“Buy laptop computers like a pro?” Is that something you can pull off? Of course, “yes.” All you need is knowledge of the things for which to look. In all of that, the laptop price may not be such a big factor. If anything, any price point is likely to have laptop brands with different features.
In this write-up, we provide an in-depth look at the things you should look for in a laptop. Read on if you are looking for business laptops, gaming laptops, or student laptops. We are going to point you in the right direction.
What is the Best Laptop Operating System?
Laptop computers come with different operating systems. For instance, you may want to buy laptop computers with macOS, Windows, or Chrome OS. Each of these options comes with its advantages and disadvantages. We look at them in greater detail below:
1. macOS Catalina
The macOS Catalina is the exclusive operating system in all MacBooks. By and large, it is a great operating system with functionality similar to that of Windows 10. A MacBook comes with an intuitive user interface. Because of that, it is easy to navigate through the programs and documents.
On the desktop, there is a dock with apps. In many ways, it similar to the taskbar and start menu on a Windows desktop. Overall, a MacBook is extremely easy to use, owing to its simplified structure. However, if you want a touchscreen laptop, you have to look elsewhere. That’s because Apple is yet to make a MacBook with a touchscreen. The following are examples of MacBooks.
1. Apple MacBook Air (13-Inch, 8BG RAM, 256 SSD)
2. Apple MacBook Air 13.3” with Retina Display
3. New Apple MacBook Pro 16-Inch, 16GB RAM, 512 SSD
4. (Renewed) Apple MacBook Air MD760LL/A 13.3-Inch
5. Apple MacBook Air MD231LL/A 13.3-Inch
2. Windows 10
Even though there are many versions of the operating system from Microsoft, Windows 10 is the latest. It is the most flexible operating system given the laptop brands that use them. Therefore, it is not uncommon to find it on the cheapest notebook as well as the most expensive laptop.
The start menu on Windows 10 is simpler than Windows 7 and 8. Also, Windows 10 comes with the Cortana voice assistant ease navigation. You should buy laptop computers with Windows 10 for use in your business, research, or as a student.
Unlike macOS, Windows is an open-ended operating system with frequent updates. Also, Windows makes it possible for you to install different types of software. Because of that, laptops with Windows are more functional. Besides, they exist in numerous laptop brands – you have to look at numerous other features to pick the best. The following are examples of Windows Computers.
1. HP 15-Inch FHD Laptop, 10 Gen Core i5-1035G1
2. Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop, 15.6-Inch
3. Microsoft Surface Pro 6 (Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 128 GB)
4. 2020 HP 17.3” Laptop Computer
5. ASUS ZenBook 13 Ultra-Slim Laptop – 13.3” full-HD Wideview
3. Chrome OS
Laptop computers running on the Chrome OS are the cheapest. Examples of laptop brands offering Chromebooks include Samsung, Acer, Google, and so on. The Chrome OS is simpler and more secure. However, it has limited functionality compares to macOS and Windows.
It has a user interface with an application menu and a desktop just like Windows. Additionally, it provides for the dragging of windows. Its biggest downside is tying users down to the Chrome browser. Also, its apps only work when hooked to the internet. For instance, you have to connect to Google Docs to edit word documents.
The most attractive attribute of Chromebooks is the laptop price. Buy laptop computers of this kind if you want to browse the internet, check mail, and use social media. Importantly, this category includes mini-laptops with good battery life. Mostly, they are listed among laptop deals for students. The following are examples of Chromebooks.
1. Samsung 11.6” Chromebook with Intel N3060
2. HP Chromebook 14-Inch Laptop with 180-Degree Swivel
3. Lenovo Chromebook C330 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop
4. ASUS Chromebook Flip C436 2-in-1 Laptop, 14”
5. Google PixelBook Go M3 Chromebook 8GB/64GB Just Black
6. HP Chromebook 14-Inch HD Laptop, Intel Celeron N4000
Which Laptop Type Is the Best?
There are many types of laptops based on the price level, size, and functionality. If you are looking for laptop deals, you should pay attention to the price. Otherwise, you should be more concerned with the size and functionality.
Entry-Level Vs. Mainstream Vs. Premium Laptops
The type of laptop you buy depends on the usage level where you are. For instance, you could be an entry-level buyer or student. Or, you may want a laptop that puts you in the mainstream. If you have money to spare, then buying a premium laptop is the way to go.
1. What Is An Entry-Level Laptop?
Entry-level laptops are available at $600 or less. Manufacturers have to compromise on key features to offer laptops at such low prices. For example, most entry-level laptops lack large RAM and powerful processors. As a result, they cannot act as fully-fledged gaming laptops. However, they are great for internet browsing, word processing, and other basic tasks.
They mostly appear among laptops for sale listings due to their lower prices. Therefore, anyone looking for laptop deals should expect to find an entry-level laptop. Some of the best entry-level laptops include Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14” Laptop, ASUS VivoBook L203MA Laptop, and Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop.
2. What Is a Mainstream Laptop?
Mainstream laptops are costlier than their entry-level counterparts. Therefore, they pack the best features when it comes to hardware and software capabilities. However, at a price ranging from $600 to $1,000, a premium laptop computer isn’t the best functionally.
For instance, they may not have the super-charged graphics chips in their premium counterparts. However, this category has the largest variety when it comes to laptop brands. Some of the features of laptop computers in this category include:
- Great displays
- Powerful processors
- Aesthetic appeal
- Lightweight and portable
- Greater battery life
Mainstream laptops may have some of these features, but not all of them. Therefore, you should always look for the right combination of factors before investing in a laptop. Examples include Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop, Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop, and Razer Blade 15 Gaming Laptop.
3. What Is a Premium Laptop?
If you no longer care about laptop deals, the right category for you is this. Characteristically, a premium laptop is one that packs all the features for which you are looking. Compared to the other two types, these laptops are very powerful. They may have the following characteristics:
- The longer battery life of one day or more
- Powerful processors
- High-capacity RAM
- Larger storage, usually SSD
- Larger screens and display resolution
- Premium built quality
- Dolby Audio speakers for gaming
You can buy laptop computers in this category if you are ready to spend more than $1,000. With that, you get the best possible laptop you can buy anywhere. Besides, this category contains a wide variety of computer laptops. Therefore, it is possible to choose one that meets all your needs.
Whether you are looking for a business laptop or gaming laptop, you will find it here. Examples of laptop brands in the premium range include ASUS ZenBook 15 Laptop and 2020 HP Pavilion 15.6-Inch FHD 1080P. Incidentally, MacBooks belong to this category. Examples include Apple MacBook Air 13.3” and Apple 16” MacBook Pro, two models that fall in the highest end.
Two-in-1 laptops vs. ultra-books
Do you need a two-in-one or convertible laptop? Or, would an Ultrabook serve you better? That is a question to which you must find an answer. Otherwise, it will be difficult for you to buy laptop computers of the right kind.
What’s A Two-In-One Laptop?
A two-in-one or convertible is one that can function both as a laptop and tablet. As such, it falls in the touchscreen laptop category. The construction of a two-in-one laptop may come in any of the following forms:
- One in which the keyboard folds behind the screen to form a tablet. Conversely, you can unfold the keyboard to use the device like a laptop.
- A two-in-one laptop may also have a completely detachable keyboard. Therefore, detaching it will create a tablet, and re-attaching it will give you a laptop.
Convertible laptops usually feature smaller screens of 13 inches or less. However, they are more versatile when it comes to functionality. The main drawbacks of convertible laptops include high prices and heavier weight. If you must buy laptop computers in this category, consider whether you like it more as a laptop or tablet. That’s because some devices could be better laptops than tablets, and vice versa.
What Is An Ultrabook?
An Ultrabook is an ultra-light, portable laptop that was aptly named so by Intel. Additionally, they are powerful and rely on Intel core processors and SSD storage. Instead of metallic finishes, Ultrabook features clamshell bodies. They are the best laptops for students and office workers looking for a machine they can use on-the-go.
Business Laptops Vs. Gaming Laptops
In this category, we discuss laptops in terms of their functions. You have to decide whether you want a business laptop or a gaming laptop.
What is a business laptop?
Simply, a business laptop is one that’s designed to serve various functions in business—for example, laptop computers with the professional version of Windows 10. You can buy laptop computers in this category if you are a writer, graphic designer, photographer, or videographer.
Business laptops usually pack a lot of attractive features, including the following:
- A powerful processor, usually Intel Dual Core
- The large SSD storage capacity of at least 1TB
- Large-capacity RAM (random access memory) of 16GB or more
- Availability of USB and HDMI ports
- Powerful graphics cards
- High-resolution usually display full-HD
- Wireless connectivity in terms of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
- Operating systems such as macOS or Windows 10
- Fingerprint readers and other security features
You can buy laptop computers in this category of you want a dedicated workhorse for your work. However, you should be prepared to pay slightly more than the price of a laptop for students. Examples include the Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop and ASUS VivoBook 15 Thin and Light Laptop.
What Is A Gaming Laptop?
A gaming laptop is one that you buy to use specifically for playing games. For that reason, it is usually a powerful machine that provides the highest possible performance. Gaming laptops should have the following characteristics:
- Top-notch graphics cards usually like NVIDIA, ATi Mobility FireGL V3200, ATi Mobility Radeon 9700, and Intel Graphics Media.
- High-capacity RAM of 16GB or more
- A high-speed processor, usually Intel Core 2 Duo and 2GHz or more
- High-resolution display, usually 17 inches
- A high-capacity hard drive to store your favorite games
- Powerful speakers with great sound quality
- A backlit keyboard
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
- Several ports including USB, Ethernet, and HDMI
Gaming laptops usually fall in the premium category. For that reason, the price can be forbidding. Also, they weigh more than their business counterparts. Another drawback is the battery draining high-resolution display. Therefore, you should expect a longer battery life from a gaming laptop. Examples include the Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop, and Razer Blade 15 Gaming Laptop.
The Hardware Aspects of a Laptop
A laptop computer consists of the hardware and the software. Hardware refers to the components that make the physical part of the laptop. Because of it, a laptop can either be less powerful or more powerful. As such, laptops with better hardware are usually more expensive.
If you want a machine for business or gaming, then buy laptop computers with top-notch hardware. However, basic tasks like word processing and internet surfing do not require powerful laptop hardware. The following are some of the most important hardware components of a laptop.
1. What Processor or CPU Is the Best?
The central processing unit (CPU) is the engine of the computer. Consequently, it carries out most processes happening inside the laptop. It opens files, loads software, and so on. Better processors can quickly process more data and run demanding programs such as games.
One of the leading manufacturers of processors is Intel. In its stable, there are Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, and Core i9 processors. The strength processor will increase as you move from Core i3 to Core i9. In that case, the most powerful laptop is one with a Core i9 processor. For each of these processors, there are many generations, the latest being the 10th generation.
2. What Graphics Should A Laptop Have?
In a laptop, the graphics card determines the quality of the image it can display. Mostly, laptops brands integrate the graphics card on the motherboard of the machine. Therefore, it may not be possible for you to do an upgrade.
Graphics cards are available in different classes – from class one to class five. Class one processors are the latest and most powerful. In this class, you will find examples such as the NVIDIA Quadro RTX 6000 for high-end laptops. Class five graphics cards have been around for more than ten years—for example, NVIDIA GeForce4 4200 Go, which is more than eighteen years old.
3. Is Random Access Memory (RAM) Important?
The Random Access Memory (RAM) is what a laptop needs to store information for immediate access. Modern laptops may have RAM ranging from 4GB to 68GB. In that case, the higher the RAM, the more the information a computer can hold temporarily.
Also, the size of the RAM may determine the function to which you can put a laptop. Laptop computers with smaller RAM can only perform basic word processing and internet surfing. However, those on the higher end can act as gaming laptops.
4. Does a Laptop’s Audio Quality Matter?
Yes. Before you buy laptop computers in any category, you should check the audio quality. If you don’t, you may end up requiring a wireless speaker. When it comes to audio quality, cheaper laptops tend to be poorer than their high-end counterparts. For that reason, the latter is the best gaming laptop on the market.
5. How Much Storage Capacity Should A Laptop Have?
The storage space refers to the total capacity of a laptop to hold data. For instance, it is the place where you store programs, documents, pictures, music, and videos. Usually, the storage is the internal drive of the laptop.
Storage can be in the form of a Hard Disk Drive (HDD) or a Solid State Drive (SSD). In that case, HDD is the old form of storage. It consists of movable parts and takes time to load files and programs. On the other hand, SSD exists in solid form and can load files and programs more quickly. You may want to consider that as you buy laptop computers of different types.
6. Does a Touchscreen Matter?
Several years since the introduction of the touchscreen, it is now available on different types of laptop computers. For that matter, you may want to buy a touchscreen laptop. Good enough, most laptop brands have models with that important feature. Most of them feature either Windows 10 or Chrome OS. The two operating systems provide user interfaces that are perfect for a touchscreen.
7. How Many Ports Should A Laptop Have?
Laptops feature several ports that help to enhance their functionalist – for example, USB, HDMI, VGA, auxiliary ports. Each of these ports serves a purpose that makes the user experience better.
USB ports can be of different types—for example, USB Type-A, which the oldest technology. Newer laptops feature USB Type-C, which can transfer high amounts of data at once. Also, USB Type-C ports can charge devices and transfer high-definition video. Even better, you may want a laptop with Thunderbolt 3 (the latest version of USB Type-C).
HDMI (High Definition Multi-Media Interface) can connect a laptop to a projector, monitor, or speaker. On the other hand, VGA (Video Graphics Array) is for connecting your laptop to a monitor. Finally, the auxiliary port is for connecting a speaker.
Are You Looking For Laptop Deals?
Could you be in search of the best laptop deals? That’s a question you must answer before you go to buy laptop computers of various kinds. Depending on the month, you are likely to come across various online laptops for sale sections. At that time, you are likely to get a drastically reduced laptop price.
Watch out for the back-to-school season in august, black Friday in November, and several months following a big release. Also, several retailers usually offer clearance sales at designated times of the year. Or, you could take advantage of in-mail coupons from online retailers.