A complete laptop buying guide for beginners and tech-savvy users.
We hope that our guide will be useful to laptop buyers and help them navigate the basics to consider when buying a new or used computer. So, without further ado, here are the things to consider when buying a laptop.
1. operating system
The choice between a Mac and a PC largely depends on the type of operating system you plan to use. Which, in turn, depends on the software that you rely on in your daily life and work.
Windows (for PC laptop buyers)
Windows is the most common operating system. In fact, about 80% of desktop users around the world depend on it. We are all very familiar with Microsoft software such as Outlook, Office, Access, etc. Windows is designed for PCs and, therefore, if you plan to work on Windows OS, a PC device would be the wisest choice.
macOS (for Apple laptop buyers)
The macOS is a great choice for casual laptop users and digital creators. In addition, macOS supports most Microsoft programs. buying a MacBook makes sense if you already have an iPhone or iPad.
Linux (open source operating system)
Linux is one of the most reliable, secure and worry-free operating systems available. In addition, it is free to download and use. Android is based on the Linux kernel. It is effective, but Linux is not intended to run MS Office or Adobe Creative Suite, for example. It has its own open source alternatives such as LibreOffice, Darktable (Adobe lightroom replacement) and GIMP (Adobe Photoshop replacement), which would be acceptable for occasional use. In a professional environment, however, these programs will not be able to replace Microsoft/Apple software.
Chrome OS is a proprietary Linux-based operating system designed by Google. it mainly runs web applications. Therefore, any Chromebook, a laptop based on Chrome OS, is designed to perform tasks in a web browser, namely Google Chrome. Chromebooks are usually low-cost, low-power laptops that are suitable for laptop buyers who are students or need an inexpensive device for surfing the web. But if you want to run applications like Adobe Creative Suite or Microsoft Office, a Chromebook is not for you.
2. Choosing a processor
The laptop processor (CPU) is just as important (if not more) than a working system. The two most common types of processors that a laptop buyer will find are AMD and Intel.
AMD is a solid choice for those who want reliable performance, but don’t want to pay arm and leg for a laptop. Some even say that AMD Ryzen 7 processors beat Intel when it comes to gaming and video processing. In addition, AMD processors are compatible with most laptop hardware, such as RAM, Wi-Fi cards, etc., and provide high benchmark scores.
You can find an Intel Core processor in almost every laptop. These processors are very efficient, but an Intel-based laptop will also cost more than an AMD counterpart. Intel releases a new generation of its core processors every year, and we are in the 12th generation right now. Distinguishing Intel Core processors by generation is very simple. Start by choosing your basic brand modifier (i3, i5, i7 or i9). And the generation indicator comes after the brand modifier, separated by a dash. The first one or two digits will tell a laptop buyer the processor generation. For example, Intel Core i7-9750H is a 9th generation processor. The Core i5-1135g7 would be the 11th generation.
3. Graphic Card
Each laptop has a built-in video card built into the motherboard. Any modern integrated graphics card is enough to watch movies in HD quality or even play a simple game.
But if you are a gamer or a video editor in the market for a new functional laptop, you will need a model with a discrete graphics card (dedicated GPU).
Most Intel-based laptops are paired with NVIDIA dedicated graphics. Think of a GeForce line-this is an energy-efficient and laptop-friendly spin-off from NVIDIA’s desktop cards.
AMD’s line of GPUs is called Radeon and ranges from high-end Vega and RX cards to R-series cards that reflect the Ryzen naming scheme.
4. How much RAM do I need?
RAM is usually called system memory, which is the special hardware for temporarily storing and accessing information for immediate processing. If your laptop has more RAM, the more information it can use at a given time and the more things it can do. However, as soon as the RAM loses power, all stored data is lost.
Ideally, you want at least 8 GB of RAM – this would be enough for an average laptop user. But if you are going to play a game from time to time, you will get at least 16 GB. The 32 GB and 64 GB options are intended for experienced users who do programming, video editing or hardcore gaming.
Another important thing to remember: most laptops today have their RAM soldered to the motherboard. If this is the matter, you will not be able to upgrade the RAM down the line. So it would make sense for any non-frequent laptop buyer to get the maximum RAM that you can afford, if you use the device for years.
Most laptop buyers choose the SSD with at least 256 GB because SSDs are faster, especially if they use an NVMe connection that moves data in and out of the hard drive much faster than SATA (old standard). So you see at least three times the speed and a much faster laptop in general.
6. Choose the right screen size
11 to 12 inches:
The thinnest and lightest systems have 11- to 12-inch screens and typically weigh 2.5 to 3.5 pounds.
13 to 14 inches:
It offers the best balance between portability and usability, especially if you get a laptop that weighs less than 4 pounds.
15 to 16 inches:
15.6 inches is the most popular laptop screen size. Such a laptop would weigh about 4 to 5 pounds. Consider this size if you want a larger screen and don’t plan to carry your laptop around often. 16-inch laptops are rare, but Apple may be in the trend with its 16-inch MacBook Pro version.
17 to 18 inches:
Larger laptops serve as tower replacements. So if you don’t plan on carrying it around and need computing power to play high-end games or for workstation-level productivity, a 17.3-inch laptop is your best bet.
7. Keyboard and Touchpad
Getting a laptop with good ergonomics is crucial. For example, if you plan to do a lot of work on your computer, make sure that the keyboard provides excellent tactical feedback, a lot of key movement and enough space between the keys. Also check that the touchpad responds consistently to multitouch gestures such as pinching or zooming.
8. I/O ports
On the ports, Focus the USB ports you need. For example, MacBooks and other thinner laptops like Ultrabooks offer newer USB-C ports instead of traditional USB-A ports. As a result, USB-C ports are smaller, narrower and rounder than USB-A. In addition, USB-C is often equipped with Thunderbolt 4 technology (40 Gbit/s), USB 3.2 Gen 1, USB 3.2 Gen 2 and the display port.
To connect a second external monitor, you need a laptop with the appropriate connectors for this monitor, such as USB-C, DisplayPort or HDMI.
Whether you are looking for a new computer or a used purchase, we hope that our laptop buying guide can help you navigate the many features and offers of modern technology. Finally, if you are selling an older laptop, do not hesitate to ask for an immediate offer!