Laptop Buying Guide
Th following guide is intended to help you in purchasing a quality laptop perfect for your needs. Quality also means a big budget, but you should also pay a little attention to the marketing techniques that the stores use.
You need to choose an good brand, at a decent price with the options you really need. Fo hard drives is recommended the choice of SSDs, there are many offers online for laptops with SSDs.
SSD is used both on laptops and on desktops, and the difference compared to old hard drives is huge. You will always amazed by the speed of the laptop using a SSD. With smartphones and tables becoming so popular there are even touchscreen laptops for you to choose.
Some are still not crazy about the touchscreen, not getting along very well with the tablet, but a laptop is always easier to use.
Laptop Buying Guide
Stores want to sell, so you will find all kinds of offers to buy a laptop. Some good, some less good. You have to pay attention to the details.
Before buying a laptop, it is important to know what you are going to use the laptop for. Usually the purpose is for the laptop to be used for everything. However, a real gaming laptop, with which you can play latest Battlefield or Crysis with the maximum details, will cost more than $1500. With this money you can get a state-of-the-art desktop.
If you wish to use the laptop for video editing, photo editing, you will have to be careful with the display you choose. If you will do the editing at home, you can add a quality monitor, this way you will it get a little cheaper. It also depends on how many cables you want to have in front of you.
For those who use the office laptop, small things, is recommended to choose a light laptop, maybe even an ultrabook, which we can easily carry. At the same time, you should look for a laptop with a good battery lasting enough time.
Laptop Buying Tips
What do you need to know before choosing a model?
Many people do not put a high price on the brand. However, this matters the most. If you look at the online stores, you will notice that there are many similar configurations, but with quite large price differences.
The components are about the same, laptop manufacturers often work with the same component companies.
However, the difference is made by the design, the way the components are assembled, the way they are cooled, the position of the fans, the display, etc. All this makes a laptop more expensive or cheaper or even the fact that all the components are integrated and it is harder or easier to repair if needed.
When you choose a brand, try to choose a reliable brand, it is not for nothing that there is the saying: “we are too poor to buy cheap things”. Note that the some of best brands are: ASUS, Lenovo, HP, Acer, MSI, Dell. I haven’t forgotten the ones from Apple either, but they are more expensive, not everyone can afford that.
It is the most important thing in a laptop. The placement of the fans, the cooling of the components, all have to be done with a purpose. Not all companies “think” when making a laptop, so you need to look on the internet for the opinions of those who have bought that type of laptop before.
It would be great for manufacturing companies to provide information about cooling, but most of the time, it doesn’t exist. Only in the reviews of those who had the opportunity to open it.
You would put a lower price on cooling if you have laptop models that do not have a dedicated video card and have an SSD. These are better from this point of view because they do not have many sources that can overheat the laptop.
If I like how a certain laptop looks, your neighbor may not like it. It’s normal, everyone is different.
An ASUS laptop may havevery good cooling, components with 2 newer generations than an older Sony Vayo, but you may chose the second option because you liked the design. Some people prefer the design instead of the autonomy of the battery and the more efficient components.
You could choose a laptop with an illuminated keyboard, with an aluminum case, at least the part next to the keyboard. In the summer, when it’s hot, it’s great to have your hands on something like that.
Unfortunately, this does not work. After 2, 3 years of intense use, that aluminum can chip.
I wouldn’t choose a big 18 ′ ′ laptop, but a 12 ′ ′ one. 15.6 ′ is a very good standard, neither too big nor too small. You must certainly not choose something smaller, it’s hard to manage on a small display, but you also wouldn’t want to carry an 18.4 ′ at work every day. In addition, the 15.6 ′ standard is mass-produced. The demand is high, as is the supply, so the prices are the lowest for 15.6.
If we talk about resolution, there is a big diversity. The most common at the moment is FULL HD, ie 1920 × 1080. It is a 16 × 9 format taken from the cinema.
Keep in mind that HD Ready is different from FULL HD or Ultra HD.
It is not worth buying HD Ready or Ultra HD. The display is quite small on the laptop, you will probably zoom in on the browser or with lower resolutions. If you are interested in such a thing, it would be best to go to a store that offers both options, button it a little and see if it’s ok.
No matter how good the display is, it must have perfect colors. They do not come from the factory, whether we are talking about a top model or a very cheap one.
Therefore, it is advisable to do a professional calibration. Usually, the programs offered by the operating system or the semi-professional ones are used, such as:
- spyder datacolor
It’s an interesting discussion about what type of display to choose. On the market you can find laptops with IPS panel or AMOLED screen. Looks like they even offer OLED models.
Most laptops are glossy. Unfortunately, in sunny conditions, you don’t see much on it. However, if you have already purchased your laptop, you can add a laptop anti-glare foil.
IPS panel laptops are more expensive, but the quality of the display is also different. Unfortunately, these displays are on very few laptops, on MAC and a few others.
It is closely related to the other components of the laptop. If we have strong components, if you have a large display, of course the battery will be bigger, but it will also consume faster. Mostly, on a laptop, it consumes the dedicated video card. This is one of the reasons why laptops have a built-in video card and a dedicated one.
At the moment, there are batteries with up to 10 cells on the market. But these are for professional laptops, with professional video card, for those who need rendering, 3d editing, etc. On the other hand, a large battery means a very heavy laptop.
Laptop hardware configuration
Many people are fooled by the specifications of these laptops. There are some offers in online stores, with 64-bit video cards and 6 GB VRAM. With that video card you can barely play and what do you think? It is one of the best sellers. Unfortunately it is one of the worst on the market. This is just a minor example, but when it comes to laptops, it’s about the same.
Intel and not only play with component versions. Stores prefer to sell at a high price, an old product that is no longer in line with today’s requirements. A first generation i7 doesn’t even compare to a 12th generation one.
You will find most laptops based on Intel. So, in stores you will find the following:
Intel Core I9
Intel Core I7
Intel Core I5
Intel Core I3
Intel Pentium Dual Core
Intel Celeron Dual Core
In addition, depending on the generation of processors we will find a letter. That letter represents the power of the processor. Whether it’s quad core, extreme or not. A top with all the laptop processors you have here.
What is the best laptop processor?
The best one is the one you need. There is no point in buying a processor that we will not use to its full capacity. Obviously, you can afford it.
Intel Core I9 and Intel Core I7
These two processors are top notch. The difference between I9 and I7 is small. At least in games. Most of the time, I9 is recommended in 3d editing, video, 3d modeling. Things that are rarely done on a laptop anyway.
For an ordinary user, who is playing or programming, it is enough to choose an I7. Even the built-in video card of these processors is much better.
Intel Core I3 and I5
I3 is the light version of Intel. You can even say that it is the middle class of processors. It is the successor to the core2quad, but has some notable improvements. It is enough for those who do not want too much from a laptop.
Intel Pentium and Intel Celeron Dual Core
They are dual-core processors, weaker than the ones in the I variants. They are useful for those who want a laptop for movies, to run some old games, to listen to music, etc. You can find them on those low budget laptops, up to $500.
They have begun to be reborn. They also have the advantage of 7nm that Intel is not yet ready to launch. The 5th generation of processors from AMD looks better and better, and at the end of the year you can expect to have more and more models of laptops with AMD processor.
Intel has chosen to rate the processors as in the following table:
H – maximum performance for video card and unlocked
U – ULV models, with low power consumption, not as high performance
So, on the 5th series we have 5 processors with TDP of 15W, ie models with U at the end and 3 models of processors with H at the end that have TDP of 45 W. If they are configured at 35W we will see an S at the end of the name .
There are many laptops on the market with 64 GB of RAM. At the moment, it is not worth taking more than 32 GB of RAM.
Even if you will choose an 8 GB laptop, there is no problem, a RAM upgrade costs a little and can be upgraded at any time, obviously, if you have space available (must be checked before purchase).
Try to focus on the model of the video card, try to compare it with the embedded video card, otherwise the dedicated video card is weaker than the processor card.
Those who ask about connectivity probably think that they have a projector and need a VGA connector. It’s so big and so bad is the picture on it that just the thought that in 2022 you’re stuck with an analog connector in my laptop seems unbelievable.
An ultrabook will never have such a thing precisely because if we are talking about a thin laptop you can not talk about VGA.
Try to move to other ports. It would be great to focus on digital ports such as:
It’s okay for the WiFi standard to be as new as possible. This is not a rule, but it would be good to see if it supports the latest standards, if the network card is gigabit or 100 mbps.
The focus is on WiFi 6. If you also have a compatible router… or think about the future: it’s worth it!
Warranty provided by the store
It’s a good idea to have as much warranty as possible for your laptop. How many times have you heard that some colleagues had problems with your laptop right after it was taken out of warranty.
That’s right, we have no way of knowing when the laptop will break down, if there will be problems with it or if it will “die of old age” due to new technologies on the market.
Over time, some manufacturers offer an extended warranty, have campaigns like “no matter what” or “money back and the laptop stays with you if there are problems.” The first is the Toshiba campaign, the second the Asus campaign.
Operating system used
There are models that are recommended for Linux, but also models for Windows.
Choose models with the operating system you know how to work. Licensed or not, licenses are already very cheap, so it’s no longer a choice criterion. And if you can’t handle the installation, keep in mind this aspect, the road to a service, the honor of a friend.
As for Windows, it’s simple. Get the latest version: Windows 11. Don’t like it? I think you have to get used to it because it’s the future. In addition, some models only work with Windows 10 or even newer. There are some tricks that can be tricked into installing another older operating system, but you may have bugs with USBs and other drivers.
Obviously, there are also models that pre-installed the operating system. It’s not a bad idea, I really recommend you have a license, even if you pay a little more.