How To Check Laptop Before Buying


No matter what. Shopping online is the most beneficial, for it saves time and efforts. In my recent review about gadgets, I mentioned about the fact that quality is far better than quantity. The same thing applies when shopping for laptop computer. And to spot that quality these days, it seems intimidating... Huh, anyways, with some; if not t many tips to grabbing the very best and affordable Laptop; I believe everyone can be boast enough to get standard one.

As you are preparing to get a brand new Laptop from your proffered retailer or e-tailer, I will like you first take a look at these 10 inevitable but insightful pro-tips to spotting a superb Laptop.



The top 10 Things to Consider When Buying a New Laptop


Things-to-consider-before-buying-a-laptop
A woman shopping for Laptop


In my recent review about gadgets, I mention about the fact that quality is far better than quantity. The same thing applies when shopping for laptop computer. And to spot that quality these days, it seems intimidating... Huh, anyways, with some; if not t many tips to grabbing the very best and affordable Laptop; I believe everyone can be boast enough to get standard one.

As you are preparing to get a brand new Laptop from your proffered retailer or e-tailer, I will like you first take a look at this 10 inevitable but insightful pro-tips to spotting a superb Laptop.

The top 10 Things to Consider When Buying a New Laptop




Which laptop should you buy isn’t a question with a clear obvious answer. No matter your price category, there are simply too many different types of laptops to choose from. More to the point, there is no single best laptop because there is no single kind of laptop user.

1. Size.


When it comes to laptops, size matters.

Depending on what you plan to be doing with your next laptop, you’ll want to make sure you pick the size that’s the right fit for you. Size isn’t like the RAM or ROM of a laptop, you can’t upgrade it later. You’re locked into whatever you select up-front, so choose wisely.

Laptops sizes tend to start at 11.6-inches and go all the way up to 17.3 inches. Most brands and OEMS like HP, Dell, ASUS and Acer tend to offer three display sizes - 13.3-inch, 15.6-inch and 17.3-inches. However, some vendors do sell laptops that fall outside these sizes including 11.6-inches, 12.5-inches and 14-inches.

Obviously, if portability is your priority, you’ll want to go for a smaller sized Windows laptop. They tend to be thinner and lighter than their larger counterparts. Look for laptops that have a screen that is either 12.5-inches or 13.3-inches in size, and a weight between 1kg and 1.5kgs.
Credit: Razer

However, keep in mind that smaller-sized 13.3-inch machines often don’t support the same high-end Intel Core i7 CPUs or discrete graphics cards you’ll be able to find in their 15.6-inch counterparts. Most of the time, they’ll also feature a less-robust selection of ports. If the kind of work you intend to be using your new laptop for requires a larger display or standalone graphics power, you’ll probably need to look at a larger size.

Beyond specific sizing, there are several different classes of laptop to choose from. Ultrabooks tend to favor a slim and lightweight form-factor over high-end performance. Things like the ASUS Zenbook and Lenovo’s Yoga devices fall into this category.


By contrast, Notebooks tend to offer a good mix of power and portability. If you’re looking at notebooks, a good place to start is the Dell XPS 13  and HP’s Envy x360.

Convertibles (also known as 2-in-1 laptops or 2-in-1 PCs) expand on this by adding the ability to fold away (or remove) the keyboard and use your new laptop in tablet mode. Products like Microsoft’s Surface Go and Acer’s Chromebooks fall into this category.


Finally, traditional clamshell and gaming laptops tend to boast bulkier form-factors but significantly-beefier specs.

The most important thing to consider here when looking for the best laptop you can buy is that you think about what you’re going to need that laptop to do. It’s rarely ever a case of one size fits all. Some users need something lighter and more portable. Other users need discrete graphics for things like video editing or running high end games. If you need a PC with an optical drive or long battery life, you’ll almost certainly have to look for something larger.


Regardless, knowledge is power. And once you’ve worked out the size of laptop you’re looking for, the search for the best one becomes that much easier.
2. Screen quality.

Since you’ll probably end up staring at your laptop screen hours at a time, you’ll probably want to make sure you get a screen that is comfortable to look at and use.

To start with, you’ll have to consider whether you want your next laptop to have a touchscreen. These days, touchscreens are very common and they can make some tasks easier than others. Unfortunately, they can also add a glossiness to the display which is sometimes undesirable. Glossy screens lead to reflections, which are a definite negative if you’re gaming, watching content or editing images and video content. For these reasons, you might want to consider a laptop that doesn’t have a touchscreen.

Next up, be sure to look at the resolution on any laptop you’re thinking of buying. A 1920x1080-pixel resolution (Full HD) should be considered if you want plenty of space to line up windows and keep things in view.

Select modern laptops also now offer 4K resolutions. However, these high-end display panels are generally a costly add-on to an already-expensive product. They're only really going to be worth it for those who really need them, like content creation professionals.


Photographers and videographers will also want to privilege laptops that offer better color accuracy and support wider color gamut and HDR standards over those that don't.

Meanwhile, if you’re a gamer, it’s also worth taking the time to check the refresh rate on the display of any potential laptop. A faster refresh rate can often provide a sometimes provide a competitive advantage in online games, as it enables a smoother and more responsive play experience.

Lastly, viewing angles are extremely important. A laptop screen that touts IPS (in-plane switching) technology offers the widest viewing angles and the best user comfort. Chances are you’re not always going to be using your laptop in its natural habitat, so a laptop with an IPS display is usually preferred over the opposite.

If possible, take the time to go into a store and see the screen for yourself. Otherwise, rely on multiple reviews to get a good overview of the product and whether or not its screen will be able to suit your needs.

For long typing sessions, you’ll need to get a laptop that has a comfortable keyboard. You don’t want to get a keyboard that packs in every key under the sun (think keyboards that have squished in number pads) because that can translate to a poor overall user experience when hunting for specifics like the arrow or delete keys.

You want a keyboard that has a comfortable layout with full-sized keys and some space around the arrow keys. The keys should have adequate travel on the downstroke and snappy responsiveness when you let them go.

Make sure the keyboard is also backlit, so that you can type with an easier view on the keys in dimly lit environments.

As with the screen, it helps to try before you buy, especially if your main task will be typing.

4. CPU

It’s hard to go past any of Intel’s Core-based CPUs when buying a new laptop. Think Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7. An Intel Core Processor offer the best performance when it comes to multitasking and multimedia tasks. Core i3-based notebooks are generally found in entry-level systems, while Core i5 makes up the majority of mainstream computers.

Core i7-based systems are for those of you who want the best performance from your laptop. However, note that with a Core i7-based system, heat coming through the base of the laptop can be cause for concern, especially if you plan to actually use the laptop on your lap a lot of the time.

Some larger laptops also now incorporate Intel's i9 Core processors. Laptops running on i9 Core processors are even more powerful than laptops running on i7 Core processors. They're able to rival desktops for performance but they do come with a significantly-higher cost than a laptop with an i7, i5 or i3 Core Processor.


Select vendors now also offer laptops and notebooks that run on AMD’s Ryzen Mobile CPUs. If you’re a gamer, this can be a particularly compelling option worth considering. 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.

5. RAM

In the old days, you rarely needed more than 4GB of RAM or more to get the best out of your system.

These days, you’ll probably want to think about 8GB as a minimum. If you’re a power-user, 16GB is the way to go. Meanwhile, gamers should look at dialing things upwards all the way to 32GB if they want the best experience.

More RAM allows for more applications to be run at the same time, and for more data to be quickly accessible by the system at any one time, which comes in handy for tasks such as editing photos or video content.

  
The Perfect 8 Essential laptop Buying Guide

Spending your money on the perfect laptop using this laptop buying guide will actually help you find comfortableness and grate value for your money!


Surely, laptops are compact enough to carry with you, yet versatile enough to run demanding applications. It's the best tool for doing serious work or play whether you're at home, on the road or in a college classroom. For those reasons, I've compiled lists of the best business laptops and best college laptops, not to mention our best laptops rankings for most users.

While standalone tablets and smart phones are always popular, most people realize that everything from typing a research paper to crunching video to gaming works better on a laptop. So what type of laptop should you get? I put together a laptop buying guide to help you out.

There's a wide variety of sizes, features and prices, which makes choosing the best laptop a challenge. That's why you need to figure out what your needs are. 

Quick Tips:

These are the most important things to consider when choosing a new laptop. For a lot more detail, see the sections below.
12.5 to 14-inch screens offer the best balance between usability and portability. Larger screens are fine if you don't travel much and smaller models are great for kids.
If you're spending over $600, shoot for these minimum specs: Core i5 or Ryzen 5 CPU 1920 x 1080 screen 8GB of RAM SSD Storage instead of a hard drive.
8+ hours of battery life is ideal if you plan to take your laptop anywhere at all.
Consider a 2-in-1 laptop (either a bendback or detachable) if you want to use your laptop as a tablet. If not, a standard clamshell notebook may be a better choice.
Chromebooks are good for kids and students and their functionality is expanding rapidly. Windows laptops and MacBooks both offer plenty of functionality; which platform you prefer is a matter of personal taste.

1. Pick a Platform: Mac, Windows or Chrome OS?

This is not an easy question to answer, especially if you're not familiar with both Macs and PCs. But this quick overview of each platform’s strengths and weaknesses should help.

Most laptops come with one of three operating systems: Windows, Chrome OS or MacOS (for MacBooks only). Choosing the right one is a personal preference, but here's a quick summary of what each offers.

Windows 10

The most flexible operating system, Windows, runs on more laptop models than Chrome OS or Mac OS X. Windows notebooks range in price from under $150 to several thousand dollars and offer a wide array of features from touch screens to fingerprint readers to dual graphics chips. Windows 10, the latest version of Microsoft's flagship operating system, provides a number of improvements over Windows 7 and 8, including the ability to switch between tablet and desktop modes, a revamped Start menu with live tiles and the powerful Cortana digital assistant.


Since its launch in July 2015, Windows 10 has also added a host of improvements, including the ability to use follow-up questions with Cortana, search your email using natural language and use your stylus to scribble almost anywhere. Windows 10 laptops are great for students, researchers and business users, and they're the only machines gamers should consider.

Apple macOS Catalina

All MacBooks come with Apple's latest desktop operating system, macOS Catalina. Overall, the operating system offers similar functionality to Windows 10, but with a different take on the interface that substitutes an apps dock at the bottom of the screen for Microsoft's Start menu and taskbar. Instead of the Cortana digital assistant, Mac users get Siri. They can also perform transactions with Apple Pay, take calls or texts from their phones and unlock their laptops with an Apple Watch.

However, macOS isn't made for touch, because no MacBook comes with a touch screen. The latest macOS Catalina operating system brings iPad apps over to Mac, as well as secondary display support for iPads and new accessibility features.


Chrome OS

Found on inexpensive Chromebooks such as the Samsung Chromebook 3. Google's OS is simple and secure, but more limited than Windows or macOS. The user interface looks a lot like Windows with an application menu, a desktop and the ability to drag windows around, but the main app you use is the Chrome browser. The downside is that many of the "web apps" you use don't work particularly well offline. However, that's changing as almost all Chromebooks, including the high-end, Google PixelBook, can now run Android apps.

If you need a device to surf the Web and check email, navigate social networks and chat online, Chromebooks are highly portable and tend to offer good battery life at low prices. They are also extremely popular with schools and parents, because they are hard for kids to infect with malware and more functional than most tablets. If you need a Chromebook, look for one with at least 4GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. A 1920 x 1080 resolution preferred and 4K is better but very uncommon. Pay extra to get a 2-in-1 if you plan to use Android apps.

2. Decide if you want a 2-in-1


Many PC laptops fall into the category of 2-in-1 laptops, hybrid devices that can switch between traditional clamshell mode, tablet mode and other positions in between such as tent or stand modes. 2-in-1s generally come in two different styles: detachables with screens that come off the keyboard entirely and flexible laptops with hinges that bend back 360 degrees 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.

3. Choose the Right Size

Before you look at specs or pricing, you need to figure out just how portable you need your laptop to be. Laptops are usually categorized by their display sizes:
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.
13 to 14 inches: Provides the best balance of portability and usability, particularly if you get a laptop that weighs under 4 pounds.
15 to 16 inches: The most popular size, 15-inch laptops usually weigh 4 to 5.5 pounds. Consider this size if you want a larger screen and you're not planning to carry your notebook around often. Laptops with 16-inch displays are rare but Apple might get the trend started with its 16-inch MacBook Pro.
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. Check that Keyboard and Touchpad.

The most impressive specs in the world don't mean diddly if the laptop you're shopping for doesn't have good ergonomics. If you plan to do a lot of work on your computer, make sure the keyboard offers solid tactile feedback, plenty of key travel (the distance the key goes down when pressed, usually 1 to 2mm) and enough space between the keys. If you're buying a Windows laptop, be sure it has Precision touchpad drivers.

Look for an accurate touchpad that doesn't give you a jumpy cursor and responds consistently to multi-touch 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. Pick Your Specs

Notebook components such as processor, hard drive, RAM and graphics chip can confuse even notebook aficionados, so don't feel bad if spec sheets look like alphabet soup to you.



Here are the main components to keep an eye on.
CPU: The "brains" of your computer, the processor has a huge influence on performance, but depending on what you want to do, even the least-expensive model may be good enough. Here's a rundown:
Intel 10th Gen CPUs - Ice Lake vs Comet Lake: Intel introduced two types of 10th Gen processors that will power the next generation of laptops. You can read about these processors in more detail here (Ice Lake) and here (Comet Lake). To summarize, Ice Lake --- a 10-nanometer chip --- offers improved integrated Iris Plus graphics whereas Comet Lake --- a 14-nanometer chip --- is all about raw performance, especially the six-core Core i7-10710U. Not sure which one is right for you? Check out this guide, which will also help you decipher Intel's confusing naming schemes.
Intel Core i9: Supplanting 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 you're a power user who uses the most demanding programs and apps.
Intel Core i7: A step up from Core i5, which Models with numbers that end in HQ or K use higher wattage and have four cores, allowing for even faster gaming and productivity. There are also Core i7 Y series chips that have lower power and performance. Keep an eye out for CPUs that have a 10 in the model number (ex: Core i7-1060G7 for Ice Lake or Core i7-10710U for Comet Lake) because they are part of Intel's latest, 10th Generation Core Series, and offer better performance. Note that Intel's H-series 9th Generation CPUs are available now.
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. Those with the a Y in the name are low power and have worse performance while models with an HQ use more wattage and appear in thicker gaming and workstation systems. Intel's newest 10th Generation "Ice Lake" CPUs have four cores, and a number of useful features, including Wi-Fi 6 support, Thunderbolt 3 integration and better AI.
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.
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.
Intel Pentium / Celeron: Common in sub $400 laptops, these chips offer the slowest performance, but can do if your main tasks are web surfing and light document editing. If you can pay more to get a Core i3 or i5, you'd be better off.
Intel Core m / Core i5 / i7 "Y Series:" Low-power and low heat allow systems with these processors to go fanless. Performance is better than Celeron, but a notch below regular Core U series.
AMD Ryzen 4000: A new set of chips that are designed to compete with Intel Core i5 and Core i7. We've found Ryzen 4000 chips to outperform equivalent Intel Core processors. For example, the Ryzen 5 4500U CPU delivers about the same performance as an Intel Core i7 CPU. These chips are typically found in much cheaper laptops.
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.


RAM: Some sub-$250 laptops come with only 4GB 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 folks, 32GB or more is more than enough while 64GB and above is reserved for power users.


Storage Drive (aka Hard Drive): Even more important than the speed of your CPU is the performance of your storage drive. If you can afford it and don't need a ton of internal storage, get a laptop with a solid state drive (SSD) rather than a hard drive, because you'll see at least three times the speed and a much faster laptop overall.


Among SSDs, the newer PCIe x4 (aka NVME) units offer triple the speed of traditional SATA drives. Sub-$250 laptops use eMMC memory, which is technically solid-state but not faster than a mechanical hard drive.



Display: The more pixels you have, the more content you can fit on-screen, and the sharper it will look. Sadly, some budget laptops still have 1366 x 768 displays and so do a few business laptops, but if you can afford it, I recommend paying extra for a panel that runs at 1920 x 1080, also known as Full HD or 1080p. Higher-end laptops have screens that are 2560 x 1600, 3200 x 1800 or even 3840 x 2160 (4K), which all look sharp but consume more power, lowering your battery life.

Touch Screen: If you're buying a regular clamshell laptop, rather than a 2-in-1, you won't get much benefit from a touch screen and you will get 1 to 2 hours less battery life. On 2-in-1s, touch screens come standard. If you still want a touch screen.


Graphics Chip: If you're not playing PC games, creating 3D objects or doing high-res video editing, an integrated graphics chip (one that shares system memory) will be fine, especially Intel's latest Iris Plus graphics. If you have any of the above needs, though, a discrete graphics processor from AMD or Nvidia is essential.


As with CPUs, there are both high- and low-end graphics chips. Low-end gaming or workstation systems today usually have Nvidia MX250 or GTX 1650 GPUs while mid-range models have RTX 2050 or RTX 2060 and high-end models have RTX 2070 or 2080 GPUs. Nvidia maintains a list of its graphics chips from low to high end.


Nvidia's rivals, AMD, is Apple's vendor of choice for graphics cards, although you really shouldn't buy a MacBook for gaming. AMD is set to launch the Radeon RX 5600M and the Radeon RX 5700M GPUs for laptops later this year, so keep an eye out for those chips. AMD also keeps a list of its graphics cards.


Ports: While the absence of ports is usually not a deal-breaker when choosing a laptop, it's helpful to get the connections you need right on the system, rather than having to carry a slew of dongles. Most mainstream laptops will have USB 3.0 ports and HDMI out for video. However, an increasing number of laptops use USB Type-C or Thunderbolt 3 ports that are USB Type-C compatible.


Getting Type-C is a definite plus because you can use it to connect to universal chargers and docks. If you can wait, USB 4 will arrive soon with faster transfer rates and the ability to daisy-chain 4K monitors with one cable. Other useful connections include SD card slots, headphone jacks and Ethernet ports (especially if you're a gamer).



Connectivity: If you need to use your laptop on the go, consider buying a notebook with 4G LTE support. You'll have to pay for a data subscription plan, but this will allow you to access the internet away from a router. If you want a laptop with the latest and greatest connectivity options, find one with Wi-Fi 6 support. Wi-Fi 6 offers increased theoretical throughputs and a more stable connection than 802.11ac. I also suggest looking for a laptop with Bluetooth 5, the latest standard that offers improved connectivity with Bluetooth-enabled devices, like mice and headphones.


DVD/Blu-ray Drives: Few laptops come with optical drives, because all software and movies are downloadable, though I've kept track of the laptops with DVD drives. 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 that connects via USB for under $20.

6. Don’t Skimp on Battery Life.

If you're buying a large, bulky notebook or a gaming rig that you'll use only on a desk near an outlet, you don't have to worry about battery life. However, if you plan to use the laptop on your lap, even if it's at home and or work, you'll want at least 7 hours of endurance, with 8+ hours being ideal. To determine a notebook's expected battery life, don't take the manufacturer's word for it.

7. Plan Based on Your Budget

These days, you can buy a usable laptop for under $200, but if you can budget more, you'll get a system with better build quality, stronger performance and a better display. Here's what you can get for each price range.
$150 to $250: The least-expensive notebooks are either Chromebooks, which run Google's browser-centric OS, or low-end Windows systems with minimal storage and slower processors, such as the HP Stream 11 and the Dell Inspiron 11 3000. Use these as secondary computers only or give them to the kids.
$350 to $600: For well under $600, you can get a notebook with an Intel Core i5 or AMD A8 CPU, 4 to 8GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard drive, all respectable specs. However, at this price, most notebooks don't have an SSD, a full-HD display or long battery life. There are a few notable exceptions, such as the Acer Aspire E 15 and Asus Chromebook Flip C434.
$600 to $900: As you get above $600, you'll start to see more premium designs, such as metal finishes. Manufacturers also start to add in other features as you climb the price ladder, including higher-resolution displays and SSDs. The Lenovo IdeaPad 530s and Asus ZenBook UX333FA are great examples of laptops that offer all these perks for less.
Above $900: At this price range, expect notebooks that are more portable, more powerful or both. Expect higher-resolution screens, faster processors and possibly discrete graphics. The lightest, longest-lasting ultraportables, like the Apple MacBook Air and the Dell XPS 13, tend to cost more than $1,000 (although you can get the Dell for less if you don't opt for a touch screen). High-end gaming systems and mobile workstations usually cost upward of $1,500 or even as much as $2,500 or $3,000.


8. Mind the Brand

Your laptop is only as good as the company that stands behind it. Accurate and timely technical support is paramount.

Support is only part of what makes a notebook brand worth your money. You also have to consider how the manufacturer stacks up to the competition in terms of design, value and selection, review performance and other criteria.

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