Whenever we plan to buy something new, it’s always a real pain especially if we have a budget or are not quite sure about what to look for in the product. The lesser you do research before buying a product the riskier it will be, especially when it comes to buying electronic gadgets like a laptop which has a highly competitive market value. There are quite a lot of famous brands that comes with tons and tons of models every year with added feature. Every minute technology is upgrading and it is essential to keep up with time and feature.
So, let us get to the point. If you are planning to buy a new laptop quite soon, here are some of the pointers and tips for you that could give you immense clarity and understanding about laptops and what you need to look at before you buy. I always have had quite an interest in laptops and always goes through various product. And quite recently I bought a laptop for myself and spent approximately 3-4 months on research before deciding the laptop that matched my needs and wants as closely as possible. Yes! 3-4 months! I never do decision-making without proper research to avoid disappointments and ending up in regrets.
Following are 10 Things you need to consider before deciding which laptop you are going to buy. Make sure to use these pointers as a check list too. First and foremost, there isn’t going to be a single perfect laptop that can fit everyone. Because people have different needs personally and professionally. And we live in an era where technology is being built based on the different needs of people. We have options. Not solid but flexible options that could get quite closer, encompassing close to 80-90% of the features that a person expects from a laptop. The last 20-10% is what we must end up compromising with. And this compromise would mostly be with any feature, design, or budget.
Top 10 Things You Need To Look for and Ask Yourself Before Buying A Laptop
While most of these pointers will be helping you to decide, I will also be adding certain points about technological features like RAM, Graphic Interface, Processor, etc so that you could understand more about them without blindly choosing it thinking it must be the latest version of the sort. A proper understanding of things will always make your decision-making stronger.
What Is Your Reason For Buying A Laptop?
First and foremost, have a clear understanding of the main reason you are planning to buy a laptop. The reasons can be for entertainment purposes like watching series or movies or for gaming, it can be for school or university purposes for online classes, projects, programming, etc. Or if it works related purpose… what sort of work will you be doing. Because the work you are planning for using the laptop will determine which feature to look for in a laptop. If you are a content creator or graphics designer you have to look for something with a powerful graphic interface and processor. If you are looking for Business purposes, you need to look for a system with speed, battery, and security. This way you can navigate or take your first step in looking for your new laptop.
What Is Your Budget For Buying A New Laptop?
If you look at many laptop buying guide pages, they will mostly suggest deciding the budget at the final point of decision-making. But, I would like to assign a budget temporarily at the beginning itself. It will let you be more conscious while you begin your searching itself. It could make your journey of finding the best laptop short in some way. You can again look through the budget to make some alterations in the end if necessary. Always remember that the more speed, the more feature, and the more you expect from a laptop the price will incline. But there is a basic fact, the most expensive laptops are usually arrayed for designers, businesspeople, programmers, and professional gamers. During these situations, it is best to give in to a suitable budget. I will mention more about budgets about upcoming points. So, keep going!
What Operating System (OS) Do You Like To Go With?
Now, Operating System when mentioned blandly, many beginners get confused. The operating system that we usually talk about is something similar to, whether you are planning to buy an Android phone or an Apple phone kind of thing. It is all about the interface and experience. It defines your workflow, and how you feel around moving inside and while working. When it comes to laptops, the most generic operating systems are Windows, Mac Os, Chrome Os, and Linux. Windows are always at the affordability side of the scale, whereas Mac Os… I am pretty sure you guys know it. But, at present in the market Chrome Os is also becoming affordable.
Now, Which one to choose?… It’s about your preference. I usually prefer windows, because I got used to it since the first time I kept my hands on the computer in 2001. Though Chrome OS wasn’t a popular choice and lacks a bit of a feature, it has started to gain momentum among Students and also becoming the cheapest option. Mac Os… If you are rich… go ahead, thumbs up to you.
Also, don’t forget that OS has so many versions. In Windows, the current version is Windows 11 22H2 which is so so so dope, I am currently using it. Like it’s so amazing, the colors, the user experience. I love it. Whereas in Mac it’s Version 12.6 Monterey … sooner this will be overtaken by version 13, Ventura.
Which Is The Most Effecient & Cost Effective Processor To Go With?
Getting to know about processors and how they work can be confusing at first but it’s very fun actually. Processors are nothing but the CPU that became a chip. And the most generic processors are produced by Intel and AMD. While many of us are quite familiar with Intel Core Processors which have been there since the beginning, I would also want to let you guys know that AMD doesn’t go short anywhere. AMD processors are powerful players in the gaming arena. They are quite known for their speed. Especially when integrated with Graphic cards like Nvidia, it plays the best. While price wise both Intel and AMD have equal control depending on their version, core, and generation.
Intel comes with Intel Celeron, i3, i4, i5, i7, i9, and X series processors and they all have a generation of their own. The most latest generation is 12. It’s better to buy a laptop with an intel processor above the 10th generation. There is also the latest badge introduced by Intel which is EVO which is actually like a grade for being the laptop processor with the best dominant processing features. Similarly, AMD has various Ryzen processors like Ryzen 3, Ryzen 5, Ryzen 7, Ryzen 9, AMD Athlon, etc. And has its generation too. Your laptop price is highly dependent on this. Yes. Your budget is symbiotic with the processor you choose. Usually, i3 10th gen and more, Intel Celeron, and Ryzen 3 laptops will be the laptops that start from 15,000. For i5 10th gen and more, and Ryzen 5, the price starting will be 40,000. Similarly, the price increases for the higher versions so does their unbeatable performance speed.
My latest laptop has i5, 11th gen and it performs absolutely flawlessly except when I work with the heaviest app which it can’t handle.
How Much HARD DRIVE & RAM Space To Go With?
Now, to the next most important thing that you should figure out before making your decision. What type of storage ie Harddisk and RAM do you expect your laptop to have? If you figured this out, you are halfway there. When it comes to RAM it plays the role of taking care of all the data that are utilized by the Processor so that it can run smoothly. Naturally if RAM capacity is not up to the mark of all the memory requirements of the software and processor you use, your laptop won’t work and will hang and freeze. While 4Gb is the minimum RAM Space it goes up to 16 GB and 64 Gb. The higher the GB the higher the price. But, the safer RAM space to go with will be 8GB unless you are going to use your laptop for Video editing or Graphic Designing. Also, make sure the Ram type is DDR4 if you want your RAM to enable your laptop to work faster.
Now, the next storage aspect to be checked is Harddrive, where all your work documents, apps, and other data will be stored. From my personal experience, I have realized SSD harddisks are freaking awesome. The effectiveness of your Harddisk can be seen by how fast your laptop switch On and lets you to your window and how fast it takes to toggle from apps to apps and how fast it shutdowns too. Because my previous laptop which used to run on 1TB HDD used to take at least 3-5 minutes to switch On and Off. But it got taken care of after I updated it with new software.
When you choose SSD, there are different space options to choose from. From a minimum of 256 GB to 1TB and more. Whereas some come with a Hybrid mode of storage that is 1TB HDD+256SSD. This kind of combination also lets your laptop or notebook perform well. For Chromebook which utilized cloud space more, your 256GB SSD works pretty well.
My current laptop has 512GB SSD and performs extremely faster.
Which Graphic Processor To Choose?
Graphic cards are essentially the highest concern for Gamers, Video Editors, and Graphic Designers. Every laptop comes with a graphic card of its own. While the most generic is the integrated Graphic card also known as a dedicated GPU(Graphic Processing Unit) like Intel Integrated Graphics such as Iris Xe Graphics. And this enables us to enjoy watching movies and games without a glitch and with rich clarity. Intel’s graphics card is good. But the most powerful graphics card option comes from AMD’s Radeon Series and Nvidia Geforce Series.
Since I am not much of a gaming enthusiast, I decided to go with Iris for my Laptop. Plus, Nvidia Geforce Series laptops are comparatively pricier.
How Much Is The Battery Life?
Next is “The Most Important Thing” to look for in a laptop you are planning to buy – Battery Life. At times when most of us are carrying out our work either at home or by travel, the laptop must have enough battery backup so that it doesn’t drag us down in some of the most critical moments. And that is why it is important to find out how long your laptop’s battery standby time is and if it has fast charging option. It is always better to look for a laptop with a battery standby 6hr and above. Don’t go with anything below as by two years your laptop can’t stand for 2hrs without power plugged in. That’s quite an annoying thing to deal with.
My laptop stands for up to 5 hrs when used without break with some of my heavy apps like Illustrator. Which I feel fairly good about it. Normally it could last up to 8hrs -10 hrs.
Does The Laptop Has Support For The Ports & Connectivity Option You Require?
While we live mostly in the online world and depend on cloud storage more than ever, it is essential to look if your laptop is built with the latest connectivity option. Whether it’s related to Wifi connectivity or Bluetooth, check if the laptop you are planning to buy has the latest versions of them such as Wifi 5 or 6 support and Bluetooth 5 or 5.2.
Whereas port, every laptop has a different list of ports but the most generic posts will be USB ports, HDMI ports, Microphone Jack, Charging ports, SD card readers, USB type C, USB Type A, etc. Know your needs. Some of the laptops also come with facilities that enable you to charge your laptop with a USB Type C port. Remember, not all laptops come with CD players these days.
My laptop comes with enough ports, the most important thing I looked for is an SD card reader, headphone jack, USB- C, and more than 2 USB-A ports.
Looking More Into Design & Additional Features
This is my favorite part. When buying a laptop I sometimes go for looks and features too. I have been trying to buy a laptop that’s not black or white, you know, something colorful, but unfortunately, I am not lucky enough and I compromised. This is the area I compromised. In the area of design and features, it’s not only about the aesthetic of the laptop but also the size, material, flexibility, and more.
- Size: Laptops comes with various screen size like 13″, 14″, 15″, 17″ etc. Look for the ones you prefer. I don’t like large screens, so I always go for 14″. Remember, the smaller screen version laptops don’t come with a number area unlike 15″ and size up laptops
- Material: Look for what the material is made of. Because some laptops can be made of plastics that need to be careful with as they can be scratch-prone. There are also many Military Grade laptops. If you prefer the study ones go for it. Some brand like HP has also come up with laptop made with sustainable material, which is very cool. You can take it as an option.
- Weight: Thin and Light are quite a trend these days. If you are someone like me who likes to carry your laptop wherever you go. Choose the slimmest and the lightest once. 0.9-1.5 kg is what I think is the best to stick with.
- Display: Look more into the Display resolutions. Don’t compromise on them. Check if they have Full HD that is 1920*1080 resolution and anti-reflective. Resolutions can go up to 3200*1800. Now, some laptops come with the most latest OLED screen which gives brilliant colors. Also, check if they come with eye care features such as blue light protection, etc.
- Physical and Flex feature: Some notebooks and laptops come with special features such as 2 in 1, ie flippable and detachable. And also currently many Samsung Chromebooks, Dell laptops, Microsoft Surface, Lenevo Yoga and similar models come with touch screen and pen options. But remember, with laptops like these you might be compromising in some areas.
- Keyboard, Touchpad, Fingerprint scanner: Make sure it has ergonomic key placement with comfortable key distance. A backlit keyboard is one of the features to look for if you like to work during the night, in dark spaces or if you tend to work while traveling. When it comes to the touchpad, if you look at Asus, some of the models come with a digital display or num pad. Besides don’t forget to check if your laptop has a biometric access feature.
- Webcam: It is important to check the webcam clarity if you are someone who has to do and attend lots of zoom meetings. While a lot of low budgets systems come with 720p cameras, it’s better to look for 1080p. Talking about the camera, if you are someone who used to stick stickers on your laptop webcam to protect your privacy, the good news is, some laptops are coming with a camera protector which is, in my experience, so cool.
Some other features to look for are an internal fan cooling system, 180-degree hinge, AI noise cancelation, energy star certified, dual camera, Alexa – inbuilt, gesture control, etc.
Discovering Brands & Their Promises
The brand is the most important part when it comes to buying a laptop. Only a few brands are capable of doing what they say. And only very very few like one or 2 brands can do more than what they say. You are lucky if you find them.
Yes, our Indian laptop market is quite competitive. But there are also who compete with themselves and make you become a loyal fan of the brand. Some of the brands that you can consider looking for are Asus, Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Microsoft, Samsung, and Apple. Do a bit of research and look for reviews about the brand and the products on various platforms. Of course, there won’t be a brand without customer complaints, but first research and let your guts judge the rest.
Know what their promises are. Check how much warranty they give for their laptops and accessories. You can also understand their credibility through their responsiveness. Emailing directly their customer service account will let us know if a brand stands for its customer. And that’s how you know if there is trouble with your laptop, you’d get immediate help or not. Some laptops also have an internal app available through which we can track the laptop’s health and communicate with the customer service in charge easily. Always keep in mind to choose the brand that has enough service centers around.
Other than that, check if the laptop gives free services like free one-year antivirus, stickers, goodies, free MS Office Home and Student. Yes, expecting free stuff for laptops is natural. Nothing to be ashamed of here. And that will also show how much the brand respects and values its customers and product.
When it comes to buying I also recommend keeping official online or offline stores as your priority. No poorvika, this and that. Keep an online retail store recommended by the brand as a second option like Amazon or Flipkart. And keep Croma or Reliance Digital as a final option.
Narrowing down to finding that one laptop for you is always tough. The first ever laptop we bought in our house was a 2nd hand HP which we used for like more than 6 years. Of course, it required lots of maintenance for keeping it alive. After that Acer, which is still being used. After that Asus Vivobook. And now again the laptop I am currently using is also the Asus Vivobook pro series laptop which I bought this May after like serious research. It is perfect for me, and they just stole my heart with a few stickers… lol. I have become loyal to Asus. I have been having really good experience over the past 3 years with the type of work I usually do like blogging, illustration, content creation, photo editing, etc.
Of course, I would recommend Asus, personally I feel like they always continue making innovations and competing against themselves. But a brand like HP is highly recommendable for their thought in making sustainable innovation. In the end, no matter what, it’s about how much a brand and a product can satisfies your needs and builds your trust. And thats the moment you realize – “This is the one”. For me, Asus, it fitted my persona and style. Of course everything is not perfect, I have complaints to, especially with my touchpad that makes noise and the silver colour, thats the 20-10% of compromise I made.
For you, “this is the one” can be anything from Dell, and Lenovo to Apple. So choose the one that resembles you and make sure you do not compromise more, especially the feature you care about.
I know, it is quite long. I am sorry, I tried to keep it short, but I don’t want to lose out on important information. Hope you find this useful. If you did, don’t forget to share it with your friends and save it for your future reference.
Thanks and Bye!