Laptop Buying Guide: Things to know before planning to buy a Laptop

A portable computer designed to fit the needs of today’s fast pace world. It is compact to carry, flexible enough to run challenging applications from work, home, classroom and even while travelling on any mode of transport.Although smartphones and standalone tablets are omnipresent, still huge population recognize the need of laptop as typing, watching videos and gaming best works on laptop.

So, are you waiting for quick tips for considering what type of laptop should you buy when there are variety of sizes, features and prices making the choice more difficult? Here are some important things to consider a new laptop.

1.Choose Operating System: 
Windows, MAC, or Chrome. Each platform’s has its own strength and weakness here is a brief about three operating system however choosing the right one is a personal choice.

i) Windows the most flexible operating system comes under Microsoft’s flagship. It performs on almost all the makes and models compare to Chrome or Mac OS and comes with features from touch screen to finger print readers to dual graphics chips. Windows 10 is the latest version adds in the Cortana voice assistant, the edge browser and the ability to switch seamlessly between tablet and desktop modes– an improved version of Windows.

ii) MAC OS Available on Macs only, Apple's macOS provides an attractive, powerful UI with an iPad-like Launchpad for your apps as well as interactive Notifications and Siri on the desktop. standout on interface that replaces an apps dock at the bottom of the screen Microsoft start menu and taskbar. Mac users can also perform transactions with Apple pay, take calls or text from their phones and unlock their laptops with an apple watch. However, Mac OS isn’t made for touch because no MacBook comes with a touch screen. 

iii) Chrome OS interface looks a lot like windows with an application menu, a desktop and the ability to drag windows around but main app you use is chrome browser. If you need a device to surf the web and check email, navigate social network and chat online, Chrome books are highly portable with good battery life at reasonable prices. Google’s Chrome OS provides a version of the company’s Chrome browser in an online-centric environment filled with powerful Web apps, but limited offline capability.

2. Pick 2 in 1 laptop if you need: 
Hybrid devices that can switch between traditional clamshell mode, tablet mode and other positions in between such as tent or stand modes fall under 2-in-1 category. Two different styles in 2-in-1 category are

i)  Detachable with screens that come off the keyboard

ii)  Flexible laptops with hinges that bend back 360 degree to change modes.

Most of these systems are much better at serving one purpose than the other, with bend-backs being laptops first and detachables offering a superior tablet experience. However, if you don't see the need to use your notebook as a slate, you'll usually get more performance for your money with a traditional clamshell laptop. If you decide you want a 2-in-1, note that bendables usually have far better battery life than their detachable brethren.  

3. Size:  Laptops are commonly categorized by their display sizes

i)  11 to 12 inches: The thinnest and lightest systems around have 11- to 12-inch screens and typically weigh 2.5 to 3.5 pounds. However, you may sacrifice keyboard size for portability.

ii) 13 to 14 inches: Provides the best balance of portability and usability, particularly if you get a laptop that weighs under 4 pounds.

iii) 15 inches: The most popular size, usually weigh 4.5 to 6.5 pounds. Consider this size if you want a larger screen and you're not planning to carry it around too often.

iv) 17 to 18 inches: If your laptop stays on your desk all day every day, a 17- or 18-inch system could provide you with the kind of processing power you need to play high-end games or do workstation-level productivity.

4. Look for Keyboard and Touchpad: Make sure the keyboard offers concrete feedback, amply of vertical travel and sufficient space between the keys.

An accurate touchpad doesn't give you a jumpy cursor and responds consistently to multitouch gestures such as pinch-to-zoom. If you're buying a business laptop, consider getting one with a pointing stick (aka nub) between the G and H keys so you can navigate around the desktop without lifting your fingers off the keyboard's home row.

5.  Components to keep an eye on: Components such as processor, hard drive, RAM and graphics chip can confuse anyone. Here are the main components to consider.

i) CPU: is the brain of your computer, the processor has a massive influence on performance but depending on purpose of usage even the least expensive model may be good enough

Intel Core i5: If you're looking for a mainstream laptop with the best combination of price and performance, get one with an Intel Core i5 CPU. Models that end in U (ex:Core i5-7200U) are the most common. While models with an HQ appear in thicker gaming and workstation systems. Intel's new 8th Generation, "Kaby Lake Refresh" CPUs have model numbers that begin with 8 (ex: Core i5-8250U) and double the number of cores from two to four, enhancing performance.

Intel Core i9: Replacing the Core i7 as the new top-of-the-line CPU from Intel, Core i9 processors provide faster performance than any other mobile chip. Available only on premium laptops, workstations and high-end gaming rigs, Core i9 CPUs are only worth their premium price if the most demanding programs and apps used. 

Intel Core i7: A step up from Core i5, which Models with numbers that end in HQ or K have four cores, allowing for even faster gaming and productivity.

Intel Core i3: Performance is just a step below Core i5 and so is the price. If you can possibly step up to a Core i5, we recommend it.

AMD Ryzen Mobile: A new set of chips that are designed to compete with Intel Core i5 and Core i7. 

AMD A, FX or E Series: Found on low-cost laptops, AMD's processors -- the company calls them APUs rather than CPUs - provide decent performance for the money that's good enough for web surfing, media viewing and productivity.

Intel Pentium / Celeron:  offer the slowest performance, but can do if your main tasks are web surfing and light document editing.

Intel Core m / Core i5 / i7 "Y Series" -- Low-power and low heat allow systems with these processors to go fan less. Performance is better than Celeron, but a notch below regular Core i5 U series.

Intel Xeon: Extremely powerful and expensive processors for large mobile workstations. If you do professional-grade engineering, 3D modeling or video editing, you might want a Xeon, but you won't get good battery life or a light laptop. 

ii)  RAM: Some laptops come with only 2GB of RAM, but ideally you want at least 8GB on even a budget system and 16GB if you can spend just a little more. For most users, 32GB or more is overkill.

iii)  Storage Drive (Hard Drive):  Performance of storage drive is more important than the speed of CPU. If you don't need a ton of internal storage, get a laptop with a solidstate drive (SSD) rather than a hard drive, because you'll witness least three times the speed and a much faster laptop overall.

iv) Display: The more pixels you have, the more content you can fit on-screen, and the sharper it will look.

v)  Touch Screen: Regular clamshell laptop will not get benefit from touch screen moreover batter life will reduce by 1-3 hrs whereas 2-in-1s, touch screens come standard.

vi)  Graphics Chip: If you need to play PC games, creating 3D objects or doing high-res video editing, discrete graphics processor is required instead of integrated graphics chip.

vii)  Ports: Presence of ports is helpful to get the connections you need on the system Most mainstream laptops will have USB ports and HDMI for video.

viii) DVD/Blu-ray Drives: If you need to read/write discs, optical drives are available in some laptops for all software and movies downloads. However, if you really need to read / write discs and your laptop of choice doesn't come with a built-in DVD drive, you can always buy an external one.

6.  Battery life: Whether you are at home, work or travelling, you would require 7 hrs of durability, with 8+ hrs being ideal.

i)  Rarely: If you’ll remain tethered to an electrical outlet wherever you go, you can get by with 3 hours or less of battery life.

ii) Sometimes: Even if you’re just sitting on your couch, you’ll want 5 hours of endurance or more.

iii)  Often: If you like to use your laptop all day without worrying about running out of power, go for at least 7 hours of juice.

7.  Budget : More the budget you, you get system with better quality, stronger performance and better display.

8. Choose Brand worth your money:  In considering the brand, design, value, selection performance along with accurate and timely after sale service. Choose wisely as per your requirement-

i) All-Purpose: If you plan to use this as a family PC or want to do a little bit of everything, get a laptop between 13 and 15 inches in size that has solid specs.

ii) Productivity / Business: If your main goal is to edit documents, design presentations or other productivity tasks, this is the category for you.

iii) Gaming: If you want to play demanding titles, you’ll need a powerful CPU, discrete graphics and a high-res screen.

iv) Creative Professional: If you do a fair amount of photo and video editing or 3D animation, choose this option. 

 v) Secondary PC / Light Use: You plan to give this laptop to the kids or use it for simple web surfing and email when you’re away from your primary PC.

Laptop Buying Guide: Things to know before planning to buy a Laptop Laptop Buying Guide: Things to know before planning to buy a Laptop Reviewed by Hema on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 Rating: 5

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