Buying a laptop can be a task when it comes to going through its features, price and whichever fits the best as per your requirement. It does take your time to figure out what’s suitable and that’s why we are here to help you with selecting the best laptop using our buying guide. This laptop buying guide covers all the essential aspects that are needed to be addressed to help you make a purchase that’s worth all your money.
There are certain parameters based on which you can fixate on the basic features of your desired laptop. Below are the parameters that you must consider while buying a laptop:
Below are the different types of laptops are you must know about before getting your hands of any random laptop:
2 in 1: These are the laptops which can be used both as Tablets and Laptop Some models have a removable touch screen which can be independently used as a Tablet while some rotate 360 degrees to form a handheld tablet.2
Ultrabooks: An ultrabook is a high-end laptop, sleek in design but uncompromising in performance. The term ultrabook was coined by Intel, and the market continues to be dominated by devices containing Intel Core processors which give ultrabooks impressive performance power.
Gaming: These laptops have hardware tuned to Gaming enthusiasts. Usually such laptopks come with additional cooling facilities to keep the system running while heavy gaming usage.
Netbooks: These are portable devices used for regular net surfing, document editing and entertainment. They have mediocre processing capabilities.
Everyday Use: These are the most versatile laptops with are generally used for Multimedia, entertainment, Document creation & Edit, Internet browsing.
Premium: These laptops are usually light weight, portable with premium specifications and light and durable casing and Body.
Laptop screen sizes range from about 11 to 18 inches. A larger screen is ideal for gaming, watching movies, photo & video editing and viewing documents side by side. A bigger screen can increase the overall size, weight and power consumption of a laptop. Here is a quick snapshot of different sizes and their usage:
10 to 12 inches: The thinnest and lightest notebooks come in around 10 to 12 inch screens. However, one drawback is keyboard size is proportionally small & not very ergonomic. Many laptops in this class double as tablets.
13 to 14 inches: These sizes provide best balance of portability and usability. A lot of Ultra books and Premium Laptops fall in this size.
15 to 16 inches: The most popular size, 15-inch laptops are usually affordable and provide plenty of desktop real estate. These are ideal for Entertainment and Gaming. However, they are on the bulkier side due to the large size body.
17 to 18 inches: If your laptop stays on your desk all day, a 17- or 18-inch system will likely provide everything you need for work and play.
Higher resolution equals better picture quality. Laptop screens come in a range of resolutions (measured in pixels, horizontal x vertical):
HD: 1366 x 768 resolution is standard on mainstream laptops. This is good for Web-surfing , e-mail and basic computing tasks.
Full HD: 1920 x 1080 resolution allows you to watch Blu-ray movies and play video games without losing any level of detail.
Retina display: All Apple screens are designed to have the optimal number of pixels per inch to be perceived by the naked human eye. This is called Retina Display.
QHD (Quad HD) and QHD+: With 2560 x 1440 and 3200 x 1800 resolutions, respectively, the extremely high pixel density creates crisp detail and sharp text, ideal for professional photo editing and graphic designing as well as high-definition movies and games.
4K Ultra HD: 3840 x 2160 resolution boasts four times the pixels of Full HD, creating rich colors and images for viewing and editing incredibly lifelike images and graphics.
A laptop's processor is like its brain. It works in combination with system memory. Processing capability of a processor determines the complexity of software one can run, multitasking capability and how fast those tasks can be completed. Major manufacturers for Processors are Intel and AMD.
Intel's processors are at the heart of every modern MacBook and most Windows laptops. Most prevalent are Intel's Core ™ series of multicore processors:
Core i7: These are Intel's top-of-the-line consumer processors. i7 processors excel at serious multitasking and high-demand multimedia creation for projects in 3D or high definition. They are preferred by "power users" for hardcore gaming, graphic designing, photography and videography
Core i5: These are mid-grade processors and one of the most common Intel processors found on all entry and medium budget laptops. These are powerful enough for most computing tasks, and day to day multitasking
Core M: A processor designed for ultra slim devices, providing plenty of power for day-to-day surfing and e-mailing without being a major drain on battery life.
Some value-priced laptops also feature Intel's Pentium® and Celeron® processors. These are adequate for basic e-mail, Internet and productivity tasks, but their speed and multitasking capabilities are limited.
AMD has two categories of processors that are most common:
FX and A-Series: In order from top-of-the-line to entry level, they include:
FX: Best Buy-exclusive powerhouse for serious gaming and heavy multitasking
A10: AMD's flagship chip, with blazing quad-core speed and exceptional graphics performance
A8: Improved graphics performance enables immersive 3D gaming in HD
A6: Smoother video streaming and enhanced photo quality
A4: Responsive performance for music, photos and video
E-Series: Similar to Intel's Celeron and Pentium processors, these are value-oriented chips with limited speed and multitasking capabilities. They're appropriate for basic computing tasks like e-mail, Web surfing and word processing.
For heavy graphics work or gaming, choose a laptop with a dedicated graphics card and video memory. Having separate resources for your graphics allows for faster, smoother processing while you're watching movies, playing games or multitasking.
RAM stands for Random Access Memory. The more RAM a CPU has access to, the easier its job becomes, which enables a faster computing. Although higher RAM results in faster processing, due to the increase in cost, its important for one to know the appropriate requirement for RAM based on usage. Below chart gives a gist of currently available RAM Capacities with their usage.
An internal storage is where all the programs are installed on the computer. Also all the data that is saved like documents, images and videos are all stored on this. Traditionally Laptops have had HDD (Hard Disk Drives). However, with the advent of Ultra books and portable laptops, SSD (Solid State Drives) are gaining popularity as they are faster.
HDD (Hard Disk Drives): Traditional, mechanical hard disk drives are the most common type of storage because they're relatively inexpensive and offer huge capacities. However, they also add significantly to a laptop's weight and thickness, and generate both heat and noise. These can range from 500GB to more than 3TB.
SSD (Solid-State Drives): Solid-state drives, also known as SSDs are many times faster than hard disk drives, but typically offer far less capacity. SSDs also offer tremendous advantages in physical size, weight and power efficiency, along with negligible heat production and noiseless operation
And unlike hard disks, SSDs have no moving parts to wear out.
The operating system is the heart of a laptop. It manages all software and hardware, including files, memory and connected devices. Most importantly, it lets one interact with the laptop and its programs in a visual way (otherwise, you'd be typing a bunch of computer code to get anything done).
OS X: Installed exclusively on Mac computers, OS X boasts an elegant and easy-to-use interface to complement Macs' sleek aesthetics and impressive battery life. Macs have historically had fewer issues with viruses and malware. However, Mac Books start at a higher price point than other laptops, and no Mac model to date includes touch-screen functionality.
Windows: Windows is designed specifically around an intuitive touch-screen interface (though it can be used with a traditional mouse and keyboard), expanding your navigation options. It also features a new task manager, streamlined file management and a suite of built-in apps. Learn more about Windows 10.
Chrome OS: Featured exclusively in the Chromebook line of mobile computers, this OS runs custom apps and cloud-based programs rather than traditional software. It's great for surfing the Web, keeping up with your e-mail and social networks, and sharing your photos with friends and family, rather than more data-intensive tasks like video editing and hardcore gaming
HDMI: Hi-Definition Media Interface, Connects a projector or display HD media on your flat-screen TV.
USB: Universal Serial Bus
Lightening: Lightning connector is used to connect Apple mobile devices like iPhones, iPads, and iPods to host computers, external monitors, cameras, USB battery chargers, and other peripherals.
Thunderbolt: Thunderbolt 3 offers a connection with state-of-the-art speed and versatility. Delivering twice the bandwidth of Thunderbolt 2, it consolidates data transfer, video output, and charging in a single, compact connector. And with the integration of USB-C, convenience is added to the speed of Thunderbolt to create a truly universal port.
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