Laptop Buying Guide: What to look for in 2020

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Laptop Buying Guide

At present, mobile computing is not a luxury anymore. Having ready access to a laptop is the need of the hour.

Whether you need to send an important email, play games, edit videos on the go, keep in touch with friends and family, portability and performance are the top influencing factors when buying a notebook.

Even though prices have become competitive, laptops are still a big investment. That is why thorough research is required before you decide to purchase the perfect laptop to fit your budget and needs.

That is why we are here!

A typical laptop works fine for 3-5 years from purchase. We have stated a full guide to walk you through every detail of the buying process.

Size

Size matters! Depending on your functionalities and needs you might want to consider a size that fits right for you. Unlike the RAM or ROM which can be upgraded later, a laptop’s size remains constant. Hence, choose wisely.

Generally, laptop sizes tend to start from 11.6-inches and go up to 17.3 inches. Most top brands like HP, Dell, Acer and ASUS offer three display sizes- 13.3-inch15.6-inch and 17.3-inches. However, you will also find vendors selling laptops that fall outside these sizes. Other sizes include 11.6-inches, 12.5-inches and 14-inches.

Undeniably, if portability is your prime factor go for a smaller sized laptop. They are lighter and thinner when compared to conventional ones. Go for laptops with a screen size of 12.5-inches or 13.3-inches and weight between 1kg and 1.5kgs.

Screen 

The laptop’s screen should be comfortable to look at and use, since this is where you will end up staring all the time while working.

Start with considering whether you want a touchscreen. Nowadays, laptops offer touchscreen that makes some tasks easier.

However, they also add glossiness to the display which is undesirable. Glossy screen reflects, which is a big no if you are gaming, editing images or video, and watching content.

Next, look for the screen resolution. A 1920×1080-pixel resolution (Full HD) is ideal if you want to keep things in view. However, modern laptops also offer 4K resolutions. But, will add up to extra costs.

Keyboard quality

You will need a comfortable keyboard for long typing sessions. A comfortable layout with some space around arrow keys and full-sized keys is perfect.

They should adequately travel on the downstroke and should have snappy responsiveness when you let them go.

Also, check whether the keyboard is backlit. This lets you type with ease even in dimly lit environments.

Do take a keyboard trial before purchasing if your main job is typing.

CPU

Intel’s Core-based CPUs are the first choice of every laptop buyer. You can opt for Core i3, i5, or i7. It offers the best performance for multimedia tasks and multitasking.

Core i3 based systems are found in entry-level devices and core i5 make up the majority of laptops.

Core i7 based systems are for those people who want the best performance from their laptop. However, a Core i7 laptop can emit a lot of heat from the base. Hence you need to be careful if you are using it for a long time.

Some laptops even feature Intel’s i9 Core processors and have the capability to rival desktops. But, they are significantly high priced.

RAM

Previously, a 4 GB RAM was more than sufficient for your system. Nowadays, an 8 GB laptop is the minimum requirement for an uninterrupted performance. If you are a hardcore user, 16 GB might suit you.

For gamers, a 32 GB RAM will take their gaming performance to the next level. More the RAM, the more are the applications running at the same time. This helps in performing tasks like editing photos or videos with ease.

Operating system

One big decision you need to make while buying laptops is choosing your laptop’s operating system. While traditionally it was dominated by Microsoft Windows and Apple’s Mac OS, today, Google’s Chrome OS has come into the picture because of its affordability.

Graphics

A laptop’s graphic card is difficult to upgrade and hence needs a proper thought before buying. AMD and NVIDIA are the primary vendors for graphics. The latest series of NVIDIA is the RTX 20-series, including the RTX 2060, 2070, and 2080.

On the other hand, AMD offers a different format. The VEGA chips come bundled with a CPU. It is called an accelerated processing unit, or APU. There are also rumors about the upcoming RX 5500M mobile GPU that could be far more capable.

Audio

Most of the laptops come with decent audio systems, like the MacBook Pro. However, most laptops do not have enough space to fit speakers inside the casing. Hence ports are available for connecting external speakers or headphones.

Ports

Ports can be confusing due to their complex terminology. Focus on USB ports that you need the most. New laptops come with USB-C ports that are a more advanced version for transferring high definition videos.

Some laptops come with advanced versions of USB-C ports called Thunderbolt 3. This increases connection capabilities.

Final words

A laptop is a necessity. However, even if you purchase one it immediately becomes outdated due to the continuously evolving technology. You must choose a laptop that stands the test of time and fulfills your expectations.

Eventually, it comes down to choosing the best laptop for yourself rather than looking for options.