Whether you are planning to buy a laptop for work from home or online classes. Finding the best laptop requires extensive research to find a suitable laptop under your budget and it requires proper knowledge about features and specifications. Here’s a laptop buying guide to help you identify the laptop that best fits your needs to help you search more efficiently.
1. Define the use
First of all, you need to specify the use of the laptop or what you will do with a new laptop. This defines what hardware should have on the device. For example, if you are a gaming lover and want a laptop for gaming purposes, then you need the machine with higher configurations.
In the case of occasional use, it is not necessary to have a higher configuration, opt instead for a machine with a lower configuration. In the case of animation and video editing, you will need a top configuration with a large screen to work in detail.
After determining the usage, you will need to choose the display based on usage and preferences.
The display has four main factors
- Display size
- Display type
- Screen resolution
- Touch screen
- Display size:
The size of the display is very important for the gamer and the designer as they needed a bigger screen to capture a better experience. A large screen with a large resolution offers more working space than a small screen, but it depends on the type and quality of the display.
In terms of demand, most laptops come with 15-inch, 15.6-inch, 14-inch, and 16-inch screens. Ideally for occasional use you need Full HD 1920 × 1080 or higher, but for gaming and editing you should prefer a larger screen with decent screen quality.
- Display Type
When it comes to screen type, the four most used screens on laptops are IPS, TN, VA, and OLED. Like cell phones, laptops come with different types of panels, but with less choice. There are currently four types of screens available on laptops, the OLED which has recently led the market.
- Screen Resolution
Display resolution refers to the number of pixels in dimension that make up an image on the screen. As you might think, the more pixels there are, the better the image quality. So the more pixels you have, the more content you can display on your screen. Display resolutions are measured horizontally and vertically based on their number of pixels. The most common are HD or 720p, FHD or 1080p, and UHD 4k.
- Touch screen
Nowadays, most laptop suppliers manufacture devices with touch screens, which is more convenient and more suitable for users in direct navigation. It also offers higher brightness and color accuracy in the laptop.
3. Choose the right operating system.
Choosing the right operating system for use is difficult when you have the three most commonly used operating systems in the market, there are three most commonly used operating systems in the market are Windows, ChromeOS, and macOS .
Let’s summarize the quick overview of these operating systems.
- Chrome Operating System
ChromeOS is developed by Google, and this operating system is a remarkably simple but secure operating system. ChromeOS’s user interface (UI) resembles that of Windows with an application menu and window dragging capabilities.
Chrome OS relies heavily on the cloud. As a result, web apps on Chrome OS don’t perform particularly well offline. ChromeOS is extremely popular and ideal for students and those who use the device to browse the web, use social media, and send emails.
- Apple macOS Catalina
All Apple MacBooks and desktops come with macOS Catalina. This operating system is only available in Apple products. The functionality of macOS is similar to that of Windows, but the user interface is different from Windows. Much like the digital assistant Cortana, the macOS has a Siri, which can perform tasks like making phone calls and receiving texts, unlocking laptops on your Apple Watch, and trading with Apple Pay.
- Windows Operating System
Windows is the most widely used operating system in the world compared to macOS and ChromeOS. Windows is the most flexible operating system you’ll see in budget laptops as well.
Microsoft developed the Windows operating system, and currently Windows 10 is the latest operating system with the best features like Cortana digital assistant, fingerprint reader, touchscreen, a Windows defender and a dual graphics processor.
This operating system is the best choice for students, business users, researchers and gamers.
4. Performance and Hardware
Another factor that plays a vital role in the laptop when doing serious work is performance and hardware. Before buying the laptop, you need to know about the hardware and the performance. If you don’t know, you might get lost in the wrong laptop setup which won’t work for you.
As I said above, before you buy the laptop, you need to define the use of the Notebook. I have listed some of the configurations commonly used in laptops.
Basic Usage: If you are using the laptop for document editing, movie watching, email, and office work, you will need a laptop with lower configurations like Core I3 with a 1TB / 256GB SSD and 4GB RAM.
Average use: If you need a laptop to multitask outside of its essential use, and if you want to handle the required software such as photo editing or professional software, or if you want to play games. light games, you will need the following laptop combinations.
- Core I3 with 256GB SSD drive and 4 GB or 8GB DDR4 of RAM.
- Core I5 with 512 GB or above SSD drive with 8 GB RAM.
- Ryzen 5 with 256 GB or 512 GB SSD with 4 GB or 8GB RAM.
Heavy Use: To run Heavy enterprise software, game and graphics design software, the laptop must have higher hardware configuration. The top-configuration laptop comes with a powerful processor such as a Core I7, Ryzen 9 and Core I9 with 16GB of DDR4 RAM including the dedicated graphics card, and storage up to 1TB with the latest SSD drive.
It is not enough to run heavy games and software, the laptop must also require supporting hardware like cooling system, keyboards, screen, etc. The performance of the machine depends on the material factor. There are some important materials that you should consider before purchasing.
- CPU or Processor
The CPU or processor is the most important component of the machine. The processor has a huge impact on the performance and speed of the laptop. The processor comes with multiple cores; the kernel is a separate processing section within the CPU that can process instructions.
So the more additional cores you have, the more efficiently your laptop can handle other tasks at the same time. The faster the processor, the faster each core can run on a call for work. Depending on usage, you will need a processor to handle demanding software.
In the market, two large companies manufacture the processor.
Intel is one of the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturers. Intel makes the best microprocessor for the laptop, and most manufacturers have used this processor to make laptops.
The powerful processor from Intel comes with a range of models such as Intel Core I3, Core I5, Core I7 and the latest Core I9 processor with different generations such as 7th generation, 8th generation, 9th generation and the latest 10th generation.
Core I9 is the powerful high-end processor available on high-end laptops. It is the latest processor from the company and it can deliver the fastest performance than any Intel processor.
Core i9 is most suitable for 4k gaming and for running heavy software (4k edition and VFX edition) in the machine. It is an expensive processor, but the performance of the processor is excellent.
Core I7 The Core i7 is the best processor for gaming, entertainment, and running demanding software, Core I7 provides the best in-machine computing experiences.
This processor is available in different variations in the market and comes with four cores, it is the best processor for those who want decent processing power in the machine.
Core I5: If you are looking for a laptop with the best combination of price and performance, go for the Intel Core i5 processor. Most mid-range laptops come with an Intel Core i5 processor.
Laptops with Core i5 processing units are a great choice. The most common versions that you can find include the U series models like the Core i5-7200U processor.
It is the best processor for both business and personal use (heavy browsing, multitasking and basic editing), it can handle all the necessary tasks without a problem, and it is the best processor than the Intel Core i3 chipset.
Core I3 is economical and best for everyday computing practices. You find this processor in the economical desktop computer on the market.
This processor enables smooth execution of daily tasks such as content work and media consumption. The i3 chipset is the best choice for you if you are on a tight budget and want the machine for daily work and life. school use.
AMD is the decent powered processor you can find in budget laptops, to compete with the most popular Intel chipset. AMD manufactures the most suitable processors in the economy segment.
AMD recently released the Ryzen series processors, which is the best high-end processor used for gaming and heavy software use. It offers AMD processor A, E and FX series chipsets which are mainly available in budget laptops, we mainly see APU processors in mid-range laptops, which have decent performance, and it is suitable for daily use such as web browsing, media viewing and productivity use.
AMD processor comes with four models such as entry-level processor, mainstream processor, performance processor, and high-end processor.
B. GPU: Graphics cards
The GPU is essential for those looking for a laptop for gaming, graphic design, and 3D animation. If you don’t play the games and don’t do the 3D animations, you don’t need the graphics card. Like the processor, it has both high-end and low-end graphics chips. Today, most low-end gaming systems have Nvidia MX250 or GTX 1650 GPUs, but mid-range variants have RTX 2050 or RTX 2060, and high-end variants have RTX 2070 or 2080 GPUs. Nvidia maintains a list of graphics chips, from low end to high end.
Storage consists of the two main components, one is RAM and the other is ROM. This support material works for the most important role in performance. When you buy the machine, you should consider this material in the laptop for smoother experience performance. The bigger the hardware, the better performance in computing.
- RAM: Random-access memory
Data from a random access memory device can be read or written of approximately the same amount regardless of the physical location of the data within the memory. There are three generations of RAM on the market: DDR5, DDR4, and DDR3. Different generations of RAM offer different speeds and are only compatible with certain systems. Consider this material when you buy the laptop. and try to get the latest generation of RAM.
- ROM: Read-Only Memory
Besides the processor and RAM, the storage drive of the laptop is also an important component for performance. It is recommended that you buy a laptop with a solid state drive (SSD), not a hard drive. This is because overall you can get a laptop with at least 3 times faster speed than a HDD drive. The laptop should have at least 128 GB of SSD as this will improve your boot disk load time and operating system performance. A 512GB to 1-2TB hard drive is sufficient for storage and general use.
The battery is one of the crucial factors that you will need to consider when buying a new laptop. Consider that the laptop should have at least 6 hours of battery life. Disregard the manufacturer’s comments on battery life, but instead check out third-party reviews, which calculate actual battery life. With a long-lasting battery, you can work even when you run out of power, such as when traveling or skipping a charger at home.
6. Ports and connectivity
When choosing a laptop, the lack of a port rarely solves the problem, you don’t have to carry a lot of dongles, it is convenient to make the connections on your laptop. Most laptops come with USB 3.0 ports, HDMI or display ports, card reader, Type-C, and Thunderbolt.
The benefits of ports and connectivity features
USB Type-A : ce port est utilisé pour connecter un port USB standard tel qu’une clé USB, des téléphones portables, une imprimante, une souris sans fil, un clavier et d’autres périphériques.
Port HDMI : le port HDMI est utilisé pour connecter l’ordinateur portable aux projecteurs.
USB Type-C : USB Type-C offre la transition de données la plus rapide par rapport à l’USB type A, et il est également utilisé pour charger les ordinateurs portables.
Thunderbolt : il s’agit du connecteur le plus récent et le plus rapide disponible sur l’ordinateur portable. Thunderbolt permet une connectivité rapide des périphériques tels que les disques durs, les matrices RAID, les solutions de capture vidéo et les interfaces réseau, et peut envoyer des vidéos haute définition à l’aide du protocole DisplayPort
7. Keyboard and Touchpad
Pick the keyboard that offers a smooth and responsive typing experience, laptops offer a range of keyboard layouts, but what you need to check is solid tactile feedback, great movement, and ample spacing.
Consider buying a laptop with the backlit keyboard that allows you to work in a dimly lit area and also check the dedicated numeric keypad on the laptop if you use numbers frequently. The laptop should have a large touchpad and it should respond consistently to multi-touch gestures like swiping and pinching to zoom.
8. After-sale support
There are so many brands that sell laptops with amazing specifications and satisfactory prices. However, for after-sales support, they do not provide services such as laptop warranty claims or facility repairs. you should consider this thing while you buy a new laptop.