A laptop is a fourth life necessity after food, life, and shelter. Laptops are necessities to run demanding applications in the modern world to live a happy modern life. We have put up a Laptop Buying Guide to help you out pick the right laptop/notebook based upon your necessity or need to live a happy modern life.
Most people prefer Tablets and Smartphones over a Laptop. However, the best tool to do serious work, or pass the time out watching movies, or playing video games, or doing a fast and efficient research work is none other than a Laptop.
Laptops come in a wide range of sizes, features, prices and of course its capability to perform certain work. By the time you complete reading this article, you will have a clear vision of your needs for a laptop and the best one to pick in your current budget. So Hold On Tight!
Are You in Hurry?
If in case you are in extreme hurry and cannot wait for the best deals at certain online sales you must consider a few very important factors before making a new laptop purchase. We have summed up the important points from these detailed laptop buying guide into the section below.
- Display Size: 12.5 – 14 Inches Displays are best for the fact of usability and portability. No offense to larger screen sizes as it is favorable for someone who does not travel much and of course is not a kid.
- Budget: If your budget lies somewhere around ₹ 50,000, then you must lookout for the following specs/features.
- Intel Core i5 CPU OR AMD Ryzen 5 CPU
- 1920 x 1080 Display
- 8GB RAM
- SSD must be present along with a Hard Drive
- 2GB Graphics Card (Optional: Only for Gamers & Professionals).
- Battery: 8+ Hours is ideal for everyone and every use.
- LapTab (2 in 1 Notebook): You may consider buying a new laptop which can be used as a tablet by rotating the laptop by 360 Degree or detaching screen and keyboard apart.
- OS: There are two operating system giants Windows and macOS which are widely used but Chrome OS is another emerging OS giant. OS selection depends upon your taste and experience.
Finalize Operating System: Windows, macOS, Chrome OS
This question might be easy to answer if you used all types of OS and utterly difficult if you haven’t. We have set up an overview of each operating system along with its pros and cons in the section below.
Common operating system as mentioned is Windows, Chrome OS and macOS (For Apple Laptops Only). This summary of each OS will help you select one based upon your preferences.
Most Popular and Versatile operating systems in the past and the present is Windows OS. Windows has many makes and models started from Windows 95 and Windows 10 (Present Day). Windows operating systems can be availed on the laptop ranging from ₹ 10,000 and above.
Some of the features of Windows 10 are mentioned below.
- Ability to switch between a Tablet Mode and Desktop without actually have a 360 Degree
- Cortana Digital Assistance
- Structured Start Menu along with application tiles
- In-Built Wireless Cast Screening Option
Windows 10 is a successor of Windows 7 and 8 with tons of updates and improvements mainly on the security and privacy and also to improve UI and user experience to keep them engaged.
Apple macOS High Sierra
Apple’s macOS often seems difficult to use at first glance. But the Apple macOS is very similar to Windows 10 only difference is UI. Apple uses different user interface which has replaced the taskbar of windows with Apps Dock and Microsoft’s Cortana with Apple’s Siri.
Since Apple has a wide variety of IoT Devices, Apple’s iWatch has a feature to be in-synced with Apple Laptop and then the laptop can be unlocked by a watch. On the other hand, Apple iPhone can be used to make Payment using Apple Pay, text or call using the laptop. Apple Laptop misses out on Touchscreen display as windows have a long variety in this section.
UPDATE: Rumours Says that Apple New Mac OS Catalina will have a feature to bring iPads app over to macOS.
Chrome OS might be an underdog in the operating system section. User Interface of Chrome OS is very similar to the Windows 10 but has a limited scope of customization and usability.
Chrome OS is like windows 10 but the only main app which can be used is Google Chrome. The downside of Apple macOS is that “Web Apps” do not work well when you are offline and results in bad user experience. However, Google is consistently working to fix this issue and solve the problem.
As Chrome OS is one of the secured OS out there in the market. Chrome is ideal for the use of Surfing the Web, Using Social Networking Sites or even chat online then this would the right choice for you as it is light, thin, offers good battery life and all of it this at low price tag.
Chrome OS is ideal for kids as they cannot infect its malicious programs and it offers more functionality than tablets. An Ideal chrome must have 1920 X 1080 Resolution Display, 4GB RAM, 16GB Storage.
Should You Buy 2 in 1?
The latest laptops have the ability to function as both a laptop and with a few tweaks in it can perform as a tablet, make few more tweaks and it can function in a tent shape. Such laptops fall into the category of 2 in 1 laptops.
There are two kinds of 2 in 1 laptop, first, in these type of screen detaches from the keyboard and it performs like a tablet. Second, here laptop rotates to a total of 360 degrees to make a tablet.
2 in 1 laptops is generally for someone who has to prepare presentations and present them using a tablet. Maybe someone who has to make use of the tablet in his/her research while working on a laptop.
However, if you have no use of 2 in 1 laptop what so ever then there is nothing bad in having such a laptop as it will usually provide you more usability for your money.
NOTE: If you are buying a 2 in 1 laptop go for a bending/rotating one as it has more battery life than a detachable one.
Size Should Be Your Concern
If Portability is a need for you in your new laptop, believe screen size will play an important in the matter of portability. We have categorized laptops by their screen sizes:
- 11 – 12 Inches: Lighter and Thinner Laptops have a screen size of 11 – 12 inches and a weight of around 1.52 Kilograms.
- 13 – 14 Inches: You will get a great package of portability and usability, better if it weighs around 2 Kilograms.
- 15 – 16 Inches: Go for this screen size only if you do not want to carry your minicomputer around very often as it weighs on a higher side of 2.5 – 3 Kilograms.
- 17 – 18 Inches: Forget about the portability for this screen size notebook as it is meant for gaming purposes only and mostly remains on the desk.
Suggestion: Go for 14 Inches Laptop as it serves as a portable laptop and can perform as a 17 – 18 Inches laptop.
Keyboard and Touchpad
There many layouts for keyboard and touchpad. But you need to first identify your use of keyboard and touchpad in your laptop, whether it is lots of typing or just surfing the internet.
There are three layout for keyboard and touchpad when it comes to notebooks. Laptops have the following keyboard and touchpad layout, choose which suits the best to your use and reach.
- Normal Layout: Full set of alphabetical keys and number keys along with other character keys. This layout is generally seen in the 14 Inches Notebook.
- Full Keyboard Layout: It has all the properties inherited from a normal keyword layout but it gets an additional number pad on the right to perform Excel calculation faster.
- Horizontal Design: This layout has a normal keyboard and its properties but the number pad here is replaced by a Touchpad. This layout is generally seen in gaming laptops.
Laptops consists of many components all together such as RAM, ROM, SSD, CPU, Hard Drive and Graphics chip. Notebook specification details tab might be confusing to you as it may look equation from physics used in chemistry, LOL!
Jokes aside, we will help you understand the specification of the notebooks in a simple way. You just need to go through the section below.
CPU/Processors: The “Mind” of your notebook, processors play an important role in the performance of the laptop. However, the cheapest CPU can be enough for you depending upon your needs and work.
- Intel Core i9: Successor of the Core i7 as the new top-of-the-line CPU from Intel, provide faster performance than any other processing chipset. It is available only on premium notebooks, gaming consoles and high-end gaming laptops, Core i9 Processor should be taken into consideration if you have plans to use powerful apps and programs.
- Intel Core i7: Preceding the Intel Core i9 is Intel Core i7 as performance line processing units. Core i7 has two processor series H and Y. Core i7 Models which ends which ‘H’ in them is higher-level CPU and one ending with ‘Y’ are fairly low performing CPU in the i7 category itself. Go for the latest generation of Core i7 which Intel Core i7 8th Generation.
- Intel Core i5: Intel Core i5 is widely used as it is the mid-range processor that offers the best-balanced performance for the price paid. There are three kinds of i5 processors one which ends which ‘U’ in them, one with ‘Y’ and last one with ‘H’ or ‘HQ’. I would recommend to go for ‘U’ if you are on a fixed budget otherwise go for ‘HQ’ and completely ignore the ‘Y’ versions.
- Intel Core i3: Intel Core i3 is just a step below the Core i5 and so is the performance and price. If you are on a very tight budget then and then only go for Intel core i3 otherwise we recommend you to go for Intel core i5.
- AMD Ryzen: AMD Ryzen is the processor that are underdogs in
the CPU world as these AMD Ryzen series is made to compete with the Intel
Core i5 and Intel Core i7. We would recommend you to look out for AMD
Ryzen Processor in your selected notebook to get similar performance and
save some money.
- AMD Ryzen 5 is Equivalent to Intel Core i5
- AMD Ryzen 7 is Equivalent to Intel Core i7
- AMD A, FX or E Series: These processors are found on low-cost notebooks. Laptops are generally made to surf the web or use social networking sites or even to chat online. You cannot rely on such a processor to even work on moderate tasks.
- Intel Pentium / Celeron: This processor can no longer cope up with the advanced web browsers or document editing software as this processor offers the slowest performance. Go for Intel Core i3 or Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5.
- Intel Xeon: If you have plans to do a top-of-the-line video editing, use professional software used in engineering or in industries or something which requires high processing power, Intel Xeon is the one for you. This processor is expensive of all the processor and so it is the heaviest and power-consuming one.
Clock Speed: After you finalize a processor-based upon your preferences and needs you just need to do one last step lookout for the default Clock Speed of the processor which may look like “1.3 GHz, 1.6 GHz, 2.0 GHz…” You need to have at least have a clock speed of 1.6 GHz, of course, the more the better.
RAM: Cheapest laptop comes with a minimum of 4GB RAM and as your spending capacity rises so should the amount of RAM. Today, if you are getting a new notebook you must get one with a minimum of 8GB RAM and considering your work plan you have options for 16GB RAM, 32GB RAM, and 64GB RAM at max.
Drive (Hard Drive): Storage drive performance is as important as the CPU.
Better the hard drive better the performance you get. If you are on a higher
side of a budget try to get a solid-state drive (SSD). SSD’s are expensive if
your budget is limited try to get the following possible combinations of SSD
- 128GB SSD + 1TB/512GB HDD
- 256GB SSD + 512GB HDD
- 512GB SSD + 512GB HDD
Higher the pixels in your laptop’s display higher is the display quality.
Unfortunately, some budget laptops have 1366 x 768 displays and so a small part
of business laptops. However, if you can afford a display panel that runs at
1920 x 1080, also known as Full HD, then go for it. Following is the list of
all the display panels available as your budget rises.
- 1920 X 1080 Pixels
- 2560 X 1600 Pixels
- 3200 X 1800 Pixels
- 3840 X 2160 Pixels (4K Display)
NOTE: Higher the pixels higher is the power consumption and lesser battery life.
- Touch Screen: If you need a touch screen laptop not many options are available as you will mainly get a touch screen laptop if you opt-out for a 2 in 1 Laptop or you will have to dig deep to find out a touch screen laptop which is not 2 in 1.
Chip: This section is only for those individuals who have plans to play
High-End PC Games, do high-resolution video editing, or work on a software of
3D Modelling. You need to have a graphics card from AMD or NVIDIA or any other
graphics chip manufacturing company. CPUs aren’t able to operate on high-end
jobs and they need additional support which is provided by the graphics
processor. Following is the list of graphics card with its range.
- Low-End PC: Nividia MX250 or GTX 1650 GPUs
- Mid-Range PC: RTX 2050 or RTX 2060
- High-End PC: RTX 2070 or RTX 2080
Ports are something which the majority of people ignore while buying a laptop.
But you my dear friend should not repeat those mistakes. You must lookout for
the following ports while buying a new laptop.
- USB 3.0
- USB 2.0
- HDMI Port
- Ethernet Port (Business Laptop Should Have)
- Card Reading Slot
- C Type Port
- DVD/Blu-ray Drives: Many notebooks come without an optical drive as it is now outdated and many people prefer the use of USB, Cloud Storage, Mobile Storage over storing data on a DVD/Blu-ray Disk. So I would recommend going for a laptop without an optical drive.
Battery Life shouldn’t be your concern if your only purpose for your new notebook is for gaming then almost all the time your laptop will be plugged in for charge. Apart from the purpose of gaming if you need a notebook for work then you must look out for at least 7 – 8 Hours of battery life.
DO NOT trust the words of manufacturer as they all claim to give the battery backup of 8+ hours but it is not the case. Either ask for the review to your college or look out for our reviews.
Respect Your Budget
Since notebooks have a large customer base so you can easily get a used laptop somewhere around ₹ 16,000. Try to add a little more amount to your budget as you can get better performance, better quality, and of course better display with just a little addition to your budget.
Below we have shared what each budget range has to offer you.
- ₹ 16,000 – ₹ 18,000: With the least budget comes the least processing power and the least amount of storage. You can easily get a Chromebook (Google OS Based Laptop), or low-end Windows operating systems. Generally, these notebooks are for kids who do not play high-end games.
- ₹ 20,000 – ₹ 40,000: This is
the budget of majority and I respect that. You can easily get the following
specification for this budget.
- Processor: Intel Core i3 – Core i5 or AMD A8 Chip – AMD Ryzen 5
- RAM & ROM: 4 – 8 GB RAM & Up to 1000 GB (1 TB) Storage
- Display: HD Display & 1920 X 1080 FHD Display
- Value For Money Brands: Acer & Asus
- ₹ 40,000 – ₹ 65,000: As you
raise your budget to enter into the premium segment where you are offered metal
design and few more additional features stated below
- Processor: Intel Core i5 – Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 5 and Above
- RAM & ROM: 8 GB RAM & Up to 1000 GB (1 TB) Storage + SSD
- Display: 1920 X 1080 FHD & FHD+ Display
- Value For Money Brands: Acer, Asus, HP, Lenovo
- ₹ 65,000+: This budget is
where you will get top of the line notebooks with outstanding design and specs
- Processor: Intel Core i7 – Core i9 or AMD Ryzen 7 and Above
- RAM & ROM: 8 – 16 GB RAM & Up to 1000 GB (1 TB) Storage + SSD
- Display: 1920 X 1080 FHD+ Display & Retina Display
- Value For Money Brands: Acer, Asus, HP, Lenovo, MSI, Apple, Dell
Invest In Right Brand
Investing in the right brand or notebook manufacturer is a very crucial step as if you are a short-tempered individual you should look out for brands that provide timely and strong after-sales services to its consumers such as Apple (Ranked #1 For After-Sale Services).
Here is the list of #1 Brands in each category.
- Best Customer Support: Apple
- Best For Gaming: Razer
- Best Body Design: Asus
- Best Selection: Acer
- Best At Innovating: Dell
- Best Apple Alternative: Microsoft
Last but not the least do not forget to check reviews from the customers and reviews dropped by us on BomTechet after selecting a laptop and before making the final payment for the same.
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