If you have recently chosen a laptop PC, you probably know that there are a huge number of them on the market. To narrow the range of options, use a small checklist and select a technique with the functionality that suits your preferences.
First of All, Determine Your Platform
MacOS or Windows is the top choice to make before buying a laptop. The answer usually depends on familiarity with the systems, planned budget, and what your work colleagues are using (if you buy a laptop for work).
Apple’s platform has a built-in advantage – it can still run Windows (via dedicated Boot Camp software or in a virtual machine) while trying to run macOS on a Windows computer (called Hackintosh) requires some knowledge that can qualify as witchcraft (it’s not entirely legal yet).
But if you are a Windows lover and plan to do most of your work on this platform, you shouldn’t choose Apple laptops. You will pay a lot of money for hardware that is not meant for Windows.
Decide if you want a touchscreen or if you can do without it. (If you chose macOS as your platform, there is no touch option.) Will Full HD work, or do you want a sharper 4K display? You can also choose a standard aspect ratio of 16: 9 or an aspect ratio of 3: 2.
Don’t forget about your screen size. The most common are 13 “and 15” display sizes.
Weight and Shape of the Laptop
By definition, every laptop is portable, but how portable should it be? If your laptop stays on your desk most of the time, or if you’re only going to use it from home, weight is probably not that important. On the other hand, if the laptop is always with you, the extra kilogram may be completely out of place.
Closely related to weight is the choice of the shape of the device. There are traditional clamshells, and there is a 2-in-1 tablet form, such as the Surface Pro or the Lenovo Yoga line of laptops.
Some modern laptops are capable of maintaining battery life all day long. But there are those that can work reliably for only 4-5 hours before you have to start looking for an outlet.
The biggest caveat when considering this criterion is that laptop manufacturers constantly exaggerate actual performance in their estimates of battery life, so it’s better to take these numbers with a grain of salt. And even independent tests can offer measurement based on actions that don’t match the actual load.
CPU and GPU
The choice of processor affects the overall performance of the laptop. And integrated graphics may not be enough, and then a graphics processing unit (GPU) is needed.
Most people overestimate the importance of the CPU for everyday tasks. Overall, an Intel Core i5 or i7 will provide adequate performance. As for the GPU, anyone looking to play the latest or process video needs a separate GPU, but for the rest, Intel’s integrated graphics will do.
Memory size also matters. You can find budget laptops with 4GB of RAM, but you will likely experience regular performance issues due to insufficient memory.
For basic tasks, 8GB will be enough. The 16GB system is suitable for those who will perform difficult tasks such as editing photos or processing videos, regularly launching virtual machines or games.
With very few exceptions, most laptops do not allow memory upgrades, so it’s important to be aware of these specifics from the beginning.
When it comes to storage, just like with storage, more is better, and the lack of upgrade options means it’s important to choose wisely when shopping.
In terms of storage, 128GB of storage is the minimum for basic work and is best for those who store most of their data (including email) in the cloud and don’t need to store a lot of media.
And don’t ignore external parameters. SD card support can be useful for data backup.