Laptop Buying Guide
Many of us use laptop every day as they are portable and offer great features. There are many options available in the market with few variations in their factors. These factors are important to understand while selecting one for you. All of these features are explained in the buying guide in detail.
The first thing that comes to every consumer’s mind is the purpose. What is the primary use of a laptop? Is it for casual purpose? Do you need a gaming laptop? Are you a learner or an expert? Do you often travel for business work?
After considering the purpose of a laptop, it will help you narrow down the list.
How much Power do you need?
The choice of processor affects the performance of a laptop. There are two primary producers of the processor of the laptop. Intel and AMD lead the market in terms of momentum and quality. Also, both companies make single-core and multi-core CPUs. Apple MacBook Pro has an octa-core processor that delivers eight times better performance.
Intel indulges the Celeron, Pentium, and Core, while AMD includes Sempron, Athlon, and Phenom. Each CPU has a clock speed. The front-side bus connects with the laptops’ RAM. Besides, the CPU consists of different levels of cache. The cache is fast memory and acts as a buffer between processor and memory.
The Intel Core i3 processor is more than enough for all you need for running lite apps, browsing, and watching videos with the current generation. For students, the i5 processor is an excellent solution as it has a quad-core with 8 threads and gives an adequate performance. It allows you to play and work on intensive Software.
On moving further, i7 or i9 is the top-end performance processor. As well, the Core i7 processor produces optimal and high-speed performance. Some laptops have an i9 processor that is used for military grades.
If you love to play games, then go for AMD processors that are perfect for gaming purpose. AMD has a different series; laptops use the Ryzen3, 5 or 7 in other models. Ryzen 5 gets pace like to i5 CPU.
Number of Cores
You will find this term being highlighted wherever in smartphones and in laptops too. The number of cores renders Software with multiple threads to run off. Some brands might have entry-level processors with many cores, but they aren’t always practical.
Different computing tasks need other sources. If you want to run various apps at one time, your device needs multiple cores.
But if you plan to buy a laptop just for simple tasks, like browsing, watching movies, and finishing assignments, then a basic model with 2 cores is enough. At the same time, 4 core means quad-core allows you to perform videos or play games with your work. You can also get some CPU with 6 and 8 cores that are perfect for programming and designing.
High-end processors like i5, i7, and more lead to having multi-threading as a trait. This feature allows them to use every Core skillfully all the time. You will find a notable difference in the review of the processor that supports it.
Another bonus feature you will find in one or more processors – the TurboBoost. This allows the processor to run away from its fixed play for a short time.
As we’ve made it clear that the high-end processors that run at low speed and save battery do have TurboBoost. It lets them fasten their core speed and get higher performance.
What does the significance of Memory?
This feature varies after purchasing the laptop. It is the essential element in machines that runs the programs smoothly. You go with the memory up-gradation system. Since, after some time, the laptops going slow down. It requires memory variation.
RAM comes in different sizes. For the Core i7 processor laptop, the system has at least 8GB. Even for a better speed, 16GB is suitable. The consumption of power depends on the kinds of RAM. Memory is of three categories, such as DDR, DDR2, DDR3, and DDR4.
The speed of memory depends on the motherboard of a laptop. If the motherboard of the laptop supports 1600 MHz speed, But you have 2133MHz clock speed memory. Then it provides only 1600 MHz speed.
How much Storage is Enough?
What is more important than the speed of the CPU is the performance of the storage drive. Get a laptop With (SSD) solid-state drive rather than HDD. In SSD, moving parts are not involved, but in HDD, durability decreases due to its moving parts.
It is the most popular type of storage for the laptop. It would be best to look at a 1TB HDD to store many kinds of music, videos, and images files.
SSDs are thinner and run faster instead of lower capacities. It is expensive than other drives. Many laptops have both storages and known as hybrid storage.
SSHD stands for Solid State Hybrid Drive. It is a mixture of SSD & HDD. It offers a larger storage area and shots everything faster too.
Different types of Compatible Operating Systems
Most laptops come with three OS: Windows 10, Chrome OS, Mac OS. Picking the right Operating System plays a vital role.
Windows OS: Windows 10 runs on laptops more than chrome Operating System and Mac OS. A laptop with Windows 10 has lifetime validity. This Operating System is great for students and researchers. There is an advance version of this Operating System. The Microsoft surface book uses the Windows 10 Pro as an operating system.
Chrome OS: Chrome Operating System is simple to operate and secure. Its user interface looks like Windows Operating System. If you highly need to work on the web or online. Then go with Chrome OS. Its downside is that many web apps not available offline.
Mac OS: All of the MacBook comes with the latest desktop of the Apples’ operating system. It offers functionality similar to Windows 10, only different from the interface. Indeed, the apps lock at the bottom of the screen for the taskbar menu. Here, the limitation is that MacOS not comes in touchscreen laptops. Apple MacBook Pro uses Mac OS X 10.5 or 10.6.
What is the right size and display quality?
You need to decide on the screen-size and resolution first. However, the laptop comes with a different screen ratio. You have an ample amount of choices for laptops’ screens.
The most common size of the screen is 15.6-inch. But you will also get 11 inch, 13 inch, and other display sizes, going up to 17.3 inches. The most common laptop size is 15.6 inches, and the 11 inch – 12-inch laptop makes machines more portable. For heavy gaming, we need large screens. This large screen improves in clarity of vision. Photo or video editing needs a high-quality pixel. Many laptop screens come in 17 inch that is useful in high-end gaming.
The high-resolution screen is equal to a vibrant and bright visual. The natures of display resolution are HD, Full HD, and 4k HD or ultra HD. It measures pixel count. A 1920 x 1080 pixel is the most respected screen if you want to keep things in view. Today many laptops come with 4k resolution. However, these high-end displays tend to be costly.
Another factor you should consider regarding display is screen type. The IPS(In-plane switching) and Non-IPS are two screen models. If you want to purchase a laptop, especially for programming, you don’t need an IPS display.
Also, you will see laptops with a touchscreen. Usually, they are considered as 2-in-1 laptops. It makes you appear similar to tablets or smartphones. The touchscreen laptops help to create ideas and plan innovatively easily on the screen.
What kind of Connectivity Options you need?
On choosing the specifications for your laptop, a decent port collection is important too. Since you don’t know which port is required in the future, it is better to consider the whole configuration at present. These ports are explained below.
HDMI port intends to connect your laptop to bigger screens like TV, projectors and monitors. You should also consider either USB 3.0 or 3.1 and what type you require, like Type-A or Type-C. Most machines also come with an audio jack but keep in mind that you need both headphone and microphone jack or uni-jack.
You might see the compromise in the ports like ethernet slots are missing in some devices in thinner laptops. This thing would create a problem for wired online connection for keen gamers. Otherwise, look for a wireless connection like WiFi that has 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac standards. For the wireless connection of external devices like speakers, headphones and others, you should check the Bluetooth option.
A graphics card is a dedicated chip inside the laptop held for the visuals you see on display. Like RAM, the more GB your graphic card has, the smoother your gameplay will be. A laptop with a good graphic card is also crucial for editing photos and videos through Photoshop, AutoCAD, and more.
For your knowledge, there are two primary types of graphics card – Integrated and Dedicated.
- Smaller in size.
- Consume less power.
- Generated less heat.
- More Economical.
- Limited usage.
- Not for playing high-grade games.
- Uses its source of video memory.
- Great for hardcore gaming and graphic designing.
- Higher performance as compared to integrated.
- Get heated.
- Very power-hungry.
- Drain battery fast.
How long is Battery Life?
Without a battery backup, your laptop is nothing. Buying a laptop is a lifetime purchase, at least for 8 years. If you buy the wrong lappy, then you have to face many problems. So it’s better to avoid such issues by looking for a great running battery.
Nobody wants to sit near the charging socket just after a few hours of use. Your laptop should at least give you 5 to 7 hours of long-lasting battery. Eight or nine or more hours of battery is also a good point.
Here are 3 top feature to be looking for in a battery:-
- Cells: Several cells represent the compartment within the battery. The larger the number of cells, the higher the reliability and keep a laptop running.
- Watt-Hours: This is a measurement of the battery. To understand the WH, simply look for a high number as possible. The higher the Wh, the less waste of battery.
- Replacement: While some batteries need replacement after a few years. Batteries are integrated into the laptop that can be easily replaced.
From gazing to typing sessions, you’ll need to get a laptop that is convenient to use. You must be typing a lot, and you don’t want to get a key that flattens inside. All this will alter to a poor working experience.
Hunt for a keyboard that has a spacious layout with full-sized keys and some space between them. The key should have fair travel and chic responsiveness when you let them go.
Programming involves typescript, so that you need an excellent keyboard with comfort. The keys should be easy to press and soft. However, both android developers or web developers need to write lengthy codes. The size of the keys and keystrokes are necessary. So, the keystroke must be concave instead of flat.
If you love to do gaming or video editing in the dark, then make sure to go with a backlit keyboard. It adds details and makes working easier to see what you’re doing.
Aside from this, many people go for an extra mouse instead of using the laptop’s touchpad. You know why because of a harsh touch. Just like a keypad, a comfortable and easy to use touchpad is vital. It plays a central role while moving or working in a small space like a canteen or lecture hall. Consider the size and position of these keys and touchpad while making a decision.
Type of Laptop
There are different kinds of laptops for distinct people and uses. You can divide it into five categories: Entry Level, Mainstream, Premium, 2-in-1, Gaming Laptop.
Windows laptops available in a vast number with different features. The 2-in-1 laptop has both characters. It works as a tablet as well as a laptop. Another type is MacBook that looks attractive. On this device, everything manages through browsing. The Ultimate Gaming laptop features graphics for high-level performance.
The 2-in-1 laptop blends the convenience and ease of a tablet with the utility of a keyboard. This category includes two specific signs: Convertible and Detachable.
The Convertible can serve as a tablet by flipping the keyboard under the screen. On the other side, the Detachable is essentially a tablet with a removable keyboard but looks and feels like an ultra-thin laptop when combined.
User needs to balance their budget and needs, and they might have to make some compromises. Rarely does a laptop come along that ticks all the boxes, especially when it comes to price?
You will find hundreds of laptops with different traits and terms from Rs. 10,000 onwards. First, it is essential to discuss your child’s needs and figure out how much you’re ready to spend.
Once you set your budget after talking with your kid, it becomes easy to pick the one. This will help you decide on one with unique features your kid wants.
Biometric Sensor: Fingerprint readers allow you to log in to your laptop by simply swiping your finger over the reader. Laptops or tablets with a touchscreen may allow you to press your finger to the screen to read your fingerprint.
Build Quality: Most laptops are inevitably going to find themselves dropped, thrown and knocked around by the rigours of everyday use. For that reason, it’s worth to consider a laptop that is underpasses through the military-grade test. The most common you see is the MIL-STD 810G.
Google Assistant: With in-built Alexa or Google Assistant, you can control the entertainment without hassle. This voice control feature intensifies the comfort.
Privacy Shutter: The in-built safety mechanism that allows users to cover the camera without using tape or other device.
Sound: Some Laptops offer sufficient sound right out of the box. You get a truly immersive sound experience with the Dolby Audio system. It creates an excellent ambience for gaming. The stereo speakers with DTS Audio Processing gains the ability to make a significant improvement to surround sound.