- Laptop Buying Guide – 5 Important Things To Consider Before You Buy
- 1. Budget – What You Can Expect?
- 2. Operating System – Windows, Mac OS, Or Chrome OS
- 3. Laptop Sizes
- 4. Types Of Laptops
- 5. Specs – What You Need To Know About Hardware?
- What Is The Best Time To Buy A Laptop?
- Final Word
Whether you are a fan of Windows or Mac or want to try something new like Chrome or Linux. But before you decide and spend your hard earned money on any laptop, you should know what are the other things you need to look for in a laptop.
Apart from the operating system, there are a few more important things that you need to consider. Like, does it have the processor and RAM you want? Are there enough ports to connect your peripherals? There are few more things that you need to weigh which we will see in this article.
Here in this article, I will guide you on what you should look for in a laptop in 2022. These days you’ll get lots of options in Windows and Chrome OS, while Apple limits their MacBooks to a limited number of specifications.
If you want to buy the perfect laptop for you then I suggest you to go through this article which will help you to find a suitable laptop for yourself as per your needs and budget.
Ok, then let’s have a look at this in-depth laptop buying guide.
Laptop Buying Guide – 5 Important Things To Consider Before You Buy
1. Budget – What You Can Expect?
If you are going to buy a new laptop then you will get from $300 to $3000 price range and even more than that.
These days you will get a laptop in different price ranges, so now there is no need to spend a specific amount to purchase a new laptop. But the thing is that as per the budget and configuration you will get performance.
Already if you’ve set your budget then it’s good, because you can easily filter out the options to choose the best one which is suitable for you. Let’s take a look at what you’ll get at what price range.
1. $400 – $600:
In this price bracket, you’ll easily get a laptop with an Intel core i3 or i5 processor or a similar AMD processor, 4GB to 8GB RAM, and 256GB SSD.
These specs are decent for school/college students, business persons, or anyone who doesn’t want to do high intensive work on their laptop. This is one of the common price ranges for many and this is why you will get lots of options in this budget.
2. $600 – $1000:
In this budget, you will get a little better specs, a high-resolution display, good build quality, and amazing features than the previous budget laptops.
Let’s talk about what specs you will get in this price tag, i5 or i7 processor, 8GB or 16GB RAM, 256GB or 512GB SSD, and 2GB or 4GB of a dedicated graphics card. Also, this is the budget where you’ll get to see 2-in-1 convertible laptops and gaming laptops.
3. $1000 – $1500:
This is a budget where you will find some mainstream laptops that you can use for multi-purpose. If you are concerned about what specs you’ll get then it’ll come with an i7 or equivalent AMD processor, 16GB RAM, 4GB GTX 3650 dedicated graphics card, and 512GB SSD. Also, if you are a fan of MacBooks then this is the price range where Apple’s entry-level MacBook Air you’ll get.
4. $1500 – $2000:
You can expect a powerful machine in this $1500 to $2000 budget. These powerful laptops will come equipped with the fastest i7 processor, 16GB or 32GB RAM, and a powerful GTX or RTX 6GB dedicated graphics card, which can easily handle heavy workloads such as video editing, gaming, programming, app development, music editing, etc.
2. Operating System – Windows, Mac OS, Or Chrome OS
If you are going to buy a laptop for the first time or you have no technical knowledge about anything then the operating system is also an important thing which you’ll need to consider when you are going to buy a laptop.
Normally, you have heard about Windows, macOS, and Chrome OS. Let’s talk about this operating system in detail.
One of the most popular and used operating systems is Windows. Almost all the games and software are compatible with Windows OS rather than macOS and Chrome OS.
When you’ll ask your friends and colleagues to suggest some laptops then most people will suggest you a laptop which comes with Windows OS.
Well, macOS is only available in Apple’s products such as MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac. If we compare the interface of Windows and macOS then both are amazing in their own place.
The best part about macOS is that you can easily connect all your Apple devices and get your work done seamlessly.
3. Chrome OS:
The Chrome OS is not as popular as Windows and macOS. If you want to do very basic tasks and looking for a cheaper laptop then you will get notebooks that come with Chrome OS.
If we talk about the interface then it is a little different from the Windows OS. The latest Chromebooks allow you to install all the Android apps, so that you can enjoy your mobile apps in a notebook also.
3. Laptop Sizes
As per the size, you can get an idea of how portable your laptop is. Normally, you will get to see laptops with 15.6-inch screen sizes and this is a common size that most of the people prefer. However, if you frequently travel with your laptop then you might need to go with a smaller size laptop. So, without any further delay let’s check it out.
1. 11-12 Inches:
These are one of the smallest sizes of laptops which are available in the market and it weighs maybe around 2.5 to 3 pounds. It will be a good option for you if you want to do some light work on that device and don’t want large size display.
2. 13-14 Inches:
This laptop size is decent which gives you both portability and usability. If we talk about its weight then it may be around 3.5 to 4.5 pounds which makes it a perfect travel partner. In this display size, you will get some of the good options and also if you are a MacBook lover then you can go for a 13-inch MacBook.
3. 15-16 Inches:
As I have said already at the beginning of this section that 15.6-inch laptop size is one the most common and you will get many options than any other laptop size. Like, you will get a laptop for some basic to heavy use. Actually, this is a perfect screen size to do your work comfortably without any kind of viewing issue.
4. 17 Inches & Above:
If you want to do your work from a single place and don’t want to move your laptop from the desk then you can consider the 17-inch or above screen size. Actually, this laptop size is heavy in weight and you can’t easily carry it with you. This is the perfect screen size for graphics designers, programmers, video editors, etc., who want to grasp more content on the screen.
4. Types Of Laptops
Before we move towards the specs, first you need to consider what kind of laptop you need. There are a few different types of laptops available in the market, which depends upon your usage and what you want such as gaming laptops, 2 in 1 laptop, ultrabooks, etc. So here are the types of laptops.
1. 2 In 1 Convertible Laptops:
Let’s begin with 2 in 1 convertible laptop, it is a combination of portability, convenience, and ease of use as a laptop or tablet.
By flipping the keyboard under the screen you can use it as a tablet. This is an amazing choice for those who want to use it in a bed for watching movies and at the same time to work comfortably on a desk.
Ultrabooks are normally known as cutting-edge of laptop designs which are often powerful also.
Generally, it is thin, lightweight, and portable also, which is best suitable for those who want a powerful notebook that they can easily carry around with them.
To make Ultrabook’s profile slim and sleek they make trade-offs of a few things. For instance, they never include such things like an optical drive, and its low-power CPU which gives long battery life is not much powerful. Intel’s mobile chips are becoming more stronger and capable enough to handle any kind of task which you’ll throw on it.
To spend on a laptop if you have more than a few hundred dollars then either you want a 2 in 1 laptop or an ultrabook. As these devices have both versatility and performance which makes them one of the best devices that you can use for basic to some heavy tasks.
3. Business Laptops:
The business laptops are a combination of Ultrabooks and 2 in 1s which try to create a balance between performance and portability.
As a business person you travel with your laptop for your meetings then you’ll definitely need a portable laptop which is also powerful enough to handle endless PowerPoint presentations and spreadsheets.
Apart from portability and powerful performance, it should be durable also which can save you from daily wear and tear while you are traveling with your laptop.
4. Gaming Laptops:
There are many who love to play games on a laptop then gaming laptop would be a good choice for them.
Actually, gaming laptops are built with powerful specs which can provide performance above any traditional laptops.
Comparatively, it is bulkier and thicker than other laptops and the reason is that to add a powerful CPU, dedicated graphics card, cooling system, and large battery, etc., they need a good space.
Apart from this, gaming laptops have a good quality display which has a high refresh rate. For connectivity, they come with plenty of port options so that anyone can use a gaming mouse, keyboard, external display, or any peripherals.
5. Specs – What You Need To Know About Hardware?
Well, specs are one of the most important factors in any laptop or desktop, because the performance of the laptop depends on that.
If you’ll go for a laptop with high-end specs then it’ll be more expensive. That’s why it is good to consider before making a purchase decision is that what kind of user you are and then choose a laptop with suitable hardware for that.
If you are buying a laptop for basic tasks like browsing the internet, checking emails, watching videos on YouTube, etc., then there is no need to spend money on high-end laptops. These are very basic tasks and any laptop can easily handle that which has some decent specs.
As we all know the processor or CPU (Central Processing Unit) is the brain of any laptop or computer which does almost all the tasks. When we need to access or do some changes in any file or data, the CPU executes that.
For instance, if your laptop has a powerful processor then it can be able to access and process more data and also at a faster speed.
However, there is a misconception in the market is that the CPU’s pure clock speed provides you the full power of that, it doesn’t work like that. So, if you have no idea about the CPU you’ll get with your laptop then just copy that CPUs model number (i5-11320H) and check it on the web.
The 11th generation is the latest in Intel’s core i3, i5, i7, and i9 chips. If you don’t know how to check which generation processor is this then you can see that in the chip number. For example, if you like a laptop which has an i5-11320H processor then after the dash first two digits are the CPU’s generation number.
So, in this example after the dash first two digits are 11, which means this is the 11th generation CPU. When it comes to AMD’s CPU then the third-generation Ryzen 5000 series is the latest generation chip but it is available in very few laptops.
Actually, this is the transition period of Intel’s 11th-Gen to 12th-Gen Alder Lake CPUs and for AMD’s Ryzen 5000 to Ryzen 6000 series. Each and every upgrade of the CPU comes with more impressive performance and features.
When we choose a laptop based on its processor then it is always better to go with the latest generation processor. The most important thing which you need to keep in mind when purchasing a laptop is that avoid a laptop with a few generations old CPU.
After the Processor or CPU, RAM (Random Access Memory) is another important part of any laptop as it handles multitasking on a laptop.
It also helps by opening the currently used apps and programs quickly by storing them as short-term memory.
This is a simple rule of thumb, the more your laptop RAM is the more number of apps you can run at a time without any lag. For most users who don’t do any heavy work, 8GB RAM is good enough.
But for those who are into graphics designing, app development, gaming, etc., which require more power to handle these intensive tasks then you can go with 16GB RAM or more.
3. Storage (HDD/SSD):
Many people when going to buy a laptop, the first question they ask is how much storage it has.
Actually, this is also an important factor in a laptop because as per its internal storage you’ll get an idea of how much data you can store in this device. Normally, 512GB of storage space is enough for almost all users.
Apart from the space, these days you’ll get to see two kinds of storage such as HDD and SSD. But nowadays all the latest laptops are moving towards the SSD over HDD. If we compare then the SSD is expensive and works faster than the HDD drive. Like, SSD boot the system fast and load the apps quicker than usual.
4. Graphics Card (GPU):
If you love to play games on your laptop or if you are in the designing field where you work on 3D files then a graphics card (GPU) helps to produce high graphics visuals and also render 3D files.
If you’ll go for low to mid-range laptops, then it comes equipped with integrated graphics which are good enough to handle some normal graphics related work.
However, to run all the high end graphics games and apps the laptops comes with a dedicated graphics card from Nvidia and AMD. Also, these GPUs have different versions of a chip which depend on budget.
If you’ll buy a laptop for under $1000 then you will get Nvidia’s GTX series GPU, while if you are going to buy a laptop for $1500-$2000 then you get RTX series GPU which is powerful.
For the display also, you need to consider a few things. First thing first, you will need to consider the resolution like HD, Full HD, 2K, or 4K resolution.
If you are a designer and want clear and sharper visuals then go for a display which has more pixels. After that, choose a laptop that comes with an OLED screen and an IPS panel which are good for designers as it delivers good visual quality.
Also, if you are a gamer then one more important thing for you is the refresh rate. The high the refresh rate of your laptop screen the more smooth visuals you’ll get while playing games. Like, a normal laptop display has a 60Hz of refresh rate but the latest gaming laptops have at least a 120Hz of refresh rate screen.
Last but not the least, if you want to connect external devices and accessories to your laptop then you’ll need a number of port options.
Normally, you’ll need common USB type-A ports and a type-C port to connect your Pendrive, external hard drive, mobile phone, etc.
If your router is not working and you want to access the internet then in that case you’ll need an Ethernet port. Moreover, if you are a photographer or do photo editing work who uses a microSD card and external display then you also require a card reader and an HDMI port.
So, before you purchase your laptop make sure that the laptop has all the required port options which you need in your daily routine.
What Is The Best Time To Buy A Laptop?
This is one of the common questions for buying a new laptop is when to buy a laptop to get the best deals. Following are the time to get the best deals on laptops:
1. Black Friday & Cyber Monday:
These two days in November are the best time to get one of the best deals on laptops which you can’t get over the year. However, to grab the deal, you need to act very fast in this period because the stock may run out quickly. If you’ll wait for Thanksgiving then maybe it’s hard to get the deal and laptop you want.
2. Back To School:
The discount on these days gets only for school and college-going students only. During this period, you’ll not get the deals that you get on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But still, there are some retailers that offer laptops at lower prices to help students who need a laptop for school.
So, these are some of the important points that you’ll need to refer to and consider while choosing a laptop for yourself. Regarding the specs, I recommend you go thoroughly while choosing a laptop or while comparing two laptops.
Firstly, check the processor and RAM which is suitable for your work or not. If you are in a field that requires a dedicated graphics card then check it out it is powerful enough or can handle your 3D graphics related work or not.
There are some laptops that offer an empty slot for RAM and storage for future upgrades. So, if you are purchasing a notebook which has a slot for an upgrade then you can purchase it and upgrade it later on if you are on a tight budget.
Apart from the specs, you also need to consider the warranty of your laptop which the company offers. Make sure that the company has a proper service center also in your nearest area if in case if you face any issues.
So, this is from my side and I hope that this laptop buying guide will help you to find the best suitable laptop for yourself. Still, if you are confused about which laptop is suitable for you then contact me via below comment box and tell me your requirement I’ll help you out.
Hello! I am Rick Johnson a senior editor & writer of this blog. By profession, I am a Computer Engineer and I am passionate about reviewing the latest laptops and writing about them. Here I am helping the people with my laptop expert team by creating the laptop buying guides for those who want to buy the best laptop as per their need and budget.