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There’s no best laptop overall; it really depends on your own requirements and budgets, and size will play a big part in that. Laptops tend to be divided into categories based on the diagonal size of their screens, in inches. This is because a laptop’s screen size also determines the overall size of its chassis.
You need to think carefully about whether you’ll be travelling with your laptop or using it only at home; there isn’t much point buying an ultra-light 13-inch model if you’re going to use it on a desk at home most of the time. Likewise, a 17-inch powerhous makes a good replacement for a desktop PC, but is unlikely to fit in a rucksack.
Due to the constraints placed on them by the laptop’s physical size, laptop keyboards tend to be more varied than desktop models. For a start, there’s room for a numeric keypad on only larger laptops, and then only on certain models.
Some are unpleasant to type on thanks to horrid flex in the middle of the keyboard tray when you type. If you’re unable to try out the keyboard for yourself in a shop, we’d recommend that you at least read some reviews to see if there are any major problems. After all, you’ll have to live with a sub-standard keyboard as long as you have the laptop.
A laptop has limited room around its base, so has far fewer ports than a desktop PC. For this reason, think carefully about what you need to plug in. For a start, some laptops have as few as two USB ports. If you have a printer and a mouse plugged in and want to grab some photos off your camera, you’ll need to unplug something – unless your laptop has a built-in SD card reader, as many do. Many current laptops have at least one USB 3 port for faster data transfers, too.
Finally, we come to storage. As is the case on a desktop PC, an SSD will make your laptop boot faster and feel far quicker and more responsive, so is worth looking out for if you can afford it. Unlike on a desktop PC, you can’t just buy a small SSD for your operating system and stick in a cheap hard disk for your personal files.