Guide to Choosing the Best Laptop
Choosing a laptop is very hard. We all have been there.
Have you been reading through a lot of reviews, CPU performance benchmarks and Amazon reviews? This is a good practice to do.
However, the process becomes much easier when you exactly know what you want. Just answer the simple questions and follow the steps.
Here are the questions:
- What is your budget?
- What will be using the laptop for personal, business or gaming?
- Which programs and applications will you run regularly? Which OS do you require?
- Do you need to the carry the laptop every day or will you buy it for one desk?
- What is your preferred screen size?
- Do you require a touch-screen, fingerprint reader, optical drive or good input devices (keyboard/touchpad)?
In order for you to answer these questions, we’ve made an easy blueprint which you can follow.
Let’s get down to the most important part.
- What is your budget?
Determining your budget at the first step is important. You can pick up a perfect laptop exactly for your budget. Good laptops for business and personal use start at $400. These laptops have both high performance and durability. Laptops under $300 are designed primarily for browsing the internet and they do not have capabilities of higher budget laptops. If you are under budget and want to get a good laptop, you should consider buying used or refurbished products.
Good gaming laptops start at $800. If you want to run multiple programs an open more than 15 browser tabs at the same time, look for laptops that cost around $500.
2. What will be using the laptop for personal, business or gaming? How important is a battery life for you?
Write down what you are going to do with the laptop. For example, ” I will use the laptop mainly for games, programming and browse the internet”. You should not buy a laptop thinking about today only. If you decided that you will use the laptop mainly for work, you may do whatever your job requires you to do. That means you may need to install a lot of software and run different apps. For example, if you are working in a design studio, your job may require you to do not only image editing but also video editing tomorrow. You should buy a laptop keeping in mind that the job requirements and the job itself might change in the future.
In the same way, you may not be traveling a lot now, because your job does not require travel. But, if you are looking for the perspectives of a promotion, keep in mind that tomorrow you may get the job that requires you to travel and carry your laptop a lot.
Today, the laptop industry offers a lot of super cool specs and functionalities, all at the cost of lower battery life. Things like a built-in touch screen, sharper display, and higher performance, all of them lower your battery life.
So, as a first step, it is wise for you to choose what is your requirement on battery life. Experts suggest that if you are using the laptop for work or business and if you don’t need to move laptop much, you shouldn’t worry about the battery life. For example, I use my laptop only on my desk and for working purposes only.
However, If I were a student, a teacher or someone who travels frequently I would definitely put more weight on a battery life and it would have been the most important item on my list.
It also depends on what you want to use the laptop for.
If you are a student who needs a high level of photo and video editing, then you shouldn’t worry about battery life. Yes, you need a working laptop which needs to be super portable, and high on battery life. However, the electronics industry offers a variety of power banks which you can use to extend the battery life of laptops.
3. Which programs and applications will you run regularly? Which OS do you require?
If you require to run a specific set of programs you should check the performance requirements of those programs. This also relates to question number 2. If you would like to do a lot of video editing, check out how the performance requirements of video editing programs. Most video editing programs require multicore processors with 64-bit support, 8GB of RAM, 8GB of hard disk space and more.
If the software is asking you for 8GB of RAM, it means you should a laptop with at least 16GB of RAM in order to be able to run the other programs successfully.
Coming to your operating system, do not determine stuff without looking at compatibility issues. Even if the Windows 10 is the latest OS available in the market, it does not always mean that you should get it. Most software designed to run in Windows 10 have the Windows 7 versions available. However, what works in Windows 10 usually does not work in Windows 7. It includes Microsoft’s own Office programs too.
If you are buying a second laptop and want to exchange files seamlessly with your first laptop, buy a laptop with a suitable operating system for exchanging the files.
4. Do you need to the carry the laptop every day or will you buy it for one desk?
How often will you carry your laptop from one place to another? Obviously, if you are a student who needs to carry a laptop from one room to another, then you should opt for thinner and lightweight options. However, do not sacrifice the performance for portability. You can always find a solution for portability, but performance will mostly stay the same.
If you have determined that the laptop is mainly for your desk, look for laptops of average screen size and weight. You can connect bigger monitors if you need. Bigger resolution laptops do not always mean a good viewing angle.
5. What is your preferred screen size?
There is a cheat sheet in determining the laptop screen size. If you want a portable laptop, choose between screen sizes of 11 and 13 inches. If you are choosing the laptop for work, opt between 13 and 15 inches. Bigger screen sizes are good for stationary computers.
6. Do you require a touch-screen, fingerprint reader, optical drive or good input devices (keyboard/touchpad)?
In our days the term ‘laptop’ has become a wide-ranging one. You can buy two in one laptop, laptops with built-in touchscreen, and so on. Having a lot of options is great for a consumer, but it also puts us in the difficult position. We don’t know what we need to get.