Buying Guide: What to Look for in a Laptop

Thanks to the continuous advancement in the world of digital technology, the market is now flowing with hundreds of laptop models, and the options are seemingly endless. Considering how many laptops there are, you’ll find it extremely difficult to make up your mind. Every laptop has its own unique features, so unless you know exactly what you’re going to use that laptop for, choosing the best one will pose a challenge. To overcome this, you can use the guide below to narrow down your options.

Choose an Operating System

One of the very first considerations to take into account as you purchase a new laptop is the operating system (OS). You may have already heard of the decade-old debate between macOS and Windows OS enthusiasts, but now you will find more competitors on the market, like Google Chrome’s OS for example. Windows is well known for its versatility and array of options, which is why many people gravitate toward it. So far, Windows has proven to be far more open-ended than any other operating system and is ideal for game development and business-related programs. MacOS is comparatively user-friendly and easy to grasp. Additionally, Apple provides a resourceful support network, which will help you with any minor technicalities. Google Chrome OS, which only powers Chromebooks, can only run google chrome-based programs, which makes it a great option for those who need a laptop only to read their emails and watch Netflix, for example.

Pay Attention to the Hardware

It’s crucial that you research the hardware of the laptop you’re about to buy, as this will determine what it is capable of doing. You should also take the brand into account, as this can determine the quality of the hardware. If you take a look at these top laptop brands, you’ll know how the brand can drastically affect the performance of the laptop, irrespective of its specs. With that said, you must look for an adequate processor, something between Core i3 and i7 would be ideal if you’re getting an Intel core processor. Ryzen processors are also great, but they can be hard to find. Graphics cards will also vary in performance. Seeing as they can make a laptop quite expensive, look for one with a graphics card that will suffice your needs. NVIDIA and AMD are the main two vendors for Graphics cards, with RTX 20-series being the latest and the 30-series coming soon. The GTX 10-series is also capable of running demanding programs.

Know What You’ll Use It for

Laptop prices can be as low as $600 to more than $1000. Assuming that you have a budget and certain usage in mind for your new laptop, you can make your choice fairly easily. Manufacturers produce great laptops that cost $600 or even less for those who’re looking for laptops only for word processing and internet browsing. Mainstream laptops can have higher specs and will have better hardware than their formers. However, if you want a high resolution and super-powered graphics card, you can try laptops that will cost $1000 or higher. Ultrabooks and business laptops are a great example of this, as they both have intriguing features even for the average user. There are gaming laptops, which practically pack in the best specs there are, like a high-performing graphics card, an excellent processor, and enough RAM to run taxing programs.

Look for Long Battery Life

If your laptop will remain stationary, you won’t have to worry about battery life. However, if you need a portable laptop, the battery life should be a concern to you, as you won’t always find an outlet outside to charge your laptop. Thus, an ideal battery life, in this case, must extend to 7 or 8 hours. To know how long battery life can extend to, make sure to check out online reviews.

Pick the Right Size

No matter what specs you’re looking for, your laptop can come at a large size, which will defy the purpose of portability. While it is generally great for laptops to be small and compact, the display size must be at least of a moderate size if you’ll use design programs. Generally speaking, laptops display sizes will range between 11 and up to 18 inches. The 11 to 12 inches accompany the lightest systems, which will make them highly portable. Display sizes of 13 to 16 inches are quite common and still are moderately portable. 17 to 18 inches are designed for laptops that stay on desks all day. These laptops are created for demanding games and workstation-level productivity.

Choosing a laptop for your specific needs requires serious research and consideration. This means that you’ll have to check several online reviews, compare different models, and even try the laptop of your choice at the store. Lastly, be sure to buy your laptop during a sale season to get the best price. 

Buying Guide: What to Look for in a Laptop was last updated November 16th, 2020 by Charlene Brown