power drawn like sleep mode. When you power back up, the data it loaded to the disk will load back into RAM and resume where you stopped. It will take longer to resume to where you were but not as long as a regular boot up. Hibernate is the almost the same as shutting down but your work will be preserved without shutting it down.
Most laptops are set up to sleep when you close the lid. You can customize in your settings how long it be before it goes into sleep mode. In settings you can also set up your power button to put your computer into sleep mode. Laptops may be configured already to go into hibernation mode after so many hours in sleep mode.
Why not get both in one? Microsoft just came out with Surface Pro 3. It claims to be both a laptop and a tablet. As a hybrid, it runs Windows 8.1 Pro. There are different price points based on the type of processor/RAM/storage. They range from Intel Core i3 to i7; 4-8 GB RAM; 64-512 GB Storage. The prices range from $799 to $1,949.
The Keyboard/Cover is considered an accessory and has to be purchased separately for $129.99. It’s height is .4″, width is 11.5″, depth is 7.9″ and weight is 1.8 pounds. The display is HD touchscreen and diagonal screen measurement is 12″. It comes with and SD card slot, front facing webcam at 5.0MP. The Camera is 5.0MP. It has 1 USB port.
Do you want a tablet or a laptop? Why not get both … all in one device. An Ultrabook convertible is both: a laptop when you need it or a tablet when you want it to be.
Intel provides the guidelines for an Ultrabook convertible for manufacturers to build.
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