Choosing the best laptop is not an easy task for anyone. Either be it a beginner or simply a professional who has been using laptops for decades. With better technology, new designs, and superb features, it has become a lot more difficult than it may simply sound. But there is a way that might solve things out for you in the best manner.
Well, we have been researching a lot and have reviewed tons of laptops over the years. For example, we had made a list of best laptops for gaming, professional use, processor, affordable range, etc. And in the process, we have come across some of the very basic yet the most important part that one must look for in every machine. Although each purpose has different requirements such as you may need powerful graphics as well as a processor for your gaming laptop.
On the other hand, you may look for a laptop with a stunning battery life for professional use. So, without wasting a single second, let us get on with the ultimate laptop buying guide with every factor that you need to consider while buying a laptop.
Ultimate Laptop Buying Guide- Factors that you need to Consider
1. Windows, macOS, or Chrome OS- Which Platform?
We know there can always be a debate on which platform is better or which isn’t. You can be an Apple, Windows, or even Chrome fan that only loves and feels comfortable working on a platform. There are tons of benefits on all these systems, so let us take each of these and understand which can be better for what purpose.
One of the oldest operating systems that has been preferred over anything for centuries. As of now, you will find all the laptops using the Windows 10 OS for excellent performance worldwide. You will find some high-level PCs that run on Windows and are preferred by gamers, professionals, and students as well over Apple’s MacBooks.
Some of the major brands that manufacture and design laptops such as HP, Dell, ASUS, etc use Windows as their primary OS on almost every system they have manufactured and still continue to do so. There are multiple touch-screen laptops as well that have been available with the powerful Windows 10 system.
One of the biggest advantages of using Windows OS is that users have loved the fact that you can use a lot more software and the amount of flexibility it provides as compared to mac. It also has a varied range of laptops that you can go for starting at a rather very low affordable range coming to over lakhs of budget. If you are a gamer, professional, students, can opt to go for Windows OS as they are very comfortable to use.
If you are an Apple fan, there is no way you have not tried MacBook’s yet. Well the reason could be because they are all high priced and not many can afford it unless it is absolutely needed. We too have preferred Apple’s mac a lot of times for multiple purposes. Such as those who love to write, design, code, work from home, etc would love to work on the excellent macOS as well. The interface is not anything even close to what you will find on windows.
One of the biggest advantages of buying a Mac is that they have an exceptional design and are very lightweight. Once you have started using MacOS for a long time you may not like the Windows interface so much. Apple has focused on giving their machine with the best hardware and also the fastest. Well, if you love touchscreen laptops, mac may not be the best for you since Apple has never designed any laptop based on touchscreen yet.
MacBook’s does not necessarily have the best graphics since they do nor encourage playing games on the system, but overall you will love everything about it. The security of the system is what makes it apart from everyone else as they use all their personalized apps such as Safari, Apple Store, iNotes, etc.
Well, ChromeOS is something that has been brought only a few years ago and has captured the market in the best manner. Surely, they are not even near to Windows and macOS, but they are exceptionally good and versatile. Yes, they are limited in terms of the apps and software that you use on the above OS, which is very simple and secure to use.
Chromebooks are more of an inexpensive option for all those who need to only solve their basic purposes such as email, browsing, social media, etc. They have good battery life and very lightweight to help you while you are at work or traveling. Furthermore, you may find some touchscreen 2-in-1 laptops as well that run on ChromOS and are highly affordable. Well, it is perfect for Students, general use, office work, etc.
2. Choose the Perfect Size
While you have chosen the type of OS that you would like to go for, you can think of the size that would be perfect for your purpose. If you need laptops for your gaming purposes you surely would need at least 15.6 inches or even 17-inch laptops would be incredible. Anything below that may not suffice or justify your cause.
The least sized laptop starts with around 11-12 inches and can go up to 17-18 inches at the most. There are multiple brands such as Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, Apple, etc manufacturers laptop in loads of different sizes. Well, you may find a particular size that has been sold the most and also known to be the most basic of them all i.e. 15.6 inches display screen. If you need a portable laptop you can go for smaller screen sizes such as 13.3 inches, or even smaller screens as found on Microsoft Surface laptops and Apple MacBooks. But such laptops may not give you the best of hardware options and are good for students for daily usage.
On the other hand, large screen laptops may get a little heavier since they have all the latest hardware and resources, so make sure you make the right choice while keeping everything in your mind. All the high-end laptops probably have larger screen sizes that are for gaming as we had discussed, high-end software, office work, etc.
Every laptop has a storage capacity that helps you store all your important data, files, games, software, etc. It is the internal drive that also determines the bootup speed of the laptop. There are two types of storage devices you will find in every laptop i.e. the traditional Hard Disk Drives (HDD) and the much faster Solid State Drive (SSD). A lot of laptops manufactured these days so have the SSD drives that are an exceptional option to go for.
Most of you might have heard that the performance of the SSD drives are a lot better than the HDD drivers. It is faster, more responsive, and beneficial since the tech used in them is a lot of advanced. Also, it is indeed true that they are costly to upgrade or buy and a lot of people settle for the HDD drives. There is no harm in getting a laptop for HDD since they too are superb and you can always choose accordingly. Furthermore, laptops have at least 128GB SSD and similar goes for HDD, that can be extended Some laptops have the capacity to upgrade the drives to about 8TB storage as seen in the new MacBook.
4. RAM or Memory
After the storage capacity, you have a very important component that determines your system’s ability to access information. If you choose to go for a good RAM memory your system may never slow down or lag behind. To ensure multi-tasking, having a good memory is essential. You can ideally choose at the most 8GB RAM no matter whichever system you are buying for a decent performance.
Well, for high-end laptops, you may need to go for something higher i.e. about 16GB, to say the least. Such amount of memory is needed by all the gamers, developers, coders, video editing, graphics designers, etc. Moreover, currently, the latest technology that most of the laptops have been using is the DDR4 synchronous dynamic random-access memory that gives a high bandwidth as compared to the earlier DDR3 version.
Also, as higher as the number of memory increases in the system, the price will stoop high as well. So, that needs to be kept in proper check so that you buy anything within your budget and also serves your purpose. Furthermore, there are a lot of laptops that have slots that you can use to upgrade your RAM. It comes superb handy if you ever need to have more power to your system The same goes for when you fall short of storage space.
5. CPU or Processor
We surely did not forget about the processor on your system. It is rather one of the most important components of your laptop. All your laptop’s processing is done extensively by the processor that needs to be powerful enough to provide power and speed to the entire system. Well, the majority of the laptops that you will see are either based on Intel Core processor or AMD processors. But it is equally good and serves their purposes just right.
Intel has introduced a wide range and version of the processor for your system. Well, no matter whichever laptop you choose to go for, if you need a decent performance you must go for at least an i5 processor. Yes, you can choose the i3 version as well, but then you may not find it feasible enough and can be used for general usage or college purpose.
On the other, you have much better and powerful options such as i7 or i9 processors. But then again these have higher prices and can run away from the budget you have set up. However, if the budget is no constraint you can surely go for the best one there is. Some of the high-end gaming laptops or that for Android Development use the Intel i7 processor.
Some of the earliest yet slower versions i.e. Pentium, Celeron, Core, and Core M Pentium and Celeron chipsets are still found on multiple laptop options. It is true that the better the processor would, the better your laptop would work.
Well, the AMD processor series gives a rather decent performance in all its versions available on the web. It may be difficult since such a processor does not offer anything more than what you may have seen for Intel. AMD processor has a huge range of processors made i.e A, FX, and E series. Furthermore, the performance is exceptional and they have been working on their interface too for future references.
In fact, the AMD processor is known to have better graphics than the Intel core processor. Furthermore, it increases the speed overall and also makes it highly capable of every system. Well, a lot of people prefer AMD because they are cheaper than actual Intel processors.
6. Graphics or GPU
A Graphics chip is only important if you are a gamer, an editor, codes, etc. Well, if you just need it for blogging, working from home, general use, for college or anything similar you can go for an integrated GPU.
For every gamer having an excellent graphics chip is more than important. You can choose to go for a good AMD or NVIDIA graphics card. NVIDIA has been dominating the industry for quite some time and has been giving some of the best graphics units for every system you may purchase in the future. On the other hand, AMD is for low-level gaming sessions that are found mostly in MacBooks and also other Windows-based laptops.
Some of the high-end graphics chips that you will find introduced by NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 2070, GeForce RTX 2080i, GeForce RTX 2060, are some of the best there is in the market currently. On the contrary, AMD has some of the best graphics chips such as Radeon RX 5700, Radeon RX 5600, etc.
7. Battery Life
This is something that every user needs to take into account no matter whether purposes you have for buying a laptop. As a user, everyone needs a good battery life especially for those who are looking to use it for gaming purposes, educational purposes, business, work, etc. Battery life is determined by the usage and also the components in your machine.
It is typically noticed that laptops that have high-end components such as processor, display, GPU, RAM, etc use up a lot of battery power than any medium or lower-end laptops. This is the biggest reason that gaming laptops have very average battery life no matter how costly the laptop is or whichever brand you are using, you will rarely find any laptop with more than 6-7 hours of battery backup.
One of the best systems we have come across is all the MacBooks by Apple since they have excellent battery power. After reviewing them multiple times for different purposes they gave a decent backup of about 8-9 hours without a doubt. You can choose to go for laptops with a decent battery power i.e. about 6-7 hours the most and anything less than promised may not work as it is said.
8. Ports and Connectivity
While you look for the best laptops in your category, there is something you cannot ignore and that is the number of ports it has and also the connectivity options that you get with the system. It is always recommended that you go for a laptop that has a good number of ports. Well, this is a huge reason that a lot of people do not intend to buy the latest designed MacBook since they have very few ports.
Most of the laptops always have an HDMI port, Audio In/Out port, etc. Well, good laptops may have the great USB 3.0 ports or the USB 3.1 ports. With technological advancement, a lot of users prefer to look for a laptop that has Thunderbolt 3 port for the fastest data transfer speed. A lot of premium machines have Type-C ports such as seen exclusively on Apple MacBooks. On the connectivity front, you may want to have the latest Wifi connection drivers, Bluetooth, etc.
9. Keyboard and Touchpad
This is something that is most considered if you are a gamer or even a writer. For every gamer, the laptop needs to be top-notch. By that, we mean RGB Backlit, special lights on the WASD keys, and also the arrow keys. The keyboard needs to be very comfortable since you will be spending a lot of time on it. If we speak about the writers or bloggers, they need a smooth laptop that is very comfortable to use since you will be giving hours to it.
If you have ever used MacBooks you will love the traditional keyboard that is super comfortable and you may not like anything else once you start using it. Also, the new butterfly technology used in the latest versions are even more out there and super smooth. Also, to work at night having a backlit keyboard is even more necessary. You will hardly find any laptop that does not have a backlight.
On the other hand, touchpads have been revolutionized too. They have multi-touch gestures where you can use your multiple fingers to zoom in/out and other functions. Some high-end laptops even have fingerprint sensors on them for added security. Touchpads need to be larger and smoother to use. A lot of laptops we have come across are not the best quality and lag a lot so make sure you choose the right one.
Lastly, we have the budget constraints that we can never take it off the table. No matter whichever options you choose from the above list, it all comes down to the budget you have set up. In fact, you may want to look at your budget first and keep it in mind while choosing the laptop. You can easily get a powerful laptop with an i5 processor under 60000 INR. In fact, a lot lower than that price range.
If you have a very low budget you can choose to go for Chromebooks that have an i3 processor and very decent features that can help you to work your daily activities. Touchscreen laptops may increase the cost a little higher but then these laptops are a godsend. Furthermore, anything on the higher price range is mostly Ultrabooks, which are powerful with a lot of speed to add.
Budgets are mostly the driving force for a lot of users. You may love the high-end laptops just like us but they are way too high in terms of the price range that it is impossible to go for it. So, keep your budget in mind before you select your system.
Important Tip- Specifications of a Good Laptop
So to start with if you have a low budget, you can go for buying an i3 processor with at least 8GB RAM. This would suffice your needs and can be found with any brand such as Dell, Acer, HP, etc. However, you may not find the SSD drives so you have to settle for the HDD drives with a decent storage capacity for your files and folders. Having a good number of ports is a must so do not compromise on it.
Next up, we have the medium-range laptops that are highly affordable with some exceptional features. Well, here you can easily get an i5 processor with 16GB RAM. Such laptops may even provide you special empty slots so that you can upgrade your RAM. Similarly, here the laptops will have the SSD storage but with a rather lower number or may give you a good combo of the SSD + HDD drives. The battery power you can get is about 7-8 hours which is excellent for starters. A good laptop needs to be lightweight so that it is easier to carry them around with you and is highly portable.
Lastly, as we speak, you may have a good budget with you if you are into buying a gaming system or for developments, etc. These laptops may fall under i5, i7, or even i9 category processors. Yes, you can expect to get a massive 32GB or even 64 GB storage which is great for all the apps to work perfectly. In the latest MacBooks, you are getting a massive storage capacity of about 1TB SSD that can be upgraded to 8TB. The keyboard should be comfortable along with the touchpad.
So, here is everything you need to know about buying a good laptop and what all factors you need to take care of before you choose your machine. There are a lot more factors other than the ones mentioned above. There is the weight of the machine that you should go to for being as light as possible. Gaming laptops are heavier and there is no escape to that.
Also, if you have a special preference for certain brands you can directly look under them with the best possible specs you are getting. Moreover, if you have not technical knowledge this guide will come in handy to use whenever you search for a laptop or simply need to know more about good laptop specs. Having excellent design and durability is an important factor as well.
Take your time while you go through all these factors above and make the right list of proper specs that you are looking for. This will make things a lot easier for you to choose your laptop. It may seem like a lot of effort but everything is worth spending time on. If at all you feel stuck and need our suggestions or help with something, you can directly let it know in the comment section so that we can get back to you asap.