TECH

Extreme Tech: A Long List of the Must Have Laptop Features

Are you a tech-head? Do you enjoy having the latest and greatest features on your gadgets?

Then you should know about some of the features that are available on the newest laptops!

These laptop features aren’t gimmicks, either. They offer major quality-of-life improvements for your computing experience.

So if you’re ready to take on 2022 with the best laptop specs available, we’ve put together this extensive list of neat laptop features. Read on to find out more!

1. OLED Screen

OLED screens are a relatively new technology. They started appearing in high-end televisions a few years ago, and are now starting to trickle down into the laptop world.

OLED screens boast vivid colours and the blackest blacks. They offer eye-popping detail and depth to the image. This is perfect if you watch a lot of movies, or even do video editing yourself.

While OLED screens definitely cost more than a typical LED screen, they will give you the ultimate viewing experience on your laptop.

2. Touch Screens

Touch screens on laptops are not necessarily new, but they are still fairly uncommon.

They may seem like a luxury if you’ve never used one. But once you use a touch screen laptop, you won’t want to go back.

If you’ve ever tried to pan and zoom with a laptop trackpad, you may realize how beneficial a multi-gesture touch screen can be.

If you are in the market for buying a laptop, a touch screen is better to have and occasionally use than not have at all.

3. Pen Support

Piggybacking on the touch screen comes the stylus pen. These are digital pens that interact with touch screen laptops.

Stylus pens are excellent for anyone who takes notes or does digital art. But this laptop feature is not found on every touch screen machine.

Laptops with stylus support typically work with the Windows Ink pen. This pen has multiple stylus points available and is sensitive enough to detect stroke pressure and angle.

4. SSD Hard Drive

Spinning hard drives are a thing of the past. They’re slow, loud, and take up a lot of space inside of a laptop.

However, some lower-end laptops still rely on SATA drives to store programs and files.

If you want to upgrade your computing experience, this piece of laptop hardware will make a massive difference in performance and speed.

SSD drives are solid-state, meaning that they store the data digitally instead of inscribing it on a spinning disk.

This means that finding and accessing data is much faster and more efficient. They are also quieter and take up far less space.

Look for laptop specifications that state an SSD drive is onboard. Some laptops have more than one drive, using an SSD to install programs and a SATA to store files. Others use dual SSD drives.

5. 802.11ac WiFi

802.11ac is the newest WiFi protocol. This is a massive improvement in speed and performance over earlier WiFi.

But manufacturers have been slow to integrate 802.11ac adapters into their laptop features. And if you want the best performance out of your wireless connection, this will be a necessity.

Not to mention, if you are buying a laptop, you want to future-proof as much as possible. There’s no guarantee that older WiFi adapters will be compatible with the new 5Ghz standard.

6. Biometric Authentication

Laptop security is extremely important. If your laptop gets stolen, you don’t want the crook getting into your sensitive files and programs.

And while a good password will provide some measure of protection, a clever thief can crack a password with nothing but a program on a USB dongle.

That’s why biometric authentication is the bleeding edge of laptop features.

This uses facial or fingerprint scanning to access your laptop. Only you will be able to pass the authentication, making this a much more reliable and secure method of locking down your laptop.

Some of the most advanced laptops even use an infrared camera to perform facial recognition scans via Windows Hello.

7. NVIDIA Pascal Graphics Card (Or Better)

If you plan on doing any gaming or 3D rendering on your laptop, you’ll want to look for a high-end graphics card.

These days, this is an NVIDIA Pascal card. The Pascal architecture family begins with the GTX1080 and goes all the way up to the Quadro workstation graphics cards for high-end architectural and spatial rendering.

Depending on your specific needs, you’ll need a Pascal card that is developed for your specific needs.

Gamers should look into GTX series cards, as these are optimized for gaming performance.

If you work in the design field using CAD and rendering software, you will want a workstation laptop equipped with a Quadro card.

8. USB 3.0

USB connections have been around for a long time. It feels like a lifetime since we saw the introduction of USB 2.0.

So it should come as no surprise that the world has begun to move on to USB 3.0.

While this port uses the same form factor as USB 2.0, it is a much faster connection.

USB 3.0 is backward-compatible with most USB 2.0 devices. But obviously, USB 2.0 cannot run USB 3.0 devices.

So if you want to future-proof your new laptop specs, make sure that you get a machine with multiple USB 3.0 ports.

9. LTE Capability

Gone are the days of using coffee shop WiFi or a mobile phone hotspot to do remote work.

The latest and greatest laptops boost mobile network connectivity via an onboard SIM card.

This means that all you need to connect to the World Wide Web anywhere is a data plan with a mobile carrier.

This is a massive leap forward and begs the question “why wasn’t this done sooner?”

Regardless, manufacturers are starting to slowly put out LTE-capable machines. If connectivity is one of your top laptop features, consider hunting down one of these computers.

10. Intel 11th Generation Processor

Nothing is more important for buying a laptop than choosing the right processor.

Processors are one of those features of a laptop that is always considered first. This is because your processor affects nearly everything else about your laptop’s performance.

Many laptops on the sales floor still have last-generation processors. So while they may seem like a good deal at first, they are not nearly as future-proof.

Intel is now on its 11th generation of processors, code-named Rocket Lake. These were released in March of 2021.

Additionally, Intel has rolled out the Evo platform, which is a series of laptops boasting 11th generation processors and integrated graphics.

These laptops undergo rigorous benchmark testing, so you can be assured their real-world performance matches their laptop specs. Click here for more on Intel Evo.

11. 4K UHD Resolutions

Along with OLED displays, 4K UHD resolutions are on the bleeding edge of laptop display technology.

Most OLED displays are 4K UHD native, but some laptops without OLED screens can also reach these resolutions.

If the excellent image quality is important to you, make sure to look for a laptop with 4K UHD. They are rare and more expensive, but worth every penny over a regular HD screen.

12. Thunderbolt Connections

Along with USB 3.0, the new Thunderbolt is another upgraded connection type.

Thunderbolt devices are becoming more common in the audio and video fields. Manufacturers have begun rolling out Thunderbolt ports on laptops to accommodate this.

If you want to make sure that you have a connection for every possible device, look for a laptop with a Thunderbolt connection port.

While they are not as common as USB ports, they can usually be found on higher-end machines.

13. 2-in-1 Devices

Tablets and touch-screen computers have had a rocky history. However, the release of the iPad revolutionized the idea of a touch-screen device, and the rest is history.

2-in-1 devices look like a traditional laptop but can fold or detach the keyboard to allow the use of the screen as a touch screen.

While some of these devices can lean more towards tablet functionality, laptops like the Microsoft Surface are fully-fledged and powerful machines with a tablet form factor.

14. Integrated Webcam

While these are not necessarily one of the new laptop features, they sure have come a long way in a few years.

Integrated webcams used to be so low-resolution that consumers would buy separate webcams instead.

However, nowadays integrated webcams can do HD video, making them excellent for streamers and Zoom business meetings alike.

As mentioned earlier, some of the more high-end laptops boast integrated webcams that can also do infrared scanning and other similar features.

15. Battery Life

While laptops nowadays already have pretty great battery lives, there have been advances in battery technology that are beginning to show up in new laptops.

These batteries are scaled-up and improved versions of smartphone batteries, making them lighter and more efficient than the older lithium-ion batteries.

Not only do they charge faster, but they last longer. This can be seen on Apple’s newest series of MacBooks, which boasts up to 20 hours of battery life.

We expect to see these advanced batteries on more Windows machines in the next year, so keep your eyes peeled.

The Best and Latest Laptop Features

If you’re in the market for a new laptop, make sure to keep your eyes peeled for these laptop features.

Not only are they great quality-of-life improvements, but they also improve the security and performance of your laptop. Make sure to future-proof your laptop purchase and stretch your dollar as far as it can go!

For more technology news and insights, be sure to check out the “Tech” section of our blog. And as always, please feel free to contact us at any time!

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