Mobile computing isn’t a luxury anymore — these days, having ready access to a laptop is a flat out necessity.
Whether you need to edit video on the go, email your boss, play games, or just keep in touch with family, performance and portability come together when you pick the right notebook.
Although prices have come down, laptops are still a big investment. That’s why you should be confident that you’ve found the perfect laptop to fit your needs and budget before checking out!
Part I. Quick Tips Cheat Sheet
Looking for the tl;dr version that rounds up the most important elements of buying a laptop? You can find much more in-depth steps and explanations below, or just peruse the highlights here:
What To Look For In A Laptop
- Look for any device rated in the 8 – 10 hour range for battery life.
- Pick a model with a screen in the 12 – 14 inch range for the most portability and lightest carrying weigh.
- Go with a hybrid 2-in-1 model or anything with a detachable keyboard if you need a touch screen and want more portability. To save more money, pick a clamshell instead.
- A minimum of 3 USB ports and an HDMI is standard, but if you don’t mind using an adapter a single USB-C port can work as well.
Finding The Right Operating System
- Picking a Chromebook is the perfect choice if you want a cheap machine mostly for web browsing and using some light apps.
- Selecting a Windows 10 device is the way to go if you need a broader suite of programs or want to game.
- Buying a laptop with the Mac OS is a great option if you want high build quality and don’t care for all the bloatware that comes with Windows.
Choosing Specs Based On Budget
- To spend in the $200 – $500 range, expect a budget machine for web browsing and word processing only and don’t accept anything with less than 4GB of RAM. Make sure to get at least 500GB of hard drive space, unless you are picking a Chromebook with a smaller SSD.
- To buy a mid-range device in the $600+ tier for other uses, don’t accept anything with less than 8GB of RAM and make sure to buy a faster SSD instead of a standard HDD. Stick with an Intel Core i5 or better processor and look for a full HD screen with 1920 x 1080 resolution.
- To buy an $800 – $1500 high end laptop for gaming or video editing, make sure the device has a built-in graphics card that’s at least a GTX 1050 Ti or better. On the RAM front, 16GB of RAM should be your minimum and an Intel Core i7 processor is ideal. Finally, make sure you either get a large SSD, or a 128GB SSD with a 1TB HDD for extra storage.
Next up: In-Depth Buying Guide
Source: netbooknews.com (by permission)