Laptop features guide

Whether you want to surf the net from your sofa, catch up while you commute, or are a gamer on the go there’s a laptop for you.

Our wide range of computers is carefully chosen to suit all needs, so your ideal laptop is ready and waiting for you. We’ve prepared a guide to key laptop features to help you decide.

Look out for “Our experts love” laptops. These recommendations highlight the very best laptops in our range. Each showcases a key feature such as touchscreen excellence, portability, and sound quality.

Click the icons below to read more

 

Touch

Touchscreens allow for completely intuitive control. Tap the icon on screen you want to open, swipe to one side to change the view. You’ve got the power at your fingertips. It’s one of the best features of a tablet, and now it’s on your laptop.

With Windows 8’s stunning new interface being designed for touchscreens, we’ve made sure we have the widest range for you to experience in store. It’s so natural, even someone who’s never used a computer before can feel like an expert in minutes. Once you’ve picked up the knack, it’s hard to go back to a non-touch laptop!

View all touch screen laptops
Make the most of Windows 8 with a touchscreen laptop

Processor

The heart of your computer, the central processing unit (CPU) controls how fast your laptop works. The more powerful the processor the more it can cope with advanced tasks. When choosing the right processor for you, consider what you will be doing – for web browsing and emailing you will require an entry level processor, whereas heavier tasks like watching HD movies and gaming will need a higher-end processor.

Intel and AMD are the two main companies for processors and are relatively similar in terms of performance. Intel processors range from Intel Celeron for your basic computing needs, to Intel Core i7 for multimedia and multitasking. AMD processors range from E series for your basic computing needs to A10 series for multimedia and multitasking.

Best for value

View all Intel Pentium
View all AMD E-Series

Best for day to day tasks

View all Intel Core i3
View all AMD A-series dual-core

Best for multitasking

View all Intel Core i5

Best for multimedia and gaming

View all Intel Core i7
View all AMD A-series quad-core
Higher performance processors allow your laptop to do more

RAM

RAM is your computer’s memory. The more it has, the more programs your laptop can operate at the same time without having to pause to load more data.

The average computer has at least 4GB RAM these days, and this should be the minimum to look for in a normal laptop. For complex tasks such as advanced photo processing, gaming or music production, you should consider systems with at least 6 GB.

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View all 8GB or more laptops
A larger amount of RAM will increase the number of tasks your laptop can do at once.

Hard drive

There are two main types of hard drive. HDDs (Hard Disk Drives) are more common and can store huge amounts of data. These are the standard type of drive you’ll find in most computers.

The other types are called SSDs (Solid State Drives). These contain no moving parts, are much faster to start up than HDDs, and they consume less power allowing your battery to last longer. However, they usually have a smaller capacity. You’ll find these more frequently in 2-in-1 convertible laptops and Ultrabooks

Storage - what it holds

Photos

Video

Songs
320 GB 60,000
OR
24 hours
OR
80,000
500 GB 100,000
OR
38 hours
OR
125,000
1 TB 200,000
OR
76 hours
OR
250,000
*These numbers are a guide only, your actual usage may vary.
View all 500GB or less
View all 500GB
View all 750GB
View all 1TB or more
More storage will let you keep more of the content you love to hand.

Portability

If you're always on the move, portability is key. Important elements to consider are weight, battery life, and form factor. The new 2-in-1 convertible laptops give you the best of both worlds — a tablet when you want it and a laptop when you need it.

View all 2-in-1 convertible laptops
New transforming laptop designs offer the ultimate in portability.

Graphics & Screen size

There are two main types of graphics card – integrated and dedicated. Integrated cards are sometimes called “built-in”, and are fine for everyday use such as browsing the internet or writing email. You’ll be fine watching movies on YouTube or looking at photos, but more complex tasks may be slow.

Dedicated cards have more advanced technology and can handle intensive tasks such as video editing. Higher end cards will produce better frame rates when gaming, although this can drain the batteries quickly. For the best graphics performance you might also consider a laptop with dual graphics. These laptops are able to give you much stronger graphics performance than if you were to use individual graphics cards.

Consider a larger 15"+ screen size for the best viewing experience for movies and games.

View all laptops with integrated graphics
View all dedicated graphics cards
View all dual graphics

View all 15"+ screens
Laptop graphics can now offer great multimedia and gaming experiences on the go.

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