A laptop is a significant investment, whichever way you look at it. Of course, most laptops are designed to be multi-purpose machines, capable of performing a range of tasks such as surfing the web, viewing HD videos, gaming and so forth. If you need a laptop for one purpose in particular, however, there may be a number of specific factors to take into account before choosing. This is particularly true of web design.
Web design is a rapidly expanding sector, with many people able to create beautifully-designed sites with advanced software. It’s vital, therefore, that anyone looking to get a laptop specifically for web design should take the following factors into account before parting with their money.
More often than not, web design software like Photoshop can be extremely resource-intensive, consuming a huge chunk of CPU at any one time. And if you have multiple applications open at once, the strain on a less powerful machine can be too much for it to handle. The number one consideration for web designers, then, should always be the following: ‘Is this laptop going to be powerful enough to handle whatever I throw at it?’ You should be looking for at least a 2.3GHz processor, with plenty of RAM (around 4GB, with the option to add extra if you need it). Graphics processing is also an important concern; working with Photoshop and video software will demand a great deal from your graphics card, so it’s important to ensure that you have a good one.
Bound to be of huge importance to any web designer, your laptop’s screen will affect how quickly and easily you will be able to work. A high resolution is a must, as it allows you to inspect in detail the various elements of a site (or whatever image you’re working on). For this reason, a minimum resolution of 1600 x 900 is recommended.
Arguably just as important as resolution is the size of your screen. Chances are you’re going to have multiple windows open at once, and as such you’ll likely need a screen with between 15 and 17.5 inches to give you plenty of breathing space visually. Any bigger than this, though, and you risk compromising on portability.
Like many workforces, web designers are becoming mobile, and the tools they use must adapt to fit this change. Ideally, you’ll want something which you can easily carry around in a satchel and doesn’t take up too much space on a coffee table or train compartment, so your maximum weight would be somewhere around 3 kg.
If a large screen is your number one priority, this tends to add bulk and weight to the machine, but thankfully there are ways around this. Ultrabooks offer a large screen and decent battery life, but if ultimate portability is what you’re after, the best laptop to get would be some sort of lightweight tablet/laptop hybrid like the Lenovo Ideapad Yoga, which can convert to a tablet by flipping the screen around.