This laptop buying guide should help you find the best laptop in the year 2021 that meets your needs according to your budget. When technology is updated almost daily and there is a seemingly endless sea of options and features, choosing a laptop can be overwhelming and frustrating. However, the choice is easier than you think. Ask yourself what you need/want your laptop to do. Is it for work, home or playing games? Do you want to store a lot of multimedia or want to edit photos and videos? Do you play a lot of games with HD graphics? By asking yourself these questions, you can determine what type of user you are.
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✅ Best Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch
Best Macbook you have ever owned. – New and running like a champ. Battery life is ok when not using integrated AMD graphics but once you do 5 hrs is exactly what you can expect/ 8-10 on intel graphics. Still, a fantastic setup would be great if Apple allows for under-clocking to fix the issue with the system getting too hot under loads.
✅ Best Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop
Fantastic gaming laptop – Absolutely amazing laptop. Has been running rdr2 on ultra settings flawlessly would definitely recommend it. Would like more options for the RGB keyboard but that’s not too big of a deal. The battery says it’s at 100%. this gaming laptop just blows the comp away and is just as good as a 5000 dollar laptop for gaming, don’t be fooled into thinking the more it cost the better, this is sufficient n more than enough.
✅ Best Alienware AW17R4-7006SLV-PUS 17″ Gaming Laptop
Good picture quality – Really proud and happy for this purchase. The laptop was very well secured and nicely packaged. Not to mention the glory of the speed you were emanced in after turning on the laptop; the laptop was fast and the panel is beautiful. Thank you so much.
✅ Best ASUS VivoBook Pro Thin & Light Laptop, 17.3″ Full HD Display
Great value for money – It is very fast, lightweight, and with a good design. For the price, it is very, very good. The solid-state hard drive makes it very fast and although it seems to be something short in size it looks great. To store prefer to use your portable hard drives. The only
thing that didn’t convince you was the sound, being the bo-bottom opposite, the sound is perceived as deficient. By the way, the keyboard is in English, it’s no problem as long as you keep it in mind at all times.
There is a wide variety of sizes, features, and prices, which make the best laptops a challenge. So you need to find out what your needs are. In this guide, you will find the most important things to consider when choosing a new laptop.
Shortcut To Great Content
- 1 1. Screen Size
- 2 2. Screen quality
- 3 3. Types of Displays
- 4 4. Keyboard quality
- 5 5. Ports and connectivity
- 6 6. CPU or Processor
- 7 7. Which is the best Intel vs AMD?
- 8 8. Integrated GPUs:
- 9 9. Memory (RAM)
- 10 10. Audio and Sound Quality:
- 11 11. Operating Systems
- 12 12. Desktop Replacement and Gaming Laptop
- 13 13. Storage
1. Screen Size
When it comes to the best laptops, screen size matters. Depending on what you plan to do with your next laptop, you want to make sure that you choose the screen size that is the right fit for you. Size is not like a laptop’s RAM or ROM, you cannot upgrade it later. You are locked into whatever you choose, so choose wisely.
The laptop size starts at 11.6-inches and goes up to 17.3 inches, measuring diagonally. A large screen is ideal for Streaming Netflix, gaming, watching movies, photo and video editing, and viewing documents simultaneously. Keep in mind, a larger screen can increase a laptop’s overall size, weight, and power consumption. Obviously, if portability is your priority, then you want to go for a smaller size Windows laptop. They are thinner and lighter than their larger counterparts. Look for laptops that have a screen that is either 12.5-inch or 13.3-inch in size, and weighs between 1kg and 1.5kgs. Normally girls like this size and weight laptop most. We wrote a complete buying guide on Best Laptop for Girls.
First of all, you need to think that for what you are going to use your laptop, you may need your laptop to be ultra-portable from 10.1 “to 13” or maybe you want it to be big at around 17.3 Screen, Laptop with that big screen is one of the first choices for gamers, graphics, and CAD, so becoming a desktop replacement. The average screen size is around 15.6, these are light enough to carry from one place to another and the prices are most keen.
Laptops are divided into categories based on the diagonal size of their screen, in inches. This is because the screen size of the laptop also determines the overall size of its chassis. The 17-inch giant-screen laptop would be great for work and gaming and would feature a decent-sized keyboard to make typing easier, but it would be much larger and heavier than the 13-inch Screen model.
What screen size should you go to?
10 to 13 inches: Ultra-portable notebook
These are what you want if you are after the machine on the lighter side. If you travel too much or need something that won’t reduce your daily commute, a notebook in the 13-inch range may be the shortest way to go. They are lighter, easier to carry in laptop bags, and take up less space on a desk, train or wherever you are using. At the lower end of the spectrum, some functionality may be lacking, such as a low power CPU or fewer ports. This is not a problem if you prefer portability over the power, or if your needs are relatively basic. That being said, there is still a lot you can do on these machines.
The notebook range is ideal for many buyers. And not all of them are sitting at the lower end of the specs scale. If you want something that is likely to pack a punch without breaking your back, this is where you should look.
However, keep in mind that 10-inches smaller-sized laptops often do not support high-end Intel Core i7 CPUs or discrete graphics cards that you will be able to find in their 15.6-inch counterparts. Most of the time, they also feature a less-robust selection of ports. If you are looking for something with more grunts in the specs department, or if you need a bigger screen, you may want to consider something on the higher end.
13 to 15 inches: traditional laptop
The most common screen size. Portable enough to carry around with you, but also suitable for sitting at your desk at home or at work. The screen is large enough to enjoy games and movies without feeling too big or chunky. This is where you will find ‘normal’ laptops which most of us have become accustomed to using. They are larger than ultra-portable notebooks, but not as large and powerful as the monsters on the other end of the spectrum. They sit firmly between both the shape and the specs.
The big news is that if you are happy to invest in a good machine then you will not really have to sacrifice a lot of power. Most major manufacturers have released 13 to 15-inch machines with plenty of storage options, RAM, and relatively powerful Processors. If you need something familiar, comfortable and capable, you may be able to handle most of the tasks thrown at it.
15+ inch: gaming and performance laptop
These are the ideal compromise between desktop monitors and portable devices. Also known as desktop replacements, these typically range between 15 and 17 inches of the diagonal display area. These laptops have a very wide range of screen sizes, but with good reason. They are perfect for creative types and gamers, who don’t want to be confined in one place but are a little too big and heavy to carry around.
The 15 inches are not the largest machines on the market but older models can be a pain to carry around. Newer, ultralight models are exponentially more portable, however, this is great for those who can’t afford a smaller screen, but don’t want the hassle of a full-size desktop. The most recent 15-inch display notebooks are very powerful, capable of handling Photoshop, sound mixing, and even some gaming.
This is best if your laptop is stable most of the time. At the larger end of the scale, you have 17 and 18-inch monsters. For the most part, these are Hardcore Gaming Rigs and it will set you back $ 4000 or more. Sadly, this price does not buy you much battery life. And you will not take them regularly.
2. Screen quality
To begin with, you need to consider whether you want your next laptop to be a touchscreen or a Non-touch screen. Nowadays, touchscreens are very common in laptops and they can make some tasks easier than other Non-touch screens. Unfortunately, they can also add a sparkle to the performance which is sometimes undesirable. Glossy leads to screen reflections, which are a definite downside if you playing games, viewing content, or editing images and video content. Due to these reasons, you can go for a laptop that does not have a touchscreen.
Since you are probably staring at your laptop screen hours at a time, you probably want to make sure that you get a screen that is comfortable to watch and use. Screen size is not everything; Resolution must also be taken into consideration. Be sure to check the resolution of the laptop you are thinking of buying. 1920×1080-pixel resolution (Full HD) should be considered if you want a better viewing experience. With this many pixels, It is possible to work on two applications side by side, especially because many modern web pages improve themselves to suit the available screen space.
3. Types of Displays
There are many types of laptop displays, but the two most common in laptops are twisted nematic (TN) and in-plane switching (IPS).
Higher resolution equals better picture quality. Laptops fall into a range of screen resolutions (measured in pixels, horizontal x vertical):
- 4K Ultra HD: 3840 x 2560 and 3840 x 2160 resolutions increase the pixels of Full HD four times, creating rich colors and images for viewing and editing incredibly reality-based pictures and graphics.
- QHD (Quad HD) and QHD +: With 2560 x 1440 and 3200 x 1800 resolutions respectively, extremely high pixel density creates crisp detail and sharp text, ideal for professional photos and graphic designers as well as HD movies and professional gamers.
- Retina Display: 2304 x 1440, 2560 x 1600 and 2880 x 1800 resolutions are found in Apple’s 12 “, 13.3” and 15.6 “laptop displays, respectively.
- Full HD: 1920 x 1080 resolution allows you to watch Blu-ray movies without losing any level of detail and play games at graphics.
- HD +: 1600 x 900 resolution is great for normal gaming and watching simple movies.
- HD: 1366 x 768 resolution is standard on mainstream laptops, good for Internet-surfing, email, and light computing tasks.
Meanwhile, if you are a gamer, it is worth taking the time to check the refresh rate on the performance of any modern laptop. A faster refresh rate can often provide a competitive advantage sometimes in online games, as it enables a smoother and more responsive game experience.
Different display technologies produce different colors and brightness levels. Many laptops employ LED backlighting, which can display bright colors without exhausting the battery. If you plan to use your laptop to watch movies and shows with your friends, choose a display with an IPS panel for a wider viewing angle. Screens with glossy finishes typically provide richer colors and darker blacks, while matte displays will reduce glare if you often work outdoors or near windows. Laptop models featuring a narrow bezel (the border around the screen) allow more display space to fit within the laptop’s form factor.
Finally, viewing angles are extremely important. A laptop screen that uses IPS (in-plane switching) technology provides the widest viewing angles and the best user comfort. Chances are you will not always use your laptop in its natural habitat. Therefore, a laptop with an IPS screen is generally preferred to other laptops.
GLOSSY AND MATTE (ANTI-GLARE) DISPLAYS
If you are looking very closely in front of the display size and resolution in the specification sheet of the laptop, then there is a glossy or matte display. Some websites share that information. Laptops with Glossy screens have excellent color contrast and are vivid. They also cause reflections that can be easily seen when light is poured over it. Using a laptop with this type of display makes it difficult to use outside or in very bright light rooms. Glossy displays look better in low light and indoors. Dazzles are also a problem because they reflect light rays from the screen. This can occur as a result of macular degeneration, eye fatigue, and eye strain if you are the type of person that staring at a screen for a long time.
The matte display, on the other hand, has a special coating that is applied in sunny or bright rooms to reduce glare and reflections. The downside is the decreasing color contrast and vividness which makes the screen look dull. However, macular can help prevent degeneration, reduce eye fatigue and stretchiness. Choosing a glossy display or matte display boils down to which environment you will use the laptop.
4. Keyboard quality
Types of Keyboards:
For longer typing sessions, you will need to get a laptop that has a comfortable keyboard. You probably not want to get a laptop with a keyboard that packs in every key under the sun (it seems that the keyboards that squat into the number pad) because it translates to the overall poor user experience when hunting for specifics keys like the arrow or delete keys. Due to the constraints placed on them by the physical size of laptops, laptop keyboards are more diverse than desktop models. For a start, there is room for a numeric keypad only on large laptops, and then only on some models.
You want a keyboard that has a comfortable layout with full-size keys and some space around the arrow keys. When you let them go, the keys should have adequate travel on the downstroke and snappy responsiveness. Make sure the keyboard is also backlit, so you can type in the dimly lit environment with an easy view of the key.
In addition, many laptops have small arrow keys or backslash keys to the left and right of the keypad. Only some laptops also have Home, End, and Page up and Page down keys; If there is no physical key for such functions, you will need to use the function (Fn) key combination instead. If you trust these keys then look for a laptop to navigate around a text document where all these functions are repeated by different physical keys.
Laptop keyboards can also vary wildly in quality. When you type, it is somewhat unpleasant to type thanks to the dreaded flex in the middle of the keyboard tray. If you are unable to try the keyboard for yourself in a shop, we recommend that you read at least some reviews yourself to see if there are any major problems. After all, by the time you have a laptop, you have to stick to a sub-standard keyboard.
Like Keyboard, similar conditions are applicable to the laptop’s touchpad. This is one of the most important ways in which you can interact with your laptop, so it needs to work well. Unfortunately, many laptop touchpads are terrible. There is a tendency to make the buttons part of the main touchpad, which when applied poorly, your cursor will not respond properly it means that when you click one, it jumps all over the place.
Many touchpads are not correctly responding to finger movements or have squishy buttons, which make it difficult to determine if you have registered a click or not. Most modern touchpads support gestures, where you can use two fingers to scroll or zoom in and zoom out but again, how easy these gestures are to use is widely used among laptops Varies.
Nowadays, many laptops come with Microsoft-approved precision touchpads at the end of years of mediocre Windows laptop touchpads, which were largely outcasted by those found on Apple’s MacBook. If you pick up a laptop with a bad touchpad, you always have the option of carrying a USB travel mouse in your perfect laptop bag.
5. Ports and connectivity
Laptops typically provide several options for staying connected to the Internet as well as connecting other devices. Most laptops provide the latest 802.11 wireless networking standards and Bluetooth capabilities, allowing you to easily sync your smartphone, speakers, and other portable devices. Whether you want to transfer files, enhance your music or video, connect to external devices such as monitors, TVs, printers, etc., ports on a laptop are essential and very useful.
Keep an eye on the following ports commonly used to connect TVs, cameras and other devices:
- USB Type-A: Adds external drives, gaming controllers, smartphones, MP3 players, and other accessories. USB 3.0 ports transfer data faster than USB 2.0, but only when used with a USB 3.0 device. These days, if a laptop has less than a USB 3.0 port, you should probably look to buy another laptop. Ideally, you should look for a laptop that has at least these USB 3.0 ports.
- USB Type-C: It provides blazing speed and versatile power, featuring equal-end connectors that plug upside down or right-side up. The adapters allow backward compatibility with video as well as Type-A ports.
- USB Type-B: Docking stations and printers use this type of port. They are seen on large devices
- Thunderbolt 3: Ultra-high bandwidth for fast data transfer between devices featuring a Thunderbolt or mini-DisplayPort connection.
- Display port / mini display port: It gives you the ability to connect up to a high-resolution monitor or up to three monitors each is Full HD (1920 x 1080).
- Wi-Di (Wireless Display): Wi-Di essentially has the same function as an HDMI connection without cables. Laptops with Wi-Fi can translate the experience to a Wi-Fi-enabled TV for a full HD experience.
- Multi-Card Reader: A multi-card reader will allow users to insert and retrieve data from storage disks on cameras, cell phones, and more. Commonly accepted types are Compact Flash I and II, SmartMedia Card (SM), Memory Stick (Duo), SD, XD, and MicroSD cards.
- eSATA port: The eSATA port is used to connect external SATA hard drives and is similar to USB.
- Wi-Fi: Owning a laptop gives you more freedom than a traditional desktop but, you may need something extra to connect to the Internet, digital camera, hard drive, camcorder, MP3 player, or printer.
The laptop comes with a Wi-Fi connection, but not everywhere will you provide wireless signals to connect to the Internet. If you are a frequent traveler or need Internet access, but are not near a Wi-Fi signal, you will need to get a cable or mobile wireless card.
The HDMI connection allows you to connect your laptop to any HDMI-ready television via an HDMI cable. Since the cable transfers audio and video, the entire experience of your laptop translates to what you plugged in on the LCD / LED television. Play games, watch movies, or just browse the web with a full HD picture.
A common setup involves plugging the laptop into the TV via an HDMI cable connecting the wireless keyboard and mouse. With this setup, users can control their laptops wirelessly from the comfort of their couch using their HD television as a display.
Video outputs are also important: HDMI is the most common video output on laptops, which will work to connect to most TVs and monitors (if not the 4K model – just a few laptops have the necessary HDMI 2.0 connector).
VGA is used to connect TV, monitor or projector with VGA input. It is similar to DisplayPort but does not support high-resolution TVs or monitors. The resolution is capped at 1920 x 1200.
- 3.5mm audio jack: Where you also connect your earphone or microphone.
- Ethernet: Connects you directly to a wired network.
- Media-Card Slot: Transfer photos with your digital camera or camcorder.
A laptop has limited space around its base, so it has far fewer ports than a desktop PC. For this reason, think carefully about what you need to plug into. For a start, some laptops have as little as two USB ports. If you have a printer and a mouse that are already plugin and you want to transfer some pictures from your camera, you’ll need to unplug something – unless your laptop has a built-in SD card reader. As in many laptops, you will find SD card readers these days. Many current laptops have at least one USB 3.0 port for fast data transfer.
Larger laptops have at least three USB ports, which would be fine for most people. Also, keep in mind that many modern laptops do not have built-in DVD drives, so if you want to read and burn discs, you’ll need to budget around $30 for the USB model – and make sure your laptop has enough spare ports when buying a best one for yourself.
USB 3.1 ports are beginning to appear on the latest high-end laptops. These ports are usually of small Type-C variety but open up a world of possibilities for moving speeds and peripherals. A single USB 3.1 port can host loads of high-power and high-performance peripherals such as displays through an external dock and an external hard disk, which can be expensive but extremely practical.
- Fingerprint reader and TPM: Fingerprint readers are great for
- logging into mobile devices and the latest Windows 10 operating system further uses them with their Windows Hello system. Your fingerprint is unique and therefore your fingerprint will be an ideal password for your laptop. Put your finger on the fingerprint reader and log in safely and quickly. The added benefit is that you no longer have to remember login details.
- TPM: A Trusted Platform Module (TPM) is a microchip that is often built into a computer to provide hardware-based security. If the TPM chip senses that the integrity of the system is compromised by a virus or malware, it can start in a quarantine mode to help fix the problem. Some Google Chromebooks include TPM, and during startup, the chip scans the BIOS (a motherboard firmware that starts the startup process) for unauthorized changes.
TPM chips also provide secure storage of encryption keys, certificates, and passwords used to log in to online services, which is a more secure way than storing them inside software on a hard drive.
People can guess your password, but only a few can fake a fingerprint. To protect the contents of your laptop, a portable PC with a fingerprint reader is usually the best way.
6. CPU or Processor
Hopefully, by now you have an idea of what your laptop should look like outside, so now is the time to worry about what is inside. First is the CPU. The processor or central processing unit (CPU) typically determines the speed and power of your laptop. The processor plays the role of the brain; It tells your laptop what to do and when to do it.
Working in conjunction with system memory, processor power determines the complexity of the software you can run, how many programs you can have at the same time, and how fast those programs will run. Most laptops have an Intel® or AMD processor.
It is difficult to go past any of Intel’s core-based CPUs when purchasing a new laptop. The processor choices are tricky. You should aim for at least one Intel Core i3 processor, it will comfortably cope with simple web browsing and normal office work, and consider a Core i5 chip for more intensive tasks such as high graphics image editing and encoding video. Laptops with Core i7 chips are expensive but super-fast, so are worth considering if you want the best high-end performance laptop. When it comes to multitasking and multimedia functions, the Intel Core processor provides the best performance. Core i3-based notebooks are typically found in entry-level systems, while Core i5 makes the most of mainstream computers.
Not all processors are the same, although every processor has its own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to accomplishing this task.
There are two types of processors: CPU (Central Processing Unit) and APU (Accelerated Processing Unit).
The difference between a CPU and an APU is that an APU has a dedicated graphics processor, which mixes with the CPU. A CPU does not make the APU better at providing and displaying images. APUs are made by Intel by AMD and CPU.
- Intel® processor: Intel’s processors are mostly found in every modern MacBook and most Windows laptops. Intel CPUs still provide great gaming and multi-threaded performance. It is inexpensive and powerful, the best Intel processor is the one that is best suited for your needs and budget. If you need something like that, you want a core X-series. The most popular Intel Core ™ series of multicourse processors are:
- Core X-Series: This is one of Intel’s ultimate processors for gaming and virtual reality experiences. The Core X-Series family provides up to 18 cores and 36 threads of power through the creation, editing and production of 4K or 360 ° video, high-resolution photos and high-quality audio.
- Core i9: These days laptop also includes Intel’s Core i9 processor. Laptops running on Core i9 processors are more powerful than laptops running at i7, i5, i3 processors. The i9 is considered Intel’s top-of-the-line processor for people who are hardcore gamers, photographers, videographers and individuals in graphic design.
- Core i7: A popular choice for hardcore gamers, graphic designers, photographers and videographers such as “power users”. It excels at serious multitasking and high-demand multimedia creation for projects in 3D or HD. The Core i7-based system is for those of you who want the best performance from your laptop.
- Core i5: This is a mid-grade core processor that is powerful enough for most computing tasks and multitasking as well so that you can easily stream big football matches while watching statistics and sending emails without facing any problem.
- Core i3: This is an entry-level core processor, more than adequate for everyday use, sending emails, using the Internet, and productivity tasks. It is also suitable for normal activities such as listening to music.
In a price-based laptop, you’ll also see Intel’s Pentium® and Celeron® processors. These are sufficient for basic and normal tasks like sending emails, using the Internet, and some productivity tasks, but their speed and multitasking capabilities are limited relative to those in the core family.
AMD offers a range of advanced processors for almost every function. AMD processors will typically be slightly cheaper and range from the E300 Dual Core and Athlon, which are ideal for general home use to the Quad-Core A8, perfect for multiple tasks and heavy multimedia use.
AMD processors are less common in laptops than Intel and are popular for building desktops. AMD processors take a very different naming convention and are somewhat more complex than Intel. Their APUs are called Ryzen 3, 5 and 7 in terms of processing power and almost equal to Intel and are much better at rendering graphics than Intel.
AMD Ryzen Mobile Processor with Radeon Vega Graphics: These processors give multitasking performance, great visuals, and a healthy battery life, allowing a great form factor to work with. Options include:
- Ryzen 7: The AMD Ryzen 7 allows you to perform intensive tasks, including video editing, running a demanding application and playing the latest games and e-sports with smooth FPS.
- Ryzen 5: This processor provides All-Around multimedia performance for 4K video streaming, light video editing, and e-sport gaming.
- Ryzen 3: It is very responsive and efficient to maximize battery life while providing performance for school and office tasks as well as entertainment.
- AMD FX and A Series: These families of processors are designed to increase productivity, increase multimedia performance, and improve energy efficiency of laptops.
- FX, A12, and A10: These advanced processor features combine powerful processing with power efficiency to deliver a great laptop experience, including smooth online gaming and enhanced HD streaming capabilities.
- A9, A6, and E2: These processors prioritize value and are ready for your everyday productivity tasks.
7. Which is the best Intel vs AMD?
It depends on what you need for the laptop. Laptops with Intel processors are more expensive than laptops with AMD processors. However, Intel is much more expensive. They provide some strength such as processing speed and performance. AMD processors are also a great option for budget gaming and students on tight budgets. AMD processors are also found in high-end laptops. It all boils down to your needs and budget, whether you need a cheap laptop or a best laptop.
In the past, graphics processors have not been an issue for consumer laptops. Most users were not doing graphics-intensive work such as video and image editing. These days the use of laptops is changed as more people use their laptops as their primary machines.
A graphics processing unit (GPU) is like a central processing unit, but instead of being a brain it mainly processes pictures, games, movies, anything related to graphics.
Two types of GPUs are found in laptops: integrated and dedicated / discrete GPUs.
8. Integrated GPUs:
Integrated graphic cards are graphic processing units integrated on a CPU architecture or motherboard. Integrated graphic cards are found in almost every laptop these days.
Integrated graphic cards share RAM in laptops with CPUs. This sharing becomes prominent when playing games or using software dependent on graphic processing.
Dedicated / DISCRETE GPUs:
The dedicated or Discrete GPUs are what their name implies. Dedicated to anything graphics related. These graphic cards are much more powerful than integrated graphics and perform much better in gaming, video editing, Adobe Photoshop.
The two major suppliers of dedicated/discrete graphics processors for different machines are AMD (formerly ATI) and NVIDIA.
Basically, anything that is graphics-related even software that requires graphics processing needs a dedicated GPU to run smoothly. Dedicated graphic cards have their own RAM which leaves the laptop’s RAM untouched.
A lot of new games on the market require a dedicated or discrete graphics card (GPU), so if gaming or design/video/photo works are your things, a graphics card will be an integral part of your laptop if you want to purchase a best one. This is what your laptop going to create accurate image clarity and provides super-fast, seamless graphics performance. Dedicated graphic cards are made by AMD and NVIDIA. NVIDIA graphic cards are more common than dedicated AMD graphic cards on laptops.
Recent advances in integrated graphics have made it less necessary for dedicated graphics processors, but they can still be beneficial. A dedicated graphics processor is helpful for accelerating non-gaming applications such as 3D graphics (gaming or multimedia) or Photoshop. Dedicated graphics cards consume a lot of power at the cost of battery life, in addition, they become very hot even when using too much power.
9. Memory (RAM)
Random-access memory or RAM is important, as it helps your processor deal with multiple tasks at once. In the old days, you may rarely need more than 4GB of RAM or more to get the best from your system. These days, you probably want to think of a minimum of 8GB. If you’re a power-user, then 16GB is the way to go. In the meantime, gamers should dial everything up to 32GB, if they want the best experience.
Almost all laptops have a limited amount of memory that can be installed on them. Access to that memory can be difficult, depending on the architecture, which limits plans for future upgrades. In fact, some systems come with a certain amount of memory that cannot be changed or upgraded. Most laptops have 8GB-16GB pre-installed, and some have up to 64GB. If you think you might need more memory later, choose a model that lets you expand RAM.
More RAM allows more applications to run at the same time, and for more data to be quickly accessible by the system at any time, which comes in handy for tasks like editing photos or graphics designing. RAM is as important as your processor for a laptop. And computer performance is determined by the processing power and amount of RAM of a laptop.
How much memory is enough?
To determine whether your computer has sufficient memory, refer to the minimum and recommended requirements of the software you intend to run on your next laptop. Your computer should have more RAM than the highest minimum and at least the highest recommended amount.
The more RAM in a laptop, the easier the CPU work. A laptop with a small amount of RAM has a problem in running it properly. Multitasking will be a problem, it will take more time for applications to load and cannot able run the graphics-intensive applications.
Also, consider the operating system of your computer. Some operating systems use much more RAM than others. For example, a Chromebook running on a ChromeOS runs smoothly on 2GB of memory because it is highly optimized, but it can certainly benefit from being 4GB.
That’s why make sure your laptop has enough RAM. Laptops that have more RAM are more expensive. If you are not going to subject the laptop to heavy tasks, then most of the time large amounts of RAM are not fully utilized.
Although all RAM works on basically the same purpose, there are a few different types of RAM which are in use today:
- Static RAM (SRAM)
- Dynamic RAM (DRAM)
- Synchronous Dynamic RAM (SDRAM)
- Single Data Rate SDRAM
- Double data rate synchronous dynamic Random Access Memory (DDR SDRAM, DDR2, DDR3, DDR4, DDR5)
Double Data Rate Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory (DDR SDRAM) is a type of random-access memory module that allows higher transfer rates and faster performance than earlier RAM modules. DDR SDRAM operates like SDR SDRAM, but it’s twice as fast as SDRAM.
DDR SDRAM, also known as DDR1 SDRAM, derives its name from the fact that it is a double data rate SDRAM. This type of SDRAM provides data transfer at twice the speed of traditional types of SDRAM memory. This is achieved by transferring data faster.
- DDR2 SDRAM: DDR2 SDRAM can operate an external bus twice as compared to its predecessor and was first introduced in 2003.
- DDR3 SDRAM: DDR3 SDRAM is another development of the dual data rate type of SDRAM. This provides further improvements in overall performance and speed.
- DDR4 SDRAM: The DDR4 SDRAM is the next generation of DDR SDRAM. It provided superior performance to meet the demands of the day. It was introduced in late 2014.
- DDR5 SDRAM: The development of SDRAM technology is moving forward and the next generation of SDRAM, called DDR5, is currently under development. The specification was launched in 2016 with the first production expected in 2021. DDR5 will reduce power consumption by doubling bandwidth and capacity.
10. Audio and Sound Quality:
A laptop means a mobile device that you can use to go anywhere. If you want to work on your project from a different location or want to rock in your favorite music playlist, you should be able to do it easily. And the laptop’s best sound system will help you achieve it. Choosing a good laptop for music production should not be too difficult, but it is an important decision. What you need is a laptop with great sound quality powerful enough for recording and music production. On top of that, it will last for many years to come, eventually making sense of your investment.
You may travel a lot and need a laptop with good sound quality, and also the laptop should not be heavy or bulky. A good sound quality laptop is never easy to get. Even with the huge variety of different brands out there, it takes a lot of diligence to assess each option and what works for you in the end. But don’t worry, if you can remember the following simple things, then it should be easy to find a high-quality speaker’s laptop for your needs.
- Sound quality:
For example, you do not want laptop speakers that distort the sound when the volume is maximized. Some brands make a hoarse noise at high volumes, which is not good at all. Always go for laptops that maintain quality sound regardless of volume.
- Tweeter and subwoofer quality:
The tweeter in speakers will be responsible for capturing high pitch sounds in any condition. On the other hand, the woofer is designed to capture low notes. Clearly, these are two essential aspects of any speaker. In that case, it recommends going for brands that give more control over the tweeter and woofer. This will assist you with customizing the sound to your own determinations.
- Volume control:
A decent speaker ought to have the option to give you a wide scope of decibels. It is only so clear that you cannot ignore it. You want to be able to hear anything at any volume. You can also see our list of the best headphones and the best external speakers for laptops.
11. Operating Systems
The operating system is considered the “heart” of your laptop. The operating system you are going to work on is as important as the laptop you want. The main purpose of the operating system is to serve as a means of communication between you and the computer’s hardware. It manages all hardware and software, including files, memory, and connected devices. It lets you interact with your laptop and programs in a visual way, meaning that everything looks the same as it does and not just endless code.
For some, the operating system is just a thing that drives the computer, and if it works properly, they do not concern themselves with it. For others, the operating system goes beyond computers. They become loyal even to the point of not accepting the existence of another. It becomes a way of life. Most laptops are one of three operating systems: Windows, Chrome OS or MacOS (for MacBooks only). Mac vs Windows. Google (Chrome OS) has become a player in the operating system game over the years but has a way to go. All three systems have their good and bad points, but it is important for you to choose one side before you start, as it affects your software choices and possibly your hardware decisions as well. The operating system you choose will come down to personal preference, but here is a quick summary of what each of these operating systems offers.
Windows is the most widely used and flexible operating system in the market. You will find Windows in everything from budget laptops in the range of $ 200 to several thousand dollars. Windows is very popular because it is available on many types of laptops and desktop computers by many different manufacturers, which are available in many prices. This is the first operating system that many people have used in their homes, at work, and at school. It is known for its simple, accessible features and the vast range of software available. However, the widespread of Windows makes it an easy target for hackers who use it and require regular security updates to protect your machine from falling prey to attackers.
The main advantage of Windows which makes it best is that Windows makes it possible to install and run almost every software and game on the planet (Mac does not allow this), while it can be a major advantage, but it can also be harmful some time due to Installation of malicious software.
- Mac OS
macOS (formerly known as OS X) is an operating system available only for Apple computers. macOS is similar in functionality to Windows but differs in user interface design and applications. macOS is specifically designed to work with Apple hardware, providing tight integration that provides ease of use and stability in programs and other Apple devices such as the iPhone and iPad. macOS claims invulnerable security compared to other software. Making it safe from virus attacks and other malware. macOS also has less bloatware than windows.
You can install Windows on a Mac using the built-in installer utility. This will let you run Windows natively on Mac hardware without any software emulation, to give you full performance. We recommend going with macOS if most of your devices are Apple, due to the fact that it is extremely simple to sync photos, documents, contacts and more when it is related to all of Apple.
- Chrome OS:
Chrome OS is an operating system based on Chromebook and Linux only. Google’s Chrome OS is the newest operating system on the market and is found on the affordable Chromebooks line of laptops. While straightforward and secure, Chrome OS is more restricted than Windows or Mac. Chrome OS is Google’s operating system for Chromebooks and is based on the Chrome web browser. It cannot be downloaded from the Internet and preloads only on Chromebooks made by Google’s participating manufacturers.
Most applications you use on Chrome OS are ‘web apps’ and not all work offline. Google is working on improving this functionality in the high-end Google PixelBook. Like Linux and macOS, Chrome OS is free of bloatware and cannot be attacked by viruses making it a secure operating system.
Linux is generally free, as are most Linux programs, and it can run on a wide range of computers as an alternative to Windows. The Linux operating system is highly customizable and is the most preferred system for developers and for those who love coding. Linux has many flavors, with the most popular being Mint and Ubuntu. It can be used on personal computers, smartphones, tablets, servers, mainframe computers, game consoles, and other devices, and includes the Linux kernel, which is effectively the core of the operating system.
It also provides the best protection of all operating systems when a virus arrives. You do not have to worry about viruses while using this operating system. Linux is more suited to programming, security, and productivity. Linux is free to install and use, unlike Windows, and is stable and secure, and can be run with or inside Microsoft’s systems, but some programming skills are not as easy to use and require.
12. Desktop Replacement and Gaming Laptop
These are the largest and heaviest laptops. They will have the most power and options similar to desktop computers. Due to its large size, desktop replacements are too large for regular movement, except for the entire home or office. Desktop replacements have the most power, with the fastest processors, and most laptops are desktop replacement. These laptops can also be utilized for gaming and multimedia, sound, and visual work.
Specifically designed for high-performance games and on-the-go tasks, gaming laptops offer boosted power and beef-up features. Advanced graphics cards and processors allow faster and smooth gaming, while enhanced speakers and larger screen sizes help bring the game to reality. Laptops labeled “VR Ready” meet system requirements to connect a virtual reality headset and lose yourself in 360 ° experiences. Some gaming laptops include programmable keys, color-coded backlit keyboards and additional ports for convenient connectivity.
- Battery life
The manufacturer quoted battery life almost never indicates how real-world experience using a laptop is. Battery life has received a lot of attention over the years. Computer manufacturers now include laptops’ average battery life as part of specific features (which is less than real-world battery life).
There are too many factors that affect the battery life of any laptop. Screen brightness, screen resolution, the number of applications you’re running in the background, as well as whether you’re actively connected to a Wi-Fi network or Bluetooth device. To get the best battery life you will have to compromise on processing power, display size and some time display resolution.
Batteries on the laptop are rechargeable, but how long they last, you should keep in mind that the life of the battery depends on the usage, so if you stay there for a long time, it will decrease rapidly. Along with size and weight, this should be a priority if you plan to travel with your laptop. It’s always impossible to get a seat on a train or in a cafe near a power socket to charge your laptop.
Smaller, lighter laptops generally provide better battery life to larger battery models, mainly due to being equipped with less powerful low voltage processors and a smaller screen. The battery will last from about 3 hours to 8 hours. Before purchasing, we recommend reading the review to see how long the laptop battery will last; Expect five to seven hours for a general-purpose 15-inch laptop, and eight to 10 hours or more from a small, highly portable laptop. Some high-performance laptops are thirsty animals, and they can only provide you about four hours of unplugged use.
The operating system on which a laptop runs can also play a major role in determining battery life. This is for the reason that ultrabooks and convertibles running on Chrome OS provide better battery life than those running on Windows 10 and macOS. Some laptops have great battery life and great hardware, although at the cost of reduced screen size. This is why even the smallest laptop has the longest battery life.
Here are some guidelines if you want a laptop with excellent battery life
1. Always go for a low-power processor. One example is the Intel Core i5-8250U which is U-series you can see the letter ‘U’ at the end of the processor. Intel Core i3s series are also the lowest power-consuming processors.
2. Small screen size will drain your laptop battery slowly.
3. A smaller display resolution also consumes less battery.
4. A combination of small screen size and low display resolution is the best choice for laptops with long battery life
5. If you are going on the gaming route. Laptops with Nvidia Max-Q graphics cards provide the best battery life, but heavy usage quickly drains battery life and fairly quick enough at the expense of graphics-intensive gaming performance so sometimes battery life of gaming laptops can vary from short to long.
Laptop enhancements – such as increased processing power, larger and higher resolution screens, faster hard drives, or the addition of an optical drive – will dry your battery more quickly. If you want to run programs that require a lot of processing, stream a lot of online videos, want to play high-graphics games, or if you want to transfer a lot of files over a wireless network, then your battery will run out very soon than what the manufacturer claims.
Storage devices are so much more than just having a warehouse for your data. Choosing the right type of storage can help increase the overall performance of your laptop. Traditional hard disk drives provide large storage capacity but add to the weight and thickness of a laptop while creating heat and noise. Alternatively, solid-state drives (also known as SSD or flash storage) are much lighter, faster, cooler, and quieter than hard drives – but they are much more expensive per GB, so typically SSD Provide less storage space.
If your laptop is intended for home use and storing a lot of photos and music, then you should opt for a model with at least 500GB of storage. Some have hybrid “SSHD” drives, which combine slow mechanical hard disks (HDDs) with a small SSD cache. These drives store frequently used data, so you can speed up boot time and make the programs you load the most frequently load faster. They are a good compromise if your wallet cannot extend to a large SSD.
Today’s most laptops are moving endlessly from mechanical drives in favor of increasingly strong and smaller solid-state choices. As laptop form factors continue to decrease in size, optical drives become increasingly rare and spread to SSDs. Storage devices ran the gamut from being 3 GB up to 128 GB. These are storage device options available: solid state drive, solid state hybrid drive (SSHD), and hard disk drive (HDD)
Solid State Drive (SSD)
These types of hard drives use a set of flash memory chips instead of a magnetic platter to store data. They provide fast data access, low power consumption, and high reliability. SSDs offer tremendous advantages in physical size, weight, and power efficiency, along with negligible heat generation and noiseless operation, making them an ideal choice for ultra-slim, ultra-lightweight laptops. And also as compared to hard disks, SSDs have no moving parts to wear.
The downside is that SSDs do not come in large capacities such as mechanical hard drives. In addition, they usually cost a lot more. SSDs are expensive, especially those with large storage space that cost around $ 140. SSDs have a finite number of reading and write cycles (reading and writing data on storage), giving them a shorter lifespan than HDDs.
A typical laptop equipped with a solid-state drive will have 16 GB to 512 GB of storage space. If the SSD is the only storage on the laptop, it should have at least 120 GB of space, but ideally around 240 GB or more. SSDs make the performance of your laptop more smooth. In addition, SSDs are low power consuming devices, which means more battery life, and less noise when in operation.
Solid State Hybrid Drive (SSHD)
If you want higher performance than traditional hard drives, but don’t want to sacrifice storage capacity, a solid-state hybrid drive is another option. Some companies are referring to these as hybrid hard drives. Many laptops and computer OEMs now combine a small SSD with a larger hard drive. This can give consumers the benefit of speed to keep their operating system on SSD storage, while also having enough storage space for the rest of their data. The hybrid drive is the best compromise between large storage space, storage performance, and price. They are faster than HDDs but not as fast as SSDs.
Solid-state hybrid drives include a small amount of solid-state memory on a mechanical hard drive that is utilized to cache frequently used documents. They help speed up tasks like booting a laptop but they are not always fast. In fact, this form of drive is best used when a limited number of applications are used on a consistent basis.
Hard Disk Drive (HDD)
Hard drives are still the most common storage in a laptop and they are very straight forward because they are relatively cheap and offer huge capacity. Hard drives used to be extremely popular, but nowadays they are for the most part out of favor, particularly for thin and light laptops. This is because they can be slow, somewhat heavy, and produce noticeable heat and noise.
Hard disk drives are the slowest and cheapest. A laptop with 1 TB HDD is much less expensive than a laptop with 256 GB SSD. HDDs are very affordable, a 2 TB HDD costs around just $ 91. If you want to upgrade your storage in your laptop, HDD gives you plenty of options when it comes to storage size.
Finally, HDDs have a longer lifespan than SSDs, if you want to use a laptop longer than 5 years. You should consider a storage device to be an HDD because read-and-write cycle wheels in HDDs are infinite. They come in two standard speeds: a 5400 rpm drive is adequate for everyday Web surfing, messaging, and simple office work, but a 7200 rpm drive moves information more rapidly and may be worth considering if you regularly working with large files.
Most hard disk drives combined with Intel Optane memory are also available. Intel Optane Memory is a memory innovation created by Intel to accelerate the overall system performance of a laptop or computer. This is achieved by storing the most frequently accessed data on it and acting as a cache. It is a non-volatile (data does not disappear even when the computer is turned off) type memory module, which acts as a bridge between storage and RAM, which allows very fast data transfer between storage, memory, and processor.
What is the difference between SSD and HDD?
HDD (hard disk drive) and SSD (solid-state drive) are the two well-known types of storages that come with laptops nowadays. How much and what type of storage you need depends on what and how much you plan to use storage.
SSD is best if
- You need to access your file quickly,
- You don’t need more than 256GB of storage.
- You don’t feel like paying extra faster storage and less capacity.
HDD is best if
- You need up to 1TB of storage.
- You want to save a lot of TV shows, movies or games.
- You want more storage options for laptops.
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