Gizmodo Laptop Buying Guide 2014: Everything You Need To Know

If you're in the market for a new laptop, there are a few pieces of useful info that it bears knowing before you head to the shops. Do your research, and make a few key decisions before you buy, and you'll be a lot happier in the long run. Here are the most important things to learn about before buying a new laptop or convertible tablet.

Gizmodo Laptop Buying Guide 2014: Convertible Designs & Styles Compared

If you’re buying a new tablet or laptop, it’s probably because you want it to be portable, but powerful at the same time. Some devices are more capable for all-out productivity, while some trade off a tiny bit of old-fashioned design for a huge leap forward in compactness and portability.

We’ve compared a few of the various types of convertible PCs out there, to see which is the most convenient for regular or occasional use.

Although ‘convertible’ covers any laptop that is more than the regular keyboard-and-screen setup a la MacBook that you’re used to seeing, there are three main different types of convertible: your flips, twisters and slates.

Gizmodo Laptop Buying Guide 2014: The Best Ultrabooks Under $750 And $1500

Ultrabooks are thin and light laptops, focused on portability while still remaining productive and keeping a traditional keyboard and touchpad handy for when you need to do some serious work. There are quite a few out there on store shelves, though, and picking the right one can be a bit of a difficult ask.

If you can stick to a specific price point, you’ll have far better luck and an easier time. This list includes officially sanctioned Ultrabooks — Intel’s certified range of ultra-thin notebooks including an Intel processor and certain other specifications — and the also-rans that may not be completely up to spec but are otherwise especially competitive in design or price.

Laptop Buying Guide 2014: Processors And Battery Life Explained

You want to buy a new laptop. But how do you work out which one you need?

A great place to start is working out exactly how much processing power you require — what tasks you’re going to be doing — and what kind of battery life your work and play will involve.

Although they are often advertised as an integral part of your new laptop, not all processors are made equal.

Gizmodo Laptop Buying Guide 2014: Screen Specs That Matter

Along with its keyboard and its trackpad, a laptop or tablet’s screen is the crucial piece of hardware that you’ll be interacting with every day. So how do you pick the best screen, and how does a screen’s specs affect the way you use a laptop in the real world?

A laptop’s native display resolution is usually the number of horizontal pixels by the number of vertical pixels -- a higher resolution means more pixels on a display, each of which can shine a tiny dot of colour.

Gizmodo Laptop Buying Guide 2014: Our Favourite Windows 8 Touch Apps To Get You Started

If you’ve bought a new laptop or convertible tablet running Windows 8, you already have access to Windows’ existing programs and applications. But, in addition to running everything from Windows XP and Windows 7, Windows 8 also brings along a brilliant range of touchscreen-friendly apps and games. These are a few of our favourites.

We’ve put together a short list of some of our favourite touchscreen-friendly games, and some apps for social media and entertainment, to get you started with the Windows 8 app ecosystem. If you’re on a Windows 8 PC, you can simply click the title of each app to view it in the Windows 8 Store.

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