No matter your purchasing power or residence, there are hundreds of laptop models to choose from at any moment. This can make settling for the right one difficult, as manufacturers put out seemingly “new” models almost monthly.
When it comes to translation work and writing in general, things aren’t as dire since raw power isn’t what you’re looking for. You can safely choose a low-to-mid-range laptop and make good use of it for several years before having to switch to a new machine. To make the selection process easier, here are some of the factors you should keep in mind when choosing the best laptop for translation-type work.
Consider the Size & Weight Aspect
Choosing a laptop of the right size and the weight comes down to how much you commute or work in hubs or coffee shops. Laptops can range 11.6-17.3 inches in size, and their weight depends on the build and number of features installed in them. If you’re the type of person to work outside and travel a lot, a smaller machine such as an HP EliteBook might be your best option.
Screen Quality and Functionality
Screen sizes and quality margins change almost as fast as the laptop models themselves. While the current standards for computer screen resolution settle around 4K, laptops don’t generally require such sharp image quality. Choosing a good 1080p screen with touchscreen functionality will make your writing and translation work smoother than before. To that end, a Chromebook model might be a safe bet, given its versatility.
Keyboard Layout and Usage Quality
Keyboard quality and button layout are an extremely subjective topic – no two people will like the same things. This goes double for translation work, as you may want a custom keyboard layout with foreign language symbols for work. While on the hunt for your new laptop, you can rely on professional online translation services to outsource translation work or any document editing. The best way to pick the right keyboard for you is to visit computer stores and try mock-typing to get a feel for it directly.
Emphasize CPU and RAM over GPU for Translation Work
Given that you know what kind of work you will do on your laptop, it’s easier to pick the right components. In the case of translation, you will mainly work with text editing software and browsers rather than taxing 3D or video editing software. This means that you can forgo state-of-the-art GPUs and settle for an integrated video card in favor of a high-performance CPU. Intel’s Core i3, i5, i7, and i9 are, as their names suggest, CPUs with varying numbers of cores which you can look for in laptops. The more cores a CPU has, the better it will perform, and the same goes for RAM. Don’t go below 16GB of RAM given that you will need to use your browser in tandem with translation software on a daily.
Battery Life Expectancy and External Ports
Battery life is an extremely important aspect of any laptop, so be wary of it. Manufacturers will always indicate the life expectancy, but it is rarely close to the practical truth. Laptop models such as Dell Latitude 9510 and Asus ExpertBook B9450 offer competitive battery performances but are more costly than traditional text editing laptops. If you don’t mind a lower battery life, you can settle for a cheaper model and rely on external power supplies.
However, the external port features of any laptop should not be overlooked, as you cannot upgrade the number of USB or other slots down the line. Look for laptop devices with at least 3 USB ports, of which at least one is USB 3.0. The other ports, such as HDMI, VGA, LAN, and others, are up to your preference, but the more USB slots you get, the better. Sooner or later, you will want to attach external HDDs, keyboards, webcams, and other devices which can only be used with dedicated USB slots.
Settling for the Right Laptop (Conclusion)
Thankfully, there are plenty of laptops to choose from no matter your budget. Go through these points and take mental notes on what you’d like your laptop to have. For translation work, you don’t need to go all out and spend exuberant amounts of money. All you need is a solid set of mid-range components packed into a solid casing, and you are ready to focus on your work.
Bio: Elizabeth Baldridge is a writer, creative marketer, and content specialist writing about IT and digital marketing. Her expertise and passion for writing are found throughout her writer’s portfolio. Elizabeth enjoys working on essays, case studies, and articles on a variety of digital-related niches. She spends her free time reading and catching up on online courses.