A comprehensive laptop buying guide
Setup Your Budget
First thing to do is to list down your requirements. You may now set up a budget accordingly. You can add additional features if a higher budget is available or you may have to put off some less necessary things from your list.
If you haven’t decided on the necessary specifications for your laptop yet then do not worry as you will get some insight about it in this article and you can always visit youtube and get it explained in simple language.
In general, there are two kinds of specification sets. First one Being Personal Interest Based for light weight use and the second one Being Performance based either for high demanding work or gaming.
Interest based Specification Set
These specification sets totally depend upon your personal choice and preference.
There are different types of laptops available in the market characterized on the basis of their usage, screen sizes, and some other features. Below mentioned are some of them.
- Netbook: These are usually small and lightweight and portable laptops varying in screen size from 10 to 11 inches, therefore, they are the most power efficient laptops available in the market but a bit underpowered.
- Ultrabook: These are the slim, stylish and lightweight genre of Laptops. They have fairly high end configurations and are priced higher than conventional laptops and some may even have touchscreens. Quite common amongst travelers and advanced users. Although, if ultrabooks are a priority, MacBook offered by Apple can also be taken into consideration.
- Notebook : These are the most common types of laptops that are in use. They come in mid- and high-end configurations and are mostly scattered at all price ranges. These varieties of laptops have large hdd and RAM capacities and are built to meet entertainment as well as graphics-intensive requirements.
Screen Size : Now that topic of laptop category is clear, there may be a few screen sizes available for you. If you need a battery efficient device then it is recommended that you go with laptops having screen size 14 inches or less with preferable resolution of fhd. (recommended 15.6 inches)
Secondary Storage : This includes a Physical hdd and ssd for storing your personal data. It’s completely your choice which kind of storage you prefer and how much space you want, it all depends on your needs whether to go with more storage or more speed as ssd tends to cost a lot more than hdd for even half the quarter of storage that hdd offers except if you live in some rich country.
1. SSD: Solid State drive is a fast and durable data storage disk but way too expensive.
2. HDD: Hard Disk Drive on the other hand is the more commonly used and offers more storage at less price.
Touch Screen : Touch Screen features in Laptops is evolving just like the touch features in smartphones during the start of the touch revolution .Although there is not much to do with touch screens in laptops for a normal user and they also tend to be more expensive. If you still prefer for some specific reasons then options are quite limited.
Performance based Specification Set
Basics of Processor
The processor is the most important part of your computer which performs all the calculations. More powerful the processor, the faster the execution and load time. Power of the processor is calculated by its clock speed and number of its cores i.e. number of instructions executed per second and how many cores are there executing those instructions. For example a 2GHz processor means it can perform 2 billion instructions executed per second and hexa core means each core is performing those instructions separately which adds up to 12 billion instruction execution per second. When playing a high end game or running some heavy application software this is what matters the most.
Intel or AMD?
There are two major companies that make processors for personal computers which go by the name Intel and AMD. At least 90% of the time users go for Intel processors and it’s not because AMD is not good enough but it’s because Intel processors are more easily available in laptop configs and intel is well known brand even amongst the lymans and most of the consumers have a satisfactory experience with Intel’s current processor series i.e. i3, i5, i7. Although it would be recommended that at least now, you should go with amd latest gen processors as they provide high value for money products for all price segments and are also more power efficient but availability is always a major concern when it comes to amd.
i3 or i5 or 17 in case of intel?
All three processors from Intel are equally good in their own regards but designed to serve different purposes. i3 is for light to semi moderate work loads, i5 for moderate to light-heavy tasks and i7 for power users.
- Primary Memory (RAM)
Ram is what stores the temporary data while execution. RAM is faster than your secondary memory, therefore your processor needs the data in faster memory i.e for faster execution. If you intend to run heavy software then it is recommended to use larger RAM and faster ram and that too in dual channel i.e populated in two slots, it will speed up your computer. For general purpose, 8 GB RAM is considered as good. If you need more for video editing or some artistic work, you can either go for the laptop with higher RAM or can externally attach additional RAM.
- Graphics Processing Unit (GPU or Graphics Card)
Graphics processing unit, a specialized processor originally designed to accelerate graphics rendering. A powerful graphics card can render high resolution videos and graphics-intensive games easily, making them suitable for power users such as design or rendering professionals or gamers.
Light user should not look up laptops with discrete graphic unit, integrated graphics should do fine enough, as they can even handle occasional gaming sessions fine enough.
- Operating System
Operating system is another important factor that one must consider while buying the laptop. There are different kinds of operating systems available for you like 1. Windows available in almost all machines from discrete manufacturers 2. Chromebooks with chrome os 3. Macbook with macOS and other linux based operating systems, but high probability is that either you have been using or are familiar with some operating system, you should stick with it for obvious reasons unless you have some specifics to shift.