If you’re switching from one type of computer to another, here’s what to consider.
From a desktop PC to a laptop
When it comes to performance, a laptop can be just as powerful as a desktop PC but there are some drawbacks.
A laptop has limited ports compared to a desktop, as there is less space to install them. Laptops usually have between 2 to 3 USB ports and an HDMI or mini HDMI port, whereas desktops usually have at least 6 ports and can potentially have as many as you can fit.
Laptops can get hot, which can be uncomfortable if you’re using one on your lap.Make sure a laptop’s exhaust vents are clear. If you don’t, then a laptop can’t expel the hot air it generates and its interior heats up. Over time, this can damage a laptop’s internal components.
A laptop will have a trackpad. It allows you to control the cursor by running your finger over the pad’s surface. Your finger’s movement is interpreted the same as the movements of a mouse. However, if you still crave a mouse, you can easily add one.
Laptops have a smaller keyboard and unless you buy a large laptop, you will often find the numeric keypad is missing and less commonly used keys have been combined. For example, you may find the F4 key and the volume down key are combined. To activate F4 you need to hold down the Fn (function) key first.
Laptops, and especially hybrids, tend to have shared graphics. This means the same processor and memory is used for running the computer and the screen. Any graphics and processing activity, such as playing games, are slower with shared graphics.
From a standard laptop to a hybrid
Hybrid laptops have touchscreens, which means they can be used like a tablet. Some basic touchscreen tips:
- There is no double click on the touchscreen, instead they use a long touch.
- To zoom in, pinch and move your fingers out. Reverse to zoom out.
- The keyboard will appear on screen whenever you touch a text field/box. If it doesn’t, try touching in some white space, and then touch the box again.
For hinged models, check the quality of the hinge. Repeated movement of a hinge can cause structural issues – plastic hinges aren’t as durable as metal hinges.
If the hybrid has a detachable screen, check how the screen and keyboard attach. If it docks with a small plug connecting the screen and keyboard, check there are substantial parts of the body around this plug so you don’t accidentally bend or break it.
If the keyboard connects through Bluetooth, remember using Bluetooth can reduce a laptop’s battery charge.