Laptops are perfect for carrying anywhere like school, college, office, and travel. But are capable of running a variety of applications. Nowadays various new laptops are being introduced. It is important to choose among these as per your requirement.
A store will have a variety of notebooks. Among them, You will just choose and buy the only one that suits your needs. Similarly, you should choose a laptop based on your needs.
Otherwise, you will end up spending more money. With so many options in the market, it becomes difficult to choose one of them. Choosing the right laptop becomes easier by knowing the specifications and features of the laptop.
If you are interested in buying a new laptop, we guide you through this handy laptop buying guide post.
Pick Your Operating System (OS)
Before you start looking for a laptop you need to choose the right operating system for you. This helps you determine the hardware you need.
Most of the laptops available in the market now have one of the operating systems Windows, Mac OS, and Chrome OS. Which of these to choose is your personal choice. But if you know what features they offer, it will be easier to choose. Here’s a summary of what each OS offers:
Windows OS is a very flexible operating system. Windows runs on more laptops than Mac OS and Chrome OS. Recently Windows 7, and Windows 8 have been abandoned by Microsoft and now only Windows 10 and Windows 11 are in use.
Windows platform has various features like Cortana Voice Personal Assistant, Multiple Desktops and Task View, Digital Pen, Start Menu, Phone Calls, Apps, Xbox, etc. A mouse, keyboard, storage drive, printer, scanner, microphone, monitor, or any other doodads you want to add to your computer will work with Windows.
Windows OS is User-Friendly for those who use software like MS Office, Outlook, Photoshop, Video Editing, Gaming, Web Browsing, etc. Windows 10 laptops are a great choice for students, researchers, and business users.
macOS is an operating system developed by Apple. It will be easy for new users to use. Because it is easily designed for beginners to use. But this OS cannot be installed on all laptops. Can only be installed on Apple MacBooks. It is tightly coupled with the company’s hardware.
Instead of Windows’ Cortana Virtual Assistant, Mac users will get Siri Virtual Assistant. It can capture your phone calls, text, and more.
If you have an Apple Smart Watch, you can unlock the laptop with it. macOS isn’t built for touchscreens though. Not all software that installs on Windows can be installed on macOS.
For that, Only specially designed software can be installed and used. Microsoft offers a separate Office app for Mac OS. Many software like these is specially designed for use on Mac.
It is expensive because you only need to buy an Apple Macbook to install Mac OS. If price is not an issue for you may then buy this.
Chrome OS is a web-based application operating system developed by Google. An Internet connection is required to use the applications. No application can be used without an internet connection. in this cannot install external software.
Chrome OS is easy to use and secure. But more limited than other OS like Windows and macOS. The main application running on it is Chrome Browser. It looks like windows.
But it runs android apps. And you can use all applications like Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc. provided by Google. Great for web browsing, checking email, online meetings, social networking sites, taking notes, etc. It is less expensive and offers longer battery life.
It is very popular with schools and parents as it is useful for school children. While this is a great option for students, it may have the drawback of not being able to install the software required for some complex tasks.
Understanding Processor or CPU
This is a problem that many people face when choosing which laptop to buy. Know for what purpose you are buying the laptop and what kind of software you will be using. Only then will it be easy to select some basic hardware.
The main hardware is the processor. It is called a Processor or CPU (Central Processing Unit). A processor acts as the brain of a computer just as the brain acts for a human being. It does the important job of processing all the inputs and giving the output.
Laptops are also classified with this processor. It would be best if you chose a CPU that is suitable for the tasks you are doing. A low-performance CPU is sufficient for some tasks. But when doing work like video editing, and gaming, it needs a more efficient CPU.
Currently, there are two major companies manufacturing and supplying CPUs in the market. They are Intel and AMD. Let’s take a look at the CPUs they offer.
Intel has different types of processors in the market. Several years ago various processors like Intel Celeron, Intel Pentium, and Intel Xeon were released. But today it is not often used.
Currently, the most used processors are the Intel Core i3, Intel Core i5, Intel Core i7, and Intel Core i9. Each processor is distinguished by the name printed on it. That name contains letters and numbers. It reflects the brand, performance, etc. of the chip.
Understanding the name of a processor can help you make the right decision in choosing a laptop. Here we will mention the name of a processor and see how to understand it.
Let’s take for example the name of the processor Intel Core I7-12800h. Let’s find out what that name means. Intel Core is the brand name. A processor name starts with the brand. Intel Core Processors are more efficient. Intel Pentium and Intel Celeron processors have additional features that are not available.
The i7 following the brand name is the Brand Modifier. Intel Core has brand modifiers i3, i5, i7, and i9. High brand modifier offers high performance and many additional features.
For example, an i5 will perform better than an i3, while an i7 will perform even better than an i5. The first two digits of the 5-digit number after the brand modifier indicate the processor’s generation. The numbers 12 in the above processor represent the 12th generation processor.
Maybe if there is 11 instead of 12, it means 11th generation. Some processors only have 4-digit numbers after the Brand modifier. Only the first digit of them indicates generation.
For example, a 9800 processor with four digits is 9th generation, and a processor with 7700 digits is 7th generation technology. The last three digits of most intel processors (800 in my example) are the SKU numbers. Higher SKU numbers within the same brand and generation have more features.
For example, the Intel core i7-12800H processor power is more a bit powerful than Intel core i7-12600H. However, don’t forget that the i9 chip has more performance and features than the i7 chip. Comparing processors by SKU numbers is not recommended.
The letter at the end of an Intel Processor indicates its purpose. Letters H, U, and Y are for laptops. Chip with the letter H is optimized for performance. U Chip is a processor designed for power-efficient laptops. Y is low-power chips.
AMD stands for Advanced Micro Devices. The naming system of AMD processors is slightly different from that of Intel. AMD Chips are named to reflect their purpose and features.
AMD processors are a little bit indefatigable for Intel. AMD’s Ryzen processors are popular when it comes to laptops and desktops. These compete directly with Intel processors. And since AMD processors are cheaper than Intel processors, most people prefer them.
Let’s see how AMD Ryzen processors are named and what the letters mean. Just like in Intel Core has i3, i5, i7, and i9, AMD Ryzen has many upgrades like 3, 5, 7, and 9. These processors are characterized by their generation, performance, and flexibility.
For example, let’s see what the name of the processor AMD Ryzen 7 2700X means. AMD Ryzen at the beginning of the processor is the name of the brand. It is present at the start of all processors.
The number 7 next to the brand name represents the CPU name. The next number 2 stands for CPU Generation. The number 7 represents the performance of that processor. Maybe if it was 5, it would be less efficient than 7. If it is 9 it will have more performance than 7.
The numbers 00 are its model numbers. The letter X at the end represents the power suffix of the processor. If the suffix is G instead of X, then the processor has integrated vega graphics.
Intel Processor vs AMD Processor Which is better? For me, there is no big difference between the two. Both Intel and AMD are competing in the market and releasing new versions. Both have long histories.
When testing Gaming, After Effects, Video Editing, 3D Rendering, etc. Intel scores slightly higher on Intel i9 and AMD Ryzon 9 processors. But there are no major differences.
If you are buying a laptop on a budget then AMD Processor is the best choice. If money is not a big issue and you are looking forward to new features then the Intel processor is the best choice.
RAM stands for Random Access Memory. It takes the data needed by the processor from the hard drive and stores it temporarily. After the processor finished the task, the data in the RAM memory is deleted.
Then the processor stores the data for further processing. Thus every time the processor operates, it temporarily stores the data it needs. If the amount of RAM memory is low, it will slow down your laptop.
Even if you have a good-performing processor, RAM memory also plays an important role in speed. To understand this simply let’s consider the Hard Drive as a Money Locker with lots of money.
Let’s think of Processor as a person counting money and the Table as RAM. A table is temporarily needed for the person who counts the most money in the Money Locker. Similarly, the processor needs RAM to temporarily store the data in the hard drive.
If the amount of RAM is low, the laptop will slow down when you open a browser or run a large amount of software. Then may need to restart the laptop Generally, a windows user having 8GB of RAM will feel good while using the laptop.
In this, you can open the browser, do After Effects, do Basic Video Editing, Small Games, etc. Having 16GB of RAM memory will make your laptop more efficient. And can open and use multiple software at the same time.
DDR4 is the best choice among RAM types. Although laptops with DDR3 are slightly less expensive, they tend to be slower than DDR4.
Storage Drive (HDD or SSD)
It is imperative that the laptop you choose has good storage. All data is stored in this storage. Storage is important for installing OS, storing software, document files, songs, video songs, movies, etc. on a laptop.
Generally, laptops have storage drives of 256GB, 512GB, 1TB (1024GB), and more than that. If you only use basic software such as MS Office for web browsing, file storage, and so on, then choosing a drive with 256GB storage will be sufficient.
However, opting for 512GB will give pleasure. For video editing, high-quality videos, movies, etc. it is mandatory to choose at least 1TB of storage. There are two types of Storage Drives. One is HDD and SSD.
HDD stands for Hard Disk Drive. This HDD Drive consists of rotating disks and stores data magnetically. It is a type of storage that has been in use for a long time. It is suitable for storing data such as software, files, songs, movies, etc. Also, the cost of HDD will be less.
SSD stands for Solid State Disk. It is a solid state rather than spinning disks, unlike HDD. Stores all data in integrated circuits. It is very fast-acting. So the price is also higher than HDD.
SSD is the best choice for your Windows operating system to open faster and software to run faster. Knowing the speed differences between HDD and SSD can help you choose the storage that’s right for you.
If the laptop with Windows 10 installed has an HDD, Windows 10 will take 2 minutes to load. Maybe if you have SSD instead of HDD, it will load in just 20 seconds. Opening After Effect Software takes 2.02 minutes on HDD. On the same SSD, it takes 35 seconds to open. Thus SSD can perform faster than HDD.
Choose the Screen Size
Laptops have different screen sizes. Choose your size among them. Most laptops range from 11 Inches to 17 Inches. How to measure it, you ask? Measuring the screen vertically or horizontally is incorrect.
The correct method is to measure from one corner of the screen to the opposite corner. Measure the size of the laptop you are currently using. Think about whether that’s comfortable for you or if you’re expecting a bigger screen. Then confirm the screen size for you.
Generally, for Gaming, Photo Editing, Video Editing, etc., a larger screen size is convenient. Laptops with smaller screens are best used in environments such as airplane seats and crowded stores.
If you are a laptop user at home or at a shop, you don’t need to worry about Battery Life. Because there will be constant power connection.
If you’re probably going to take the laptop outdoors, a minimum of 7+ hours is best. Don’t take the manufacturer’s word for a laptop’s battery life. It is best to know about it through reviews.
Ports are usually located on both sides of the laptop. This help to expand the functionality. These are connection points that connect input devices, external drives, networking, etc. By understanding these ports, you can know if they meet your needs.
Audio Jack is also known as Head Phone Jack. It allows input and output of audio. Older laptops have two separate ports for Mic and Audio. But in modern laptops, both use the same port.
It connects Audio and Video from the laptop to an external monitor.
It is used to connect laptops to Wire Network. Now that Wifi technology has arrived, the Ethernet port is less common.
HDMI stands for High Definition Multimedia Interface. This port helps to connect to televisions, external computer screens, projectors, etc.
USB (Universal Serial Bus) is a common port found in all laptops. Various types of external devices like Mouse, External Keyboard, USB Card Reader, Pendrive, External CD, and USB Charger can be connected to it.
USB 2.0 transfers data at a speed of 480Mbps. USB 3.0 transfers data at 5Gbps. It is 10 times faster than USB 2.0. There are three types of USB, A Type USB, B Type USB, and C Type USB. Type C is the standard connector adopted in modern laptops.
SD Card Reader:
SD Card Reader is used to read memory cards. Nowadays, due to more use of USB Card Readers, SD Port has decreased.
Kensington Lock Slot:
A standard slot where a laptop can be attached with a standard security cable lock. This slot is on the back or side of the laptop.
Where to Buy Laptop
After you know the features of a laptop, choosing the right laptop for you will be easy. After deciding on buying a laptop, where to buy it? The question may arise.
Laptops can be purchased directly from the manufacturer’s website or from major retailers. Dell, Lenovo, HP, Acer, Microsoft, Samsung, etc. are websites of laptop manufacturers. You can buy a laptop directly from these. Check the features offered in it while buying.
Websites like Amazon, and Flipkart are major retailer platforms. Check the price when buying a laptop. Compare a laptop model with 8 GB Ram to another model with the same 8 GB Ram. Also, read the specifications carefully.
Before you buy a laptop, list the purpose for which you are buying it and what your requirements are. Once you have a clear idea of your requirements, you can begin your search for a laptop that fits the bill. It fulfills your purpose of buying a laptop.