When it comes to buying a new laptop, and in addition to the specs and features that you need, size actually does matter. There are many options nowadays – in terms of dimensions and weight – that cater to the different requirements at varying price points. Are you, for instance, a writer and you need a device that is small, light, and ultra-mobile for work on the go when inspiration hits? Are you into video gaming and need a large, high definition screen? Are you a graphic designer who needs the big screen out there as you work on your double spreads?
Your unique individual needs have a lot to do with the size of your device, so you must take them into consideration while weighing your options. You wouldn’t want to invest in a brand new laptop, excited to make the best use of it, only to realize that it’s too heavy for you to carry around and enjoy. You also don’t want to rush into buying a new light, sleek device because of convenience, and discover that its performance is not powerful enough to carry out the tasks you have to do. In this article we offer a summarized comparison between the three basic sizing categories for laptops, and what purposes they usually serve.
Ultra-Portables: 10 – 13 Inches
If you happen to be frequently on the move or have to travel a lot; need something light enough to carry around throughout your daily commutes; or simply want a slim and sleek device to place on your lap and type away; then you will be very happy with one of the small and compact 10 to 13-inch ultra-portable notebook options on the market today.
That said, keep in mind that you shouldn’t expect too much from this super portable companion in terms of performance. Although super convenient to tuck into your bag and walk around without feeling any extra weight, ultra-portables are perfect for simple projects like writing on Word, preparing PowerPoint presentations, or surfing the web and streaming videos. But if you happen to work with heavy programs and files, then you might want to think of it as a secondary device for simple tasks, going hand in hand with a sturdier, more heavy-duty primary device.
Gaming and Performance Laptops: 15 – 18 Inches
On the chunky side, laptops in the 15-inch category are more powerful machines, equipped to handle programs like Photoshop, sound mixing software, and even some gaming. As you may have guessed, when you go up in size, you have also risen in the specs; on the larger end of this category are the 17 and 18-inch beasts. If this is what you’re eyeing, it is good to keep in mind that these hardcore gaming devices are on the pricier side.
When buying a larger laptop – and for you to get the best out of your investment – some research is in order. You will want to read up and know your options, so visit Simply Laptop for their roundup of the best 17-inch laptops before you make your purchase. Remember that the laptops in this category are the high performing ‘desktop replacement’ types, and may not be as portable as the smaller models.
Traditional “Medium” Laptops: 13 – 15 Inches
This popular category is represented by your regular laptops; the ones we all know and probably used at some point. Obviously, they are larger and heavier than ultra-portable notebooks, but not as big and powerful as the heavy performance devices at the other end of the spectrum. It’s safe to say that these laptops comfortably fit in the middle of the range in terms of size, weight, and specs, offering a reasonable balance between portability and functionality. They neither stands out as super-light, nor as exceptional performers, but they are popular because they do the job for most people.
The laptops in this category are good for your everyday office work, and can sometimes even handle the occasional use of programs like Photoshop and other light editing software. However, they do not promise ideal performance in the long run if the latter tasks represent a larger percentage of your daily laptop activities.
Size it Up
While doing your research to decide on the laptop size you will buy, carefully consider the purpose of your purchase. Are you looking for a primary, powerful device that doesn’t need to move much? Do you need a regular, basic laptop for everyday work that you will carry once or twice a day? Or are you seeking a slim, on-the-go device that you can use for light tasks all day long, and can take with you wherever you go? Answering these questions – in addition to setting your budget range – will help you decide the size of your next laptop, factoring in the other specs, brand, and model.