How to Pick Your New Computer

Step one: don’t panic, you can do this. Step two: look at the computer you are at working with now, even though you have been through a lot together (in the past few years or so) there’s always something better out there. If in fact  a computer needs replacing every 24 to 30 months, then many of us may be laggards both in our resistance in buying a new computer when the one we have isn’t broken, and because the computer we cherish is probably outdated in some way that is holding us back.

Step three: admit you have a problem and that problem is your computer. Of course, how can you solve a problem unless you know everything about the problem that you want fixed in the solution. This is where many of us struggle when purchasing a new laptop- we don’t know which salient features to compare and contrast. No worries, here are the most important ones.

I’ve considered these following factors for my own computer first . All of the information below is provided online, simply search for your computer and you will find the manufacturer’s details.

My current computer.

  • Manufacturer and Model: Apple’s Macbook Air Mid 2013 Model
  • CPU Name and Speed: 1.7 GHz Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost at 3.3 GHz
  • Hard Drive Type and Storage Capacity:  Flash Storage Drive, 512 GB of storage
  • RAM Memory (allows you to multitask on the computer): 8 GB
  • Video Card Details (important for gamers especially): Intel HD 5000
  • Maximum Display Resolution (in Pixels): 1440 x 900
  • Laptop Display Size ( in Inches): 13.3
  • Battery Life (subtract a few hours from this number to be realistic): Up to 12 hours
  • Weight: 2.96 pounds
  • Data Ports (check for USB): two USB 3 ports, one Thunderbolt port, Power port, and SDXC card slot
  • Video Connections: Thunderbolt port
  • CPU Benchmark Score (posted by Geekbench, the higher the number the better): 2843

Step four: repeat the process for all computers you are considering purchasing. Now that you’ve collected all this information on your own computer, look for a computer that has comparably better features. Of course, if you have one of the latest models from a year or two back you may only be upgrading on a few features- but keep in mind that it is worth it.

Apple Option: Macbook Pro. Features it performs better on are in bold. The Apple Website features a comparison tool that allows customers to compare Apple computers based on the information below.

  • Manufacturer and Model: Apple’s Macbook Pro Early 2015
  • CPU Name and Speed: 3.1 GHz Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost at 3.4 GHz
  • Hard Drive Type and Storage Capacity:  Up to 1TB Flash Storage
  • RAM Memory (allows you to multitask on the computer): 16GB
  • Video Card Details (important for gamers): Intel Iris Graphics 6100
  • Maximum Display Resolution (in Pixels): 2560 x 1600
  • Laptop Display Size ( in Inches): 13.3
  • Battery Life (subtract a few hours from this number to be realistic): Up to 10 hours
  • Weight: 3.48 pounds
  • Data Ports (check for USB):  Two USB 3 ports,  SDXC card slot
  • Video Connections: HDMI port, Two Thunderbolt 2 ports
  • CPU Benchmark Score (posted by Geekbench, the higher the number the better): 3125
  • Price: from $1,299

Windows Option: Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro. Features it performs better on are in bold.

  • Manufacturer and Model: Windows 8.1, Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro-1370 Signature Edition 2 in 1 PC
  • CPU Name and Speed: Intel Core M-5Y71, Turbo Boost at 2.90 GHz
  • Hard Drive Type and Storage Capacity: 256 GB SSD
  • RAM Memory (allows you to multitask on the computer): 8 GB
  • Video Card Details (important for gamers especially): Intel HD Graphics 5300
  • Maximum Display Resolution (in Pixels): 3200 x 1800
  • Laptop Display Size ( in Inches): 13.3
  • Battery Life (subtract a few hours from this number to be realistic): up to 9 hours
  • Weight: 2.60 pounds
  • Data Ports (check for USB):2 USB 3.0 (1 powered),  1 USB 2.0 w/DC-in function 
  • Video Connections: Micro HDMI
  • CPU Benchmark Score (posted by Geekbench, the higher the number the better): 2627
  • Price: $1379.98

Step 5: upgrade!

Comparing these two computers becomes a much easier task when you are “grading” the computers based on the same list of characteristics. If I was upgrading my computer at the moment, and if I was given the opportunity to choose between the two computers described above, I would choose the Macbook Pro. I currently have the Macbook Air and so I would be compromising by upgrading to a heavier computer. But, and this is important, I would gain a lot of storage capacity as well as double the RAM memory. Furthermore, there is an HDMI port which I have really come to miss since the Macbook Air does not have one. And, of course, upgrading to a computer with a higher resolution and more powerful processing unit makes sense.

I prefer Apple and in this specific comparison, the Mac performed better than its Windows counterpart.

I prefer Apple and in this specific comparison, the Mac performed better than its Windows counterpart.

I don’t think I could switch back to a Windows computer since I have already bought into Apple’s culture. But, the Lenovo Yoga 3 seems like a great option for a computer and tablet combination. Although it doesn’t perform better in every aspect, it still has a higher resolution, weighs a little less than the Macbook Air, and has an HDMI port.

My computer still has a good year to go before it is up for an upgrade, and by then I am sure there will be other, newer, better options and I will have to go through this process again.

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About saradiblasi

I always write, in the back of notebooks, or on napkins, anywhere really. Any surface is a viable platform for my writing as long as I have a pen in hand. My blog is just an extension of the sentences I scrambled to write down before they were lost among my other thoughts. I'm hoping to connect with other writers and I'd love to check out other writing blogs!
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