There are six factors to check before buying a laptop. As the staple for both business and entertainment, the laptop is also a go-to for many specialized tasks. Combining, and often surpassing, the power of the desktop with portability, laptops are indispensable to many professionals, gamers, programmers, and Internet addicts. Depending on your computing needs, there are several factors to consider before deciding which laptop is best suited for you

PERFORMANCE OF LAPTOP

Performance should be one of your key criteria when looking for a laptop. The key is to match your computing needs with the kind of power you’re looking for. The performance capability of your laptop depends on the following aspects:

PROCESSOR OF LAPTOP

Choosing a laptop is hard enough and the confusion created by the sheer number of processor models and names only makes this a harrowing process. Why can’t choose a laptop based on processors be any simpler? That’s easier said than done, but if you’re armed with the right information, you can go from being a clueless laptop buyer to an expert on the subject. This article is dedicated to doing just that – demystifying, organizing, and telling you just what you need to know – what’s the processor your next laptop ought to have, what it’s good for, and what it isn’t.

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Why are buying processors so important? As we’re told repeatedly, they are at the heart of any device so they must be critical. It’s true – the faster the processor, the better your games and software will run. Rather than getting into the fine details of every processor, it is easier to try and imagine what software and games you wish to run. Depending on what you use the most, you should be able to pinpoint the laptop and processor that suit your needs.
This table should give you some idea of what processor you might need at the very least to let the software run smoothly. We aren’t talking about graphics cards in this feature but it is an important part of buying any laptop too. We have a feature around laptops graphics solutions.

ActivityCPU-intensivenessProcessor Family and Series
Browsing and chattingLow intensityIntel Celeron, Intel Pentium, Intel Core i3, AMD A4, AMD A6
Streaming and watching contentLow intensityIntel Core i3, AMD A8, AMD A9, AMD A10, AMD Ryzen 3
Office workAverage intensityIntel Core i3, Intel Core i5, AMD Ryzen 3, AMD Ryzen 5
ProgrammingAverage intensityIntel Core i5, Intel Core i7, AMD Ryzen 5, AMD Ryzen 7
GamingHigh intensityIntel Core i5, Intel Core i7, AMD Ryzen 5, AMD Ryzen 7
DesigningHigh intensityIntel Core i7, Intel Core i9, AMD Ryzen 7

One must remember, is that a faster processor is generally a better idea. Even if you are someone who wants to use the laptop for just browsing web pages, watching some videos on YouTube, a faster processor won’t make that experience a lot better today, but years from now when browsers and other software are more processor-intensive, you won’t need to upgrade to a newer laptop sooner. That extra money spent today will last you longer. It’s important to remember that laptop processors can’t be upgraded like you can on desktops.

If you’ve made sense of the table, you can also visit Intel and AMD’s websites where you can find specifications for the latest models within the families of products we’ve mentioned above.

Faster core speeds don’t mean a processor is always faster

Back in the day when processors could be identified by their core speeds, things were simpler. You would know that a 2 GHz processor was faster than a 1.4 GHz one. It’s important to know that it isn’t the rule anymore. You will find high-end laptop processors clocked at lower speeds than entry-level ones running at 3.2 GHz or so. This is due to several factors that go into the processor such as the number of cores, the optimizations, amount of cache, etc. The basic rule is the faster core speed, may not always translate to better performance. The families and ranges are a better indication.

What do you get when you spend more on a laptop?
Number of cores

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You’ll find the term, cores being thrown around everywhere in smartphones and laptops. The number of cores is usually decided by what series of processors you’re looking at. Intel’s entry-series of core i3 for example come with a 2-core configuration. 4-core, and sometimes, 6-core processors can only be found on core i7 or Intel Core i9 processors. The number of cores allows software with multiple threads to run faster. Some brands might have entry-level processors with many cores but they aren’t always as fast as high-end processors with fewer or the same number of cores. The pricing of laptops generally corresponds to the performance their processors offer.

RAM

The amount of RAM decides how smooth and lag-free an experience you get on your laptop. The higher the amount of RAM

the better it is. However, here’s an indication of what you can expect from laptops with varied RAM configurations

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We suggest a minimum of 4GB RAM for a lag-free experience across daily used applications like office apps, browsing, video viewing, etc.

BEST GUIDE TO BUY BEST LAPTOP

This is where you get some extra headroom for smooth multitasking, using heavy applications like image editors, and even running the latest games

BEST GUIDE TO BUY BEST LAPTOP

From high-resolution video editing to intensive gaming and graphics designing. 16GB of RAM will let you do it all without any stutters.

GRAPHICS AND GAMING

When looking for gaming laptops, the graphics processor (also referred to as GPU or graphics card), plays a key role. Having the latest series of dedicated graphics processors ensures the best gaming performance.

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Choosing the Ideal Graphics Card

UsageIdeal Graphics Card
Everyday use: browsing the web and multimediaGaming and image editing
Gaming and image editingDedicated 1 GB
Advanced gaming experience or video editingDedicated 2 GB
Professional gaming, animation, 3D renderingDedicated 2GB and above

Add to Product Finder:  Integrated Graphics Card 512 MB 1 GB 2 GB 3 GB 4 GB 6 GB 8 GB 16 GB

STORAGE

Selecting the right amount of storage capacity for your laptop depends on storage space requirements and the speed of storage. Here’s a quick guide on the various storage capacities and how much content they can store.

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Add to Product Finder: 32 GB256 GB320 GB500 GB512 GB750 GB1 TB2 TBWHO SHOULD CONSIDER SSDs

SSD-storage-based laptops offer low storage capacity, but they offer 5x the performance benefits in comparison to standard HDD-based storage. Consider SSDs when:

  • Working with large files (>1GB)
  • Want a laptop that boots up quickly
  • Don’t need a lot of storage space
  • Looking for a pure performance laptop

STORAGE TYPE

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HDDFORMSSD
Stores data on magnetic discsStores data on memory chips
Available in higher capacityComparatively available in lower capacities
Moderate in data transferFaster in terms of data transfer
More power consumptionLess power consumption
Cheaper when it comes to per GB costExpensive on per GB cost.

FORM FACTORS

Should you get a lightweight laptop or opt for a fully loaded (and heavy) performance machine? Well, it all depends on your primary usage. Here’s a quick look at various types of form factors and what they bring.

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BEST GUIDE TO BUY BEST LAPTOP

WHAT THEY OFFER

  • Balance of performance and features
  • Good value for money
  • Easy upgrade-ability
BEST GUIDE TO BUY BEST LAPTOP
BEST GUIDE TO BUY BEST LAPTOP
BEST GUIDE TO BUY BEST LAPTOP

WHAT THEY OFFER

  • Battery life
  • Premium design and materials
  • Slim looks & light weight
BEST GUIDE TO BUY BEST LAPTOP
BEST GUIDE TO BUY BEST LAPTOP
BEST GUIDE TO BUY BEST LAPTOP

WHAT THEY OFFER

  • Touchscreen
  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Battery life
BEST GUIDE TO BUY BEST LAPTOP
BEST GUIDE TO BUY BEST LAPTOP
BEST GUIDE TO BUY BEST LAPTOP

WHAT THEY OFFER

  • Top-class performance
  • High-resolution display
  • 15.6-inch and above display size
  • Weighs 2.7 kg and above
  • Powerful discrete graphics processors
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DISPLAY

When it comes to laptop displays, the display size and resolution are the key factors that one needs to consider.RESOLUTION

The higher resolution allows you to fit more content on the screen while making content (text and images) sharper and more pleasant to the eye.

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HD RESOLUTION

  • Offers 1280 x 720 pixels
  • Found in entry-level laptops
  • Good for basic tasks

FULL HD RESOLUTION

  • Offers 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Found in premium and gaming laptops
  • Good for entertainment and productivity apps

4K RESOLUTION

  • Offers 3840 x 2160 pixels
  • Found in high-end laptops
  • Consider it if you watch a lot of 4K content

DISPLAY SIZE

Finding the sweet spot which offers the desired level of portability while offering an adequate amount of screen real estate is the key to determining the screen size.CONSIDER 13.3-INCHES OR LOWER DISPLAY SIZE

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  • If you plan to travel frequently
  • When looking for a lightweight laptop
  • Primarily use the laptop for office applications

CONSIDER 14-INCH DISPLAY SIZE

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  • Perfect balance between screen size and portability
  • Mixed usage of office applications as well as entertainment
  • Optimal performance and storage space

CONSIDER 15.6-INCH DISPLAY SIZE

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  • Entertainment-oriented Laptop
  • Portability is not too important for you
  • More USB ports and an optical drive

Add to Product Finder: Below 12 inch12 inch – 12.9 inch13 inch – 13.9 inch14 inch – 14.9 inch15 inch – 15.9 inch16 inch – 17.9 inch18 inch – 20 inchAbove 20 inch

OPERATING SYSTEM

An operating system manages the hardware and software resources of a computer, while also providing common services that are essential to all software on the system.

Mac OS

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  • Great user interface
  • Applications run without lag
  • UNIX-based code makes the OS more secure
  • Apps are malware and virus-free as they are curated by Apple; limited choice of apps

Windows OS

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  • Most popular
  • Compatible with most hardware and software
  • Supports third-party programs
  • User interface can be customized
  • Easy to multitask using multiple windows
  • Try apps and software before buying them
  • Share data across all synced, compatible devices
  • Enhance, edit and organise photos
  • Access systems using virtual desktop
  • Features Cortana, the personal assistant with voice recognition
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UBUNTU & DOS

Laptops that ship with Linux-based, open-source, operating systems or DOS operating systems are suitable for programmers and coders. Ubuntu is the most popular Linux-based operating system that has an appealing graphical user interface. Laptops that come with Ubuntu can be used for basic applications like web browsing and media consumption.

Chrome OS

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  • Available only on Chromebooks
  • Apps can be added through the Chrome Store
  • Web-based
  • Mostly free applications
  • Google has announced Google Play Store will be added to all Chromebooks by 2016
  • Features Google’s built-in malware and virus protection

Add to Product Finder: AndroidChromeEndlessLinux/UbuntuMac OSWindows 10Windows 7Windows 8Windows 8.1

OTHER FEATURES

TOUCHSCREEN

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Touchscreens make computer interfaces simpler. Just as you would on a smartphone, you can tap to select, hold and drag to move items, swipe to scroll, and pinch to zoom.

This feature is currently available on a few Windows laptops and a few Chromebooks.

FAST CHARGING

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A useful feature when you need to charge your laptop in the least amount of time.

BACKLIT KEYBOARD

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Makes typing easy when using the laptop in low-light environments.

ULTRA SLIM BEZEL DISPLAY

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Provides a larger screen in a smaller form factor. It looks good as well.

USB TYPE-C PORTS

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The latest connectivity makes for fast data transfers with external storage devices.

FINGERPRINT READER

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Fingerprint-based login is useful when laptop access and security are a concern.

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