When choosing a PC, many buyers are thinking about purchasing a laptop instead of the usual computer. With a wide range of models for different tasks and financial capabilities, lightweight and compact laptops are no longer considered a technique for wealthy people and professionals in the field of IT, graphics, design, or work with sound. Devices can work autonomously and are not inferior to stationary computers in terms of power, therefore, they replace bulky system blocks even in cases where users do not require mobility. This type of technology has its own distinctive features, knowledge of which will help navigate the abundance of models, characteristics, and brands. Here you will find all Laptop Features Explained step by step.
Table of Contents
Laptop Features Explained
What are the main features of a laptop?
In this piece of content you will findout explaination about laptop features i.e:
- Design features
- Laptop manufacturers
- Laptop sizes
- Laptop weight
- Display characteristics
- Laptop Processors
- Laptop video adapter
- RAM: type and size
- Hard drives
- Optical disc drive
- Laptop audio system
- Webcam and microphone
- Battery and operating time without recharging
- Network connections and data exchange
- TV tuner
- Laptop Connectors
- Body materials
- Body colors
- Labeling laptops
- Complete set of laptops
- Laptop operating systems
Laptop Design features
But the ultrabook looks like a book without pages that you can open and close. The laptop case consists of two halves: a base with a keyboard and a cover with a screen. For most of the models, these parts are not separated, they are fixed with fasteners and hinges. They are connected by loops – flat cables that carry data and electricity. The screen can be rotated around the mounting axis. The maximum opening angle thus turns out to be obtuse, but its value differs from manufacturer to manufacturer.
Convertible laptops allow you to rotate the lid 180 or even 360 degrees. So you can find the optimal turn, at which it will be convenient for the user to work half-sitting or lying down, as well as turn the laptop into a candy bar or tablet. Such devices are equipped with touch screens, and their keyboards are automatically locked when the lid is opened too long. On some models, the screens can be rotated around an axis that is perpendicular to the display. Others are equipped with a special slider mechanism, thanks to which the top cover fits over the keys, so that the touch screen is on top. Laptops stand apart, the displays of which are completely detached from the keyboard.
The filling of the laptop fits into the base: you can get inside if you turn the device over and remove the back cover, which is held in place by bolts. There are ventilation holes on the bottom and sides of the case (on some models, the grilles are located on top, above the keys). On the sides are connectors for connecting peripherals and power, as well as a cover for a floppy drive.
Initially, the same components were used to assemble portable devices that were installed in ordinary PCs, but gradually manufacturers have moved away from this practice. Laptop parts are now being developed separately to accommodate increased mobility and rapidly shrinking chassis sizes. Companies are looking to reduce the power consumption of individual nodes to maximize battery life and reduce heat generation, which affects the life of a computer.
Which laptop brand is best?
In the early days, the laptop market was stratified in price, with low cost suggesting poor quality, but this has changed over time. Manufacturers of cheap devices improved their products, and companies that produced expensive equipment made production cheaper. This is due not only to customer requests but also to the development of technology: new materials and methods of their manufacture have appeared, electronic components have become more powerful and cheaper (especially in mass production). Therefore, the price of a modern laptop is associated with its performance and quality, but not the brand name. In addition, companies began to produce a line of laptops for various purposes: everyday tasks and work with documents, professional activities, business and computer games. Laptop configurations in these cases are different, which affects the cost.
The leading manufacturers of laptop computers include companies that appeared decades ago and relatively young companies, in particular :
Laptops from Toshiba, Fujitsu, and Microsoft have a small market share, but the models produced by the first two are of high quality. Microsoft has started making laptops recently and has not yet gained acceptance among customers. Razer only makes gaming laptops.
What is standard size of laptop?
The main parameter is the diagonal of the screen, measured from one corner to the opposite. On sale, there are models ranging from 10.1 to 20 inches. The thickness of the case and the aspect ratio of the display differ, so the linear dimensions of devices with the same diagonal are different. Models with 10.1-13.3-inch screens are portable, they are called netbooks. Ultrabooks are thin and light, but powerful enough – range in size from 12 to 13.3 inches. Universal laptops are equipped with 13.3-15.6-inch displays, and devices with a diagonal of 15.6-17.3 inches or more can replace conventional desktop computers.
How much does a laptop weigh?
The lightest notebooks are compact, with small screens (1-1.2 kg). Medium models (14-15.6 inches) weigh 2.3-2.5 kg, while 17.3-inches weigh 2.6-3 kg. Ultra-thin devices are lighter than conventional devices even with equal screen sizes. But in addition to the weight of the laptop, you need to take into account the weight of the charger: about 400 g, although models with smaller power adapters are available.
Which type of display is best for laptop?
The quality of the image displayed on the screen and the comfort of users during work depends on several parameters: size, resolution, type of matrix, backlight, coating, and display design.
This indicator affects not only the dimensions of the device but also the scope of the technology. Small displays (10.1-12.5 inches) are not suitable for continuous work and entertainment (games and video). They are suitable for study (especially in junior and middle school), surfing the net, travel. Medium-sized screens (13.3-15.6 inches, of which the last option is considered optimal) are appropriate in various situations except for long work with video and graphics. On large displays (from 17.3 inches), you can comfortably watch movies (with a small number of viewers and at a distance of up to 2 m), play. Laptops with such screens can be found in professional designers, video editors and other professionals.
Since the picture on the screen is made up of many small dots (pixels), how high quality it will be depends on their size and number. For diagonal up to 12.5 inches, the indicator ranges from 1280 × 720 to 1280 × 800 pixels. This is enough for the browser window to fit on the screen, and the details of the video do not blur and do not seem too small. As the diagonal increases, the resolution also grows: for 14.1-17.3 inch displays, the value ranges from 1440 × 900 to 1600 × 900 pixels, so the image is clear. The higher-priced 15.6-inch models support 3840×2160, which is referred to as Ultra HD 4K. This is a great option for game and movie lovers.
Matrix manufacturing technology
Laptops are equipped with liquid crystal displays, where individual crystals are controlled by changing the parameters of the electric field in each individual cell of the matrix. There are three technologies:
- TN, the cheapest. Crystals are twisted in a spiral. Such screens display colors at an average level, have viewing angles up to 140 degrees and a fast response time (16-25 ms). The picture is clear, but with low contrast, while black looks gray, and dead pixels are bright light dots. Increasing the viewing angle leads to color distortion.
- IPS, expensive and power consuming. Here the liquid crystals are arranged in parallel and rotated in the same plane. The picture is very clear, the colors are deep and lifelike, and the viewing angles are increased to 170-180 degrees. The response time is 30-60 ms.
- VA, intermediate between the previous two. Crystals line up horizontally. The image is clear and contrasting, viewing angles reach 160 degrees, and the response time is 25 ms. It is inferior in quality to IPS matrices, but costs less.
The display surface affects the picture quality. Two types of coating are used in the manufacture of matrices:
The matte surface does not glare in the light and does not get dirty on contact with the skin of the hands. Its disadvantage is a decrease in image brightness. Therefore, such coverage is optimal for traveling, working with office programs, presentations, but not suitable for watching movies and immersing yourself in the gaming world.
The glossy surface does not reduce brightness, does not distort colors, but reflects rays of light falling on it. This option is more widespread, because correct color reproduction is important for many users, and glare is easy to get rid of. You only need to rotate the screen or the laptop itself so that the light does not reflect from the matrix.
Above touchscreen displays may be covered with tempered glass.
Liquid crystals matrix
Liquid crystals do not emit light, so displays based on them need backlighting. For this purpose, old laptops used fluorescent lamps, and new one’s LEDs, which consume less energy, last longer, and better cope with the task. The first type is called LCD (liquid crystal display), the second is LED (displays with LED backlight).
Typical for convertible laptops that turn into tablets or monoblocks. Such a display allows you to control a laptop without a mouse, write on the screen by hand, draw, for which a stylus is often used, which is supplied with the device or sold separately but is recommended by the manufacturer for specific laptop models. Well suited for educational purposes, presentations, it can replace a graphic tablet necessary for the work of an artist or designer, although it is not yet very popular.
Take a look at Best 2 In 1 Touchscreen Laptops
What are the different laptop processors?
The main component that affects the speed of a laptop is the central processor. The number of operations that are performed per second (clock frequency), the number of cores and threads affect the performance of a computer, its ability to process information. The market is dominated by two companies that make processors for laptop computers: Intel and AMD. Each company has released several generations of components, each of which surpasses the previous one in terms of speed, as evidenced by the growth in the number of operations performed per unit of time, cores, and computational threads. Linear dimensions and energy consumption are reduced at the same time.
If you rank the most popular CPUs of this brand in order of increasing power, the result is as follows:
- Atom. Weak by today’s standards processors with 1, 2 or 4 cores and frequencies from 1.2 to 2.1 GHz. B ashche all installed in netbooks and laptops are small.
- Celeron. Budget 2-4 core processors with low performance. The clock frequencies of most models are in the range of 900 MHz – 2.2 GHz, for some the figure reaches 3.1 GHz. Even with high parameter values, Celeron is not suitable for time-consuming tasks.
- Pentium. One of the most popular mid-range processors with a frequency of 1-4 GHz and 2, 4 cores. Currently superseded by the Core series.
- Core i3. 2-4-core processors of average power and cost. Equipped with built-in graphics adapters (like all subsequent models), they are capable of computing in 4 threads at a frequency of 1.2-4 GHz, which increases performance. The 8th generation of processors supports overclocking technology to higher frequencies.
- Core i5. Powerful devices with 2 or 4 cores, up to 8 threads, up to 4 GHz with Turbo Boost option and integrated graphics. Suitable for everyday work and running games.
- Core i7. With a frequency of up to 4.8 GHz, 2-4 cores and 4-8 threads, they offer high performance. Provide performance for the highest demands.
- Core i9. The latest generation of processors with a maximum frequency of up to 5 GHz, 6 or 8 cores, 12 and 16 threads can handle any task, including the launch of new versions of games.
These devices were originally produced as analogs of models from Intel, but differed in lower cost with similar performance. In laptops, the following options are most common:
- AMD E. An outdated series of models with poor performance, 2, 4 cores. laptops with such CPUs were suitable for daily tasks.
- AMD A4, A6. The new series of 2.4-core processors is notable for its low operating speed. A budget option for study, office applications and surfing the net.
- AMD A8, A10. Medium performance, 2-4 cores and 4 threads up to 3.2GHz allows you to run games with poor image quality.
- AMD FX. Quad-core processors that deliver performance like a Core i3 with 2 cores.
- AMD A12. The CPU line with 4 cores is inferior in performance to the Core i5. Suitable for thin laptops designed for work, not play.
- Ryzen. The line is based on the Zen architecture, which provides high performance (at frequencies of 3.0-4.7 GHz, 4 cores and 4-8 threads).
All models are equipped with integrated Radeon graphics.
Choosing a laptop by processor model
The buyer’s decision is influenced by the purpose of the laptop. Compact devices get the job done with inexpensive, small, and relatively low-powered Atom models. You can work with office software with Pentium or AMD budget processors. You can periodically run games with not too high system requirements on devices with Core i3 or AMD counterparts. Resource-intensive applications (packages for processing graphics, video, new games) will function flawlessly on computers with a CPU of at least Core i5.
What are the features of a graphics card?
In new laptop computers, one or two video cards are responsible for displaying graphics: only integrated into the processor (typical for compact and inexpensive models) or two, built-in (integrated) and external (discrete). In the latter case, the second adapter has high performance due to the use of its own processor and video memory. It turns on as needed, for example, during games. Therefore, the choice of a video card should be based on the tasks that users face most often: for office applications, surfing the Internet, watching videos in low resolution, the capabilities of an integrated adapter will suffice, but for gamers, programmers, designers and movie lovers in good quality, you will need discrete power. Video cards cannot always be replaced with more powerful models: many are soldered to motherboards, so you cannot upgrade at home. In this case, you can take your laptop to a workshop with special equipment or purchase and connect an external video card.
The market for graphics adapters for laptops (as well as for desktop PCs) is divided between two companies: NVIDIA and AMD.
NVIDIA GeForce video adapters
The popular GeForce GT 910M and 920M models are only suitable for occasionally running old games at low picture settings on laptops with a screen diagonal of 13 inches or more. With Independent user parameters, pictures cope video adapters entry-level GT 940M or 940MX. Inexpensive GTX 1050 and 1050 Ti have low power consumption and acceptable performance, but they have a small amount of video memory, so they are not suitable for the needs of avid gamers. Up a notch is the GTX 1060, a mid-range model for the keen gamer. High-quality graphics in new games are provided by the GTX 1070 and 1080 adapters. These are powerful video cards with an efficient and quiet cooling system.
AMD Radeon Graphics
To evaluate the performance of this brand of components, you need to compare them with NVIDIA adapters. It is better to focus not on the indicators declared by the company, but on the test results that are published on the network on independent resources.
This metric affects the performance of the adapter. For modern games, you need at least 3 GB of memory, but for simple graphics, 2 GB is enough. Powerful models have 6 GB or more, which is suitable for new games. If the amount of its own memory is insufficient, the component uses the system memory.
laptop ram features
System memory stores temporary data that is needed for running applications, so the amount and speed of the RAM affect the performance of the computer as a whole. Laptops use DDR3 memory strips, newer models use DDR4. There are two module slots on the motherboard, but in inexpensive and low-power laptops, only one slot can be occupied, where only 2-4 GB are installed. This is enough for study, office tasks, and browser operation, and if necessary, you can put another bar of the same size and type in a free slot to double the RAM size. In mid-range models, usually at least 4 GB, in business-class devices and gaming laptops – 8 GB or more.
This is one of the few components that you can replace yourself: the laptop must be turned off and partially disassembled. When expanding memory, consider the maximum size that the motherboard can recognize. Many experts advise buying planks in sets that are produced by the same manufacturer, made at the same plant and are included in one batch. This ensures that the difference in characteristics is minimal. This facilitates error-free operation.
What type of hard drive is in a laptop?
The information is stored on a hard disk, the volume of which is from 128 GB to 1 TB in different models. The HDD can be replaced with a larger capacity device, for which the laptop will need to be disassembled. Newer and more expensive models use SSDs. In them, information is recorded on memory chips, and there are no mechanical parts (heads, spindle). On them put less data, but their speed and reliability higher than that of “drives”. SSDs are lighter and less noisy while writing/reading data. For portable laptops, this is a good option, but a number of models allow you to use both types of drives at the same time (for example, in top-end gaming laptops). The features of SSD and HDD are combined in hybrid drives that have not yet gained widespread acceptance.
Why do laptops no longer have CD drives?
Not all models have a CD, DVD, and Blu-ray drive. In inexpensive laptops, it is not provided at all, and in some expensive laptops, there is a plugin in its place. In the first case, if necessary, you can use an external USB drive, and in the second you can buy and install the drive later.
The size of the keyboard unit, as well as the shape and ergonomics of the buttons, depends on the size of the laptop:
- in small models, the keys are smaller and the digital block is not separated from the main one;
- Larger laptops have keyboards that are comparable to full-fledged PC devices, with the numeric keypad on the side.
On many mid to high end models, the keys are backlit with LEDs. The backlight can be single or multi-color, sometimes with adjustable brightness. It looks impressive and allows you to work even in the dark, which is especially appreciated by gamers. There are laptops whose keyboards are protected from moisture: they can withstand the ingress of small volumes of liquid, which can then simply be shaken off.
Check also Best Ergonomic Keyboards For Laptop
Why do laptops use a touchpad rather than a mouse?
Since the laptop is intended to replace a stationary computer, you can work with portable equipment using the USB mouse and keyboard familiar to all users. But increased mobility requires other control methods, which is why the models are equipped with a touchpad: a touch panel that recognizes hand touches. It is located under the space bar, sometimes exactly in the center of the case, sometimes shifted to the side. Under this device are the keys that replace the mouse buttons, in some laptops, they are explicit (made in the form of distinguishable keys), in others they are hidden, they are activated when you press the corners of the touch area. In the latter case, the laptop looks more elegant, although this technical solution will take some getting used to. The touchpad can support multi-finger gestures, but this option is not typical for budget models. The panel area depends on the size of the device, but it is more convenient to work with a large touchpad.
Laptop audio system
Each laptop is equipped with a sound card, a pair of speakers, and a microphone, although the sound quality varies greatly between models. In cheap and compact devices, the sound is quiet, dull, without bass, sometimes with rattling at high notes, and when the lid is down, it becomes even weaker. The more expensive ones support Dolby Digital, HD Audio, Crystal Sound technologies. Such laptops can be equipped with speakers from renowned manufacturers of audio equipment. This allows you to refuse to connect external speakers without sacrificing sound quality, which is appreciated by gamers, music, and movie lovers.
Webcam and microphone
Almost all laptops are equipped with built-in webcams, which are located in the center above the device screen. The lenses of some cameras are covered with a special device (shutter), which is pulled back before the communication session. This measure will appeal to connoisseurs of security and privacy.
In budget laptops, the camera resolution is only 0.3 megapixels (the VGA standard is supported), in others, the indicator reaches 1 megapixel and even exceeds this value (corresponds to the HD standard). The resolution affects the quality of the shot. If the built-in webcam does not suit the owner, it does not need to be replaced: you will need to buy and connect an external USB camera with suitable parameters.
See also Best Quality Webcam For Laptop
The microphone is intended for communication on the network (for example, via Skype). Its sensitivity is enough for a conversation in a not too noisy room, and the speaker should be near the laptop. But with increased requirements, you can always connect a separate external microphone or headset: the necessary connectors are located on the side of the case.
laptop battery capacity and How long should a laptop run on battery
A laptop is a PC that can work autonomously. Lithium-ion batteries are used as batteries, which can withstand many discharging and charging cycles. On the din of the major indicators the battery capacity. The power consumption of a laptop depends on its size. For example, 15.6-inch models are equipped with an average of 4400 mAh batteries, which last for 2-3 hours. Portable models and thin ultrabooks can work without a network connection for up to 4-6 hours, and netbooks with their low performance – up to 8 or even 10. The load affects the operating time: resource-intensive applications (movies, games, graphics, and video editors) will drain the battery faster, which cannot be said about office programs. Some models can be fitted with a second power supply, to double the battery life.
Network connections and data exchange
Many users need a laptop to access the network in any conditions: at home, on the street, on public transport, at work. Therefore, laptops are equipped with multiple connectors for connecting to access points in different ways. The two main types of connections are wired and wireless. In the first case, an Ethernet cable is used, which is inserted into an RJ45 connector (the other end is connected to the router), in the second, the connection is via Wi-Fi. There are many models on sale with a WWAN modem and a SIM card slot, which makes it possible to connect to 3G and 4G networks.
It is also possible to exchange data with external devices via wireless channels, via the already mentioned Wi-Fi, as well as via Bluetooth. Headphones, speakers, gadgets (tablets, smartphones) are produced with the obligatory support of the latter, so that laptop owners do not need to carry wires with them.
What is TV tuner card for laptop?
This component allows you to watch digital TV directly from your laptop. Tuners are built-in (located inside the laptop case) and external (connected to one of the side connectors). A suitable option for TV lovers who do not want to acquire extra TVs. It should be noted that the quality of playback is affected by the level of signal reception and the performance of the laptop: on weak laptops, the image may diverge from the sound. In addition, the laptop is discharged faster during the decoding of the video stream.
What connectors does my laptop have?
On the sides there are sockets for connecting external devices, among which should be mentioned :
- charger connector;
- USB slots (at least 2 for a mouse, keyboard, flash drive, modem);
- VGA connector for external monitor or printer;
- HDMI or similar DisplayPort for monitor, TV, digital TV set-top box;
- eSATA for connecting external hard drives;
- RJ45 for Ethernet connection;
- mini-jack for headphones and microphone (separate connectors, each with a diameter of 3.5 mm);
- slot for a card reader (SD, microSD and others).
The set and number of connectors are different for different models.
Some business-class models are equipped with docking station ports, referred to as docking stations for short. The connector is located on the back panel (bottom) of the laptop. The docking station has several slots through which various devices (media and peripherals) are connected. The main advantage of the device is the ability to connect a large number of equipment at the same time without using USB hubs and all kinds of adapters. The station often has its own power supply.
materials used for laptop casing
The most common material of which cases are made in plastic. Its composition and characteristics are different: cheap laptops are more fragile, their surfaces wipe faster due to contact with hands, and more expensive models use high-impact plastic. Some models can withstand drops from a height of several tens of centimeters and are also not afraid of moisture, sand, and high room temperatures. This is achieved through the use of quality materials, minimization of gaps between parts, additional protection of ports.
In a number of rulers, rubber pads are placed on the corners and sidewalls (for example, on small laptops for schoolchildren). Rubberized inserts can be seen on the bottom of the devices: such inclusions are needed to prevent the laptop from slipping off the smooth surface. Legs are also made of rubber.
The bodies of expensive models are partially or completely made of metal: anodized aluminum, which is polished and coated with paint that is resistant to external influences. These laptops and ultrabooks are much stronger, more solid, and more durable than those in plastic covers. Cheaper laptops combine metal and plastic.
What colors do laptops come in?
Most often, black, silver-gray, white, and red models are on sale, but individual lines stand out and attract attention with bright colors: blue, pink, gold, and others, as well as various combinations of shades. Multi-colored cases are typical for laptops, which are intended for schoolchildren and women. Business-class models are distinguished by a strict design, their colors are metallic gray, gold, black and dark red. Gaming laptops are usually gray or black with bright contrasting stripes.
The surface of the case can be smooth or rough, with a pattern applied to it. In the latter case, the laptop does not slip out of the hands, in addition, the embossed surface of the touchpad provides better contact with the fingers, which makes it easier to work without a mouse.
Full names are made up of brand names, series names, and a specific model code. The most understandable word from the resulting combination of numbers and letters is the name of the manufacturer. Sometimes, as is the case with Lenovo laptops (Yoga, ThinkPad, and others), you can navigate among the lines. The rest of the symbols appeared as a result of a long process of development, design, and production, the logic of which is clear to the company’s specialists, but not to ordinary customers. Each manufacturer has its own set of designations, which is pointless to memorize. Therefore, it is worth looking at the characteristics of the model, which will tell more than its labeling.
What comes with a laptop?
Notebook manufacturers and retailers have different packaging options. The kit must include the factory packaging, charger, warranty card, user manual and the necessary drivers on the CD. Among the pleasant additions you can find:
- case or bag for transportation;
- mouse (often wireless);
- extended warranty or special conditions of service;
- programs (in particular, anti-virus software);
- external optical disc drive (if there is no built-in one).
In stores, promotions are held, during the period of which the equipment can be expanded.
Which operating system is used in laptop?
A buyer who does not intend to spend a lot of time setting up a new laptop can choose a computer with a pre-installed OS from the Windows family: 8 or 10, in edition for home or professional use. On Apple laptops, as a rule, there is Mac OS X. You can immediately start working with preinstalled Chrome OS, Android, or another operating system based on the Linux kernel.
Since rational buyers tend not to overpay for software they don’t intend to use, sellers offer a choice of laptops with a non-graphical operating system (MS-DOS or FreeDOS). In every store, you can find models that do not have an OS. These options are suitable for advanced users or those who prefer open-source software that is free.
Laptops have turned from expensive and specific technology into familiar devices, convenient and not taking up much space. Customers are increasingly abandoning bulky desktop computers and acquiring laptops. Students, teachers, travelers, businessmen, IT workers prefer mobile devices that fit in a bag or suitcase. The popularity of compact technology is growing due to the reduction in the cost of electronic components and reasonable pricing policies that manufacturers adhere to.