In this Laptop buying guide, we are going to tell you about all the things that need to be kept in mind while picking up a new laptop.
After all, we all know that Laptops are perishable goods, they age like any other device, but you don’t have to change them every year either.
You can keep the same laptop for more than 5 years. But we still have to know how to maintain it well and especially know how to choose it.
So it means that while you don’t need to change it as quickly as say a phone, for example, you still need to change it and even maintain it to keep the performance as it was.
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Laptop Buying Guide: Pick the best laptop for your requirements!
There are a few factors involved in making a buying decision for the laptop and we are going to tell them in the article below:
The “investment” part
Buying a laptop is an investment that should not be taken lightly. Define your needs, see if they match your budget, and do your research based on that data.
There is no need to waste your time going through all the products available on the market. Setting a budget upfront will allow you to refine your research. Establish a price range and do your research based on it
Pick an Operating System
Each computer runs on a specific operating system that does everything from starting the computer and shutting it down, including all software programs, file management, connecting to the Internet, and more.
Most computers use Windows which is the world’s most popular operating system, but Apple’s Mac laptops are also popular. And now, Laptops that use Google’s Chromebook are also starting to have the wind in their sails.
It is the most flexible operating system. Windows laptops range in price from less than $ 150 to several thousand dollars and offer a wide range of features from touch screens to fingerprint readers and dual graphics chips.
Windows 10, the latest version offers a number of improvements, including the ability to switch between tablet and desktop modes, a revamped Start menu with live tiles, and the powerful digital assistant Cortana.
All MacBooks come with Apple’s latest desktop operating system, macOS Catalina. Overall, the operating system offers functionality similar to Windows 10, but with a different approach to the interface. Instead of the digital assistant Cortana, Mac users use Siri. They can also transact with Apple Pay.
It’s the youngest among operating systems. The first version was only released in 2011, but it can already position itself as a serious competitor to Microsoft’s Windows and Apple’s macOS.
Google’s operating system is simple and secure, but more limited than Windows or Mac OS. The user interface looks a lot like Windows with an application menu, a desktop and the ability to drag windows, but with the Chrome browser as the main application.
The downside is that many of the “web applications” don’t work well offline. However, that is well on the way to improvement, as nearly all Chrome books, including the top-of-the-line Google Pixel Book, can now run Android apps.
After you have defined your needs and budget, define which operating system would be suitable. Now it’s time to consider which size would best meet your needs. You need to figure out how portable your laptop should be. And to do this, check the screen size:
- 11 to 12 inches: The laptop will be thin and light and will weigh only 1 to 1.5 kg.
- 13 to 14 inches: Offers the best balance of portability and good functionality, especially if you can find a laptop weighing less than 2 Kg.
- 15 to 16 inches: 15 inches is the most common size. Laptops of this size typically weigh 2-3 Kg. Consider this size if you want a larger screen and don’t plan on carrying your laptop regularly. Laptops with 16-inch screens are rare, but Apple could start the trend with its 16-inch MacBook Pro.
- 17-18 inches: If your laptop sits on your desk all day, a 17 or 18-inch system can give you the kind of processing power you need to play high-end games or ensure good productivity at the work level.
The CPU has a huge influence on performance. If you really don’t know anything about laptops, just think of Intel Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7. An Intel Core processor offers the best performance in multitasking and multimedia functions.
Intel Core i3-based laptops are typically found in entry-level systems, while Core i5 makes up the majority of mainstream computers.
Intel Core i7 based systems are for those who want the best performance. However, note that with a Core i7-based system, the laptop may generate more heat which may affect the portability of the device.
Besides the operating systems (OS) and the CPU, you can also base your decision on the power of the laptop.
For example, if you typically use visuals, such as computer games, movies, or work with graphics, then you need to buy a machine with a good graphics card and a high-end sound card. In fact, it can be a discrete graphics card or an integrated graphics card which is integrated into the CPU.
Hybrid or not?
Many PC laptops fall into the category of 2-in-1 laptops, hybrid devices that can switch between traditional clamshell mode, tablet mode, and other positions between a tent or stand mode.
2-in-1s are generally available in two different styles:
- Detachable style with the screen protruding entirely from the keyboard
- Flexible laptops with hinges that bend 360 degrees to change modes.
This kind of laptop has the advantage of having a very long battery life and being more easily transportable than traditional laptops. It is also more versatile thanks to the tablet mode which makes it easier to play video games or read.
As we have mentioned above, this is a general buying guide and it totally depends upon you as to what you want inside your laptop.
If you want to pick a laptop that is easy to carry around, you should go for a 13-inch device. For working from a fixed place and if you need power, you should go for a powerful 15 or 17-inch laptop that has an Intel Core i7 processor.
In case, you travel a lot then you are better to invest in a 2-in-1 laptop that can be used as a tablet as well as a laptop on the go.
Abhishek Jariwala is the Founder, Editor and Owner of LaptopsMatter.com. He is a passionate geek who loves to tinker around with the latest phones, tablets and laptops as soon as they launch. He also loves to help people pick up their best laptops for their purposes which is also the reason why this site was made.