Buying a Laptop for Yourself? Checkout the Buyers Guide

Buying a laptop can be a nail-biting task. It can be a different level ball game altogether if it is about buying a gaming laptop or a laptop for video editing. For those who know and are aware of every nook and cranny about technology, know that a gaming laptop/ a video editing laptop, and a regular working laptop are different things. Laptop buyers have to choose the right configuration, select the right brand, and also possess the know-how of what features are a must to consider while buying a laptop that’s best for you.

Laptop buying guide | Technopedia
Laptop Buying Guide

Honestly, choosing the right laptop can be as difficult as finding a needle in the haystack, with all the research to do. Having said that, you don’t need to go through this painstaking process to find the best value for money laptops for yourself. We’ve got your back! We, at Technopedia, have made a checklist you can follow and bring home an amazing laptop that you’ll never regret buying.  

Main Factors to be Considered Before Buying a Laptop: –

Screen

  • Size of the screen: 14-inch and 15-inch is the ideal size for laptops for use in all kinds of situations. However, if you want more room on your desktop and don’t plan on moving your machine much, the 17-inch screen is a better buy.
  • Anti-Glare Coating: No matter what the size of the screen is, the screen should have an anti-glare coating. This anti-glare protects your eyes while gaming from the glares which are harmful for the eyes.
  • Resolution: Apart from that, try and go for FULL HD resolution laptops i.e. 1920 x 1080p if your budget allows otherwise 720p; which is 1366 x 768p is a viable solution.

    Laptop | Technopedia
    Laptop Buying Guide – Technopedia

Concluding notes: These days we have the 4K panel laptops, available with 3840 x 2160p but might cost you a fortune and also might not go with your lifestyle.

Keyboard

Good ergonomics is essential for any laptop. If you can’t type on it properly then there is no point in spending money towards buying the laptop. Keyboards, though, are hardly considered as a factor while buying a laptop. However, if you commit the mistake, you might end up with regrets eventually.

Honestly, if you are planning to do a lot of typing, look for solid tactile feedback, plenty of vertical travel (distance the keyboard keys go when pressed down, usually 1mm to 2mm) and enough space between the keys.

laptop keyboard layout

  • Backlit keyboards: Backlit keyboards can be a conducive option as they save you exhausting your laptop’s battery by using the USB powered LED while typing in darkness.
  • Full layout keyboard: Full layout keyboards have dedicated numpad keys (generally found in 15-inch laptop version). These are used in many software utility tools by programmers and designers as they can create custom macros for each of them via any third-party application. The only drawback of this layout type is the keys are very close to each other, almost like cramped on each other with little to no gap in between them.
  • Half layout keyboard: Half layout keyboard doesn’t have a dedicated numpad keys, yet these are generally well-organized layout and has ample space in between the keys. This layout has overall large keys as compared to the full layout keyboard.

Body build

Aesthetics, body build, and material used to make the laptop should also be given priority while purchasing a laptop. Poor build laptops generally wear out in just 1 to 1.5 years, although it does depend on how well you are taking care of your laptop.

Higher end expensive ones generally have a metal build or other strong material like aluminum alloy and cheaper ones are built from plastic. But what kind of plastic they use, that’s important. We went to many showrooms of big brands like HP, Lenovo, and Dell to find out which one of them will offer the laptops with good build even if you have a tight budget. The conclusion: you can go for the following brands: –

laptop build

  • DELL

  • Lenovo

  • HP

We didn’t get a chance to check out the other brands, but if you are planning to buy a good quality laptop within budget, go for the mentioned brands.

Trackpad/Touchpad

Trackpads are one of the most crucial elements to factor in while buying a laptop. Also, this is one of the most neglected factors which is hardly given any  importance and hence, even the manufacturers don’t give a damn about it: to improve the trackpads for a better user experience.

laptop touchpad

Trackpads in MacBook’s are way better than any window laptops’. Honestly, MacBooks are on a different level altogether. Trackpads or Touchpads should be wide and spacious, especially when considering gaming laptops, for efficient tracking space for the pointer on the screen. Also, trackpads should have good precision software or driver for accurate tracing that doesn’t give you a jumpy cursor. Last but not the least, the touchpad should support all multi-touch gestures. Multi-touch gesture support is a must on the trackpad.

Business laptop from Lenovo, the ThinkPad series, generally have a pointing nub between G and H keys which is great for navigation, letting you navigate without even lifting your hands off the keyboard.

Input/output ports

This is the section where manufacturers can easily fool you, by making you purchase an older generation laptop with I/O ports which are soon going to be obsolete. In 2018, you should have these ports in your machine

laptop input and output port

  • USB 3.1 or USB 3.0 generation ports (mini 2 and max 3)
  • USB type C port most widely available in Lenovo Ideapad series.
  • Ethernet port which should support speed up to 100mbps for future proofing.
  • Multi-purpose card reader port
  • HDMI mini port or full sized one
  • 3.5 mm audio jack with a dual interface for mic
  • A Fingerprint reader is good for security purpose but generally comes in high-end expensive machines.

Optical DVD drives are still a pre-installed feature in many laptops, though it is a waste of space. DVDs and CDs are obsolete techs and you should avoid spending extra for such features.

Gaming laptop processor generation matters the most

laptop processor

Intel processors are classified into generations, each year releasing a new generation of processors for both laptop and desktops.

  • For Gaming, designing and video editing; consider intel i5 8th gen and i7 8th generation processor which has 4 cores in base model 8250U series
  • Intel i5 7th gen 7200U and i5 6th gen 6200U are both dual-core processor.
  • Intel processors with HQ branding have 4 cores and they are designed to utilize more energy that’s why they are not installed in energy efficient laptops.

For more info on the processor, refer to the following links:-  https://www.intel.in/content/www/in/en/processors/processor-numbers.html 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Core

Configuration

This section widely depends and defines the purpose of the laptop, how you are planning to use the machine. As per our observation, most laptop users are generally students and multitasking business class people or entrepreneurs. However, worry not if you don’t fall into aforeshared categories, there is a generic class of laptops. Moving on, check out the factors you must consider to buy a good laptop based on the usage:

Categories defined: –

  • Are you a business person or an entrepreneur who is also a frequent traveler? Consider these things: –

      • Lightweight (Below 1.7kg+)
      • Long battery life (8+ hours)
      • Should be quite versatile
      • Processor i7
      • 8 GB minimum RAM DDR4
      • 512 GB or 1TB SSD
      • 14-inch, 13-inch FULL HD 1080p IPS screen
      • Quick support from OEMs for any emergencies
  • Are you a student?

    1. Be specific to your course that you are going to enroll yourself into or are already enrolled in.
    2. If you are going to be an architect, designer or video editor, you should consider these things (for PRODUCTIVITY and CONTENT CREATION usage)
      • Minimum quad-core Processors – i5, i7, RYZEN 7 latest generations
      • At least 2GB dedicated graphics memory GDDR5 (Nvidia GTX 1050 or 1050Ti or higher)
      • Minimum 8GB RAM DDR4
      • Prefer SSD over HDD (1 TB HDD + 128 GB SSD)
      • 4 cell battery
      • 15-inch or 17-inch FULL HD 1080p IPS screen (anti-glare)
      • Browse gaming series laptops
      • Large trackpad

If you are going to be in management and honors courses like BA, BBA, BCOM, MBA, etc then consider these things (for DAY to DAY general purpose usage)

      • Processor i3, A9, Ryzen 3 Dual core
      • RAM 4GB DDR4
      • 1TB HDD
      • 2 cell battery
      • 14-inch or 15-inch
      • No dedicated graphics card require.

If you are a computer science graduate, engineer (all fields), BCA or in any other programming field then consider these things (for MULTIMEDIA usage)

      • Processor i5, i7, Ryzen 7 Dual core, and quad core
      • Good keyboard
      • IPS screen with anti-glare coating
      • 8gb RAM DDR4
      • 1 TB HDD
      • 2-cell or 4-cell battery
      • 4 to 6 hours of battery life

For any other student who wants to browse and research web these things should be considered (for basic browsing usage)

      • Pentium, Celeron, A4, A6, i3, Ryzen 3 class of processor
      • Any type of screen prefer 14 and 15-inch
      • 2GB or 4GB RAM DDR4
      • Ubuntu OS or Chrome OS or any other Linux flavor OS
      • 1 TB HDD

For gamers, entry-level gaming laptops range from 50K to 65k, which depends on time to time sale on online platforms like Flipkart and Amazon. Things to be considered before buying a gaming laptop are:- (for ENTRY LEVEL GAMING usage)

      • NVIDIA graphics card 1050 or 1050ti or even higher or AMD VEGA SERIES
      • 128GB SSD a with 1 TB 7200RPM HDD
      • 1080P anti-glare screen with high refresh rate 120Hz
      • 8 to 16 GB DDR4 RAM
      • Dual cooling fan for optimal heat dissipation
      • Intel 8th gen quad-core processors or 7th gen HQ processors

These laptops are not just for gaming purpose, you can even use it for content creation and other high-end productivity tasks like video editing, animation AFX creation, etc. That’s why we will suggest that both the architecture and designer students should also consider going through gaming laptops too while purchasing and vice versa for gamers.

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