Buying a laptop may look like a towering task, but with this laptop buying guide, it is quite simple apart from taking care of few variables. However, it is very important to do your research and consider your future requirements and needs. Its just like buying a car; not every car is for everyone—options change with the budget, requirement, use, and quality you demand.
So the first thing you should do is. Don’t follow the mass. Requirements vary from person to person so does the laptop they need. We can understand the temptation to go for the most famous laptop, but that would be the worst thing you can do. So with that, let’s get into the variables you should consider in this
Laptop Buying Guide: 9 Essential Tips For A Perfect Laptop
1. Choosing the right Operating System
OS may be the first divergence that you will be facing on the road to your perfect laptop comes on number 1 in the Laptop Buying Guide list. When it comes to laptops, the whole market is mostly shared between the four giants. Windows dominates with 61%, taking a huge chunk from the giant, macOS retains 28%, Quickly gaining market share ChromeOS with 3.6%, and Ideal for its dedicated user Linux with 1.98%.
- Windows OS: With the company was founded in 1975 and os launched in 1985. Windows comes from a company that has focused on software from its very foundation. No surprise there that the OS is dominating the market. Thanks to its domination, windows cover a wider range of applications. Whether gaming, office work, creative work, or just regular surfing, windows cover most of it. Plus, with the latest Windows 11 feature, You can run Android applications (APK) on it.
- Mac OS: This OS may be the best if you are into its ecosystem. The only company controlling both the hardware and the software offers the best compatibility between the software and the hardware. It is also the best beginner-friendly and one of the most secure OS. But if you are not in the ecosystem, you probably won’t be able to use MacBook to its max.
- ChromeOS: With the last one to join the race, it’s quickly covering the market share. ChromeOS is best for regular and light users who require a laptop for general surfing. It also allows users to run Android applications, and almost all the laptops come with a touchscreen and 360* rotatable screen.
- Linux: Linux does not cover the wider user base, and maybe it doesn’t need to. Ever heard of OS that allows users to redesign and alter the core features. Linux just does that. Plus, it is open-source, so it probably provides the highest level of security as there are many brilliant tech-heads working, altering, and modifying it anytime. So if you are willing to sacrifice the comfort and venture into the adventure, then this OS is perfect for you as this is perfect for anyone who wants to get into programming and development. Plus, it is perfectly compatible with almost all hardware and doesn’t require high hardware specifications.
2. Laptop Buying Guide-Know Your CPUs
CPU being the brain of your laptop is the next factor that needs your consideration. With the Duopoly of Intel covering a major of 60.3% and AMD not far behind with 39.6%, a new entry M1 might disrupt the whole market.
- Intel: With almost a year released, Core i3, i5, i7, and i9, Intel dominates a major chunk of the market. With i5 being on most laptops, it can handle most of the average user. However, with the latest chips relying on power-hungry X86 technologies and failing to innovate, intel is seriously losing the edge. Intel had dominated the market when Desktops were the prevalent technology. Where you had enough space for an exhaust and cooling system and didn’t need to worry about efficiency as you were always connected to a power source.
- AMD: Being the runner AMD is quick to innovate and has been a force to be reckoned with. AMD has and is doing what Intel, unfortunately, has failed to do until now. Make chips much more efficient and run on less power, which is a must for the always on-the-move world. With Ryzen 5, 7, and 9, AMD has been able to do some serious innovation. With every AMD chip performing at par and better than counter-intel chips in most cases, AMD should be at the top of your priority list.
- Apple’s M1: ARM-based chip is not something new idea Apple came up with. Its been long discussed and used technology that is the dominant technology in the smartphone industry. However, what Apple has been able to do is to upgrade it for notebooks or laptops. Many laptops have tried ARM-based chips previously, but nothing comes even close to what M1 can do. M1 just joined the race; still, it has left Intel and AMD miles behind, who are running for years. We have written all about M1 and its journey in our blog, “Why MacBook M1X 14 will be the best laptop ever created? and its journey.” Unfortunately, you don’t get many options in this as this is available on only MacBook Air and Pro. Still, if you are into the Apple ecosystem, this or the upcoming MacBook M1 14& 16 should be on your radar.
3. Graphics Cards: needed or not?
Graphic cards are rather a choice than a necessity; integrated graphics are enough for you if you are a light user who uses a laptop for general or office work. However, if you are into gaming, graphic designing, or require it for industrial software, you have an option of AMD and Nvidia. Intel-based laptops come generally paired with an Nvidia graphics card in the GeForce line.
4. Pick Your Processor
Now that you have decided on the CPU company, you got to choose between various chip versions.
- Intel: If you are going for intel, you have an option of i3, i5, i7, i9. We would seriously not recommend i3 as it is a dated technology even for general use. So if you are a general user, you can go for i5. I5 can handle some amount of everything, be it gaming, graphic work, etc.
- If you can afford it, an Intel i7 or i9 chip makes a nice upgrade and will make your laptop feel smoother and faster, especially if you are into heavy gaming. However, extra power often means shorter battery life, so you’ll need to balance that with your needs.
- AMD: AMD Ryzen 5000 series will suffice for the average user, but the Ryzen 7000 makes a nice upgrade—again, at the cost of high cost and battery life.
5. How Much RAM?
When it comes to RAM, the more, the merrier. The only thing that’s restricting you is the price tag that comes with it. Anything below 8GB should be avoided; however, a lot of it also depends on certain variables such as OS. A 4GB might be enough for chrome as it needs less ram to run; however, an 8GB ram will allow you multiple tabs and smoother operation, so seriously recommended.
If you are going for windows OS, do not go below 8GB, as that will be just like you are buying frustration and slow speed. Also, it would help if you aimed for DDR4, and we don’t recommend DDR3.
6. Type of Storage and how much?
Asking for the type of storage space is redundant as SSD is an obvious choice. In spite of the risk of sounding harsh, we forbid you from choosing HDD. Going for HDD is similar to buying a Maserati with only two tires. It doesn’t matter the power your machine has inside; you will be dragging along in both cases.
When it comes to SSD size, we recommend 500 GB and do not suggest anything below 256 GB as you will be forced to carry external storage anyway.
7. Check Your Ports!
The latest MacBooks have been notorious for not providing enough ports. Thankfully many windows laptops don’t shy away from providing you with just that. So if you are someone who needs to be connected to multiple screens, SD cards, peripherals getting a MacBook becomes a liability. There are genuine options for you like dell XPS or gram that provide you with similar performance with the availability of ports; however, this is not a barrier for you if you do not have any such requirements.
Amid the pandemic, the necessity of a good camera cannot be oversold. A good camera, especially when online meetings are a new norm, should be a deal-breaker for any device.
Upgradability is one of the most important points in the Laptop Buying Guide list. Maybe not for all, but for many, upgradability is a serious issue. Unfortunately, MacBooks don’t provide you with the upgradability, but many windows laptops do provide some upgradability; however, if you want to build your computer from the ground up, controlling every specification, then there is an option for that too. The Framework provides you with full customization and upgradability with keeping in mind the compatibility and light weightedness. We have in detail about it in our blog Modular VS Integrated Systems: David vs Goliath.
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