Laptop Buying Guide – Tips for Choosing the Right Laptop

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Buying a laptop is not similar to buying a smartphone. In the sense that when we recommend a smartphone, we can recommend a particular model. However, laptops only have series names such as HP 14 or Asus Vivobook or Dell Inspiron and so on and then there are multiple variants under each of these series. What is most important is to look at some of the key specifications as follows.

  • Display – The display is your interface with your laptop and there are various aspects to look at:
    • Size: This is a personal choice and while 13.3″ or 14″ are more portable, a 15.6″ display offers more real estate.
    • Resolution: Make sure that the display is Full HD (or FHD or 1080p) because buying a HD (or 720p) display is unforgivable.
    • Display Type: Budget users should ensure at least an IPS display (and not a TN display). If you can spend more then you should look for an OLED laptop (currently found only in Asus Zenbook series)
    • Color Accuracy: Budget buyers may have to settle for a display that can reproduce 45% NTSC colors whereas premium users and content creators should look for 100% RGB.
    • Brightness: Budget laptops should have at least 250 Nits of brightness where as premium laptops may go upto 400 Nits.
  • RAM – More the merrier with 8GB RAM as the minimum.
  • Storage – Ensure you buy a SSD (Solid State Drive) instead of the traditional HDD (Hard Disk Drive) since an SSD makes a world of difference in the performance of the laptop. The down side is most laptops come with only 512GB NVME SSD as against HDDs with higher capacity but don’t let this change your decision of buying a laptop with SSD. If you need more storage, either look for a 1TB SSD (which is more expensive), or a hybrid storage with a 256GB SSD & 1TB HDD, or settle for an external SSD.
  • Processor – This again comes down to personal preference. Note that an Intel i3 processor when coupled with a SSD and 8GB RAM can give you good enough performance, for power users at least an Intel i5 processor is recommended. Also the Iris XE Graphics on the Intel 11th Generation processors are much superior than integrated graphics in previous generations.
  • Others – Other points to be checked include:
    • Backlit Keyboard
    • Type C Port which is compatible for charging the battery
    • Windows 11 Compatibility