Laptops are compact and versatile machines that can run and process a great deal of work from anywhere given there portability compared to desktop computers. Whether you’re going to use your laptop for gaming, professional photography or blogging, just like I do, you will really enjoy the experience of using a laptop.
While the smartphones and tablets nowadays are getting more popularity, laptop makers have also advanced the portable machines, and they now come with a variety of design and sleekness. Buyers can opt to choose from Ultrabooks to Notebooks.
When we decide to buy a new laptop, the next obvious thing we consider in our minds is, the brand, that’s a cool thing because most of us would always buy things from our favourite and reputable companies. However, the greatest challenge is finding a laptop that fits your preferences, since the laptop you’d choose might not be the same laptop that I’d choose, depending on my preferences.
So today I have decided to share a few tips on how to choose the best laptop the next time you’re going to shop a laptop.
The size of the laptop is the first and foremost thing to consider when buying a new laptop.
Depending on whatever you are going to do with your laptop, you have to choose the right size that fits your preferences. Most often laptop sizes tend to start at 11.6 inches and can reach up to 17.3 inches. Majority of the laptops in the market today tend to offer three display sizes which are 13.3 inches, 15.6 inches and 17.3 inches. However, this does not mean that you can’t find other display options, there are vendors who do sell other different display sizes like 11.6 inches, 12.5 inches and 14 inches.
Personally, I would recommend a laptop display size that is in within the range of 12.5 inches and 15.6 inches, these would do better for portability.
In some cases, smaller-sized 13.3 inches and below often don’t support the same high-end Intel Core i7 CPUs or discrete graphics cards that you will be able to find in 15.6 inches laptops. Moreover, they feature a less-robust selection of ports. However the case, if the kind of work you intend to do requires a larger display or stand-alone graphics power, you’ll probably need to look at a large size.
2. SCREEN QUALITY
The screen quality is another thing to consider when choosing your next laptop. There are two options here to begin with, you have to ask yourself if you want a non-touchscreen or a touchscreen. You will mostly find these touchscreens in convertible laptops, the best thing about touchscreen laptops is that they make work easier compared to non-touchscreen laptops. But unfortunately, touchscreen laptops can also add a glossiness to the display which is sometimes undesirable. This is because glossy screens lead to reflections, which are definitely negative if you are gaming, watching videos or editing images and videos. However, you may choose to stick to the touchscreen or opt for a laptop that is not touchscreen.
The next thing to look at in screen quality is the resolution. A 1920×1080-pixel resolution (Full HD) is the best if you want to keep your windows in place and keep things in view.
For photographers and videographers they will also want to opt to laptops that offer better colour accuracy and support wider colour gamut and HDR standards over those that don’t.
The next thing to consider in screen quality are viewing angles. A laptop screen that touts IPS (In-Plane Switching) technology offers the widest viewing angles and is the most preferable for user comfort.
Generally, it is the CPU that determines the strength and speed of any computer, and choosing a laptop with the best Intel Core Processor can help you overcome machine lag when it comes to multitasking and completing multimedia tasks. Nowadays, Core i3-based machines are mostly found in entry-level systems, while Core i5-based machines make up the majority of mainstream computers.
There are also high-end and powerful processors which include, Core i7 and i9. Something to note is that the Core i7-based system can be having a lot of heat coming through the base of the laptop, this means you should occasionally use it on your laps.
If you intend to get a laptop that is standard, then go for Core i3, if you intend to buy a laptop for professional work, then go for Core i5 and above.
And for those who prefer strong processors for gaming, there are some vendors now that also offer laptops and notebooks that run on AMD’s Ryzen Mobile CPUs. Ryzen Mobile CPUs tend to be paired with AMD’s own Vega graphics chipsets, which are currently far better for gaming than Intel’s own onboard graphics.
RAM stands for Random Access Memory. What does this mean technically, it means the RAM allows more than one applications to run at the same time on your computer. A laptop with less than 4 GB RAM is less likely to perform a lot of tasks at the same time that’s why most standard laptops these days come with a minimum RAM of 4 GB. However, given the popularity of gaming and streaming media, 4 GB RAM is falling out of favour and upgrading to a minimum RAM of 8 GB is my recommendation.
This is because, more RAM allows you to process more applications at the same time and accessing data in a sleek fashion.
If you’re a power-user you should go for a 16 GB RAM. And if you’re dealing with heavy data or a gamer like me, well, 32 GB is the best for you in the market.
Storage is another important factor when choosing your next laptop. You will need a lot of space to store your data and to transfer files smoothly.
When buying a laptop make sure to get a laptop with a Solid State Drive (SSD), this new type of hard drive has at least three times speed compared to the common hard drive, plus SSD can be installed in a form factor that doesn’t even add significant weight to your laptop. An SSD will also boot up your system quickly and allow access to your data easily, and a smooth running machine in general.
Although SSD are somewhat expensive compared to traditional hard drives, they are worth the price.
6. BATTERY LIFE
Well, here I will tell you a little truth that even the professional reviewers for big brands like APPLE and SAMSUNG won’t tell you. The truth is, laptop batteries are not like smartphones’ or tablets’, they don’t normally last long as they say, no matter what conditions you try to preserve them in. Can you imagine something that runs full desktop computer functionality and expect its cells to last, just to be honest?
However the case, the fact that our favourite machines won’t stand out much longer with their power. There are still some ways to determine which machine’s battery or battery components are better than the rest. This means when choosing a laptop’s battery, we should look at the rating of the battery in Watt-hours (Wh) or milliamp-hours (mAh). My trick here is to look at the figures, the larger they are, that means the longer the battery can last. So, for a laptop battery with a rating from 44Wh up to 50Wh will definitely come with the best lifespan.
Ports are very important in terms of data transfer and storage. Most standard laptops come with a couple of USB ports, HDMI port and an Ethernet port.
USB ports for instance, allow users to plug in an external hard drive or SSD and transfer data and also connect other important devices like a wireless mouse or keyboard.
Having a laptop that has USB 3.0 is much better because it is about ten times faster than USB 2.0, which means transferring data through USB 3.0 is much more convenient. Ideally, you should look for a laptop that has at least a couple of these USB 3.0 ports. Or if you can afford USB 3.1 ports, the better, because USB 3.1 is twice faster than USB 3.0.
With an increasing number of laptops nowadays using USB Type-C or Thunderbolt 3 ports that are USB Type-C compatible, you should definitely opt for them. Thunderbolt 3 ports are the best and have a peak data transfer speed of 40 GB per-second. That’s definitely a thing you probably need to have.
8. GRAPHICS CHIP
A Graphics chip is very important, especially if you are a gamer or if you are mainly in the videography and 3D development industry.
Just like Intel Processors, Graphics Chips come in both low and high end ability in terms of performance. Low-end systems usually have Nvidia MX250 or GTX 1650 GPUs, whereas, medium-range systems have RTX 2050 or RTX 2060 and high-end systems have RTX 2070 0r RTX 2080 GPUs.
Based on your need and what you intend to do with your laptop, you should choose a Graphics card that best suites your purpose. If you don’t intend to do much professional work on your laptop, then an RTX 2060 chip would be a recommended choice. On the other hand, if you are a professional user you can then start from RTX 2070.
There is no one size fits for all. If you ask me about which is the best laptop in the market today, it will be hard for me or anybody to give you the right answer. However, there is always a criteria to determine the laptop that is a best fit for you and your work. The tips I have listed above are a road map to choosing the “best laptop” for yourself.
Do you have any other tips on how to choose the best laptop? Let us know in the comment box below.