Instagram is now a lot Bigger than Twitter

Photo sharing website Instagram is now bigger than twitter. Facebook owned company recently announced that it now has whooping 400 Million active users.

Photo sharing website Instagram is now bigger than twitter. Facebook owned company recently announced that it now has whooping 400 Million active users making twitter’s 80 million users look too small.

Growing Instagram

It took 3 years for instagram to achieve so high number of users on the internet. Unlike MySpace or Facebook, Instagram had to face tough competition from Twitter and Snapchat, both being good as photo sharing platforms. Instagram has proven that Facebook’s decision of buying the App focused Photo Sharing Network was not a mistake. Facebook paid 1 Billion Bucks to acquire Instagram in 2012. It also became one of the fastest growing social network since that year.

The Company  has already stated that more than 75% users are using it outside of USA. Since the rise of Instagram, Facebook has made itself the biggest social networking company in the world. Apart from Instagram which now has 400 Million users, Facebook also owns Whatsapp with 900 million users and the messenger with 700 million users.

It will be interesting to see how the twitter fights back in this war.

For more updates don’t forget to subscribe to Getting Geek.

Microsoft Office 2016 is finally here

Microsoft has released the new version of its ubiquitous product, Microsoft Office 2016. It is now available for all PCs running Windows 7 or newer versions

After several previews and announcements, Microsoft has released the new version of its ubiquitous product, Microsoft Office 2016. It is now available for all PCs running Windows 7 or newer versions, Unlike Windows 10, Microsoft has not made it free for users who already have Office 2013. Users having a valid subscription of Microsoft Office 365 will get it free of cost. Microsoft has also stated in a blog post that customers with Volume License will be able to download it from October 1st.

New and Changed Things in Microsoft Office 2016

Microsoft has made many changes in Office 2016, but ultimately it is more of a evolution rather than revolution for Office Suite. Among the several new features Tighter Cloud integration and Real time co-authoring of a Word documents are the most notable. Office 2016 is more focused on cloud technology and as it looks, it will try its best to beat Google’s Docs. Office also includes a new tell me bar that is able to help users in finding a command in Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint. Apart from these features Microsoft Office 2016 is also improving the Excel by introducing six new chart designs.

Tell me bar in Microsoft Word 2016 | Image : Microsoft
Tell me bar in Microsoft Word 2016 | Image : Microsoft

Microsoft is also introducing new research features such as the ability to search and insert content to document right from web. There are some cosmetic changes as well, the apps now have a coloured title bar. Each app has different color, such as Word has blue title bar based on the color scheme of the icon. Other flat themes from Office 2013 are available to use as well and one Grey theme is added too.

There is now a new member in Office Family, named Sway, In a nutshell it is just a mix between Microsoft Word and Microsoft PowerPoint. Users can use Sway in Microsoft Office 2016 to create information stuffed simple websites. Instead of just making it available for Office 2016, Microsoft has made it available for free of cost all users as a Windows App and a Web App.

OneNote now has a better note management system that is able to link Office files ( Word and PowerPoint Files at this time) to notes, when needed users will be able to use it to find files related to that particular note.

Office 2016 is taking Windows 10 like update approach

It is now clear that instead of just releasing bug fixes and security updates for Microsoft Office 2016, the Redmond giant will also make new feature and refinements available regularly. It will work just like it works in WIndows 10.

We will soon review it on Getting Geek and see that how it stacks up against the expectations.

Microsoft is releasing Office 2016 on September 22

Microsoft is releasing the latest update for its widely used Office Suite for Windows on 22nd September.

There is good news for Office 365 Subscribers and Office users from Microsoft. Microsoft is releasing the latest update for its widely used Office Suite for Windows on 22nd September. On that day Office 2016 will be made available for all general consumers and Office 365 subscribers. In a blog post Microsoft confirmed the release date for Microsoft Office 2016.

Users with Volume Licence will be able to get Office 2016 from October 1. Interested users can also download a 32 bit Preview from Microsoft’s website. Although Microsoft has not disclosed prices for Office 2016.  Subscribers of Office 365 will get it free. It doesn’t feels likely that Microsoft will make the upgrade free for retail customers as it did for Windows 10.

Microsoft has already released a version of Office 2016 for Mac and now it is turn for the Windows Users. This version is more focused on data processing and Finding the features that are already available in Office.

New Features in Office 2016

Office 2016 is more focused on cloud technology and as it looks it will try its best to beat Google’s Docs. To do that Microsoft has added many new features such as co-authoring and real time document editing by many users on the same document. Microsoft is also trying to make it easy for people to find tools and features by introducing a new tell me bar. It is a text box right after the ribbon where user can enter a query and Office lists help or command below the box. Microsoft is also introducing new research features such as the ability to search and insert content to document right from web. There are some cosmetic changes as well, the apps now have a coloured title bar each app has different color such as Word has blue based on the color scheme. other flat themes from Office 2013 are available to use as well.

It will be interesting to see what Microsoft can add to an already great Office suite with the new Microsoft Office 2016.

 

Amazon has a tablet for your Kids at $99

In terms of specs Amazon has packed 1.3Ghz Quad Core Processor and 1GB RAM in the Fire Kids Edition. The Tablet has 8″ of Screen real estate area and 8GB of internal memory.

Tablets may not be as hot as they were two years ago, Amazon is still trying to sell them to you. Just after a few days when Apple Launched its 12.9″ monster iPad Pro, Amazon has launched its new lineup of tablets. This time along with launching some other tablets made for adults, Amazon seems to be betting for a tablet made for Kids.

In a launch event Amazon revealed its lineup of New tablets with a New Fire Tablet and a new Fire Kids edition. Kids edition Fire Tablet is straight forwardly aimed at kids having a Kids Friendly UI and a Big Blue case covering the Tablet.

In terms of specs Amazon has packed 1.3Ghz Quad Core Processor and 1GB RAM in the Fire Kids Edition. The Tablet has 8″ of Screen real estate area and 8GB of internal memory.

To make the Tablet more appealing to Kids Amazon has included one year subscription of Amazon Freetime, a service that contains Games and Books for Kids. Also Amazon Fire Kids Edition includes a two year replacement guarantee covering accidental damage.

The Fire Kids Tablet is now available for people to buy at Amazon’s website.

Groove Music in Windows 10 Sucks. Here are your alternatives

Lets look at some of the problems in the Groove Music and what are the groove music alternative out there.

Groove is the name of default music player in Windows 10. It replaces Xbox music app included in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, Microsoft had undoubtedly made some improvements on the original Music app from Windows 8 but still it is just not worth using for power users. The reason? It is half baked, lacks many features and at last it is not customizable even a little bit. Lets look at some of the problems in the Groove Music and what other music players can you use to replace it.

groove music alternatives 1
Groove Music Player in Windows 10

The Groove App is not such of a groover

The app starts fine, looks a bit minimalistic and even has a not bad library management. It starts to look weak if a power user starts using it. Boot it up, add some songs and after you think you need to tweak the sound output a little bit and you find that there is nothing you can do about it. The Groove Music Player does not have any Equalizer or even a dialog box to change sound output settings. You don’t have the ability to use auto playlists on the player. Meaning you can’t have an automated list of all song rated more than 4 stars. The included playlist option does not let you export music playlist.

Alternatives To Groove Music

There were always some good music playing apps out here for Windows, most are freeware and some are worth paying for. Getting a bit deeper on Groove app we find that it is doing two things as an app. The first one is playing locally installed music and the second one is offering music streaming from Microsoft Groove Music Service. Well there are alternatives available for both the tasks. Groove Music Streaming Costs around $9 per month or $100 Per year.

Groove Music is charged comparatively similar to other services such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Music Streaming service.

Streaming Alternatives to Groove Music Service

Music Streaming market is big, and it is just getting bigger day by day, Apart from Groove we have Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, Google Music and more alternatives.

Spotify

Costing almost same as Groove Music for Premium subscription, Spotify is the only streaming service that offers free tire. Spotify app is available for nearly all major platforms. It is perhaps the best streaming out there. Spotify is an excellent alternative for power users because it supports Add-Ons such as equalizers. Same as Groove, Spotify also offers a web player.

Apple Music

Apple’s answer to Spotify, Apple Music is available for iOS, Windows ( using iTunes), OS X. Apple will also make the app for Android, it Costs almost same. Apple offers three-month free trial before buying the subscription.

Google Play Music

Google Play Music is not available as an app for Windows or OS X, on a PC you will need to use the website to stream music. App available for Android is good enough for daily use.

Music Player alternatives to Groove Music App

If you are not the streaming person and instead you believe in storing and playing music locally, you can switch to any music players just by a couple of clicks. Below here I have listed some of the Best Music Players and Management Software out here.

Windows Media Player

groove music alternatives 3
Good Old Windows Media Player

Windows Media Player is still included in Windows 10; sadly there are no improvements, and it looks same as Media Player from Windows 7. WMP supports music streaming over the network, and it also has almost perfect library management system. It supports nearly all things that Groove does plus auto playlist and Video Playback. It may be your best pick it you are not interested in downloading any other software.

Mediamonkey

groove music alternatives 3
MediaMonkey – Non Skinned

Take all the features for WMP and add superb skinning system, auto media organisation and a better ripping support and the result is Mediamonkey. Free version of Mediamonkey is enough to satisfy a majority of Geeks. For more there is a paid MediaMonkey Gold version too that costs approx Rs 3.5K. Media Monkey  makes an excellent alternative to Groove Music if you have a huge music library and you want it to be organised.

MusicBee

groove music alternatives
MusicBee in Xbox Theater Mode

MusicBee is also an excellent media playing and management software it has a feature set somewhat similar to MediaMonkey. MusicBee comes with more preinstalled skins than MediaMonkey. It has a great theater mode that will work mostly as a now playing screen from WIndows Media Player. MusicBee is a complete freeware and does not have any paid variant at the time of Writing. It is good at tagging and managing media, tweaking sound output and retrieving metadata from internet for local files.

AIMP

groove music alternatives 5
AIMP with Default Skin

AIMP is available for Windows and Android; it is a perfect simple no-nonsense music player for the platforms. The latest version is 3.6 for Windows. AIMP beats Groove Music in terms of functionality and customizability. It has great custom Skins and addons plus it is not a resource hog. The UI is a bit messy to look at first but as soon as you start using it you will find it comfortable enough for music Playing.

Foobar2000

Foobar2000 is an almost DIY music player. The Default theme looks pretty old, however tons of themes are available for free to use. Also nearly every feature is extendable thanks to great Components (Read:add on) support. It is the only open source app in our list but it stands out in terms of flexibility. It is a bit confusing to use so it may take some time in getting used to it.

Apart from these apps Internet has tons of other Music Players, for more be sure to check out Best Free Software List. 

7 Microsoft Excel Tricks You Need to Know

Here we have a beautiful infographic that contains 7 Extremely useful Excel Tricks that will help you in getting most out of the software.

Microsoft Excel is one hell of Software when it comes to number crunching. It has been around for almost 30 years and It has shown no sign of slowing down even after release of several Free alternatives. Excel is a huge application, people use it for many degrees of work, starting from a simple Monthly Budget to calculation budgets of millions of dollars. Excel seems simple at first and seems just like a table making software to many, but after people learn some Microsoft Excel Tricks with Charts, Pivot Tables and Complex Functions Microsoft Excel turns into a full featured, Number Processing Powerhouse. When you are into using excel you can either use  silly ways to perform tasks, do calculations automatically, format each and every cell individually and other stuff or you can just use some excel tricks to make all these things automated. It will not just reduce the workload but also you will ultimately save time and increase the precision of your excel Worksheet.

Here I have a beautiful infographic that contains 7 Extremely useful Excel Tricks that will help you in getting most out of the software.

Via MicrosoftTraining

7 Essential Microsoft Excel Tricks Everyone Should Know

7 essential Excel tricks every office worker needs to know

Everything you need to know about Chromebooks

You have heard about em, haven’t you? Chromebooks are essentially lightweight small and cheap laptop notebooks running Google’s Chrome OS.

You have heard about them, haven’t you? Chromebooks are essentially lightweight, small and [mostly] cheap laptop notebooks running Google’s Chrome OS. This is the major difference between Chromebook and other laptops.
Chrome OS is an operating system based on Linux kernel. However Chrome OS is a lot different than most of Linux Distributions and than any other version of Windows. Instead of having dozens of pre-installed Tools, Backup utilities, accessories, Text Editors and other software, Chrome OS has just a web Browser and only a few important utilities. This is what Google has thought about OS of a modern era. Google’s Chrome OS relays heavily on Internet to do tasks. The Results? Chromebooks are a lot faster on startup and shutdown times, are really easy to manage and diagnose and are a lot cheaper than other expensive Notebook PCs.

chromebook
Acer C720 Costs about 19K and is a good Chromebook | Image: Google

What you get with a Chromebook?
Chromebooks begin at a small price of $200 and go up to $999 and up for Premium Chromebook Pixel, the fastest (and most expensive) Chromebook on earth. After paying that price you will get a 11 inch to 15.6 inch display notebook. Running mostly ARM Processors for cheaper models. Many models come with Intel Processors. Rest of the hardware will be just like any other Notebook. All Chromebooks come with Wi-Fi connectivity and some also ship with 3G or LTE connectivity options.

Chromebooks: The Showrunner Chrome OS

The main thing differing Chromebooks with other Notebooks is Chrome OS. Chrome OS is basically a Linux Operating system with Google Chrome Web Browser. When Google first Introduced Chromebooks it was just a Google Chrome Browser running Maximized.  All the Apps and setting could be found on New Tab Page. Now Google has made some changes and OS now looks much familiar with a Taskbar on the bottom and a notification area on bottom right side Just like Microsoft Windows. This area hosts several icons such as Wi-Fi and Data management along with a clock and and a button to switch User accounts.
Chrome OS also has some apps other than Chrome Browser. It includes an Offline File Manager that is able to open and preview some Common File Formats. Chromebooks has an offline Music and Video Player too.

Strength and weakness of Chromebooks

Strengths:

  • Easy to use and configure.
  • Low cost and lightweight.
  • Longer Battery life than other haviour laptops.
  • Less risk of Malware and other nasty, No need to install antivirus.

Weaknesses:

  • Chromebooks are running a different OS and because of that app library is really smaller than the competition.
  • Granted that they can work offline but it is really limited at some task, Internet connectivity is needed to perform most of the stuff.
  • Google Chrome is the only web browser in Chromebooks, you don’t have any alternatives to use.
Chromebook Pixel
Costing approx 81,000 Rs for the highest specs, Chromebook Pixel is Ferrari of Chromebooks | Image: Google

Chromebooks are good for

People who are most of the time online, who just need a computer to check emails, use social media, do lightweight productivity tasks and who use laptops for entertainment. You can do many things online and this is where promise of google with Chromebooks seems to be true. Due to their simplicity, you can think of them as an excellent choice for older – or not so tech savvy – people.

Chromebooks are not so good for

Granted that most of the work people do on computers nowadays can be done under the tabs of a web browser, still we do need some heavyweight application who sadly run only on full-blown Windows or Mac OS X systems. Chromebooks are good for many day-to-day tasks. If you are into editing heavyweight Video Clips, making complex vector graphics or running professional desktop applications, you will feel trapped with the limitations of chromebooks. Simply put For power users who are happy about maintaining their systems, backing them up and are able to deal with Malware, Windows, Mac or Linux are better options.

If you have already bought a Chromebook and you are feeling bad about the limitations here is what you can do: Install Linux on it.

Linux can easily be installed on Intel Processor based Chromebooks. How to Geek has a good guide to do that. 

What do you think about Chromebooks? share with us in comments…


Image Credit: Lachlan Tsang on Flickr

 

How to Get Features of Windows 10 on Windows 7/8

we have come up with a list of handy software (most of which are free) from them you can enjoy the features of Windows 10 today, so let’s begin.

Microsoft has released Windows 10 on 29th of July. With Windows 10 Microsoft is again focusing back on its desktop users, the missed Start Menu is back (with some cosmetic changes ) and finally users are going to get virtual desktops just the love they were getting on many Linux Distributions. If you are not so eager for upgrading Windows 10 and still like new features in it, we have come up with a list of handy software (most of which are free) from them you can enjoy the features of Windows 10 today, so let’s begin.

Getting Modern for Desktops

Windows 10 is going to get the ability to run Modern Apps on the desktop in Windowed mode so that you can run these with standard Windows Software, it may be very useful for any power-user who don’t want to see their screen estate area go waste. You can get this feature on your Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 machine using a software Multimix. It will do the same job, it costs almost $5 but you can try it free for 30 Days.Getting Windows 10 Features on Windows 8 and Windows 7

SNAPPING WINDOWS SMARTLY

Windows 10 helps users in snapping their Windows on their desktops, such as after you have snapped one window on side of your desktop it will automatically show you the thumbnails of other windows on the other side to snap on, well aquaSnapp is not so good in doing that but it will definitely help you snapping your windows on your desktop.

Download  aquaSanp

GETTING THE START MENU BACK

startmenu

Basically Start Menu is just a application launcher
and Microsoft is hated for removing the start menu from Windows 8. After the return of start button in Windows 8.1, the start menu is getting back in Windows 10 – users still have the ability to use the start screen instead. Our-Choice for the start menu is Start Menu Reviver, it is a free utility and it gives a modern feel too. Although Start8 and Classic Shell are also very good options to choose from.

Download Start Menu Reviver

INCREASING THE PRODUCTIVITY WITH VIRTUAL DESKTOPS

If you are just like us and you always have a dozen of windows open in your desktop, having a single monitor is a real bummer, still keeping virtual desktops helps us organizing windows in a better way. The technical Preview of Windows 10 includes a Virtual desktop system. If you want to use Virtual Desktops you can use the free Dexpot software, it works in a little different way but for us it is even better than Windows 10’s native one.

Getting Windows 10 Features on Windows 8 and Windows 7

Download Dexpot

GETTING HELP FROM A VIRTUAL ASSISTANT

If you like the siri feature in the iPhone, there is good news for you – Microsoft is going to include its own Virtual assistant named Microsoft Cortana in Windows 10. But you can use the Google Now right now! All you need is a compatible web browser. Open Google search engine and then just click on the Microphone button to start your voice search.

NOTE FOR INTERESTED USERS: Using your Microphone you can also dictate your PC to perform tasks. To do that head to Control Panel>Ease of access>Speech Recognition

MOUNTING VHD FILES

Windows 8 came out with ability of mounting ISO file out of the box, and that was really useful. We expect that Windows 8 will have the ability of Mounting Virtual Hard Disk files also. These files have a .VHD on the end of file name, you can use VHDattach utility to Mount VHD files on the go.

Download vhdattach

If you know any other apps don’t forget to mention them in your comments.

BEST FREE SOFTWARE THAT EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE

Here is the list of best free software. All software we have listed here are free and they are powerful too. Let’s jump to our list by categories.

Who says all good things cost a price. Here is the list of free apps we think the best. All software we have listed here are free but  Make no mistake – they are powerful too. Let’s jump to our list by categories.

OFFICE SUITE

We have many options when it comes to office suites, well Microsoft office is the standard and if you can afford -the best. Among the free options we think LibreOffice is the best, it has all necessary features and it is fully compatible with Microsoft Office documents. OpenOffice is also very good productivity suit. For web-browser based apps GoogleDocs is a good one.

Download:LibreOffice

MEDIA PLAYER and MEDIA MANAGER

While most of the folks go with VLC Media Player (and actually it is a good media player), we think that the KM Player is best media playing software. KMPlayer plays most media formats and it has good skinning support. Also it does not have stupid 200% volume bar (sorry VLC but I hate that) It has good subtitle support and slick UI.

If you are thinking of choosing a Media Center Software download Kodi (formally XBMC) it can play almost all media formats and it has a good 10 Foot UI.

To organize your media files MediaMonkey free is a really good software. It can tag media files and auto organize them.

Download: KMPlayer  |  Kodi  |  MediaMonkey

ANTIVIRUS and ANTIMALWARE

Thanks to Trojan horses and stupid shortcut and autorun viruses -Now everyone knows that antivirus is really important. But some people still don’t know that many good free antivirus are available on the internet. Our pick for antivirus is Avast Free Antivirus. It is fast and avast can protect you from most of the Viruses. For a second opinion one can use MalwareBytes Antimalware – avast for real time scan and Malwarebytes for on-demand scan.

Download: Avast  |  MalwareBytes 

SYSTEM MAINTAINCE and CLEANUP

To keep your PC fast and running happily we need some cleaning apps. CCleaner is both free and excellent. It offers junk cleanup, registry cleanup. Heck! You can even use it to disable auto-start apps.

BEST FREE SOFTWARE ccleaner

 

Download : CCleaner

WEB BROWSER

In one word CHROME. The world’s most popular web browser and the fastest too. Chrome offers wide range of extensions and themes to choose from – it is quick snappy and compatible with most of websites and web-apps. If you are an Open Source fan then you can go for Mozilla FireFox or Chromium – the open source version of chrome.

Download : Chrome  |  FireFox  |  Chromium

IMAGE EDITOR

We know that for image manipulation and editing Adobe Photoshop is the “Industry Standard”. Still if you want a powerful, feature rich and free image editing software you can use GIMP. It has support for layers and you can extend the functionalities by using plugins, GIMP is available for Linux also.

Download : GIMP

IMAGE VIEWER

For a normal user we would recommend Google Picasa – the editing options are very straight forward and the Picasa image Viewer is one of the most beautiful viewer we found till date.

For a PowerUser we would recommend using IRFANVIEW. It is free, Feature, Packed and it will keep any PowerUser happy.

Download : Picasa  |  IRFAN VIEW

FILE COMPRESSION

We have already discussed many ways to compress data and save disk space. Data compression helps us sending data via E-mail or web. Zip and rar are the most used formats for archives. 7zip is an excellent app with support to almost all compression formats. On the other hands the compression ratio of 7z files is the best.

Download : 7Zip

DOWNLODERS

Downloading stuff form internet can be made really quick if you use good internet Downloading Software. Internet download manager is quite famous and I have personally seen some people trying to download Pirated copy of this app. To download stuff form internet faster, we think Free Download Manger is the best (may be better than the Paid Ones) for downloading. When it comes to downloading your perfectly legal torrents µtorrent is excellent. That is small on size and lite on resources.

best free software

Download : Free Download Manager  |  uTorrent

DESKTOP CUSTOMIZATION

To make your desktop fancy and more productive Rainmeter is the best. It offers highly customizable skins to make your desktop look cool, here is a snapshot of my own desktop.

BEST FREE SOFTWARE
Rainmeter gives information at a glance and web is filled with really good rainmeter themes.

 

Rainmeter gives information at a glance and web is filled with really good rainmeter themes.

Download : Rainmeter

Liked our list? What to suggest us any app to add to this list – drop us your comments below.

 

What Should You Look For In a New Laptop: The Laptop Buying Guide

Just received some bucks from your savings and thinking of buying a new laptop? Be sure to check our Laptop Buying Guide

Just received some bucks from your savings and thinking of buying a new laptop? Don’t go too fast yet. Let’s make some plans, note down some things and then you can go hunting for your new laptop.

Laptops are very similar to desktops, but with some big advantages, one of the most important is mobility, Lighter weight and, of course, they don’t need to be plugged (always) in order to work as they run on battery. Let’s take a view on things that make or break a laptop deal and then understand how much power do you really need for your new Laptop.

THE LAPTOP BUYING GUIDE

PROCESSOR 

Intel is the brand that you should go for if you are looking for performance. AMD is a good processing option for desktop but when it comes to laptop processor AMD just can’t compare to Intel, also it is rare to find a Good Laptop running AMD Processor.In the Intel’s line of processors, Core i3 is good for everyday Office works, web browsing, Media Playing and light gaming. Don’t expect good gaming performance from it.

For mainstream works and Mid Level gaming, you can go for Core i5 processors, they have good turbo boost capabilities and they are also not so expensive.

If you are into real resource intensive tasks, video editing, running several virtual machines and playing latest games on Ultra Settings you should pick a Core i7 series.

Intel Core and Core M processoers
Intel Core and Core M processors

Some things apply to all processors. The first one is core count. Dual Core and Quad Core are standards now. Some i5 and i7 variants have 6 or 8 cores, you probably don’t need them.The fact behind that point is simple: Really few software are optimized to use more than Two cores at once. Even new games are rarely optimized to use more than  4 Cores at once.

Intel Pentium Processors are for entry level and cheap laptops and usually they have 2 Cores. New Intel Core M series processors are meant for Web browsing and for longer battery life they are used in super-slim Ultrabooks and New MacBook.

RAM (Random Access Memory)

RAM (or Random Access Memory) is one of the main components that decides the performance of your laptop. When you are picking a laptop you need to care about RAM size. Windows requires at least 1 GB (or 2 GB for 64-bit version) of RAM to run. It is quite low, however for a new laptop nowadays at least 4GB is a must have. 4GB is sufficient enough for running a couple of software at one. Still For future proofing and good speed of laptop 8GB is the sweet spot.

For Microsoft Office and very casual gaming, 4GB will work. although you can run pretty much every software on a 4GB machine, performance may be sluggish if you want to run several virtual Machines or Video editing software such as Adobe Premier Pro on your laptop.

DISPLAY OF LAPTOP

Pay special attention to the display, it is the thing that you are going to stare for a long time. The market is full of different options when it comes to Screen size and quality. Size varies from 11″ to 15″ (some 17″ monsters are also available) You will find two kinds of Displays on the market mainly. The first one is LED and the second one is TN Type. TN type displays are cheaper but personally I have found that colour and viewing angles are worse than LED screens.

The third thing that matters about displays is their resolution. For an entry-level system, you will find XVGA screens having 1366 X 768 pixels on the screen.  The upper tier has screens with full High definition display having resolution of 1921 X 1080 Pixels. Some models most notably some ultrabooks  have display of 1440p resolution. As usual more is better as more pixels result in the sharper image.

STORAGE

 Laptop buyers guide
SSDs are faster than Hard Disk Drive(s)

Do you need speed? Pick a laptop with a Solid State Drive. as they are faster and lightweight. There is one major drawback though: the Price. Models with SSD will cost more than the same size Hard Disk Drive. Most entry-level laptops ship with at least 500GB of Hard Disk Drive. for extreme performance you should always go for an Solid State Drive instead for Hard Disk Drive, however if you are tight on budget or you need more storage go for a laptop with Hard Disk Drive.

GRAPHICS CARD

A Graphics Card plays a very important role in gameplay as it renders the game visuals and send them to display, not just games but also they are really useful in video rendering and conversion. You have two options when it comes to Graphic Cards. The first one is integrated and the second one is dedicated or discrete graphics card. Integrated cards are a part of processor and they good enough to run Windows Aero and play High Definition Videos. You can also play some old games on them. Intel names their integrated graphics solutions as Intel HD Graphics 1000, 2000, 3000 and upto Iris 6300.

Dedicated graphics cards are better for playing games at good framerate. AMD Redon and Nvidia GeForce are most popular for dedicated graphics cards. NVidia 720M, 820M and AMD R5 etc. are entry level graphics cards and with an i5 Processor they provide playable frame rates if you keep graphics settings medium.

OPTICAL DISK DRIVE

Most MacBooks and Ultrabooks ship without a DVD or Blu-Ray Drive as it helps in keeping laptops slim and lightweight. Most of the works on computer can easily be done without them so it shouldn’t hurt everyone. In India most mainstream and entry-level laptops ship with a DVD Drive. If you are a hardcore gamer or want to watch movies from Blu-Ray Disks be sure to opt for a laptop with a Blu-Ray Drive. It will increase cost though.

OPERATING SYSTEM:

Almost all brands ship with Windows installed. If you want to use Linux or Any other OS Here is the thing: you can save almost 2000 INR on a laptop if you buy a laptop running FreeDOS or Linux. Finding a laptop with FreeDOS or Linux is not so tough. Remember that if you want to run Windows buying a licence latter will cost you more, this is because PC makers such as Dell or HP buy OEM Licences that are cheaper than retail copies of Windows.

OTHER BELLS AND WHISTLES:

if you work on a darker environment, a laptop with backlit keyboard will be very helpful. Also a new laptop should have at least One (Should Be more) USB 3.0 Port.

Where Should You Buy it? Online or Offline

Online Shopping is usually cheaper that buying the same item Offline from a Showroom. Still you can’t judge the quality of laptop just by looking at a photo on the website. I recommend that after selecting a laptop Online you should go to a shop and see and feel the laptop for yourself. You can buy it from any place (online or Offline) later.


 Image Credits: Wikimedia, Microsiervos Geek Crew