Laptop buying can be a difficult task. There is a lot of information out there, and it’s hard to know what you should be paying for. This guide will walk through the basics on how to buy a laptop correctly so that you don’t waste your time or money!
The “laptop buying guide 2020” is a blog post that discusses the importance of purchasing a laptop that will be able to meet your everyday needs. The article also provides information on how to find the right laptop for you.
There is a distinction to be made between selecting the greatest laptop and selecting the perfect laptop. Finding the best laptop for your needs may be difficult, and it’s more about knowing your wants than technical specifications. Laptops are often constructed for a variety of functions and with various people’s lives in mind. Choosing the ideal laptop, rather than the most capable laptop, often provides the greatest user experience and value for money.
“When it comes to choosing a laptop, your priorities will be primarily determined by your rationale for getting one. According to Rex Freiberger, CEO of Gadget Review, “the specifications on a gaming laptop will seem a lot different from the specs on a laptop that’s built only for college studies, for example.”
What is the best way to choose a laptop? Is it enough to have a strong CPU, graphics card, and a large quantity of RAM? What are some other key considerations when purchasing a laptop?
Well, it depends on what you’re going to do with it, how you’re going to use it, and what software you’re going to run on it.
We hope that this information will help you navigate the vast world of computers. We’ll go through every important component of a laptop in each of the categories below so you can make informed decisions whether you’re a first-time buyer or seeking to upgrade.
What are the most important features/specifications to look for when purchasing a laptop?
First and foremost, you must choose which software you need the most and which operating system is most suited for it. This assists you in determining the hardware you need, as well as giving you a general notion of the operating system you require. There are four choices available to you:
Windows 10 is a new operating system from Microsoft.
Though this brilliant Operating System isn’t getting much attention these days, it’s the best option if your business centers on MS Office, Access, or Outlook. Furthermore, Windows has more choices than any other operating system. Is your Windows 10 computer sluggish? Find out ways to increase your speed.
If you’re new to the world of computers, a MacBook can be a good option for you since it has more beginner-friendly features than Windows. However, it’s important to remember that, like every other Apple product, the MacBook is tightly bound to the company’s hardware. If you don’t have an iPhone or an iPad, your choices are severely limited.
Also, since Apple macOS isn’t designed for touchscreen interfaces, you won’t be able to find a mac with one. If you’re thinking about getting one, you’ll need a Windows 10 laptop.
Chrome OS is an operating system that runs on Google’s Chrome
Chromebooks are a good choice if the majority of your work can be done in a web browser. They are the cheapest laptops accessible, so if you’re on a tight budget, these are a good option. Apps like Adobe Creative Suite and Microsoft Office, on the other hand, will not operate on these. Although Android applications work natively on Chromebooks, they aren’t as smooth as they are on desktop platforms.
Linux can be installed on almost any laptop that has a USB port. Because Linux is an open-source operating system, it won’t support most of the proprietary software you’ll require. However, it has a large selection of open-source alternatives for them, such as LibreOffice, GIMP – an Adobe Photoshop substitute, and Darktable – an Adobe Lightroom equivalent.
Note that Linux’s GUI (graphical user interface) isn’t very good, and setting it up and getting things done needs advanced expertise.
For practically every laptop on the market today, AMD and Intel are the two leading processor makers. These two companies have a reputation for producing chips with varying strengths and capabilities. All you have to do is choose the best one for your needs so that you never fall behind in your career or task due to a lack of processing capability.
Processors from Intel:
The primary Intel CPUs are the Core series (core i3, i5, i7, and i9). The Core i9 is the most powerful processor, while the Core i3 is the least powerful. Each of these chip lines is labeled with a cryptic string of numbers and characters that provides more information about the chip’s capabilities and the year it was released.
Let’s dissect one of these names to have a better understanding of it.
The CPU will be listed as Intel Core i5-10510U on most laptop websites. The first digit of the number 10 is referred to as its generation in this case. The CPU in this situation is the 10th Generation. Similarly, if the first number is 9, it is a year or so older and corresponds to a chip known as the 9th Generation. The following numbers are associated with the chip’s performance. The higher the number, the more powerful the chip; however, this only applies to chips from the same series. To put it another way, the Core i5-10510U is more powerful than the i5-10210U but less powerful than the i7-10350U. The letter at the end of this identifier, in our case ‘ U,’ denotes the chips’ purpose. Laptops are designated by the letters Y, U, and H.
The Y chips are designed for longer battery life, so if you need to be away from the plug for an extended period of time, this is the processor for you. However, keep in mind that the additional battery life comes at the sacrifice of performance. H chips, on the other hand, are optimized for performance, while U chips are energy-efficient but not as competent as the Y chip.
Processors from AMD:
AMD’s Ryzen line of microprocessor processors, which emphasize on graphics performance while keeping video gaming and multimedia in mind, have garnered a lot of traction in recent years.
Let’s start with the chip names, like we did with the Intel one. The 3 in AMD Ryzen 5 3600X refers to the generation, while the following numbers denote the performance levels. The higher the number, the more powerful the chip, and the final letter, X, in this instance, denotes high-performance. The second letter in AMD’s nomenclature is U, which stands for ‘ultra,’ which means it uses less power and is lighter on the battery.
Apple, like Intel and AMD, makes its own M1 chip processors for its Macbooks, which are based on open-source ARM architecture. On the Geekbench, these M1 CPUs were claimed to provide faster performance with lower power consumption than comparable competition devices. The MacBook Pro with an M1 processor, according to Apple, may last up to 20 hours on a full charge. However, these M1 processor chips are exclusively available in Apple devices.
Which CPU/Processor Should You Use?
Both the Intel and AMD CPUs perform similarly in basic specs; but, when it comes to benchmark characteristics such as Graphic Performance, there is a notable difference.
AMD CPUs are much superior than Intel processors if you need a laptop with stronger graphics performance, such as for editing high-resolution movies, streaming, or playing demanding games. Despite the fact that Intel’s off-late series has narrowed the gap, AMD still has the upper hand in this area.
AMD Ryzen 5000 series CPUs have proven to provide a better overall gaming experience for video gamers. For intensive gaming, AMD Ryzen 7 5800H and Ryzen 9 5900HS CPUs are the best option. If you’re on a budget, the Ryzen 4000 series or corresponding Intel Core i7, i9 10th gen or later variants are the best options.
Professionals and engineers that work with intensive software programs, video editing (content makers and YouTubers), or working with a large database demand more powerful CPUs. For you, an Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 7 processor is the best option.
Finally, for students or the normal day-to-day user who want a laptop for simple activities like as web browsing, Microsoft Office, Photoshop, and other less demanding jobs, Intel’s Core i3/i5 (10th or later generations) or AMD’s Ryzen 3/5 (4000 series) processors will suffice.
RAM (Random Access Memory) (Random Access Memory)
Your laptop’s RAM is used to store data while the CPU processes it. As a result, the more RAM you have, the more apps you can execute at once. In general, you may think of RAM as your workstation, and your workspace should be large enough to handle whatever you’re working on right now. Similarly, if your RAM is insufficient and you run out of space, you will be unable to launch new programs. Furthermore, your laptop will freeze, requiring you to restart it.
“I want a laptop that is both fast and versatile. This is where all of the RAM is installed. Mike Dragan, COO of Stream.Live, adds, “The higher, the better for me.”
An typical Windows user can get by with 8GB of RAM, but upgrading to 16GB can improve your laptop’s performance. On the other hand, 16GB or more RAM is suggested for development, video gaming, and graphic content production.
Note: DDR stands for Double Data Rate; DDR4 is quicker, whereas DDR3 is older and less prevalent. However, the websites have a DDR3 price tag, which you may verify before making a purchase.
“I usually search for an SSD in a laptop since it is more stable and extends the battery life.” “A minimum of 256GB SSD for the operating system and other applications, so it can boot faster and run without latency,” explains Sebastian Schaeffer, CTO of dofollow.io.
Although hard disks are not directly involved in computing or processing, they do have an impact on your computer’s performance. Because all of the data is saved on a hard drive, the read/write speed and latency of this storage device will affect processing performance. It will take a long time to execute the orders or complete the assignment, especially for graphic designers, video editors, and those who deal with enormous databases.
Although Solid-State Drives (SSDs) have been the most popular alternative in recent years, some low-cost laptops still employ spinning hard disk drives. If your budget allows, invest in an SSD drive, which transmits data significantly faster than a mechanical hard disk, especially if it has an NVMe interface, and is also faster than the outdated SATA interface. Some laptops have both an SSD with an NVMe connection and a SATA drive, combining the benefits of both drives — quicker speed at a lower price.
How can SSDs improve the performance of a laptop? There are five of the greatest SSDs available for purchase now on the internet.
Form-Factor for Laptops
The size, shape, and physical parameters of an electronic device are referred to as the form factor. Depending on what you do and how you plan to use your laptop, the form factor has a big influence on your user experience.
“Smaller form factors are often preferred since they are more portable and may be readily transported to numerous work locations. They’re also convenient to travel with due to their small size.” VPNoverview’s cybersecurity specialist, Veronica Miller.
The two most common laptop form types are clamshell and 2-in-1 convertible. The Clamshell type is a portable version for desktop computers, but convertibles offer a 2-in-1 capability that can be turned 360 degrees to flip between laptop and tablet modes as needed.
The best form factor for you depends on your career and lifestyle. Convertibles are the greatest, exactly the correct decision for you whether you are a digital artist, a digital entrepreneur with a nomadic lifestyle, or you want to manage your business while on the road.
Unless you’re simply wasting your hard-earned cash on frivolous purchases. Instead of purchasing a 2-in-1 laptop, you may upgrade to a more powerful CPU or more RAM, which will provide you with trouble-free performance on your increasing workloads.
With a business class laptop selection, traditional clamshells are also available in thinner, lighter variants. Business laptops are also noted for their superior build quality, premium OLED displays, extended battery life, premium metal bodies, and overall appearance and feel.
To be honest, if you’re looking for a normal clamshell laptop, acquiring a touchscreen one may not be the greatest choice, since you’ll receive less battery life. Touchscreens, on the other hand, are a regular feature of 2-in-1 computers.
However, if you work in the arts and require a laptop for drawing or doodling, touchscreen laptops (2-in-1) are a good option for you to save some money. For the rest of us, it’s likely to be a paid feature, and we advise you to spend your money carefully.
Note: If you’re an Apple lover, you won’t be able to locate a Mac with a touchscreen since macOS doesn’t support it.
Any laptop’s screen is the main point and an important factor to consider.
Regular LCD screens are often used in inexpensive laptops, although IPS and OLED displays are commonly used in high-end gaming laptops. Normal LCD panels have a poor overall image quality, but IPS/OLED panels have a greater refresh rate, viewing angles, average accuracy, and realistic color reproduction, but the high-end quality comes at a hefty price.
Because of its improved viewing angles, accuracy, and color reproduction, IPS panels are a superb choice for media consumption and content creation. These are suitable for the ordinary player since they provide a satisfying gaming experience. OLED panels, on the other hand, are an excellent option for avid video gamers due to their responsiveness and faster refresh rates.
OLED offers all of the benefits of an IPS screen, but it also has drawbacks including display burn-in and degradation over time. Furthermore, IPS panels are less costly than OLED screens.
“It’s not only about the display kind,” says one expert, “the screen resolution is crucial to total visual quality.” Also, the more pixels you have, the more workspace you get,” adds Laptoid.nl CEO Remco Bravenboer. Most affordable laptops still come with a 1366 x 768 resolution as usual, but any user should choose for 1920 x 1080, often known as full HD or 1080p.
In fact, there is no one perfect panel; your demands and budget will determine which panel is best for you.
Computer Graphics Card
Every laptop comes with a graphics card, which is normally installed alongside the CPU on the motherboard. Integrated graphics is a technique that works well for viewing HD movies and playing casual games. If you’re a professional gamer, conduct high-resolution video editing, or 3D modeling and rendering, on the other hand, you’ll need a separate and more powerful graphics card. The majority of graphics cards used in laptops are made by Nvidia and AMD.
The majority of Intel-based laptops are equipped with Nvidia GeForce graphics cards. These are offered in GTX and RTX series, with the 3000 series representing high-end graphics and the 2000 series representing mid-range graphics. However, most low-cost laptops come with MX series graphics cards, which are a power-saving and laptop-friendly alternative to Nvidia’s desktop cards. Even though these cards are not as powerful as desktop cards, they can nevertheless handle gaming and video editing tasks.
Radeon graphics cards are manufactured by AMD and span from the Vega and RX series to the R-Series, which follow the Ryzen naming pattern. The quickest and most powerful is the Radeon R9, followed by the Radeon R7 series, and finally the Radeon 5 series.
Physical Port Availability
Physical ports are often overlooked by most people, but they might pose a severe issue if there is a scarcity of ports when connecting other devices or peripherals. Find out what additional devices you’ll need to connect to your computer and what sorts of interfaces/physical ports they support.
“At least two USB 3.0 and one fast-charging port are required, as well as one USB Type-C port, HDMI port, one LAN port, 3.5mm headphones out, and microphone in ports.” If you’re a photographer who has to download photos from your camera often, get a laptop with an SD or MicroSD card reader, otherwise you’ll have to carry a dongle with you all the time,” recommends Thilo Huellmann, CTO at Levity.ai.
If you choose a big laptop or gaming rig that will constantly be on a table near to a power outlet, you won’t have to worry about the device’s battery. However, if you plan on working with your laptop mostly on your lap, you’ll need at least 7 hours of endurance, with 8+ hours being optimal. Read third-party evaluations to acquire an accurate grasp of a laptop’s battery life rather than relying just on the manufacturer’s website specifications.
Note: Apple claims that the new MacBook Pro with M1 CPUs may last up to 20 hours on a single charge.
If your laptop will be on a desk for the most of your working hours, it may seem to be an irrelevant consideration. However, if you need to carry your laptop on your shoulders on a frequent basis, the device’s weight is an important factor to consider. The weight of a laptop is usually determined by its screen size. The current laptop, on the other hand, is portable and lightweight, and even computers with large displays are becoming lighter.
Laptops, unlike desktop computers, do not come with as many updates. However, these routinely accessible upgrades may improve several features of a laptop. Almost all laptops allow customers to update their RAM and hard disk. For a pleasant user experience, choose a laptop that supports updates, since modern operations may not operate flawlessly with older systems.
Keep your brand in mind.
The quality of your laptop is determined by the brand that made it. When purchasing a laptop, it is critical to examine how well and quickly the laptop will be supported. This is just one component; you must also assess how your brands stack up against their competitors in terms of variety, value, design, performance, and other important factors.
Spend money on the perfect laptop rather than the greatest.
“Choosing the best-specced laptop isn’t the only way to choose the correct one. “It’s all about figuring out what you need and spending money on the appropriate things,” says Chris Nutbeen, Nuttifox’s Founder & CEO.
Whether you are a student or a professional, a laptop is a must-have in today’s world. You can acquire a laptop for as little as $200, and as your budget grows, so does the performance and quality.
Many consumers are upgrading from standard clamshell laptops to convertible laptops just because they want to. Furthermore, touchscreen convertibles are more expensive than their standard screen counterparts with similar functionality. Instead, you might put that money into a faster CPU or more RAM so that you’re always prepared for a rising task.
Laptops for Gaming:
Our specialists have compiled a list of the best 10 gaming laptops. The full information may be found in our dedicated page here.
If you’re a die-hard video gamer, you’ll like these professional accessories for extreme gamers.
|Full HD (FHD) 15.6-inch Alienware m15 R4 RTX 3070 Gaming Laptop – Intel Core i7-10870H, 16GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB SSD, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 8GB GDDR6, Windows 10 Home – Lunar Light (Latest Model)||Buy Now|
|Dell G7 17.3″ Full HD 300Hz LED Gaming Laptop | Intel Core i7-10750H Processor | 32GB RAM | 1TB SSD | NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 | RGB Keyboard | Windows 10 Home||Buy Now|
|15.6″ 300Hz IPS Type FHD Display, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060, AMD Ryzen 7 5800H, Per-Key RGB Keyboard, Windows 10 Home, 16GB RAM|2TB PCIe SSD +WOOV 32G SD||Buy Now|
|NVIDIA RTX 2060 6G, 144Hz 3ms, Intel i7-8750H (6 cores), 16GB, 256GB NVMe SSD+1TB, Per Key RGB, Win 10, Aluminum Black MSI GE75 Raider-050 17.3″ Ultra Thin Bezel Gaming Laptop NVIDIA RTX 2060 6G, 144Hz 3ms, Intel i7-8750H (6 cores), 16GB, 256GB NVMe SSD+1TB, Per Key RGB||Buy Now|
|PH315-53-71HN Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop, Intel i7-10750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop GPU, 15.6″ Full HD 144Hz 3ms IPS Display, 16GB DDR4, 512GB NVMe SSD, WiFi 6, RGB Keyboard, PH315-53-71HN Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop, Intel i7-10750H, NVIDIA GeFor||Buy Now|
|Intel Core i7-10750H 10th Gen, 16GB DDR4 RAM, 512GB SSD, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 6GB GDDR6, Windows 10 Home Alienware m15 R3 15.6inch FHD Gaming Laptop (Lunar Light) (AWm15-7272WHT-PUS)||Buy Now|
|Razer Blade 15 Base Gaming Laptop 2021: Intel Core i7-10750H 6 Core, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060, 15.6″ FHD 1080p 144Hz, 16GB, 512GB SSD – CNC Aluminum – Chroma RGB Lighting||Buy Now|
|Acer Nitro 5 Gaming 15.6″ FHD IPS Laptop Computer, Intel Core i7-9750H, 16GB RAM, 512GB PCIe SSD, Backlit KB, MaxxAudio, HD Webcam, GeForce RTX 2060 Graphics, Win10, Black, 32GB SnowBell USB Card, 2021 Acer Nitro 5 Gaming 15.6″ FHD IPS Laptop Computer, Intel Core i7-9750H, 16GB RAM, 512GB PCIe SSD, Backlit||Buy Now|
|Dell G5 15.6″ FHD Gaming Laptop, Intel i7-10750H, NVIDIA GTX 1660Ti, 16GB DDR4 RAM, 512GB PCIe Solid State Drive, HDMI, WiFi, Backlit Keyboard, Win10 Home, 2021||Buy Now|
Finally, while examining and assessing all of these factors, be as clear as possible about your needs in order to get the greatest offer.
Finally, you must choose a laptop that meets your requirements. Make a note of what you want to accomplish with your laptop and the applications you need to run, then seek for the optimal setup for your needs so you have at least two years of use. Aim for a laptop that will last you at least five years.
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The “what are the specifications of a good laptop?” is an important question to ask when buying a laptop. It’s not about what brand or model you get, but rather what specs are required for your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I decide what laptop to buy?
A: This is a difficult question with no one answer. There are many different factors that go into deciding what laptop to buy, including the persons budget, desired use for it (are they just looking to browse or do they plan on doing video editing), and needs in terms of heat dissipation etc., so there really isnt an easy answer for this. However, some general guidelines would be something like if you want Windows 10 standard operating system then get a laptop with 8th generation Intel processor or newer; AMD processors arent recommended because their Ryzen chips will require more cooling than most laptops can provide at higher clock speeds.
What are the important things to look for when buying a laptop?
A: A laptop is a device that you use to browse the internet, watch movies and play games from your computer. There are many features available on modern laptops such as an operating system, graphics card and processing power.
Which laptop brand is most reliable?
A: This is a highly subjective answer, but I would recommend any of the HP laptops. They are very reliable and have all kinds of features that youll love.
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