Best Laptop Buying Guide

In today’s world its impossible to live without Gadgets. Laptops have been one of the greatest inventions of science by far.

Spending a single Day without my laptop is like spending a weekend in hell for me.

Why Not be laptops so Popular around the globe?

They are Compact enough to carry with you, Still Powerfull enough to handle any High-end Task with ease.

Laptops are the perfect source of entertainment nowadays. It’s like carrying Your Play station, Movie- station, Office Document and assignments altogether.

Its never too late to purchase a laptop, But what if you are a Noob who doesn’t know much about the configurations and specification an ideal Laptop should have?

What to look for when buying a laptop?

Which laptop should I buy?

Don’t worry We have all the answers.

Just get ready to dive into the pool of knowledge today you will learn about the essential things to lookout while buying a laptop, In our Best Laptop Buying Guide.

Choose your priorities according to your needs and get yourself the Best laptop you deserve.

Note – In a hurry? here is a Video Guide.

Continue reading if you want more in-depth instructions.

Size

Size does matters here, Laptops are so popular because they are compact in size yet powerful.

Preference of size differs with the choice of the individual.

By the size of a laptop, We refer to the External Dimensions of the Laptop.

Basically, Screen Size Determines the overall size of a Laptop, which can vary from 11 to 18 inches.

On the Basis of Screen size, laptops can further be divided into –

  • 11-13 inches –  Ultrabooks or Chromebooks or 2 in 1 Laptops.
  • 14-15 inches – Standard Laptop size.
  • 16- 18 inches – Gaming High-performance Laptop They act as a Replacement for desktops.

In most of the Cases the bigger the size is more Heavier the laptop is.

Now If you are a frequent traveller who needs to travel with Laptop more frequent than you should go for Ultrabooks or Chromebooks. But you may have to compromise with CPU power.

2 in 1 laptops with touchscreens can also be a great option for such users.

In case if you don’t want to negotiate on screen size if you are on Graphics designing or Video, photo editing kind of stuff then you should go for traditional 15-inches Budget Laptops.

Manufacturers these days are removing CD/DVD drives on most of the new laptops to make them Slimmer and lighter.

If Gaming and power computing is your intention and you don’t worry about the weight of the laptop because you don’t have to carry it with you, Then playing games or movies on an 18 inches screen will be a delight. Generally, Laptops in this category are extremally powerful.

Display

At the first glance, Display is the first component of the laptop you have an eye on. Even a Noob can tell the difference between a Good and Bad display.

We have already discussed how the size of the Display effects. But Display size is not the only thing to be looking after, Other factors influencing Display quality are Display Type and Resolution.

Like a building is made up of lots of small bricks, Display is made of a lot of small Pixels. The more pixels you have better the screen is, simple maths.

The terms “HD” and “FULL HD” refers to the screen resolution. These are the options you will generally have while purchasing a new laptop presently. However FULL HD or  1920 x 1080 (also called 1080p) are better than the cheaper alternative 3661 x 768 HD Displays. You can see a clear difference between these two, Full HD is sharper and colour accurate.

You can get a screen with an even Higher resolution like 4K displays but they consume a lot of power and resulting weakening of the battery.

Next factor is the type of display, By type I mean which type of panel or technology the LCD uses.

  • TN panel – As they are cheaper they are the most common panel which manufacturers offer these days. TN Panel Offers better Refresh rates Then IPS but are less colour accurate and posses bad viewing angles. If you want a Gaming laptop then faster Refresh rates benefit a lot.
  • IPS Panel – They cost more but are More colour accurate and have great viewing angle which means the How the display appears while going far from the centre of the display. If you are on Graphics designing or Video editing kind of kinds of stuff you should go for IPS displays.

Other than this you may come up with IGZO and OLED displays which are based on new technologies to consume less power and deliver better performance, But they are not very common.

Bonus tip – For Gamers, Engineers and Graphics designers the most important factor apart from resolution is Refresh rates and Response time.

Refresh rate is the number of times per second that the screen updates itself. Most laptop screens have the standard 60Hz, but some high-end gaming models come with 120Hz panels, which are better.

Response time is the number of milliseconds it takes for a pixel to change colours. A good response time for a gaming machine is 5 ms or less.

another type of Display is the ” Touchscreen” display, these laptops are are getting widely popular thanks to the new Windows interface design based on the touchscreen. Though they could be handy in some situation.

Touchscreen consume more power, have bad viewing angles and cost high. That’s the reasons many people tend to stick with the traditional laptops.

Keyboard and touchpad

If you are a blogger, writer or a Programmers then you should be conscious about the keyboard and the trackpad.

The first thing to look out is if the keyboard is backlit. Backlit keyboards can help in typing at Night. These days we have some really cool backlit keyboard, especially in the gaming section.

In the smaller laptops or Rather, I say notebooks. Comes with compact keyboards to save space. If you are not in Intense typing stuff you could go with them.

For a writer or Programmer traditional QWERTY keyboard would be a perfect choice, But keep a close eye on the keys position manufacturers experiment with num pad and arrow keys positions. An ideal keyboard should have a broad palm rest portion for fast typers.

Even in touchpads, we have variety these days.

The traditional touchpad is a rectangular, touch-sensitive pad, usually centred below the keyboard in the Laptop’s palm-rest. Moving your finger across the surface of this pad moves the cursor. Below the pad are dedicated left- and right-click buttons.

Nowadays there are no dedicated left and right click buttons they are known as Clickpads the entire surface is a big button. Gamers and programmers find this kind of trackpads a little helpful.

Gladly you can buy external keyboards and mouse for Laptops.

Connectivity

connectivity ports USB HDMI

What Makes laptop so helpful?

The answer is the ease it provides us to connect with the world. Some people neglect the significance of connectivity ports on the laptops. They just don’t recognize how important these interfaces/ports are. Later on, the shortage of relevant ports haunts them like ghosts.

An Ideal laptop comes with many Ports, Let’s Learn about their usage.

  • USB Ports –  USB (universal serial bus) is the most common laptop and desktop connector by far. It Lets you connect with all External devices such as – Mouse, Keyboard, Tablet, Smartphone, speakers, printer, camera and the list goes on.
  • Different generations of USB Ports – USB 2.0( Offers a transfer speed of 480mb/s ), USB 3.0 ( Better one with a transfer speed of 5 GB/s ) and the most latest one USB 3.1 Type C ( Speed up to 10 GB/s). Most of the Laptop comes with all these ports.
  • HDMI Port – HDMI or high definition multimedia interface Helps Your machine to connect to TV or other desktop screen and its powerful enough to run 4K Videos on the connected Devices.
  • 3.5 mm Audio Jack – The most familiar audio jack in the world, the 3.5mm audio jack appears on most computers, Smartphones, and connects to the majority of the world’s wired headphones and Mic, speakers.
  • Ethernet – It connects your laptop to LAN ( Local Area Network ) Directly.
  • VGA Connector – It connects your Screen with Projectors could be helpful in project presentations. But Most modern Laptops are lacking this port as its outdated.
  • SD Card Slot – To Connect Your External Memory Card to Your Laptop directly.
  • Thunderbolt 3 – This is the port Most useful port a laptop can have it is capable of transfer data with a whopping speed of 40 GB/sec ( oh! Yeah ).  This high-speed standard can also output to up to two 4K monitors at once because a single port carries dual DisplayPort signals. On some new Laptops, you can use Thunderbolt 3 to connect to an external graphics card, which allows you to play high-end games on basic laptops.

CPU / Processor

laptop buying guide

As we were taught in school that, CPU is the Brain of the computer. Processor Does impact lot on the power and capabilities of the machine how effectively will it perform.

This part will be little longer keep reading to perceive everything.

Basically, Almost every laptop in the market come with either Intel or AMD processor.

Intel processor

MacBooks and Majority of windows laptops come with Intel processor. Most of the latest Intel CPU comes with built-in Graphics processor which can handle primary graphics works.

So which Intel Processor is appropriate for you?

Let’s Start with Identifying CPU.  For instance, let us take an Example of a CPU – Intel Core i5-7200U.

Here Intel core is the brand, And i5 is the brand Modifier which could be either  i3, i5 or i7 and the first digit after the hyphen is the Generation ( 8th generation CPU’s are the latest one ).

The last alphabet ( it could either be U, Y, M, XE, HQ ) indicates the processor line it, that means it gives us a brief Idea about the performance of the CPU.

If you’re looking for a “typical” laptop experience, with solid performance and the possibility of good battery life, then an Intel U Series is the best ( Don’t go Y and M series ). If you have the money go for Xeon or HQ series they are the most powerful CPU around.

  • Intel Core i3 – The entry-level CPU good for Multitasking But don’t expect High-end gaming or Graphics work.
  • Intel core i5 – Upgradation of i3, it is the most common Mid grade mainstream processor. it has the perfect combination of price and power can effectively handle most of the programs, Games and editing stuff.
  • Intel Core i7 – Upgradation of i5, Currently the best consumer processor in the market. Ideal for High-end tasks such as Graphics designing, 3D Video editing, and other High definition animation projects with ease.
  • Intel Xeon – One of the most Expensive and powerful processors on the earth. Can handle any kind of computation task with a breeze.

Then there are other basic Processors like – Pentium, Celeron, Atom which is good for basic multitasking and surfing.

AMD Processor

AMD also comes with the built-in Graphics processor in Its APUs ( They call there CPU as APU). Gamers prefer AMD because it gives better graphics performance.

  • FX series –  Best for hardcore gamers or for pro Video editors.
  • A10 – Competitor of intel core i5 chip, with fast Quad core processor and graphics performance at cheaper price.
  • Then followed by A8>A6>A4.

AMD chips are cheaper than Intel, But which one is better is a never-ending debate. Both have their advantages and Disadvantages.

Pro tip – Don’t waste your time on comparing AMD vs Intel.

GPU ( Graphics Processor )

All the arithmetic operations are done by CPU, while all the graphics work in handled by GPU.

If you are not into intense gaming or animation. The inbuilt integrated Intel or AMD GPU is powerful enough to handle all your needs they can even handle Mid-level gaming and Photo video editing with ease.

But if you are expecting for High-end Gaming or animation works then you should go for the laptop having Dedicated GPU.

The major two GPU manufacturers are,

  • AMD
  • Nvidia

The most Common Nvidia GPUs you will see are Nvidia Geforce GTX 1050, Nvidia Geforce GTX 1060, Nvidia Geforce GTX 940 M, Nvidia  Geforce GTX 920 M.

Basic maths Nvidia Geforce GTX 1050 is better than 920 M. GTX 1050 Gives better performance at lower power consumption but costs high.

Nvidia Geforce GTX 1080 is Best GPU you can get now it can run any modern 4K game with ease.

AMD Graphics processor is a cheaper alternative for Nvidia Cards the most common ones are AMD Radeon RX 460, AMD Radeon RX 470, AMD Radeon RX 480.

They can also handle animation and other intense graphics task with ease.

And like the CPU one, this is also a never-ending debate that which one is the best.

RAM

best laptop buying guide RAM

Random Acess Memory, “Random access” means that you can, at any time decide to read any piece of information in the entire memory and that all information is accessible at the same Fast speed.

In simple words, The more Ram you have the more powerful your laptop is.

For Normal Users, 8 GB RAM will be sufficient. But for Gamers, Engineer or graphics designers 16GB or Greater will be Ideal.

And don’t forget to check wheater the laptop has Slot for Additional expansion of RAM. Most of the Laptop can be Upgraded to 32GB RAM.

Storage

laptop buying guid hard drive storage SSD

Storage of Data is also an important aspect. Most Budget Laptops comes with standard 1 TB of SATA HDD ( Hard Disk Drive) Drives.

Solid State Drives known as SSD drives are a better alternative because they are lighter, cooler and almost 5 times faster than HDD Drives. Programs and files loaded on SSD will boot faster. But SSD Drives are Expensive, so you won’t get them in low budget laptops.

Some premium laptops offer Hybrid storage which has a combination of HDD and SSD Drives.

Operating System

An operating system provides the interface for the user to interact with Laptops program.

There are many OS available but the majority of the users are divided into these 3 platforms

  • Windows OS
  • Mac OS
  • Linux OS

Windows OS – Most of the laptops around the world runs on Windows OS because of its Flexibility and the wide range of features. The latest Version of Microsoft Windows is Windows 10. It offers Exceptional easy to use UI.  It has the advantage of being the most supported OS. Almost all software is available for Windows.

Apple Mac OS – All Apple MacBook comes with Mac OS, it also offers easy to use super responsive UI, In term of security no one can beat apple.  But it is the most expensive OS

Linux OS – Its an open source OS that is anyone can download it for free, Linux has many Distros like Ubuntu, Fedora, Arch, Kali Linux and many more. You may lack GUI here but these Operating Systems are extremely powerful and customizable but not everyone can use it.

Every OS has there own advantages and Disadvantages. Go for the one which you are familiar with.

Battery Life

Nothing is worse than having a machine with Bad battery life.

Basically, Laptop batteries are Ni-MH, Li-ion or Li-Poly type. Li-ion batteries provide better battery life.

Batteries have two main ratings on them: Volts and Milliamperes. The battery with the most Milliamperes (or mAh ) will Give better backup.

5-6 Hours is average battery backup a laptop will offer, but some laptop offers backup around 12 Hours too.

Brand – Build quality

best gaming laptop buying guide

Brand does matter.

Sometimes, “HAVING A BETTER BRAND IS BETTER THAN HAVING A BETTER PRODUCT“.

Premium Brands like Apple will surely Cost you extra bucks, but they will provide you robust Build quality, which could be seen at first glance. And they offer premium  Accessories with their products. But they will lack some features that other brands will offer at that price.

On the other handle, some people prefer having a better product than having a better brand, which is completely fair enough. you will surely get better configurations for your money. But you might be lacing build quality and after-sale service.

Good thing is that these days Every brand has many quality checks for there product and provide 1–2 years of manufacturing warranty.

Conclusion

These were the best tips I can give to newbies. Now you know the essentials for the Best Laptop very well.

Read online reviews for the laptop, go deeply into the hardware configuration. Compare prices in leading online sites. You can always contact laptopuniya if you face any problem.

Finally, Grab the perfect Deal.

Hope this Best laptop buying guide helped you.

Finding the best laptop was never so easy, was it?

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